RE: Common Meal Accounting
From: brian (
Date: Fri, 8 Oct 1999 09:47:55 -0600 (MDT)
Here at Trillium Hollow we've tried a few different approaches but the one 
that has proved simplist is this:

We have 2 prepared meals per week and 1 potluck.  Potlucks are potlucks, 
you show up with a dish.  Here is how the prepared meals work:  To 
participate, each adult must be on a cooking team.  We have 8 cooking teams 
(4 weeks x 2 times per week) and the cooking team is responsible for 
planning, shopping, cooking, cleaning for their one night.  The other 7 
nights they just show up and eat.  Everyone who participates pays $20 per 
month ($2.50/meal), kids under 12? are half price.  You pay the full amount 
regardless of the number of times you attend.  If you can't make a meal, 
you can request the cook team set aside a plate for you to pick up later. 
 Each cook team is provided $80 for groceries from the $20/month pool.  If 
they don't spend it all, the extra is used to purchase kitchen staples, if 
they go over, that team divides the extra cost amongst themselves.

Guests pay $4 per adult and $2 per child.  This money is also available to 
the cook team to cover the additional cost of cooking more.

> Do you pay only at the end of the month?  This proved to be a hassle, we 
prepay a fixed amount ($20)
Do cooks put out cash and get reimbursed at end of month? Cook team 
purchases groceries and get's reimbursed as soon as they turn in a request.
does anyone use the prepay system where folks pay in advance and get credit 
as they use it?
Is there a big chart with everyone's name and a check mark for each meal... 
or??  We tried this but too many people forgot to check it off.  Then 
again, someone had to go through and do all the bookkeeping and collection
Do kids pay half or....?  Yes
What does your average meal cost? $2.50.  This seems to be sufficient even 
going the organic route.  Typically a few dishes will be simple and 
inexpensive (rice, beans, tofu, pasta) but then the team can splurge on an 
item or two (wild chantrelle mushrooms, pecan pie with ice cream, etc.)
Has it been hard getting folks to pay up?  any tricks here?  It is a pain 
to collect afterwords.  The current system seems to be working and has 
taken much of the non cooking administrative load go away.

Brian Setzler
Trillium Hollow
Portland, Oregon

Please send answers directly to me - and of  course to the list too if you
Much appreciated!!
Marty Roberts
Two Acre Wood
Sebastopol, CA
(I still can't believe we are really living here!!  Folks, it CAN be done!)

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