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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Cheap eats: food sharing

A friend had a roast she did not want to cook. She suggested I cook us a meal. I took the roast, cooked it with potatoes, carrots, and onions. Later, I gave her back almost half the roast and some of the potatoes and carrots.

Sorry, no picture.

Cost to me
roast: free
potatoes: $0.50, still in bag from two weeks ago ???
carrots: $2 for two lbs baby carrots (used 1.5 lbs)
onion: gotten free and stored in freezer

Besides returning to her a portion--half the roast, I ate from my half of the roast for three days and shared today's meal with a friend. That's about $0.40 per meal. Then, there was still enough carrots and potatoes for his lunch tomorrow. From the uncooked leg quarters she gave me last week, he is taking free thigh meat to complete his lunch tomorrow. Last week she received a free, delivered pot of chicken and dumplings. 

To clarify: A male friend ate with me. A female friend did not want to cook and gave me the roast and chicken. She hates to cook.

I spent about $2 on five roast meals with meat and two vegetable. With neither meal was there an abundance of meat. I decided to just cut back and be happy with less meat not to cut costs, but for my health. Each meal cost me about $0.40, very inexpensive in my opinion.

Last week, I made her chicken and dumplings with half the chicken leg quarters she gave me. I kept the rest of the chicken to cook later for my use. I even delivered her pot of chicken and dumplings.

Even though I used electricity to cook, I did not count that because bought meat or free meat, the cost to cook is the same.

Maybe we can continue this practice. I certainly can eat more cheaply and she eats more nutrious and tasty meals.

An identical roast is in my freezer, waiting the maiden voyage of my stainless steel pressure cooker. I acquired the pressure cooker before Christmas but have never used it. This roast is all mine, not to be shared except with company.

Your turn
I have heard of cooking and swapping meals and casseroles. But, has anyone done this? I take the meat and cook and return only half the meat. The carrots were just my gift to her, I suppose.


  1. This is a brilliant idea. I can't say that I have done this exactly. I was given two rolls of venisen (sp?) and an organic whole chicken free and clear. I dehydrated one roll of the venison and shared half with the gift giver. I am also going to make him cheese later on which takes all of two gallons of milk.
    I can't hunt and he can't make cheese so it works out perfectly:)

  2. It all works out to a cheaper way of getting food for everyone. My friend is here right now doing some heavy work for me and will take home enough baked chicken for about 20 meals.

  3. I've heard of cooking swapping groups/orgs in Melbourne. People cook 6 extra portions of 3 different types of meals and swap for their freezers.

    Sounds great if you get like minded people food wise.

  4. Frugal Down Under, I always wondered how a group could cook for an even larger group considering all the variables: allergies, life-long hatred of some food, picky children, difference in preferred recipes, etc. But, I suppose it can be done. My friend just left, taking with him the 20+ chicken helpings and about 6 roast beef helpings. His plate had roast and tomatoes and he will put on another vegetable tomorrow+ I gave him strawberries for lunch. He is all set. I just discovered another beef brisket in the freezer!

    Plus, I have enough beef for about four days. My female friend who supplied this brisket has enough for about 4 days meat.

    The 7.38 lbs of beef brisket filled the baking bag so that I only had room for one large potato sliced in half for tonight--beef, potato, tomato and fresh strawberries. I have never had brisket before--yucky fat and $4.50/lb. Outrageous price of almost $33.

    I am so glad she does not like to cook and likes my cooking. Thanks for stopping by and the comment.

  5. now that's what I'd call a symbiotic relationship! wish I had a friend just like her. good luck with the pressure cooker...they scare me. all that talk during my childhood of them EXPLODING!

  6. I sort of hope she does not discover she likes to cook! I was afraid of pressure cookers for years. Then, a friend came over and showed me how to use it. I ran from the kitchen when the jiggler started. Finally, I figured it was not going to explode like aunts and grandmothers had discussed with me in earshot. Really, they lock now.


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