Should You Split Grocery & Household Supplies with Roommates?

By March 14, 2022News

When you move into your student apartment, something you need to decide from the start is how you’ll divide costs for groceries and household items. There are a few ways to approach this — the important thing is you come to an agreement and the terms are clear to everyone.

Option 1: Each Buy Your Own Groceries

The simplest option is to buy all your own food and share nothing. This will help you stay within your budget and avoid surprises like running out of something you need for a meal or having nothing left in the kitchen you can eat due to your dietary restrictions. You’ll need to use a labelling system to ensure no one mistakes your food for theirs. Alternatively, you could assign each roommate a different shelf in the pantry or a section of the fridge — and you’ll also need to make sure visitors are aware of this system.

The main downside to this option is you’ll need to buy small quantities, rather than bulk, to avoid food waste. However, nothing is stopping you from asking your roommates if they want things you’re unable to use by the expiration date.

Option 2: Split Everything

The other extreme is to split everything with your roommates. This tends to work best when your roommates are your friends and you all have similar tastes. You’ll need to agree to a weekly budget and create a shopping list. Check discounts by using a grocery app to stretch your money as far as possible.

You’ll then need to decide how you’ll do the actual shopping. You could all go together, but this will mean finding a time when you’re all available. It likely makes more sense to add grocery shopping to your chores and have a different person or pair of roommates go each week.

There are several benefits to splitting everything, including that you’ll be able to cook meals to eat together, you’ll never have disputes about someone eating something that belonged to another roommate, and you’ll have just one set of cleaning products. However, you may end up spending more with this option, especially if one of your roommates eats more than the rest of you or someone frequently has guests over who also eat your food. Plus, it will mean you’re contributing to food you barely eat (or may not eat at all). For these reasons, it tends to be the least fair option.

Option 3: Split Some Things

Your final option may seem like the most complicated, but university students often find it’s the one that works best. Each of you will buy the food you want for your own meals and snacks to stay within your personal budgets. You’ll do your own grocery shopping whenever it suits you. However, everyone will contribute to common items (such as condiments) to avoid having multiples. You could even use this method just for cleaning supplies and other household items but buy all your own food, if you prefer.

Figuring out groceries is just one concern when you have roommates: even splitting rent and utilities can be problematic if someone in your household is prone to paying late. When you live at Foundry 1805, however, you’ll receive an individual lease, with utilities included in the price of the rent. Our alternative to OTU residence gives you the full student experience without all the downsides of living on campus. Apply now to take advantage of our promotions.


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