Dinner SWAP

A few years ago(wow has it really been that long), pre-marriage, when I was living it up in Boston, I lived with 3 fabulous roommates and had some very close friends that lived next door to us.  We decided to have a little friendly healthy Biggest Loser competition amongst ourselves. None of us were extremely overweight, but we all had a few pounds we wanted to lose.... and more than anything we wanted to get healthier!  I love a good competition, but what made this so rewarding was that we all supported each other-- I don't think it would have mattered who won... cause we worked super hard and all came out as winners in the end. (we each lost 10-25 pounds--and we looked dang good). We encouraged each other to go to the gym.... to eat healthy snacks.... and what I want to focus on today is one thing that I really think helped us stay on the right track.
We did what I want to call a "Dinner Swap."
There were 8 of us total, so each of us was assigned a night (Mon-Thurs), every other week.  On our assigned day we were in charge of dinner for the night--- to be prepared for the 8 of us girls. So basically you were assigned to make dinner twice a month.  It was so fabulous. I mean really, who wants to cook a meal for just yourself? Not fun at all. If I am cooking for myself, I tend to grab something unhealthy--- or go out cause it is so much more convenient. 

Here were some of the major perks to our Dinner Swaps: 
1. Saved Money (we were only having to spend money 1 time over 8 days)
2. Practiced our cooking skills.  We are all going to be pros at making dinner for our future families now. :)
3. Having a delicious, hot, healthy dinner ready to eat when I got home from work was awesome. 
4. Helped reduce stress of having to decide what to make. 
5. Tried new foods that otherwise we would have never eaten.
6. Accumulated some great recipes.
7. Great social time to be able to chill with great friends... even if it were for only a few minutes each night.

This idea is definitely easiest when geared towards roommates and those in college, but I have heard of families doing it with their neighbors and friends and it being a success as well.
Click here for an article with some great tips on how to get started with your own Dinner Swap.

Have any of you done a dinner swap before and have advice for others? 

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