Sunday, September 16, 2007

I Only Have to Cook Once a Week?!

OK, I'm taking a break from posting tonight. I was going to write, but my baby girl has been screaming her head for three hours straight and it's taken me that long to type out these two sentences because she's on my lap squirming and screaming. Instead I'm going to host a book tour, or is it called a blog tour? Hmmm, how about a blook tour? I'm hosting a blook tour because I already have this typed up and ready to go. I'm hosting a blook tour for a very sweet and funny girl, Trish Berg who has written a book on supper swapping, which, I think, is a really cool idea. The tour will run from the time I post it Sunday, the 16th until Friday, the 21st at midnight Eastern time.

Trish started emailing me during my Ebay auction. She thought I might be a bit overwhelmed (can't imagine what gave her that idea), so she jumped right in and offered up her wise advise and prayers. I can't thank her enough for helping me to navigate the waters. The reason Trish was so very knowledgeable and helpful to me is that she is a published author and national speaker who is working on another book due out in January 2008. She knows what she's talking about.

I'm hosting this tour for Trish, not only because she's an amazing person with a really kind, good heart, but because her book is awesome! I really didn't know what "supper swapping" was until I read her book, but what a terrific idea it is! I can't wait to get a group of friends together and give it a try. Hey, anything to shave off a few minutes in the kitchen and save a few dollars is worth a try if you ask me! Trish shares her expertise on supper swapping or co-op cooking, as it is also known, and includes examples from her own supper swapping experiences. She includes helpful hints to get you started, fellowship ideas, and (my favorite part) some of her tried and true recipes.

And (here's the really cool part!) anyone who leaves a comment on this posting will be entered into a drawing for a FREE copy of Trish's book The Great American Supper Swap! Trish will be giving away, not one, but TWO free books this week to the readers of my blog who leave a comment on this posting during the tour which will run from Sunday night, September 16 when I post it until Friday night, September 21 at midnight Eastern time. Also, feel free to write to Trish with any questions you might have about supper swapping. Here's a little interview with Trish...

The Great American Supper Swap
Solving the Busy Woman’s Family Dinnertime Dilemma
By Trish Berg


Many moms struggle with their endless to-do list, and dinner is just one more thing that usually doesn’t get done. Author and speaker Trish Berg has a great way to solve your dinnertime dilemma and shares all her secrets in her new book, The Great American Supper Swap.

Thanks for being here, today, Trish.


Thanks for having me.

I wanted to begin by asking you what IS supper swapping?


Supper swapping is really a simple solution to that ever present “What’s for dinner,” question that hits most moms at 4:30 every afternoon.

Its moms helping moms by sharing the cooking responsibility for their families by cooking in bulk then swapping meals during the workweek.

And how did you become a supper swap mom?


First of all, I’m a wife and mother of 4 kids all under 12, and so life at our house is pretty chaotic most days. I’m just like all the moms out there struggling with my daily to-do list, and dinner was just one more thing stressing me out.

So, four years ago when one of my girlfriends asked if I wanted to try swapping suppers with her and two other gals to simplify dinner, I gave it a try. I had no idea how much supper swapping would bless my life, or that God would lead me to write this book and help other families as well.

That sounds great. But how exactly does supper swapping work?


One great thing about supper swapping is that it can be adapted to meet the needs of the families in the group. No two supper swapping groups have to look alike.

Basically, women join with 1-4 other women to form a supper swapping group. Each mom chooses one weekday to do the cooking for everyone in the group. The rest of the week, dinner is delivered to their door, hot fresh, and ready to enjoy with their family.

You only have to cook ONE night a week and the other nights, you essentially get free meals catered to your door? Wow! With so many other dinner options out there, why do you think supper swapping is becoming a hot trend?

Basically because moms need help. Today families run at a fast pace unheard of 30 years ago. Usually, dinner is a fast food, on the go grab bag, or relegated to pizza, take out or frozen quick fix meals. These meals are unhealthy and expensive.

Studies have shown that women today still do most of the cooking. Just looking at the workweek, that’s 5 dinners a week, 260 dinners a year. Whew! No wonder we’re all tired of cooking and settling for grilled cheese, pizza or take out.

Supper swapping cuts a moms cooking by up to 80% since she only cooks one day a week.

For about 1-2 hours of meal preparation and 15-30 minutes or less of meal delivery one day a week, you get a week’s worth of hot, fresh, homemade dinners.

Eating dinner together as a family has got to be a better way than going through drive-thrus for fast food on the run. Speaking for myself, I know I could probably make an entire Happy Meal out of the food on the floor of my van.


Eating dinner together as a family opens communication, helps children to eat healthier, feel more connected to their parents, feel loved and cherished. These benefits have a lifelong impact on our children.

According to research from Columbia University, children who eat dinner with their family on a regular basis are 60% less likely to smoke cigarettes, 50% less likely to use drugs, and 66% less likely to drink alcohol.

If a mom wants to start supper swapping, where can she get more information?

There is a ton of how to information, delicious recipes, encouragement and support in my book The Great American Supper Swap, available at bookstores and online at amazon.com and christinabooks.com, or contact me via my website for a signed copy.


What do you hope families gain from supper swapping?


Supper swapping can save families $4000 a year or more, reduces a moms cooking by 80%, adds deeper faith and friendships, and helps families eat healthier food.

BUT MOST OF ALL – I want families to gather back around their dinner table each and every day. That is my passion. A return to the family meal.

Though I’m an avid supper swap mom, each family must find what works for them and re-claim their family dinner however they can. Supper swapping is just one simple tool to help moms make that happen.

But if you’re stuck in a rut singing the dinnertime blues, ask a couple girlfriends to give supper swapping a try.
When it comes to dinner - DON’T GIVE UP. DON’T GIVE IN. JUST GET SWAPPING!

The family meal has a lifelong impact on our kids!
For more information on The Great American Supper Swap or Trish Berg, go to http://www.trishberg.com/.

Remember, when you leave a comment, be sure to include your name and email address so we can notify the winners!

872 comments:

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Mel said...

I love this idea! When I was a single college student living in an apartment with six other girls we would do this, but I never thought of applying the idea to families. This could really save me and my friends a lot of time and money. Thanks for bringing it to my attention!

Anonymous said...

This is such a great idea, I have 4 kids in my house as well and between soccer, dance, volleyball, boy scouts and homework, there is no time for anything. I could definatly use the break on what to cook 4 nights a week.
Melissa Crain
mcrain@the-i.net

Anonymous said...

Love your blog!!

Wendy Bosley
bosleymom4@yahoo.com

Qtpies7 said...

I would love to do this, but it is hard when you have a large family. The meals don't end up being even when you have a family of four and a family of nine swapping meals, lol. But there are several large families in my area, maybe I could make it work.
I only cook once a week, anyway, I posted about it last week. My kids each take a night a week and my husband and I a night a week, and there you have it! 7 of us can cook, so I only have 1 night! Now, if only clean-up were so simple........

Jenn said...

I am excited about this book we do something like it with the ladies in our church. we all have a cook day at the church we all teach each other how too cook one amazing meal and when we do it. we cook enough for everyone to take a dish home. most are freezer worthy and than we freeze and reheat as we desire throughout the week. I will have to get this book!
Jenn in AK

All moments remembered said...

I sooo could use her book! I have 4 kids, an online scrapbook store, teach scrapbook classes, do all the kids sports and dance stuff, applying today to work at my kids school in the library. Oh and did I mention I have a needy spoiled rotten dog and kitty? I would say life is busy and I do want to read this book!! I cook dinner every night! Dinner is a very important meal for my family. We turn off TV's phones and we sit together at the table and talk!! So If I could get more help with the meals how wonderful that would be. Thanks for posting this Dawn!!!

dravensmommy said...

This is such a great idea! I am a single mom of one, but with all his practices and appointments, it seems there is never enough time to cook dinner at a decent time!

Way to go!

Marlana W. said...

Wow, that sounds like a great idea for girlfriends to share together! I wish that I had some to share it with! I will have to keep this filed so I can to refer to it in the future!

jodymcphilip@hotmail.com said...

How cool, I never would have thought of something like this!!

Anonymous said...

hello.
i can't get over how many people have left a comment AND how much they all write about our kids not liking our food we make. wow, am i super glad to see that i am not the only one struggling!
Well, good idea about swapping but as one commented...the thought of the stress of packing all the kids in to drive to someone else's home to drop off food is way MORE stressful than putting togehter a meal. SO, anyone have any other ideas? Up north here, we do not have those "community" neighborhoods. In fact, i am the only stay at home mom in my neighborhood. Lots of old retired people. So, great idea but does not appeal to everyone.
thanks and God bless you!

TnMomTo3 said...

First time poster here, but faithful to this blog. :)

What an awesome idea about supper swapping - why didn't I think of that?

My husband and I both work full time. We have a 6 year old and 2 1/2 year old twin girls...we could use some "free" time during the week!!

Thanks for this wonderful idea!!

~Deidra~ said...

