Smart Ways for Roommates to Handle Grocery Shopping

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Smart Ways for Roommates to Handle Grocery Shopping

Everyone eats. And with multiple people living under one roof, grocery shopping and sharing food can become pain points that gets in the way of what should be an enjoyable living experience. So, how can roommates break bread without breaking each others necks?

Shop together, pay together

Shopping together is a logical solution if you and your roommate have similar eating habits. You can pick out items together and split the bill 50/50. Easy, right?

This approach also works well for roommates that enjoy cooking meals together. Before heading to the store, list out all ingredients needed for the week and split the cost in half. This way no one feels like they’re being taken advantage of. You might also initiate a weekly rotating schedule. This week you buy all groceries and next week your roommate does it. In order for this to be fair, each roommate should shell out roughly the same amount of money as the other. It wouldnt’ be fair for one roommate to spend $50 per week on groceries when the other spends twice that.

Shopping separately

When roommates have vastly different eating habits, shopping alone is more beneficial. Besides, a vegan or vegetarian likely won’t be shopping at the same store as someone who lives on chicken and steak. Another benefit with buying your own food is that (hopefully) you won’t have to deal with the occasional case of missing snacks. Everyone eats only what they paid for.

Use what you have

When money is really tight, you and your roommate must become masters at creating meals with the random stuff in your cupboards, freezer and fridge. There are several free meal planning apps and websites that will help you discover tasty meals using the ingredients hiding in the back of your cabinets. And you can always browse Pinterest for create meal ideas, too.

Who ate all the cookies?

Be honest when you finish the last of a shared food item. Imagine the disappointment when your roommate is craving a bowl of ice cream and he discovers that the freezer bin is empty. What a let down! Keep a list of items that need to be replaced on the fridge so that everyone’s aware of what needs to be purchased on the next shopping trip.

It’s not all about food

There are other items that roommates must shell out money for including dish soap, paper towels and bathroom tissue. Whether it’s splitting the cost equally or initiating a rotating shopping schedule, each person should be contributing to the needs of the household equally and regularly.

Above all, the most important advice is to communicate. There’s a ton of ways for roommates to manage grocery shopping and not all tactics work for everyone. Figure out what works for you and your roommate. Set ground rules upon moving in with each other and everything should be fine.

Related articles:
5 Tasty Tips for Saving on Your Grocery Bill
Splitting the Bill with Roommates
3 Benefits of Having a Roommate
Things to Look For in a Potential Roommate
How Can a Spender and a Saver Live Together?

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