Have you ever heard of a Freezer Swap Party? I don’t know about you, but the idea of having a freezer stocked full of ready-to-go meals without my having to do a lot of extra prep work sounds pretty good to me!
While I love freezer cooking as a way to save on my grocery budget, I had never heard of a freezer swap party until my sister Jenna introduced me to the idea. She was doing it with her friends, so I went to learn more about it. It is a great idea, you make one meal and then go and swap out your meals with the other freezer meals that your friends bring. The goal is to have your freezer stocked with meals that are ready to be thrown into the oven and cook without any preparation.
If this is something that you would like to do with your friends, many of the women that participated said that you have to research things that freeze well. You can’t have everything freeze and cook correctly, so make sure that you do your research beforehand. I share some of my best tips for freezer cooking like a pro here.
Everyone makes a freezer meal of their choice and brings enough for everyone that is going to be at the meal swap. I have a collection of freezer meal plans to choose from on my site. This is great because you only have to purchase enough food to make one meal, so you can watch the sales and stock up on items that are on sale. One of my favorite places to shop is Aldi; you can find some great deals and amazing foods! Your meal has to be marked with what it is and the cooking directions. It’s best if you package it in an oven-safe dish (there are many disposable freezer-to-oven containers for this).
Everyone brings the freezer meals that they have previously made and frozen, and place them all on the dining room table. You bring the number of items that you would like to bring home. For instance, if you have a small freezer and can only fit 4 freezer meals in there, you only bring 4 meals and leave with 4 meals.
You can do the swap anyway you want, but my sister said that her way works the best for their group. Here is how she does it; she writes down how many meals everyone has brought – the person who brought the most gets to pick a meal first. After the first person picks her meal, the person that brought the next highest amount of meals gets to choose. Continue around the group until everyone has chosen their first meal. Then, continue the rotation over and over again until all the meals are gone.
All participants agree on a price point. They expect to go home with a $10 meal, this includes the storage container! This way you have a quality meal that feeds 4-6 people.
My sister created a Facebook Group for this. Every month they post what they are going to bring before the actual event, that way they don’t have duplicates. Consider making some slow-cooker meals too; not everything needs to be finished in the oven. My slow-cooker freezer meal plans are a hit for some fresh ideas to incorporate into your swap.
Discuss any possible food allergies beforehand. Many of the ladies in this group had dairy sensitivities, so many of the dishes were dairy-free. Be sure to note this on the label so the receiver knows the dish they are choosing is safe to consume. Know that in the case of things like some nut allergies or gluten allergies, it’s not enough that the dish is free from the ingredients. Often the pans and utensils used to prepare the foods should not be cross-contaminated. If you want to accommodate allergy-friendly meals, be sure to check out my collection of 20 gluten-free freezer meals with ingredients found at Aldi.
Freezer meal swap parties can be a great way to save money, reduce meal prep time, and get together with friends. They are easy and a lot of fun to add to your monthly calendar.
Have you ever participated in a Freezer Meal Swap? Do you think that this is something you would do for your family?