This sounds like a great book! I would love to win a copy. Thanks for telling up about this.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a great idea! I enjoy reading your blog!

marsha@ssmpartners.com

Anonymous said...

Dawn, I love your blog! I read it every day...being a mom of 3 boys that are 3, 2 & 4 months. I understand everything you blog.
I love the idea of swapping dinner. Thanks for this great idea!
Natalie
nat213@yahoo.com

Bre's Mama said...

sign me up! I have done the Super Supper thing, but honestly, it doesn't taste as good as a real home-cooked meal. This would be great!

Mrs. P said...

What an awesome idea. I wish my friends lived closer to do this with them. What a time saver.

Kim said...

weird timing on this! a mom group i am in is starting one of these supper swap things. this book would be a great resource. i wasn't sure if it was something i wanted to do or not, but now that i read your post i think i might give it a try. i would love to have this book. thanks for the info!

Kim @ TheBitterBall

Linda Deline said...

This would be great for our whole family... Jeff, Terry and Annette are all good cooks. Thanks for sharing. God Bless

lemmola said...

WOW! I sooo need this! What a marvel idea! Thanks so much for sharing!

Lori
lemmola@bellsouth.net

Margy said...

Dawn...what an awesome thing to help out a fellow writer! I'm one of those lurkers who is following your blog and praying for your success as you have a true gift! I'm also praying that you and your hubby and family remain close throughout the busy stresses of your new-found fame :)
Add me to the drawing, as a writer and piano instructor, dinner is always a tricky manuever!
Margy
margyb@summitg.net

Jennifer said...

I'm a new mom - my little girl is only 2 weeks old, but I can already see that this would be a wonderful idea! There were four of us and I know it would have helped my mom out a lot - thanks for the idea and I love reading your blog, it reminds me a lot of my childhood - we had a crazy home life too!

Jennifer
crazydogcreative@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

Wow, if I had to deliver a hot meal to 5 other families, MY kids would eat cold cereal that night! ;) I can't really envision how this would work, so I would LOVE to have a copy of the book!

Julia
onegai7777-junk01@yahoo.com

Juls said...

I really believe in meal time and know that relationships can be built around the dinner table. my friend and sister have done similar things, but I have never tried it.

thanks for your blog. Do you feel loved or what? already 214 comments and it is only Monday!

LazyK77 (Jessica) said...

Totally forgot to leave my email address. Hope you do't mind that I spell it out. I've been 'got' before by posting my email. Let a spammer computer pick it up and you'll never be able to stop the spam mail.
lazyk77 at hotmail dot com

Mich said...

Wow, that supper swap idea is amazing!
I just shared it with this yahoo group I'm a part of which is a food share program for th are where I live. Basically, instead of throwing away our unused non-perishable food items, we post them in this group to see if anyone is interested in picking them up. Also, people can request foods when they have a need. So I thought of this group when I read this post and I just went to the yahoo group and posted the idea to see if I can get any families to sign up with me. I only have two kids, but I work and I certainly would LOVE the break a few time a week because I am so tired in the evenings most of the time. Also, I have a side job (I'm a freelance artist trying to make something of myself, LOL) so when I am busy in the evenings with a job, this will especially be helpful.

Woof, you are probably going to get a lot of responses, I don't know how you will choose who to give those two books to! Hope it's two families who could really use it!

Abby said...

this is such a great idea
I've never heard of it before this but I really like it

Becky in Wyo said...

I'm so glad my sister made a mention of your blog in her own blog. I'm newly addicted to blogging, and I've really enjoyed reading your blog entries over the past week. I may not comment often, just because so many people say the same things I would say, but I appreciate it all the same. I'm a mom of three, hoping for number four. I also do daycare in my home, so I totally hear you about the crazy messes and chaos of taking care of multiple children. With your wonderful humor, thanks for helping the rest of us feel like we're not such bad moms after all.

Too many blogging "infomercials" would probably get irritating after a while, but I think you've made a good choice with this one. You're a good friend to Trish. We could all use help with the dinner issue! I think I'll try to get some kind of meal group going with other women that I know, and I will probably see about ordering the book if I don't win one from Trish. Thanks a million!

Manninen Family said...

I've done this and it's various forms for over a year and it is lovely. I enjoy freezer cooking (bulk cooking) and have had a couple runs of swapping as well. It is a great way to try new things!

Natalie said...

Great idea, now to find other families that would do that...

Natalie Haines
nataliemillerhaines@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

Love the blog! I love the swapping dinner ideal, really cool. It could bring families back together.
Enter me in the drawing.

Frances in Roxboro, North Carolina
fcpruitt@hotmail.com

Anonymous said...

I love your blog. I have a blended family but with 5 kids, so can truely relate to your stores. My step-children are 13, 11, & 8, and mine are 7 & 4. The 8 year old is the only girl, so her and I are completely out numbered.

My question about the supper-swap is how does this work when you have some small families and some have large families(like mine). Plus then how does it work when some mom's are working moms. Yep, I work 8:30 - 5. So for me to cook someone a meal at that point, it would arrive really late to them!!!! Plus with 5 kids all in sports, my schedule is nuts as to what time we eat dinner around our house. I do value the fmaily dinner time when we all sit around the table though!
janalinthicum@msn.com
Thanks for the laughs!
Jana

TNMama said...

For the past few weeks I have participated in several of the pointless "e-mail recipe swaps" and have tried to coerce my friends into giving me 5 of their favorite "go-to" meals because we have GOT to get out of this RUT that is dinner time. Finally an idea that sounds fun and doable and that won't break the bank. Hmm... which of my friends are the best cooks is the only thing left to figure out!

Angela said...

This is great! My m-i-l used to do it and liked it. It really works best with people who are around her.

Liz Y said...

What a great idea! This is such a practical plan and I think I might look into doing it with some of my girlfriends. I would love to win a copy of the book! I love reading your blog, it always puts a smile on my face! lizzy_142@hotmail.com

jessica1977 said...

I've never heard of supper swapping before but I definitely like the sound of it. Any ideas on how to get this started?

Terra said...

This sounds like a great idea! Thanks for sharing :)

Anonymous said...

Wonderful idea, I am all about family dinners as well, and am up for trying anything that makes it a little easier!
Lisa: latelford@gmail.com

Annabel said...

That's a great idea!!! I've got to find some friends/families to do that with. I only have two friends, one lives in Germany and the other in Illinois, so hopefully maybe some of my husband's friends could try something like that out! Enter me in the drawing! :)

Kerry said...

Oh, this is the kind of thing I totally need! I really enjoy cooking, but sometimes it becomes way too overwhelming trying to constantly come up with menus, and grocery lists, and trying to keep within our budget as well.This sounds like something that would be really fun to try with some friends. I don't think I have a chance of winning the free book, but I am still going to try!
Thanks for sharing with us!
Kerry-
kerryjoyblack@hotmail.com

Anonymous said...

I have heard of this beore and thought it was a beautiful idea. It should be such a help to alot of Mom's out there.
Michlle in portland oregon area

Debby/MI said...

Your blog is always such a treat - I come here for my grin for the day.

My kids laugh and tell people, "Mom doesn't buy anything unless it's on sale or she has a coupon for it!" so I'm de-lurking, because the chance to win this supper swapping book beats even the best coupon! :)

Thanks for all you do without even knowing you're doing it.
Debby/MI
dradmach@wmis.net

Karen said...

I love your Blog. :) And now a prize draw too. Had to give it a go! (klmasters@gmail.com).

Trish Berg said...

WOW! You moms must be hungry! Is it supper time yet?

I am blown away by the response, you are ALL the best!

I read every comment and am so excited you all love the idea of supper swapping. I have been a supper swap mom for over 4 years now, with different moms in and out of my group as it works best for each of them.

Today, I am making my meal for this week, and it is Autumn Soup – YUM! I’ll post the recipe on my website at my Recipe of the Week…for all who want it.

Kelly is delivering Breakfast Casserole Tuesday, Nancy is bringing Chicken and Noodles Wednesday, and Thursday Nan is delivering Shepherd’s Pie. Friday, leftover! And there’s my week of meals!!!

I want to answer all your questions. Here’s what I found so far. If I missed your question, please forgive me. Four pregnancies have all but depleted 90% of my working brain cells. Simply e-mail it to me at www.trishberg.com and I will post an answer.

And as you begin supper swapping – I would be happy to call your swapping group for a free 15 minute phone call to help you get started, answer your questions in person, or simply say Hi.

Most of all, I want to encourage you to give it a try. You can begin simply with 1 girlfriend of neighbor. You double a recipe one day and deliver it to her. She doubles a recipe one day and brings it to you. With left overs, you can have 3 nights of supper in a snap! Then as friends want to jump in – you get even more!

Here goes Q & A

1) Corrie and Jennifer asked about family size:

Don’t worry about differing family size. Just decide on a portion size of meals. There are 4 families in my group right now. I have 4 kids (and a hubby; Nan has 1 husband, 1 son, and 2 parents that live with her = 4 adults 1 child. Kelly has a hubby and 3 boys, and Nancy has a hubby and only 2 kids.

