Dinner Trade Experiences Articles

Bring Your Family Back to the Dinner Table

Bring Your Family Back to the Dinner Table

Better than the time and money I save, the greatest thing that has come out of doing a Dinner Group is that I know that four nights every week we are going to sit down together and enjoy dinner as a family. Before Dinner Group I would fix something quick and easy for the boys, put Mickey Mouse on TV, while I grabbed something quick to eat as I finished up work in front of the computer. At other times we would be running errands and grab something fast to eat in the car. Far too often we would both be burned out from work and just go out to eat. Now we sit down together, enjoy some amazing food, and talk about our day. I find myself looking forward to dinner, instead of that constant wonder of, “What are we going to do tonight?” I wanted to do a dinner group to save time and money, but didn’t realize just how wonderful it would be to have that time set aside each night to be together. VN:F [1.9.22_1171]please wait...Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)VN:F [1.9.22_1171]Rating:... Read the rest of this article »

A Series of Unexpected Events

A Series of Unexpected Events

Dinner Swap story from Kathryn I grew up in a not-so-typical-family. While everybody around was rushing to and fro, my parents were discussing what happened the previous day over a cup of tea. While everyone was twiddling with their Blackberrys, cellphones were a no-no inside the house not only because it was an intrusion to the quietness of the house but because they said it wasn’t very helpful to “real” communication. While everyone was gulping their dinner so fast their digestive system couldn’t keep up with them, my mom was slowly stirring the stew and minding the bread baking in the oven at the same time. We even had time to play Scrabble and read books together (TV during the weekdays was another no-no). When I moved out of the house with the thrilling thought of living independently, I was excited to try new things. I reveled on take out dinners. I slept late watching TV. About two weeks after that, I realized how bland take-out dinners were (for my taste buds anyway) and... Read the rest of this article »

A Neighborhood Affair

A Neighborhood Affair

Dinner Swap story from Grace Being a single mom isn’t an excuse not to join a dinner group. That’s what Gina believes, anyway. Just like most single moms, she had double jobs, hardly had time to grab a sandwich for breakfast, let alone cook dinner for her kids. But she had to slow down and rethink her priorities when her son was suspended from middle school. She realized that she had to fulfill her responsibilities as a mother first. She quit her graveyard job first and decided to spend more time with her sons. Their bonding consisted of eating microwave dinners in front of the TV. Then, her son’s guidance counselor told her about the benefits of eating together and suggested that she join a dinner group. Fortunately, our next door neighbor heard about Gina’s problem and decided to help her. She organized a dinner group and I was one of the members. Gina had a hard time getting used to cooking for a lot of people but she got the hang of it eventually. It was actually helping... Read the rest of this article »

The Calendar that Saved a Friendship

The Calendar that Saved a Friendship

Joy’s Dinner Swap story Anne and I were worried that we weren’t as close to our kids as we should be anymore. They were growing up so fast and we didn’t want them to drift off without doing something about it. Together with three of our friends, who had the same problem in mind, we talked about what we could do and we decided that we should start off with having dinner every night, together with them. At first, we thought the idea was nice but it seemed unrealistic for us because we were all working moms. Then Anne came up with the idea of swapping dinner every night. That’s how our dinner group came about. When we started our group, it was with the idea that we were the first ones to actually have this kind of group. We were giddy with excitement. It was like uncovering gold in your own backyard. But just like the latter, what to do after the discovery proved difficult. We made a schedule on who will cook on this particular day in a week but problems such as having chicken... Read the rest of this article »

A Single Dad’s Tale

A Single Dad’s Tale

George is single. George has a kid. George is a typical guy. I am George. Being a single dad is no picnic as everybody knows. Even though I am very busy working I had to find time for my son which was quite difficult because I had to work on graveyard shifts sometimes. For meals, I would stack on microwave foods on the fridge every week so it wouldn’t be too hard for both of us. Then my kid got really sick and the doctor cautioned me that it maybe because of something he ate and that I should watch what he eats. I felt guilty of course because I knew that the doctor was right. I tried my hand in cooking but the results left nothing to be desired because I was always in a hurry. Life took a turn for the better when a concerned friend of mine introduced me to the idea of a dinner group and invited me to join them because one of their members moved to another state. I was very hesitant at first because I was the only guy in the group of five but thankfully, they didn’t make a fuss about... Read the rest of this article »

From Picky to Happy!

