Managing Sharing a Fridge with a Roommate


open concept dining room and kitchen image

Common conflicts in a home with roomies is generally regarding shared space, and especially the kitchen. What we’ve learned from assisting in minor conflict resolution between tenants and hearing the stories of many of our independent owners is that there should always be ground rules agreed upon, even before the boxes are unpacked.

1. Break out the Markers

While it’s easy to feel goodwill about your food, it’s easier to grab a marker and write your names all over the food you don’t want to be marked as ‘community property’. Marking up your food creates and accountability to each roommate to ensure that the kitchen is a drama-free space.

Think about marking gallons of milk or orange juice with designated colors when you’re done with pouring a glass to ensure the last to drink is the one to replace.

2. Divide Up the Fridge

Label the shelves on the fridge for certain members of the house. For examples, one person gets the top shelf and the second drawer and the door compartments are for sharing.

Clear divisions mean that there is no worry about labels being seen or boundaries being crossed.

3. Don’t be Afraid to Share Some of the Food

There are certainly some items that everyone will use on a regular basis. Condiments like ketchup and mayonnaise or spices like pepper or salt make sense to share as community property. When something is needed then it’s the next person in line’s responsibility to replace.

4. Don’t Pool Grocery Money

While it can be tempting to put all your money into one pot and have one person buy all the food, there are a couple of major issues with this. First off, you’re going to miss out on the tasty treats you want for snacking and possibly for entertaining. Finally, there is zero division of accountability for what’s been eaten and what has not. Pooling resources mean not being able to designate something in the fridge as your own for safe-keeping and entitles everyone in the home to the loot.

Hopefully, these handy tips will make it a little bit easier to manage to share a household with groceries and ensure everyone is fed and happy.