It works for all of us because we do one 9x13 pans for a main dish, and one simple side or dessert. Nancy probably has slightly more left-overs than we do, and Nan has none. Still works.

So when you plan your meals, as a group, simply decide on a portion size that works for all of you.

2) Jodi from Australia asked about swapping tea.
You can simplify all kinds of things by swapping – it’s all about maximizing a mom’s labor. Well, except actual LABOR for child birth – then you are on your own!

You could definitely swap tea. Moms who work full time can even swap lunch at work and save a ton of money on eating out. One co-worker brings enough lunch for the group on Monday, another one on Tuesday, and so on. Then you only have to worry about lunch 1 day a week! And probably get to enjoy some awesome lunches as well!

3) Peter said he doesn’t really know anyone due to moving around a lot. Start with your kid’s friend’s families, or your neighbors. Ask around at work.
My publisher (Cook) is in CO, and I am in Ohio. AS the book was being published, the staff there got so excited about supper swapping they started groups of their own right from the office! Each worker in a group simply brings their 4-5 meals to the office in a cooler, or in the office fridge. AT the end of the day, their swapping buddies grab their dinner and head for home.

4) Anonymous asked about getting “…the canned or frozen green beans and spaghetti with Ragu from a jar…” Sure, that would not be good.
When you form a supper swapping group, you make all these decision at the outset. What constitutes a meal? Is canned food ok? Casseroles? Frozen bread or does it need to be homemade?
I am delivering frozen breadsticks that I bought as my side dish for my Autumn Soup. As a group, we decided that a simple side was fine with a more complex meal. But that’s all up to you!
You can tailor your supper swapping group however you want! But you do need to be honest and up front at the outset. I spend a chapter in the book talking about how to be honest about food likes and tastes.

5) Anna from Hungary asked about a family with special needs. Again, if you are a vegetarian or vegan, you probably want to swap with another family who is vegetarian or vegan. Food tastes, dislikes and allergies can all be addressed up front when you plan meals.
We plan meals 3 months out. There is a calendar on my kitchen bulletin board with all the meals so I know what is coming each and every day! I add my own sides, bread or salads to complete each meal.
As for not liking someone’s cooking? Well, it is best to form your group with people you know, and hopefully you have already tasted their cooking. But you can also try it for a 1-2 month trial period, and at the end of that, simply dissolve the group if the cooking is not up to par.

6) Suburban Correspondent asked about getting people to commit. Tell them you can reduce their cooking by 80% and save them $4000 a year! That is what supper swapping does. Then you will peak their interest!

7) Michelle asked about Working vs stay at home moms. In our group alone, we have all kinds. I work part time from home as a writer. Nan works full time as does her hubby. Nancy works part time and Kelly is a stay at home mom. It works for each of us because we adapt our group to meet our needs.
Nan delivers her meal Sunday evening or Monday evening. Kelly delivers Tuesday at noon, prepared but not yet cooked with cooking instructions (I have free printable cooking instruction cards from my website…) Nancy delivers Wed at noon, and I delver Thursday at noon.
You can even freeze meals and combine supper swapping with once a month cooking if you prefer. Each of you making 5 identical freezer meals and swapping.
Every supper swap group looks different because each group reflects the needs of the families involved! That’s the beauty of it!

8) Sonya asked about having 2 teenage boys. Well, how are you? Sane today? I can’t even imagine teenagers, let alone 2 – and boys! WOW!
Ok- Well, I would suggest you involve them, not in the cooking, but the decision making. Ask them what meals they like, and what they’d like to have for supper.
If they know there’ll be a hot supper each night – I know they’ll be thrilled!

9) Brea touched on helping other – YES!!! Supper swapping helps moms reach beyond their own front porch. Because I am cooking Autumn Soup in bulk this week, I cam pulling out a small serving for a man in our church whose wife is dealing with cancer. For no additional work, I can bless him this week.

There is also a group of moms out west that e-mailed me about this. They get together Sunday evenings ate their church’s kitchen and cook all their week’s worth of meals there together, as a group. They also prepare extra meals, and on their drive home, deliver them to the shut-ins and others in need form their church!

10) Tami asked about swapping with co-workers, church groups? Of course. You can swap anywhere. All you need is one place of common ground so meal delivery works.

11) Jo Jo Fat stuff asked about freezing meals. You can absolutely combine supper swapping with Once a Month Cooking if you prefer that method. Works like a dandy, and saves you more money since you buy ingredients in bulk, and saves you time since making 4 baked spaghettis is simpler than 4 different meals!

That’s all I have time for now. I hope I answered all your questions so far. If not, HOLLER AT ME!!!!

Finally – To Ma Ma Lily – No I would cook for your family of 9!!! Wish I could, but I have enough trouble cooking for a family of 6!

How do you do it!!!! You need supper swapping, girlfriend!

To Alicia – I have no current plans for a book convincing your friends to have kids – but I believe keeping YOUR kids away from them might be a good start!!! Teee Heee.

And to all the moms struggling with your kids saying Ewwwww and YUCK at the dinner table. I have 2 picky eaters at my house, and here’s what we have done:
1)We put a tablespoon sized portion of our meal on their plate. And we set the microwave timer for 30 minutes. If they do not eat at least that amount in that time, they go straight form the dinner table to bed. No book. No playing. No fun. But also, no yelling at them. No bribing them to eat. Nada. I only had to send Sydney to bed 1 time. This really works. Though Sydney usually waits until there are 3 minutes left and chokes it down.

2)I have officially banned the word YUCK form my dinner table.

3)Keep in mind your kids will NOT starve themselves to death. If you make supper and they don’t eat it, no problem. Send them to bed hungry. Believe me, they will learn to eat what you make!

4)And supper swapping helps this as well. My son LOVES the food Kelly makes, because she is “cool.” Of course, as his mom, I am NOT COOL!

Well, I am off to a tea party with my four year old. YUM~
Keep the questions coming!
Enjoy the journey,
Trish

The Gang's All Here! said...

What a great idea. I have done a similar thing with a friend, on a much smaller scale and only with meals that we prepare and swap then freeze. I'm so excited to learn more about this!

Loved your last couple posts - very entertaining and fun to unwind to after a long hard day. Your merry heart is good medicine around here :)

Anonymous said...

this sounds like a neat idea, i would love to save some time and money.

-veronica savage

durhammommy06@yahoo.com

Gomomyourock said...

What an incredibly wonderful idea!
Please enter me in the drawing.
jennifer
gomomyourock@embarqmail.com

Kami said...

I love your blog. Thanks for helping the rest of us look less crazy! I have two sets of twin boys three years apart and it's nice to see someone else having as much fun as me!!
Kami in Minnesota
kba0702@msn.com

Jennifer said...

I've heard of this before, VERY INTERESTED!!! Thanks!

Jennifer Wilson
noiluvumore@hotmail.com

Anonymous said...

I would love to be entered. I have been reading your blog everyday since I found out about your Pokemon cards from a friend of mine.

Rebecca
bonca_97@yahoo.com

Stacy & Ryan said...

Thanks for the entertaining ebay story that introduced me to this blog and to the idea of supper swapping!

My sister... mother of 5 ranging in age from 10yrs to 8wks has relayed similar stories including the looks and questions that come along with having a full family :-)

Stacy Goodsell
lynetalive@hotmail.com

Amy Moffitt said...

I have heard of this before but there are a few reasons I don't see it working for me. #1 is family size. We would need more food than other families would.So, how do you handle that? I have 6 children and don't know many other families that are as large. Thanks for your ideas.
moffittzoo8@aol.com

Alyssia C said...

OH my goodness...I wasn't able to read over the weekend, and a lot has happened!! And really, why wouldn't you want to type out funny stories with a screaming squirming child on your lap?!? :-)

The blook tour is a great idea!

Anonymous said...

I could SOOOO use this book! I love the idea! since I'm not registered with Google, I'll just post my email like another person did: hannahsmom16 at yahoo dot com.
Thanks!
Shannon

Raskell Party of 8 said...

I would love to know more. I will be researching this! Thanks, Sandra hebbyhoo@hotmail.com

Raskell Party of 8 said...

Enter me in.

Sandra R.
hebbyhoo@hotmail.com
mom to 7 - and LOVE it!

MsHellion said...

This is an awesome idea! I'm definitely going to look more into this. (Although I don't have kids...I imagine this can work in other realms. Many single folk don't like to cook for one, etc, etc...if everyone got to have dinner at someone's house once a week, or whatever...it would have more communion and healthier eating!)

Joy said...

What an awesome Idea. Totally bringing it up to my playgroup!

Thanks,
Joy

Mom*2*5*princesses*&*2*peapod*girls said...

