Author Topic: A rather unique cooking / roommate situation ..  (Read 3599 times)

SyZ

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A rather unique cooking / roommate situation ..
« on: June 06, 2016, 05:33:19 PM »
For those not familiar with my situation, the Cliff Notes - I'm on a temporary assignment in this area, 9 months in. It is being extended minimum 6 months. I'm also looking elsewhere for positions, and this might even become permanent. The bottom line - I have no stability and am always in flux. I recently had to move, and am now renting a room in a newer house with a young married couple, nobody else. I had everything in storage (yes, I know. For 6 months, 90 miles away, I figured it was worth the $50 a month to store my mattress and other items valued at $1000+ that I would eventually need back.)

One of the stipulations here is that I don't really get to cook, because they make homemade meals every day. So I kind of worked into the conversation - hey, what are your thoughts on cooking a little extra and I will help chip in on the bill and it solves both our problems - they don't want me to cook, and I want homemade (healthier) meals.

But I got the quote - $75 for 5 dinners and 5 lunches weekly. I don't really know how to haggle or negotiate on this, as they're new roommates and this isn't a common situation.

Advice?

Dollar Slice

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Re: A rather unique cooking / roommate situation ..
« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2016, 05:42:00 PM »
I don't think that is a terribly unfair price, honestly. It's the cost of food plus you're essentially paying them to grocery shop, cook and do the cleanup as well.

My only idea to haggle it down would be to make a lower counteroffer and promise to do the dinner dishes every night.

Zamboni

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Re: A rather unique cooking / roommate situation ..
« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2016, 05:42:49 PM »
Um, are they serving filet mignon and lobster every night? That seems pretty high, but then again maybe they shop at Whole Paycheck.

Then again, the labor to cook is probably worth something, so it's not totally reasonable for you to only pay for the cost of the ingredients unless you are bringing some cooking or cleaning skills to this arrangement.

boarder42

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Re: A rather unique cooking / roommate situation ..
« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2016, 05:45:33 PM »
Get an induction cooktop for your room and a mini fridge freezer combo and cook away.

SnackDog

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Re: A rather unique cooking / roommate situation ..
« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2016, 05:52:09 PM »
These people do not sound reasonable to me. I would move. If you wish to stay, offer them $60/week.  I suspect issues will emerge about how much food you are eating, regardless of how little you consume.  Keep us posted.

boarder42

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Re: A rather unique cooking / roommate situation ..
« Reply #5 on: June 06, 2016, 05:56:54 PM »
Also I don't get why you can't cook bc they do. You should be able to crock pot or batch cook after they are done. Or when they aren't.

JLee

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Re: A rather unique cooking / roommate situation ..
« Reply #6 on: June 06, 2016, 08:09:20 PM »
Um, are they serving filet mignon and lobster every night? That seems pretty high, but then again maybe they shop at Whole Paycheck.

Then again, the labor to cook is probably worth something, so it's not totally reasonable for you to only pay for the cost of the ingredients unless you are bringing some cooking or cleaning skills to this arrangement.

You're paying for the ingredient cost, the prep time, cooking time, and cleaning time. There's no way I'd commit to cooking 10 meals for someone for $75 a week.

On the other hand, I don't think I'd be happy living in a place where I wasn't welcome to use the kitchen.

undercover

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Re: A rather unique cooking / roommate situation ..
« Reply #7 on: June 06, 2016, 08:55:59 PM »
Um, are they serving filet mignon and lobster every night? That seems pretty high, but then again maybe they shop at Whole Paycheck.

Then again, the labor to cook is probably worth something, so it's not totally reasonable for you to only pay for the cost of the ingredients unless you are bringing some cooking or cleaning skills to this arrangement.

You're paying for the ingredient cost, the prep time, cooking time, and cleaning time. There's no way I'd commit to cooking 10 meals for someone for $75 a week.

On the other hand, I don't think I'd be happy living in a place where I wasn't welcome to use the kitchen.

Still too high IMO. They are buying the ingredients and doing the cooking regardless. I doubt OP will have any say so in what he wants to eat other than a vote within the house on a specific set of meals.

