Money Moral Dilemma: I'm crashing on a mate's sofa - can I tell him to stop eating my food?

MSE_Kelvin Posts: 345 MSE Staff
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This week's MoneySaver who wants advice asks...

I'm crashing on a mate's sofa after falling on hard times. He wasn't keen on the idea, but I'm desperate - I'm paying him £160 a month to cover bills and the inconvenience. We do our own food shopping, yet I often find him eating my food, which I can't afford to replace. He says he's busy at work and doesn't have time to go shopping. Should I say something and risk rocking the boat or let it go as I don't really have other options if he decides he's had enough of me staying there?

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  • Marvel1
    Marvel1 Posts: 7,181 Forumite
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    This is tricky as you are paying him to cover your bills, I can think to buy as you go/needed, try not to store anything.  He is taking advantage of your situation.
  • sheramber
    sheramber Posts: 19,321 Forumite
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    What would he do about shopping if you weren't there?
  • 74jax
    74jax Posts: 7,929 Forumite
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    Could you offer to do his shopping when you do yours? 
    Forty and fabulous, well that's what my cards say....
  • Poquito
    Poquito Posts: 48 Forumite
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    Do you work? £160 is clearly cheap as the cost of utilities alone is high. Can you maybe offer to purchase his shopping and subtract this off the ‘rent’? This person is taking advantage, however if you can’t afford to replace the food I’m assuming you can’t afford to move out either. Maybe just shop in the discounted section every evening and make food daily… no leftovers. Keep snacks in a personal area.
  • Ed264
    Ed264 Posts: 104 Forumite
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    You seem to contradict what you're saying. On the one hand you say you both do your own food shopping, yet you also say your friend is too busy at work to have the time to go shopping. I don't know what to suggest here, save to say that nobody can be too busy at work to do food shopping!
  • [Deleted User]
    It depends on the relationship but if I had a friend in need - I wouldn't charge them rent and let them stay for free (short term) whilst they sort themselves out. I'd likely buy extra basic food items that I use to minimise their costs. 

    Perhaps just buy day to day leaving as little food in the house as possible to minimise his snacking. Sounds like you don't have many options. 
  • JamesyMac
    JamesyMac Posts: 24 Forumite
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    I’d either let it go, and try not to have extra food sitting about, or say that you can pay less on the bills, but you shop and/or cook for both of you.

    He is taking advantage of your situation imo, but you have no other options.
  • akchpmn
    akchpmn Posts: 15 Forumite
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    Why not just joke around with him and the next time he’s eating something that you both know is yours just confront him? Say how about you do the food shop and go 50/50 on the food? 

    Alternatively, offer to buy his groceries in exchange for the temporary accommodation? You then wouldn’t have to pay rent but would but would be responsible for the food shop.

    Not comfortable with having the discussion then do what most of us do living with another person (married/friend/parents) and just hide things. 

    Good luck hope things get better for you soon! 
  • goldlemontree
    Yes I’d say only buy dry goods that you need to prepare to eat, and any snacks just keep them in a bag with your belongings or something where he won’t go in. Don’t keep in the kitchen cupboard anymore 
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