OMGosh! What an AWESOME idea! I have 5 kids, ages 11 & under and the youngest 2 are 16mo. twins. I am always pressed for time and I am so bored with trying to think of different things to cook every night! I, too, have given in to the pressures of "fast food fury" and frozen dinners. I always feel like I have let my kids down when I do this. I would LOVE to make up a group like this and think I will. I would love to get your book and some great ideas! Thank you so much! You just might have saved me!

God Bless,

Angela

Anonymous said...

This is a great idea. I am a stay at home mom but dinner is always a challenge for me. I will have to get a few friends together and give this a try. Misty luvmyalexander@yahoo.com

MommyJamie said...

I love the idea of this and I would love to do it! I will definitly be checking the book out.
Jamie
theklevjers@hotmail.com

Sara's Circus said...

yeah!!! I want in! I am emailing this post and trish's info to all my mom-friends right now!! what a great idea!
and please enter me in the drawing!!
sarakmiller@cox.net

peace out!!

imkay said...

what a great idea!! i would love to do this with my friends!

Anonymous said...

That sounds great. As a mother of 6 and a homeschooler I do not have much time. Can't wait to read the book!
M. Weaver
windyacres8@hardinnet.com

Judi G. said...

A group of friends did this last year & it was a lot of fun.

Anonymous said...

Hm, unfort in my neck of the woods getting people to do a meal swap was like, well, worse than a taffy pull. People volunteered like crazy, for a family who had a fire and the "group" was concerned about her family not getting "good meals" ... then the folks who signed up had reminder phone calls and emails [because most forgot their day], and worse, all seemed to do one or more of three things:
a) made the same stuff w/o checking what others had made [just how many turkey or tofu lasagnas does one person need?]
b) didn't ask what someone might like [what do you mean you don't like tomato chunks or don't like spicy foods?]
or, my favourite
c) supplied a frozen meal, ripped off the outside labelling, and then claimed it as "their own" [Ah, so *you're* Mrs. Stouffers, the bottom of the pan has that name on it!]

I think for the swap to work you've got to REALLY know the people involved and be honest and trust them ... I learned a lot just *hearing* about the swap ... no, I didn't participate - I was "mean" and gave her a coupon for free babysitting and gave her and her hubby a coupon for a night out on their own at a non-fast food restaurant [free coupon from an acquaintance; babysitting done by me, have to admit].

Anonymous said...

Love the concept and I'm kicking myself for not thinking up such a fabulous idea! I've come to dread mealtime and I'm totally tapped for ideas. This could save me!

And I just want to shout out a big "THANK YOU" for sharing your humor and talent with us. I read your blog every day or two and have realized how I've lost the ability to laugh at the little things. Best wishes on your success and for making a bright spot in this tired mom's day!

Lori
Wisconsin
leness@frontiernet.net

Anonymous said...

This is such a great idea- Thank you

alice

alice@bcoonlaw.com

SoBeBabies.com, Inc said...

That looks awesome! I hope I win!

Anonymous said...

All I have to say is:

Eat eat eat eat eat eat eat eat eat eat eat eat eat eat

Wait, this is dumb. Say something to make the nice lady laugh today. Sounds like she could use a break.

We love you, Dawn!! :)

~Don

nita said...

as the mom of an 'only', i cook all our meals. plus, my husband tries, but totally sucks at cooking :) i usually make trays of things when the others have family, sick kids, new babes....so pick me! i'll sucker those other mothers into making my food once in a while!

Anonymous said...

This is a great idea!! Love it - I have 6 kids and my dh has two that we have every second weekend. Love your blog and have saved it to my favorites so that I can read it every day!! You have such a great sense of humor which is vital to having so many kids. Kudos and keep up the great writing. Love it!!
Jo-Ann
jblumhag@edm.trlabs.ca

Lisa C. said...

interesting idea. I am a stay at home mom, but it still hard to figure out a meal for your family day in and day out, especially with all the sports and things that kids do now a days.

BTW, hope the screaming got better. Hugs to you!

DonelsonMom said...

OMG! What a great idea! I'm already brainstorming what I could cook and who in my neighborhood might be interested. Why is it that such a simple, logical idea never occurred to me? Probably because I was too busy cooking supper - haha! Thanks for giving my brain a well-needed jolt today.

Teresa
tdcurrey@comcast.net

Anonymous said...

Love your blog. Makes me laugh all the time! And supper swapping sounds like a neat idea!
:)
Stacy
stacyandgreg@hotmail.com

Margaret Dunlap said...

This seems like a good idea, but what do you do when your kids don't like most things? My son complains that something is 'spicy' if meatballs in red sauce have 1/2 tsp. of oegano and 1 tsp. of basil in the entire recipe. Of course, this is the same child who would eat oatmeal 3 times a day. Maybe I just need to find the right people to swap with.

peach said...

i am one mom who is sick of cooking 7 days a week, it would not be so bad if at least one person in the house would say something other than pizza (meaning takeout) they leave it all up to me ARRG this sounds lovely please enter me :-) in the drawing
Laura
peach867@yahoo.com

vinecia said...

I read your blog everyday! LOVE IT! This sounds like a great idea.

Katy Linda said...

What a great idea!! I guess that's a good excuse to get to know my next door neighbors!

ecajean said...

Oh I've done something similar but we met once a month. There were 8 of us and we ended up with 9 freezer meals. It was wonderful! Too bad I had to move!

Nicole said...

Oh pick me! Pick me! :)

Nicole
coley90@gmail.com

Girls Beaded Socks said...

Love Your Blog
Count Me In!

Stacey
beadedsocks@msn.com

Rana said...

I love the idea of a Supper Swap. I absolutely HATE to cook and I homeschool a child too. So, when my kids are hungry, I'm not ready at all. My son gets off the bus at 4:30 and my daughter just barely finishes her schoolwork by then, so I haven't even thought of dinner yet!

Rana Woodhull
countryrana@yahoo.com

Kelly Hockaday said...

I love reading your blog (started with the now famous Ebay auction)and laugh every day while reading of your trials and tribulations...and wondering how you stay even REMOTELY sane.

And this supper swapping sounds like a wonderful idea that I'm going to run by some friends...because I know I'm guilty of the "what do you want for dinner tonight - McDonald's, Wendy's or Burger King?" supper.

Anonymous said...

Cool...this sounds even better than OAMC, which I have done in the past. Thanks for the freebie!!

Erin in Ohio

ashlandad@yahoo.com

Erica said...

This is an interesting concept! I'm interested in learning more. Thanks!

Dawn, I enjoy your blog very much! I'm a mom of only one, but imagine the struggles are similar, just on a much smaller scale! Thanks for the smiles....

MPMommy said...

Sounds like a great idea for our playgroup to try! Put me in the drawing!
~Colleen (CLeon10018@gmail.com)

Anonymous said...

What a brilliant idea! Thank you!

Nikki
athomemomie@comcast.net

Laura in VA said...

Oh shyeah, this idea would take a lot of convincing to make it work for us. If I suggested doing this with the other moms on my street, I'd probably get tubs of yogurt and a bag of jellybeans for one of the meals... all of our kids are so darned picky.

Besides, who wants to risk having chicken salmonella cordon bleu one night or chili e-coli con carne the next night?

Maybe swapping take outs would work for us. :P rodenfamily"at"gmail.com

Jan Scholl said...

I wish I had someone to sit at the table to eat dinner/supper with. Hubby works from 4 AM to sometimes 9 or 10 PM-kids are all grown and out of the area and some married. I often skip supper because I hate the idea of eating by myself as its a social thing to me. And I hate eating out for the most part (I am a strict vegetarian and feel the discrimination in restaurants big time where I live-I am tired of just salads)
SO what is a person to do in my position? I can watch the dog eat or I can prop a photo up of Johnny Depp (at least he doesnt fall asleep over his plate) Or I can go snag the walker on the road and see if he/she is hungry and not a serial killer. I miss having my kids at home but its been 12 years since they left. Oh well, another day of eating Peanut butter out of the jar.

noelle said...

My only problem is going to be that I don't know anyone with a large family like mine. I am pregnant with my 5th! NO ONE is going to want to swap dinners with me! :( it is a fabulous idea which i would love to take part in but unfortunately no one i know would want to prepare a meal for my large family in exchange for me to cook for them! GREAT IDEA THOUGH! i know i could certainly use the break on the other nights!!

stampin_melissa said...

You mean that there is a solution for the dinner-frustrations????? DH is lucky if he gets home by the time I serve dinner, which of course means that I have to deal with my DS alone while cooking. Yes, I considered duck taping him to the floor while I'm cooking but then I'd also have to keep him quiet too. Too much work! LOL! I'm curious to see exactly how this would work! *crossing fingers for the book* ;)

Melissa
banian99 @ sbcglobal . net (without the spaces)

Tina said...

Dawn, your blog is great. I enjoy reading. It has become my new thing to do each morning.

tabney@cappaerthousing.com

Laurie from Spokane, WA said...

Dawn,
I've been reading your blog since your ebay auction, but didn't want to email you or leave a comment because I didn't want to add to your burden (I have two kids and I have no idea how you do it), so I've just been a lurker and fan. Anyway since you are asking for comments this time I thought I'd jump in.

