Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Freezer Cooking Co-Op: Making Assignments

Now that the recipes have been selected, the next step is to make a master list of what each person is to bring for the cooking party. Each lady is responsible to provide her own meat for each of the dishes that will be assembled that night. This works best for several reasons. Many people already have a stockpile of meat that they could use. Some people prefer a certain grade of meat or may choose to only eat organically. I've found that going this route is the best way to save money and remain flexible.

Each person also will bring the non-meat items of their assigned recipe for the entire group. For example, at our last party my recipe was Taco Soup. Since there were six of us, I brought the equivalent of 6 cans of diced tomatoes, 6 cans of corn, 6 large cans of tomato juice, 6 bags of cheddar cheese and 6 bags of corn chips, as well as enough taco seasoning to flavor everyone's meat.

This is where the savings happens. Instead of buying these cans individually, I took advantage of Aldi and GFS and spent approximately $25 to supply my ingredients to the group. My meat for the night cost around $12 due to the fact that it was purchased on manager's special and had been waiting patiently in my freezer. Altogether, I was able to provide six meals for our family of 9 for $37. This averages to be about $6 per main dish. Many in our group have smaller families and split these dishes in half making the average $3 per meal!

Aside from the ingredients, a list is provided of supplies that will be needed to make our night run smoothly. We learned after our first cooking experience together that a lot of time can be wasted waiting to use a can opener!

Here's an example of our last Assignment List:

Here is what you will need to bring with you prepared for our cooking night:

The non-meat items for your recipe x 6

½- 1 pound of cooked smoked sausage

4 boneless chicken breasts cooked with ½ jar salsa and then shredded

2 cups diced ham

16 oz cooked chicken breast cubed (4 cups)

1 ½ pounds ground beef cooked with 2/3 cup onion

1 pound of ground beef browned

8x8 baking dish

10 gallon sized freezer bags

Plastic Wrap


Large mixing bowl

Large Spoon for mixing

Measuring cups/spoons

Card table (if you have one)

Tomorrow I'll share specifics regarding preparing for the recipes for assembly as well as some more shopping tips.


Catherine said...

I like the idea of bringing your own meat so you can control the price and bring the kind you have on hand or your family prefers. Great idea!

Anonymous said...

Hello! I found your page through Money Saving Mom. My family and I have had a couple cooking sessions. Thanks for taking the time to write this blog. I'm sure it will be a great help!
Jenny in Ohio