From Picky to Happy!

Dinner Swap story by Kate My four year old daughter is a picky eater. I often get frustrated coaxing her into eating what I cook. I would scour cookbooks by the dozen and ask her what she wanted but what she usually picked out was something I didn’t want to cook for her. When we go out to eat, she would eat the greasiest, most processed and basically food that was devoid of any nutrition. But I was afraid that if I won’t let her eat those, she might become even thinner. I stumbled into the idea of a dinner group by chance. I was looking for recipes on the internet and I happened to pass by this site. The recipes looked great plus the calendar really gave me a clear idea on how to start organizing a dinner group. I called up my neighbors and told them about the plan. There were five of us (with one as the floater) who were willing to try it out and join the group. We printed out the calendar and the recipes for the first month. The internet indeed was very useful in our journey as... Read the rest of this article »

It Runs in the Blood

It Runs in the Blood

Dinner swap story from Jane My sister and I didn’t know how to cook. Our parents were great cooks though. They would usually be the ones cooking for big gatherings in our church. When both my sister and I moved to another state, we realized a little too late that we should have asked mom and pop to teach us how to cook since we missed home cooked meals sorely. She missed my mom’s tuna casserole and I really missed my dad’s superb stir fried vegetables with peanut sauce. For us, fast food and even gourmet restaurants just couldn’t replace our parents cooking. And we didn’t try cooking because as yuppies, “I don’t have time” was reason enough not to. One day, on a visit to my friend’s house I noticed how she had a lot of stuff in her fridge, in her cabinet and a calendar with names and dishes tacked on it. When she was about to explain why, the doorbell rang and someone gave her a Tupperware. She put it in the microwave and told me that she was a part of a dinner group.... Read the rest of this article »

Chinese Take Out No More

Chinese Take Out No More

Dinner swap story by Rb I should have expected it. But unfortunately, I didn’t. When my husband and I moved from Malaysia to the States after staying there for almost 8 years, I had already gotten used to the slow paced life there.I had time to work yet I still had plenty of time for my family. I was also used to cooking meals for them everyday and it was not something that stressed me out or anything; it was part of the culture there. Then, when my husband was reassigned to the United States, I thought that it would be the same. But, of course, it wasn’t. The kids got busy with adjusting in a new country, my husband got busy, and teaching in a new school stressed me out. I only cooked for them once a week and usually it was Chinese or this and that take-out or TV dinners. I could sense that I was starting to become less of the mother that I should be and that saddened me. During a faculty meeting, a co-teacher of mine asked me if I belonged to any dinner group. I didn’t... Read the rest of this article »

Mom the Chauffeur

Mom the Chauffeur

Natalie’s Dinner Group Experience Our dinner group is a life saver for the whole dinner experience at our house. My kids are 12, 10, 8 and 10mths, which translates to being a personal chauffeur from 3:30 to 7 or 8pm Mon through Thurs. I drive them to and from basketball, lacrosse, volleyball, violin, piano, scouts, young women, and activity days. I’m also the homework and music practice police/teacher in between driving. Preparing a meal around our crazy evening schedule often proved to be to big of a task. We would find something, but it was rarely a nice home cooked meal. The nicest unexpected benefit of our dinner group is I actually am getting excited as a look through recipes to find mine for next month. When you only have to cook once a week for the group (plus weekends for your family) cooking actually becomes something fun to plan for! I have several recipes I want to try out on my famliy to test them out for the group and I’m actally having a hard time trying to... Read the rest of this article »

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