I've been swapping dinners with other moms for about 4 months now and it is really great. We swap home-made frozen dinner (that you just thaw and reheat) - it works great and does give us a little break on cooking dinners (although I have no idea what I'm doing with the extra time because I still can't find enough hours in a day)... ;-)

Thanks again,
Oh and here's my email address laurieb@hockeymail.com

Valerie said...

Hi Dawn,

Add me on to your tour!

www.TogetherAtHome.blogspot.com

~Valerie

Anonymous said...

With 7 kids of my own, this sounds like a lifesaver!! Though I wonder if anyone is crazy enough to take turns feeding my kids...

tawnydeleon@yahoo.com

Pam said...

Great! thanks for sharing

Pam Jones
barnraisingthe@bellsouth.net

Anonymous said...

Supper swapping sounds like a great idea! Good opportunity to try new stuff. Food that other people cook always tastes better to me than what I make (now THAT will get people knocking down the door to supper swap with me!)
Thanks for keeping up with the blog, Dawn. We love it.

All the best,
Molly in NH

moltodd@worldpath.net

Frau_Mahlzahn said...

*lol*

We tried supper swapping -- which by the way really is a great idea -- a couple of years back. But whereas the kids of my friend liked our dinners a lot, we just hated hers so much, it was awful! Most of the times my kids excused themselves from the dinner table. So we didn't do THAT for a long time, *lol*.

But I do like the idea a lot and would like to try to find somebody else who we can swap suppers with. It does make life easier and adds more variety to the meals.

So long,
Corinna

Amy S. Texas said...

Well deserved Dawn..... Although you will be missed We will be waiting anxiously for you to post again. I am starting a new bible study in 2 weeks on Stressed out schedules and i went to Trish's website to get some more info. on Supper Swap. I think it is a great thing and maybe some of our ladies in our study will be able to start this.
Still visiting you day.!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

This idea would fix the problem of too many women in one small kitchen in a once a month cooking get together. I don't like other women in my kitchen, so this sounds like it would be better for me. I'd probably have to take two days though, since I have a family of eight.

Brandi Owings
owings8@peoplepc.com

Anonymous said...

This is one great idea!
Korkie

Rebecca said...

Love your blog! I look forward to it every day!!! I only have one 5 month old, also named Jackson, but he's quite the little handful! Believe it or not I'm actually looking forward to seeing what kind of shenanigans he's going to try to get into!

Melissa said...

I have to tell you, I love your blog. It is hillarious. I am expecting #4 shortly and sympathize with many of your stories. I have friends that have done supper swapping and enjoyed it. Best of luck!

darinandmelissa.blogspot.com

Kristi said...

I am sooooo trying this!

Rani said...

What an ingenious idea? When I was diagnosed with Hodgekins last year, the whole community took turns making my family supper. This would be a great way to help return the favor for my friends. Thanks for the super supper idea!

tootsiegrace said...

This idea is GENIUS!!! I have never heard of supper swapping, but I wish I had it growing up. My TV dinners were not always that appetizing, and my mom was so busy she didn't always have time for a home cooked meal. I love this idea. Now if I can just find Vegetarian families to swap with (my husband is the vegetarian).

deborah said...

Hi Dawn,
Thanks so much for the entertainment these last few weeks. I've enjoyed your tales of motherhood.
Trish, can wait to get my friends together to help make our lives a bit easier. Thanks for sharing your ideas.
Deb
debsmelk@comcast.net

Laura said...

That is a great idea but I'm not sure how it would work, most of my friends don't have kids yet, and we are a family of 6.

Sabrina said...

I just have to add my two bits about the supper swap - IT WORKS!!!! I have been doing one for about 3 years now, and really can't imagine having to go back to cooking the normal way...every single day. It does take me a bit longer to cook than if I was just cooking for myself, and my kitchen is trashed by the time dinner is ready, but it is totally worth it to have dinner showing up the rest of the week. I generally only shop for that one meal that I am cooking, then I am eating everyone else's dinners along with leftovers the rest of the week. It is the only way to survive cooking for a family year after year.

I have been telling all of my friends about it and talked some into doing one of their own and they also love it. Don't know how to start? Just try it for a month. That's how we started, just by deciding we wanted to give it a try for a month, and we have never stopped.

Another benefit that hasn't been mentioned is that often someone in the group has to leave town, leaving their family behind for a few days...so we swap cooking days that week, bringing food over for the family the entire time, so that she doesn't have to worry about what the family will be eating while she's gone. Then she does her cooking day when she gets back home.

I LOVE the cooking swap!!!!! I also love reading your blog - I have never commented because I figured you had enough people commenting already, but I really have enjoyed the laughs. Thanks for adding a bit of sanity in my life!

Anonymous said...

I love reading your blogs. It makes my day. I have 3 children of my own and stay at home with them so I understand chaos. I have heard to supper swaps and they sound so fun but have never done one. I think you have inspired me though!!
Thanks,
Kortnie
kbraudt@yahoo.com

Jacqueline said...

Cool idea! Hope I get the book :D And I LOVE your blog! Keep up the good work ;)

Marianne said...

Ahhhh, the dreaded supper time!! What a great idea, and very timely as I just looked at the clock (4:32pm) and realized that I have no idea what we're having for dinner. I haven't been grocery shopping either. Hmmm, what can I make from green onions, lemon juice and strawberry jam??

Anyway, count me in on this draw please!!

Thank you, Dawn, for giving me some great laughs!

mcrewson@mts.net

Anonymous said...

I love this idea!! I am going to try it with some friends who live nearby.

Alisha
acdaniell@yahoo.com

Rebecca said...

This is such a good idea! Actually, just 2 weeks ago I was talking to my husbands grandma (she watches our only DD a few days a week when my hubby and I are both working) about this VERY thing. We both tried south beach diet - which worked, right up until the point where we had to stop with all the home cooking of all those meals so we could catch up on all the stuff we hadn't been doing for 2 months. (Vacuuming should not be a quarterly event - nor should bill paying) I looked over the ad on your blog for the book and came |-| this close to buying it, until I remembered that pesky little thing called a budget. Anyway, I'd love very much to be in the running to win a copy.

Also, just wanted to say as a kiddo who grew up in a family w/ 6 kids, and relatively new parent (of one) I absolutely LOVE reading your blog, and very much look forward to a book coming out by you. (I will add it into the budget :D)
Rebecca K.
xera
[at]
bex
[dot]
net
([at] = @, [dot] = . - trying not to get spammed)

Karisa said...

This sounds like a really great idea, thanks for sharing it with us all.

Karisa

Karisaamy@yahoo.com

stacey m. said...

great idea. i would love a copy of the book. thanks for the opportunity.
stacey
moore.g@insideconnect.net

Helena said...

I'm a recently widowed mom of 5-year old triplets, two of whom have special needs. Anything that makes my life a bit easier and less hectic is something I'm willing to try.

Helena
ThriceBlessedMomma.blogspot.com

AZMom said...

Our family eats dinner together 7 nights a week and we do menu planning on Sundays. I post them on my blog on Mondays. This has saved us a ton of money and time at the end of the day. I work FT and so does my husband and we have 2 small kids.

Not sure I'd use supper swap so if my name is chosen, please pick another. Love your blog as always!

Anonymous said...

This Is a great Idea. I just wonder about the taste of other friends cooking. I will have to pick a group that I know are good cooks. ~Kris wesleychetah@aol.com

Lyn said...

Dawn- your sense of humor and belief in God will make both a happy family and happy, lasting memories! Keep on laughing, no matter what! My kids are 22,20,17, 15,14, and I am sane, have an organized house, and work both as a nurse and muralist. Why a muralist? That began from an effort to disguise the crayon and marker art my kids gifted my walls with! I was fortunate enough to stay home while the kids were little; no amount of money I could make could ever buy back the moments I'd have missed. No, I'm not driving around in an Escalade, but my kids have many fond memories of my being there for them. Hey- will you call me if you need any illustrations for your ventures? Please also enter me in the book drawing! Thanks! Lyn www.lynsteinberg.com

Sarah Proctor said...

Awesome idea! I would love to cook less and still eat healthy. Trish is one smart mama. I can't wait until January so I can check out the book.

Deon said...

What a great idea. I really would like to learn more.
dkowardy@yahoo.com
Deon Kowardy

Mom to 3 boys said...

This sounds so great. I am an Army wife and my husband will be deploying soon. I want to try this! It will certainly help me and my other Army wife friends during this stressful time.

Amy
chrisandsharodsmomma@yahoo.com

Shay said...

Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful peice of information with us. I have never heard of Supper Swapping before. As a mum that is working hard on being more frugal and trying to provide the best for my kids....This is going to be an excellent and great way of doing it. Thank you once again for your insight into the world of mum's and for sharing something so special!

Shay
ozi_nut@yahoo.com.au

sreno7 said...

