Should You And Your Roommate Share Food? (It Depends)

Having a roommate has many benefits, but not without challenges.

If you have ever had roommates, you already know that kitchen space is one of the most contentious spaces in the apartment.

Indeed, many arguments when one roommate discovers that some designated food is missing from the kitchen.

In this regard, Should You And Your Roommate Share Food?

Well, while cooking dinner with a friend is fun and eating together is a great way to become better acquainted and build a stronger bond, sharing food with a roommate is a big NO for many people. If you and your roommate have to share food and, for that matter, other basics, it makes perfect sense to candidly discuss the protocol of food sharing and using kitchen facilities when you first move in.

For most roommates, sharing food remains a no-no.

All in all, discussing each other’s eating habits with your roommate can help determine what kind of foods you can purchase jointly and share.

If you are contemplating the idea of sharing food with a roommate, this post will discuss the aspects that you need to consider and evaluate to avoid souring your friendship because of sharing food.

What Is It Like To Share Food With A Roommate?

While most roommates respect the fact that each other owns their property, sharing food and other kitchen facilities is another thing altogether.

Of course, this is relatable if you have had a roommate before.

If you are considering living with a roommate, there are a few things you need to understand when it comes to sharing food with them.

Food is a big part of everyone’s life, but many people are never comfortable sharing their food and other stuff without explicit permission.

To avoid constant misery because of troubles that may result from sharing food, it is important to discuss what is to be shared and what cannot be shared with your roommate.

The good news is that some roommates will find a nice way to tell you that their food is private and clarify if there is anything to be shared.

Of course, some roommates will share their food if they have a large package of something.

You should also consider returning the favor if the roommate willingly shares their food with you.

If, for whatever reason, you are also against sharing your food and your roommate doesn’t clearly lay out what foods they expect to share, you should not hesitate to initiate a talk on the topic.

The idea is to set ground rules and establish boundaries about the protocol of sharing food and kitchen facilities like refrigerators.

Notably, there are also times when sharing food is appropriate.

For instance, if you and your roommate are kitchen partners, you can agree to share common foods like milk, butter, bread, eggs, sugar, and spices.

If your eating habits rhyme, you can even arrange to be sharing almost all other kinds of food and kitchen expenses with your roommate.

Sharing food with a roommate can greatly help strengthen your bond as long as you share healthily and respect the established boundaries.

Why Would Anyone Be Against Sharing Food With Roommates?

Just because you share rent, utilities, and other expenses with your roommate, it doesn’t mean that you should share other things.

As for food, if it is not part of the communal scheme, food belongs to the roommate who purchased it.

Like other personal belongings, you or your roommate should only consume each other’s food after receiving unequivocal permission from its owner.

In this regard, you should store your food separately as you would with other belongings.

If there is not enough separate space for each of you to store their food separately, you should consider labeling each other’s purchases to avoid trouble associated with inadvertently “borrowing” food from the fridge.

All in all, sometimes you just need to be persnickety about your food, especially if you are picky and super health-conscious.

If you buy considerably healthy foods, you might also find it hard to share food because your roommate will likely spend on foods that you won’t eat.

Another instance would be where you or your roommate is on a tight budget.

In this case, the person on a tight budget will be finicky about measuring their food or such.

As a result, sharing food becomes challenging because you cannot equally contribute towards “community” foods.

Four Tips For Blissfully Sharing Kitchen Space With A Roommate

If you have a roommate, it is more likely that you will be sharing the same kitchen space and other kitchen facilities like the refrigerator and oven.

Whether you share food or not, there are things you can both do to avoid getting into trouble with each other.

Here are things you need to prioritize:

1. Communicate Regularly

Communication is arguably the single most crucial tool to happily sharing kitchen space and even the same home.

Whether you have known your roommate for years or minutes, the only way you get to understand each other is through communicating.

When moving in, you need to discuss all your expectations then agree on what is possible and what is impossible as far as sharing food and kitchen facilities is concerned.

After moving in and setting ground rules, just keeping the dialogue going.

Communicating regularly with your roommate makes living together easier and minimizes the chances of crossing each other’s lanes.

With regular communication, you will also have an easier time solving this should anything go wrong.

2. If You Didn’t Buy It, Don’t Eat It

This is precisely what your roommate means when they say their food is private.

If you have set ground rules on food sharing protocol, it is good to respect all that you agree with your roommate.

In this regard, you should not help yourself with any snacks that you never bought without the explicit permission of your roommate.

This holds even when you have good intentions to replace the roommate’s food.

3. Create A Cooking Schedule

Trying to cook at the same time can be tricky, even when you don’t share food with your roommate.

To avoid inconveniences, it is good to create a rotating cooking schedule so that everyone cooks comfortably.

If you have agreed not to share food, you can create a cooking schedule that best suits your daily routine.

4. Wash Your Dishes

Most people don’t like doing the dishes.

However, the same way you would not like seeing a pile of first dishes in the sink, your roommate won’t like it too.

To avoid colliding with your roommate and for improved hygiene, make sure to timely wash your dishes.

If you don’t like washing dishes, you can buy a dishwasher – it will do the job for you.


While sharing food is a big no for many roommates, you can still make arrangements with your roommates to share food that you consider ‘staple”, depending on your eating habits.

Hopefully, after reading this post, you understand what it means to share food with a roommate and can make a viable decision whether to share food with a roommate or not.