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Saskia 03-27-2013 11:09 AM

Sharehouse advice
I've recently moved into a sharehouse with two nice girls. Mostly things are good except one thing which I have come here for advice.

When first meeting the main flatmate she indicated that she'd like to have a food sharing system and I said i would give it a go but i had never done that before. So I have been here a few weeks and its not working so well. They have no real structure to it and I find I am rather uncomfortable with the whole thing. I never feel right about taking the food and pretty much end up buying most my food seperately. I like dropping by the shops every other day and browsing what new products there are and what specials.

So today I talked to my housemate and told her that this system wasn't working well for me, that its costing me more, and all my concerns. Then she said I "just have to get over it" pretty much. And then said I said I would do it in the interview, so I have to follow through with that.

I get where she is coming from but I also think she has to consider my side as well. I don't know where to go from here - I thought i could just talk with her and it would be all good but its not turning out that way.

Advice please?
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Speed Racer 03-27-2013 11:12 AM

Is the food sharing in a written agreement? If not, you don't HAVE to do it.

I hated having roommates. That's one of the reasons I live alone.

Saskia 03-27-2013 11:26 AM

There is no written agreement but I was hoping to settle it all amicably rather than straight out refusing which likely would lead to hostility. And unpleasent living.

I'd live alone if I could afford to!
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Speed Racer 03-27-2013 11:30 AM

Honestly Saskia, unless you buy a mini fridge and food shelves for your bedroom and keep it locked, your roomies are going to eat your food regardless. I never liked this 'sharing' garbage. One person usually gets stuck paying most of the food bill while the rest chow down.

Women living together sucks, period. Everyone thinks it's going to be hunky dory and you'll all be BFFs, but it's never that way. Women are territorial and bitchy, and that's coming from a woman! I'd rather live with a bunch of guys than other women. Sure, they're messy, loud and can be annoying butts, but they're generally not mean, sneaky or just plain old cat poop nasty for no real reason. Women hold grudges, guys don't.

GallopingGuitarist 03-27-2013 05:36 PM

^^ This ^^

I work with all women except the boss. It can get nasty!

Saddlebag 03-27-2013 06:25 PM

What worked well with my brother and 5 other housemates ( giant old mansion) was each day someone cooked supper. Each morning everyone put their designated share in the kitty and each day, whoevers turn it was, took that money and bought supper groceries that night and cooked it. Receipts were produced and anything left over was divied back. The person who shopped cooked supper that night. The dishes were relegated the same way. It worked out very well.

Saskia 03-27-2013 09:59 PM

Thanks for all your replies!

I've lived in a quite a few share houses before, and to be honest I also prefer living with guys but there aren't always that many options. This house is pretty much perfect, low rent, huge backyard for the dog, and the flatmates are actually really nice and I get along well with them, great cleaning roster, no lease (great for me) etc. Except for this food issue.

I just don't want to do shared food. I don't mind that people take my food sometimes - acceptable losses - but I want to go out and buy my own food whenever I want. If I want to spend a ridiculous amount on organic, local produce that's my choice to make. I like going to markets on weekends and buying what's in season etc, but spending all my food money on the house kitty means I can't.

I just don't know how to approach this. We do share things, and we each cook one night a week and the main flatmate is really into this (the other doesn't care too much) and when I tried to change/talk about it last night she was not even remotely flexible and I am concerned that if i push this enough they'll ask me to leave.

I just want some ideas of ways to approach this person (can you tell I'm not a people person :-P) or things I can do to make her chill out etc.

All I can think are passive aggressive type things, like spending a lot on the weekly shopping that blows the budget or something, so it stops being viable, but I don't really want to do that. I just want to buy and eat my own food. And I don't know why that's a problem, every other house I have ever lived in has done it that way.

TaMMa89 04-02-2013 08:29 AM

I agree with SR. If you do't have written agreement over that, you don't need to do it.

If I was you, I'd nicely tell them that I'll drop out of the system since it doesn't just work for me. Then I'd go and buy food of my own, put it away on its own box/shelf on the fridge or a cupboard with notice 'Tamma's food'.

If they get offended, it's pity but you don't have obligation to do that if you don't feel so.

Saskia 04-02-2013 09:01 AM

So update on this.

I tried a bit more to make it work, working out a shared shopping list and such but then they started refining it more (saying buy this yourself, buy this yourself, but pay the same) and then they started changing around days to go shopping, and thinks grew more difficult.

And I decided that even if I work at it for a few more weeks I'm not going to be happy. I don't like another person controlling my money and my choices, and that's not going to change. So I got both my housemates together and talked to them. It took ages and she kept bringing up issues like "I like knowing I can have everything in the fridge" and "I like sharing the cooking one night a week each". I really tried to compromise, I said that I could use a bar fridge that my parents have in storage, that I was still happy to cook one night a week and we can all just be responsible for getting our own ingredients. And she wanted me to try it for another month and tried to guilt me into it, or bully me into it.

Then it came down to saying that either I do the food sharing, or I leave. And it took a while for her to actually say that rather than just vaguely alluding to it - I pretty much had to say "is this something that you can deal with or not". And with that ultimatum I said I would leave. She said she'd think it over, and tell me tomorrow (today) but I went on gumtree and she'd already posted a room available ad (a bit annoying), and made not move to talk to me about this all day, so in the end I just said 'let's set a move out date for two weeks" and she agreed.

So now I have to find a place that lets me have a dog (near impossible) but hopefully something will come up.

And all in all I am happy. I think that this controlling behaviour would have gotten worse living with her - I have noticed that she says little things that undermine people and shift power to her, if you know what I mean.

So yeah, thanks for all your advice :)

Joe4d 04-02-2013 01:46 PM

prime example of why you get things in writing. AHEAD of time.

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