Here we have a group called Community kitchens where a group gets together that equals 16 family members and you choose recipes together, assign one person to shop (after going through flyers) and you all cook together and take home one serving per family member and usually end up with four meals.

AlexDreamz said...

Okay, so you've already gotten 299 "wow this is a great idea"s, so just pretend I typed that, too!

My friends and I have gotten together to can stuff, freeze stuff, whatever, but I like this idea - wonder if I can rope anybody into it?.... and I'm lovin' your blog *snickers at "blook tour"*

Take care and keep up the great writing!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this idea. I know I need all the help I can get. no I just need to get some friends together.

Amber said...

ooops, forgot to leave my e-mail:
amberfly00@hotmail.com
(those are two zeros after amberfly!) Thanks!!

Megster67 said...

I love this idea and would love to see the book. I have a suggestion that's a variation on this idea. After visiting one of those assemble-your-own-meals places (one like Let's Dish, only local to the Washington, DC area), I was talking with a neighbor about an idea - why not bring that assemble-a-meal idea home - we could choose 2 or 3 entrees, buy in bulk (thus saving $, as those stores are on the expensive side), and spent a couple of hours together assembling the meals in quantity. You stick 'em in your freezer and the only thing you have to remember is to defrost it the night before. I'm still experimenting with recipes but we hope to try this approach this fall. But a fresh-cooked meal that you don't even have to remember the night before? Even better! Pick me, pick me!

kimikki said...

Where were you when I was a single mom, raising my daughter alone? I was working while she was in daycare or in school, and a lot of times, I would bring home fast food, just to have something on the table in a hurry. Now she's grown, married, and has a child of her own. She and her little family manage very well all by themselves. I'm not sure what she learned from me in that area, but it's working!
Thanks for the terrific idea, however. I hope a lot of people purchase your book and benefit from it!Kim
kimikki@frontiernet.net

Randee said...

Sounds awesome. My concern would be do you have lists of what people will and won't eat or do you just cook what you like and go from there? randee rrbgandse@gmail.com

Angel said...

Wow! What a great idea! Assuming everyone lives nearby, of course! I like this idea even better than Freezer Cooking or Once a Month Cooking! Not only is cooking time reduced...but menu planning is reduced AND grocery shopping is reduced. Ohhhh,.....how do I get one of these in MY area???

Jude said...

Hmmm...that's an interesting idea...

Lori said...

Wow! What a great idea! It would be interesting to see if people in my neighborhood would like doing something like this.

Michelle Espinoza said...

What an interesting concept! My only concern would be that it's people that I know, and am comfortable with their cleanliness and cooking habits.

michelle
sodagirl65@hotmail.com

tina said...

What an awesome Idea!!! Supper swaping!!


Tina
Halford517@aim.com

Mauzy Fam said...

I've heard of this before and truly think it's the most fabulous idea. I've got to get going on this soon, because it would free up so much time and guilt for me.

Tamra
mauzy@cox.net

Anonymous said...

One of the newscasters in my home state of Idaho wrote a little book detailing how to do co-op cooking a few years ago. The idea is so great -- if only I could find people with similar diets as our family! Anyway, for an additional resource if you are new to this, check out her book on Amazon: Homemade to Go: The Complete Guide to Co-Op Cooking (Paperback)
by Dee Sarton Bower (Author), Mary Eileen Wells (Author). She has lots of worksheets that detail how to actually put this into practice.

Kim
kwhelan@cableone.net
Boise, Idaho

Anonymous said...

Wow..what a great idea. I just had a fourth child and between nursing him and taking care of the others it seems impossible to get a good dinner on the table but I could handle one a week. I have to find others interested quick!!!

Thanks for the idea,

Anna
wonderslugs@sbcglobal.net

ineverwouldhaveknown said...

Great idea. I run a daycare from my home from 6:30am until 6:00pm at which time I am running to girl scouts three days a week, volleyball everyday, playing chauffer to my teenagers work schedule, and taking my mother-in-law to dialysis three days a week. Right now, the only time I have to cook is NEVER. Well, maybe on the weekend (providing the house doen't get cleand). I feel like such a horrible mom when it comes to cooking that I tell my 6 children to "wing it". I say that because their ages are 3,6,7,12,18, and 19 and usually its the smaller 3 that are cooking for themselves because the older 3 are being chauffered here and there. I am definetely going to see if i can find some friends who want to try this system out. The real plus is that I might get a variety of food besides mac n cheese, pancakes, or tacos.

Anonymous said...

Awesome idea!! I work full-time and only have my husband and child to feed but making dinners is time-consuming. I would love to do something like this!
Karen in Colorado
kmstampfun@juno.com

Melissa said...

Supper Swapping sounds great! do you think it would work for picky eaters? Also, I live in a SMALL town, and I don't know very many people. How would I go about starting something like this? Just ask around? Do you think people would want to eat a strange person's food? Personally I wouldn't mind if it gets me out of cooking 4 nights a week!
Thanks!

stephanie said...

Great idea...would love to learn how to make it work. I have unknowingly dabbled in swapping before in a rudimentary self-invented kind of way, so this sounds great! I have loved your blog since I found it and am trying to start my own soon. I suppose you got a hundred emails forwarded to you of the one about the cathedral builders. If not I would love to send it your way. Good one for us mommas.
~stephanie in the woodlands, tx

kristalyn said...

What an awesome idea! I'm a little nervous about what other people would cook for us...and quite nervous about how other people would react to MY cooking!! Never know til you try, though, right??

kristalyn
thewolfegang@comcast.net

Julie B. In Wisconsin said...

WOW! THIS is EXACTLY what I was trying to articulate to my fellowship committee at church, only I didn't really know what to call it! There are so many retired, widowed, lonely people out there that love to cook, but don't do it for just one, if they did something like this, they could all enjoy a meal. Thank you so much! I'll let you know how it works itself out at our church!

Bas~Melech said...

I don't get how this saves so much time if you have to cook 5 times as much of the meal you make. OK, I get that it is somewhat more efficient but it's not quite like cooking only one meal a week.

And odds are, some kids won't like the neighbors' food and you'll have to find something to feed them anyway.

Sorry for being such a cynic, it just made me wonder.

On a positive note, I do look to this blog every day or so to brighten my perspective. Thanks for sharing your life and attitude with us.

Chrissy Short said...

What a great idea. I cant wait to try!

Chrissy Short

rachel said...

I heard of this before, but from a co-worker who used to do it in the 80s. I would LOVE to give it a try! I'm going to put the book on my Amazon wishlist.

rachel.langan@verizon.net
http://langanland.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

This can really be a blessing. Even if you did a few meals a week, it saves valuable time from shopping for groceries and planning/preparing meals.

I hope to get the book.
Alicia
asilva0@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

Just want to say thanks for putting a smile on my face every day :-)
I am three weeks away from delivering baby #3 and believe me, it takes a LOT to make me smile these days!!!
Maybe I will even win a free book :-)
Cyndi
Cyndi71@aol.com

Ashley said...

Wow! What a GREAT idea! I am military wife,a stay at home mom to two children and I also run a daycare out of my home 5 days a week. Its exhausting having to chase children around all day and feed them two healthy USDA approved snacks and meals a day, and then make sure that my own family has nutritious dinner especially with a pick toddler. On top of that I could always use some extra time to spend with my own family. I am going to try to get a few friends together who might want to give this thing a shot. Thanks for the info!

Tara said...

Hi,
Great idea. I hope I win the book. Thanks for a great blog!
Tara

sewgreatgranny said...

Wow! A book about Supper Swap has got to be a great thing. Two of my daughters and I did the supper swap for quite a while. We loved it! My third daughter did not live in our town and was wishing she did because we had such fun doing it. It was a great time saver, recipe source, sisterhood building, ease of stress time. AND the big bonus of dinner ready to go so the family can sit down in a timely manner was just a wonderful thing for our individaul families. Keep up the good work. Dinner together and supper swapping is a win win situation. Thank you.

Gypsy said...

I have to say I LOVE your blog. I've been hooked since I saw your ebay ad.

That said...only 6 kids? my cousin has you beat...she has 16. All birthed by her. 4 sets of twins. And she's still sane....mostly.

Amber, TJ, and Kate said...

Count me in the drawing! I can always use ideas of what to do for dinner!

Amber
amber.brueseke@gmail.com

erarein63 said...

Fantastic idea! I can't wait to read the book. De ;)

my3texasboys said...

That sounds like a cool idea.

Angela
aweaver74@gmail.com

Jody said...

What a great idea. My children are grown and becoming parents. I will pass this idea on to them. As long as they can find swappers who will cook meals as healthy as they do, I think this will be a great time saver for them. Thanks so much for sharing! PS - Dawn, I LOVE reading your blog!!!

Paul*HolleeAnn*Jordan said...

LOVE IT!!! i am totally going to do this, what a fantastic idea! oh Dawn not all LDS people have a ton of kids...i only have one (but would love a few more).

come check out my blog...i am fairly new to all of this and have been blog surfing all day! i am linking you...so be expecting more visitors!!

HolleeAnn

quirkhome said...

This sounds great, almost as good as when people brought meals after I had my twins!

Kathy in WA said...

Looks like fun! Thanks for hosting a informative and fun chat. :)

Duckabush Blog

Nona Davenport said...

Awesome Idea!

Heather said...

I think it is an awesome idea! I loved it when friends brought meals the first week after having my daughter. It was so great to have to not worry about making dinner for a few nights. I'm curious how this would work for moms in a rural area. Most of the moms I know live at least 20 minutes away from me and in all different directions.

Anonymous said...

I'd love to read the book - it sounds like a lifesaver!

Shelley
mammamilk@yahoo.com

CrazyMom said...

I love reading your blog. It reminds me of my life, plus a few more biological kids. I'm a teacher working on graduate credit, with a husband who is also employed full time and working on his masters. Needless to say, our lives are crazy. Top that off with two athletes, ages 10 and 8, a 16 month old, and another on the way, and this is exactly what I need! I was so depressed as I ordered pizza tonight, after tacos last night, and burgers the night before! I swear the lady at the Taco Bell drive-thru recognizes my car and has our order entered by the time we get to the speaker! :) This came at the perfect time!

Thanks,
Heather
indysahmto2@yahoo.com

Julie said...

Great idea if your friends live close by, we live in the country. However, one of my friends suggested we get together once a week or every other week and cook a week or two worth of meals, freeze them and heat them up when needed. Like you said supper swapping can take on many different forms. Dawn, thanks for the grocery shopping story, I needed a good laugh!

Anonymous said...

This sounds like a great idea. Anything to get me out of the kitchen.

Enjoy your blog so much! I can hear the love you have for your children. That is such a blessing in this day and age.

Edie
edcastle@sbcglobal.net

Holly said...

Sound great!

hollymaudsley@yahoo.com

Lacey said...

I heard of this idea, and I think this book might be the thing to help me get started. Only, I wish the odds were more in my favor of winning. 351 to 2 and it's only Monday night!
I am a Las Vegas born girl, maybe I'll have some luck.

I'm also LDS, so I thought that story was funny.
I was clever enough to realize you weren't because I know that a lot of kids does not = Mormon.

Bonnie said...

I am going to mention this idea to some of my girlfriens in my sunday school class! I know they would love it!! Great idea. I'm going to check out the book, too!

Bonnie said...

oops...my email is princessbonnie@hotmail.com

Anonymous said...

I have used the prepare the meals and stock idea and it was great but this seems even better. I am going to look into this and pass this on to some other ladies. I do wonder how this works for mothers, like myself, that work full time and don't have a few hours to prepare a meal for several families and have time to deliver it all before 6pm?

Love reading your blog.
Carrie
C_Hudson@comcast.net

LRC said...

PLEASE, please pick me! I have a homeschool group of Moms I can talk into joining in with me. We are all sick of nuggets, fish sticks and corn dogs.........ummmmm, pretty please? What am awesome idea!

L Cook
cccooker@sbcglobal.net

Heidi said...

Wow, what a great idea! I am a homeschooling mom of 5 and I think this would be a huge timesaver. How fun :0)
Heidi

Theresa said...

okay, I gotta have this book!!! What an awesome idea! :o)

Alicia said...

I would love to get my moms group started on this. What a great idea! And thank you for making me laugh everyday.

Alicia
araehickey@yahoo.com

rhonda said...

Dawn- Thanks for the drawing.. . I have some friends at church doing this, and I'm dying to get my own group started-I just haven't found anyone interested yet! I would love more ideas.
Rhonda
rhondawest@bellsouth.net

Trish Berg said...

Ok- The kids are in bed, and I have a few moments to post.

I posted the recipe for Autumn Soup at my blog today

http://supperswapping.blogspot.com/

It is one of the fantastic family recipes in my book. It is easy to make in bulk and so yummy to boot!

I am making it tomorrow morning in front of a TV camera.

In case Dawn did not tell you all, we are each being interviewed (In our homes - YIKES!) TOMORROW by ABC NEWS World News Tonight. We do not yet have an on air date, but will let you know when we know.

The show is about moms who blog -

Pray for both of us if you will....

I'll post again with more answers to your supper swap questions.

Blessings - Trish Berg
www.trishberg.com

emilyhope said...

I have heard of supper swapping before but I don't actually know of anyone in my area that does it. I think it is a really cool idea and would really like to find some more Moms that might like to do this with me. Maybe I'll win a free book and we'll see what happens.

lamize@bellsouth.net

Janis said...

I would love to find out how to do this, practically speaking. So many things pop into my head, like "What about nights you are running to practice/games/dance?" "How long does it take to deliver 4 meals?" "Plus don't you hang out and chat when you do drop offs making it even longer?" "Who pays for the food?" I'd love this book, here's my email in case I win:
janiswinsit@yahoo.com

Shannon said...

Comment. :-)

Seriously, this is an excellent idea and I'm wondering if I can get a group of our friends together for it.

I've heard of similar groups where the families tackle one big home project each month, rotating houses so each family gets a couple of huge jobs out of the way each year.

PS: I have been thoroughly enjoying your blog since I found it through the Pokemon eBay sale. Congratulations on the opportunities coming your way!

Anonymous said...

I remember doing something like this when our son was still at home (he's 24 now). A friend and I (both of us worked part-time) would get together weekly and make and freeze casseroles for a week or two of meals. Was great fun and saved so much time! Thanks for the info on Trish. We will be moving to AZ soon and cooking meals in advance will become an option again!
Carol N. of eastern WY

jc said...

OH! OH! Pick me! Pick me! I would love to learn how to supper swap. That's one of those phrases I'm sure I would have never said in my whole life... until now. :)

Chris H said...

I love the idea, but the folks I know who might also be interested live over 30 minutes away. That would be over an hour round-trip, and I don't know that I'd have the time. And I'd be concerned about how to transport the meal so it'd still be hot. And of course, I'm so busy, I'm not likely to be home when meals are delivered. Maybe I'd have to look into a frozen meal swap or something. Well, I suppose those sorts of things are addressed in the book...

Carole said...

It sounds great, but my family has a different schedule. We own a karate school and are there five nights a week. How would we take advantage of this idea?
Thanks,
Carole
mrsy@suncoasttangsoodo.com

mdmwood said...

I am friendly with a group of ladies who I met in our local MOMS (Moms Offering Moms Support)club about seven years ago. Our oldest children(all girls) are now 7 and 8 y.o. and we started getting together for playgroups when they were all babies. Now the girls are all a brownie troop together and the Moms play BUNCO together. Supper swap would be such a great addition to our already tight group. I would love to look into the idea. We may have to modify the idea into a once a week supper swap due to travel and such but the concept is something I would definitely like to look into. All my friends in the group were sent the ebay pokemon link and they all know how much of a Dawn Meehan fan I am.

Michele

Erin said...

This is such a fabulous idea that I'm going to put it out there and see if I can get anyone to sign up and do it with me. Awesome!

Christine said...

My sister did this for a few years. I think it is a fabulous idea. A friend and I have talked about it...so maybe it would be an inspiration to get this book!

2boys2girls said...

I tried to get my girlfriends to do this... I called it a Dinner Exchange. No one would do it though... perhaps now that there is a book I can make another run at it... Why are my words not enough and when it is in print somehow it's more litgit???

Loved your ebay posting... I had to check out your blog. I have 4 kids under age 8 and I had to laugh... I have had so many horrible trips to the store, only to have hubby complain that I spent too much.. ARG-whats a girl to do??

Becky said...

The Supper Swap book sounds like a great idea. Best Wishes and lots of book sales!

Steph said...

Sounds great! I'm in!
Steph Gibson
gibsoncasa@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

Wow. I needed to hear about this before tonight. By the time I got my kids home, they were hungry and exhausted (my son decided to kick the toys near his cot at daycare today instead of sleeping). I summarily decided on PB&J for them. Whoops, only 3 pieces of bread. And the jelly is just about gone, so turn that jar upsidedown to get the last out. Phew, I had another loaf of bread in the freezer (thank you, Costco!). Popped one frozen slice into the toaster but the kids were too hungry to toast the other pieces, so they got "soft bread" sandwiches to start. I accidentally started with peanut butter (my daughter just turned 2 and paranoid me doesn't give her peanut butter yet, although now that I think about it, I did use the same knife to make both sandwiches. hmm.), so Timothy got his sandwich first. Toaster popped out, and my daughter is requesting in the way that only a two year old can that she receive her sandwich NOW. While standing in her chair next to her booster seat. I'm dumping out the last bit of the jelly as fast as I can as I watch her go ker-splat face first onto the kitchen floor. Thank God she's a Teflon child and wasn't remotely injured because I couldn't get the jelly jar down in time to catch her. After a minute of cuddling and reassuring that her sandwich is almost ready and would have been ready if she could have PLEASE just stayed sitting nicely in her chair, she was fine and I finally got to finish her sandwich, at which point I noticed that my son had wolfed down HIS entire sandwich. And was still hungry. Open the fridge and miraculously find that the cantaloupe I cut up last Friday is still good AND cut into pieces appropriate for him to eat. Dump a couple on his plate, which my darling daughter notices and now decides she wants cataloupe (nice pronounciation on that one, kiddo!) instead of the sandwich she sacrificed her face for. *sigh* And to think, I could have had someone show up with a fresh, hot meal instead? Sign me up!

Michelle
ahnya@excite.com

Jacqueline said...

Oops I forgot to leave my name email (thats what 4 kids does to ya!) Its Jacqui ~ jmrothermel@yahoo.com

Vicki said...

What a great idea...I'm going ask around and see if I can get a few friends doing this!
I hope I win!!!
Vicki
camkimom@gmail.com

Trish Berg said...

Well ladies. I have one thing to say –

YOU ARE ALL A BUNHC OF FERTILE NYRTLES! Wow. 5-6-7 kids ! I thought I was crazy with 4!!!

But they are worth their weight in gold – most days, aren’t they?

Ok – back to your questions about supper swapping.

What I am reading most as I read over your posts is the big questions you seem to be hitting are family size, finding the right people (or anybody will to try) and liking the food. All great questions.

First of all, you do need to begin with who you know. You have a girlfriend or two, a neighbor or co-worker. Or even your kids’ friends’ moms. After all, they will become your friend too since that is who you will see most!

As for not liking the food, it is better to start a swap with someone you know and maybe even have tasted their food before. My first supper swap group was with 3 girlfriends. Carla, Amy and Audrey.

It was an extension of our friendship. After a year, Amy left the group, wanting to go back to cooking on her own. A year later, Audrey left, but Teri joined. (Teri is the one who gave me the Autumn Soup recipe I posted at my blog..)

Then Carla left and I cried – a LOT because I knew it would end.

But here’s the thing. Teri and I took a few months off, and before we knew it, Nan wanted to jump in. And since, we have added Nancy and Kelly. Kelly I only new as an acquaintance until we started swapping, and Kelly brought Nancy into our group. The Teri left. (Yes, I cried…..again…but we did keep all her fantastic recipes going!)

Supper swapping can have a life cycle for some moms. And you have to let them in and out as it meets their needs. Nan, Kelly and I are on our 2nd year together and Nancy just started with us. It is going GREAT!

In the book, I talk about how to handle saying goodbye to a swapping mom, how to swap pans and stay sane, how to save money, and how supper swapping deepens your friendships as well….

And FYI – at my website are tons of FREE STUFF FOR MOMS, downloads and supper swapping calendars, recipe instruction cards, and all the downloads there are ABSOLUTELY FREE!

Ok- Here are some more questions. Again, if I miss yours, please e-mail me via www.trishberg.com and SHOUT AT ME!!! (Well, just ask your question again and I’ll get your point!)

1) Bas-melech asked a great question about how supper swapping saves you time since you are still cooking 5 meals. Well, I only spend 1-2 hours making my meals., rather than 1 hour each night making a different meal . It also saves you time and money at the grocery store.

For example. This week with my Autumn Soup. I went to the store and bought the ingredients for the soup times 4. Then only added lunch and breakfast items for my family and I was done! Cut out 20 minutes easy, and I bought my food in bulk, saving even more.
Autumn Soup will only take me about one hour to make, and 20 minutes to deliver (We live on a farm in rural Ohio). For that small time investment, I am getting: Autumn Soup, Breakfast Casserole, Chicken and Noodles, and Shepherd’s Pie. And each meal comes with a side or dessert! And we will eat left overs for packed lunches and on Friday to boot.

As for saving money. If you order pizza or eat out 3 times a week (not unheard of) at $25 each time, you spend:

$75 per week at 52 weeks per year = $3,900.00!\

If you swap suppers and cut that out, you save nearly $4000 a year. Cut it in half, and you save $2000!

But I understand your concerns. It is not a great fit for everyone, you have to do what works best for your individual family….thanks for the post.

2) Kristalyn asked about liking others cooking or them liking yours. That was a concern I had, that my cooking would FLOP! And once or twice in 5 years it has! (I share the Chili disaster story in the book…Tee Hee)

But if you cook for your family, you can cook for others. Start with your family favorite meals. Keep it simple, don’t go gourmet. And when you plan your meal calendars, be honest about your family’s food likes and dislikes. Mike, my hubby, does not like mushrooms, ketchup, or basically any vegetable that is chopped up and raw-ish. (Now can you see where my kids get their picky eating???)

But my group can make a meal and put those items on the side or leave them out. When Kelly makes Beef Stroganoff, she leaves the mushrooms on the side so I can add them, but Mike and the kids can eat their meal minus the shrooms. Works great!

As for being a good enough cook – NONE OF US – well I can’t speak for all of you - BUT I AM NOT MARTHA STEWART. I do NOT LIKE TO COOK – But I DO LOVE TO EAT! And supper swapping has made me a better cook since I only cook one meal a week, I can spend more time on it and make it better!

3) Melissa asked about picky eaters. Well, the way I figure it, if my kids turn their noses up at supper, it will help if I am not emotionally involved, and stressed and exhausted form preparing it. All in all, it won’t solve your picky eater pirate problem, but it will give you an army of moms helping you out!
4) Michelle asked about cleanliness and cooking habits. Again, I would start by forming a swapping group with who you know, and that shouldn’t be an issue.
5) Randee asked about food tastes. Yes, we keep a list on our swapping calendar of dislikes, and when we plan our meals,, we are all honest about that. For example. I make awesome baked oatmeal, best in the Midwest….but Nan’s family does not like it. So we booted it from our receipt lists for swapping. I do make it for my own family on the weekend sometimes, and I do not let my feelings get hurt about it.

And finally to Rebecca-if you do NOT win one of the books and you want to start swapping anyway, please e-mail me and I’d be happy to help you get started anyway I can.

To Sabrina - Thanks to for all the great tips. We too swap cooking days when one of us has a sick child, a life event, or is out of town. And 4 years ago when Riley was 6 weeks old and had RSV and I was sleeping in a recliner next to her hospital bed for a week, my supper swapping group fed my family the whole time I was gone….talk about love!

To Jan- Have you tried eating with the cat? No, seriously, maybe you could simply switch which meal is your family meal. Get together and enjoy a wonderful huge breakfast instead, or swap suppers with a girlfriend whose husband is also gone and actually alternate eating at one another’s homes. Then you can pack up left overs for your hubby and bring those home.

Off to bed, and not sleep – stressing about the camera crew from ABC that is coming to my door at 6:30 am – YES 6 :30 AM….My husband thinks I ought to be real and answer the door with my sweats on and bed head. I told him the world did NOT NEED TO SEE THAT!

I’ll check back tomorrow night –

Blessings and hugs to you all,

Trish Berg
www.trishberg.com

it also works great after birth, that's what I said...

Hi,
I'd like to contribute an idea that we've been doing for a while.
We live in a small community , and we've had a custom that after a woman gives birth, all the friend put in some cooking,
so for the first month after birth, she gets most of her cooking done for her.

the way it works is that about once every two days another neighbor delivers two or three pots with rice/lentils/soup/roast whatever to last for a couple of meals.

that way she is not only relieved of cooking that is a bit hard after birth, but everybody, especially mother included eats healthier food. (otherwise it would have been a month of snacking, the kids may well be fed snacks, because they don't like *that* kind of rice , but at least the adults eat properly...)

think about it Dawn, you'd have had 6 months!! of cooking done for you

of course on the other side, everybody is just happy to cook extra portions once every while to help out with a new baby, and most people would want to do more , but this directs everybody to a very helpful direction.

so it is kind of the same, only it evens out over years instead of during a week, you cook for someone who's just had a baby, and when it's your turn everybody cooks for you.

love your blog

cmjoy said...

OK I'm in! How do I convince my friends to do this? 4 kids, 1 collie puppy, 1 husband. Marching band, traveling all-star softball, 2 soccer teams and 8 dance classes. Plus I run a CM business from home. Surely I could find 1 night I could cook. CMJoy

Susan said...

Mmm - I always make a meal when a friend has a baby or when they are sick. Why not get a few meals back for my family "just because?!" I'd be interested in setting up a swap!

Susie Santos
susansantos1@gmail.com

Eileen said...

What a great idea! I love to cook and it is always easier to make a bigger batch to share! Time is at a premium with one in school and a toddler under my toes! Would love to try to set this up in our area! Convenient for both SAHMs and for the working Moms. Book sounds wonderful!

Christy said...

I participated in one of these with three other families - we thought we were pioneers and didn't know anything about this book!

It was really good for trying new things, but we struggled a bit when one of us started to slack on meals. It stunk to count on a good meal and then get it, only to find out we'd have to order out because it was not good (quality, planning, taste, everything!).

So, my best advice would be to have the honest conversations in the beginning so it's not hard during the process. I'll try this again in a bit when we've all moved on - it was a fabulous for many months!

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