Hopefully you are paying slightly less with this room than what you'd normally pay? I'd hope for at least $100 in reduced rent since having a kitchen is a big deal in saving money. If you're getting a decent deal, I'd agree to the $300/mo for 40 meals. Otherwise, I'd definitely try to get that closer to $5/meal.
« Last Edit: June 06, 2016, 09:01:47 PM by undercover »

limeandpepper

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Re: A rather unique cooking / roommate situation ..
« Reply #8 on: June 06, 2016, 08:59:21 PM »
One of the stipulations here is that I don't really get to cook

they don't want me to cook

This makes them sound like control freaks. I've never rented a room anywhere that I wasn't allowed to cook, and it doesn't seem reasonable to me at all. I wouldn't be staying and trying to negotiate on meal costs - I'd be looking for a new place as soon as possible.

dragoncar

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Re: A rather unique cooking / roommate situation ..
« Reply #9 on: June 06, 2016, 09:11:03 PM »
Um, are they serving filet mignon and lobster every night? That seems pretty high, but then again maybe they shop at Whole Paycheck.

Then again, the labor to cook is probably worth something, so it's not totally reasonable for you to only pay for the cost of the ingredients unless you are bringing some cooking or cleaning skills to this arrangement.

You're paying for the ingredient cost, the prep time, cooking time, and cleaning time. There's no way I'd commit to cooking 10 meals for someone for $75 a week.

On the other hand, I don't think I'd be happy living in a place where I wasn't welcome to use the kitchen.

Still too high IMO. They are buying the ingredients and doing the cooking regardless. I doubt OP will have any say so in what he wants to eat other than a vote within the house on a specific set of meals.

Hopefully you are paying slightly less with this room than what you'd normally pay? I'd hope for at least $100 in reduced rent since having a kitchen is a big deal in saving money. If you're getting a decent deal, I'd agree to the $300/mo for 40 meals. Otherwise, I'd definitely try to get that closer to $5/meal.

Yeah, if you are going to forbid someone from cooking, because apparently you spend all your waking hours in the kitchen already, you should only charge them for raw ingredient costs

Mrs. S

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Re: A rather unique cooking / roommate situation ..
« Reply #10 on: June 06, 2016, 10:48:16 PM »
Being devil's advocate for a sec:
Most of us who cook regularly and arrange/manage their own kitchens are not open to the idea of someone using the kitchen. For many it is irritating if others move boxes, ingredients or the likes. This might be a reason why they are not comfortable wit you using the kitchen.

That being said, you should be negotiating the rent if it includes any use of kitchen since you don't really get to use it. Get a small fridge and an induction to let you cook in your room. I assume you can prep in the kitchen and will not have to buy cutlery.
I would not get in agreement with someone for food because you never know what you might want to eat that day and what if you end up eating out instead of the food they make. Would they feel disrespected and would you want to pay for food that you did not eat?

Choices

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Re: A rather unique cooking / roommate situation ..
« Reply #11 on: June 06, 2016, 11:30:57 PM »
I was an exchange student for a semester and stayed with a family where meals were included. The mother was incredibly controling and wouldn't let me cook even if I wanted to make a meal for the whole family with ingredients I purchased on my own. This was just the tip of the iceberg. I also couldn't use the house phone, watch tv, turn on lights during the daytime, etc.

It was miserable and I would often turn down dinners with friends because I'd already paid for the meals at the house as part of the package, and it was very isolating.

If I had it to do over again, I would have found my own place even if it meant forfeiting all the money.

My fear is that if you pay these people, you'll be eating their menu on their schedule and if you choose not to eat a meal at home you'll still be charged. Is this okay with you? There must be other housing options that include kitchen privileges.

a-scho

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Re: A rather unique cooking / roommate situation ..
« Reply #12 on: June 07, 2016, 01:24:54 AM »
That seems high, 75.00 for ten meals=7.50 per meal? I don't expect everybody's grocery spending habits to be as low as mine, but I can feed three adults all week on 75.00, and they want to charge that amount for just you(and not even every meal).

It doesn't require more work shopping/cooking to make food for two versus three people. For example, if you made a lasagna and a salad that was eight portions and let's say it cost 30.00 for all of the ingredients(though I could get it for much less purchasing the ingredients when they were on sale and not making lasagna until I was in possession of most of them), then it would cost 3.75 per portion. I mean, they won't let you use the kitchen and they want to charge you a premium to scoop some of what they already made onto a plate for you :/

Since you're only there for roughly nine months and if don't mind spending almost 3000.00 on their terms, then go for it. I would pass. I would do a combination of mystery shopping for the free food, eating out at inexpensive places/fast casual...not fast food to keep it relatively healthy, making friends with people who will invite you over for dinner or allow you to come over and cook for them on a regular basis, maybe get a mini fridge and a slow cooker. I can make a pot of something in the cooker that is 5-7 meals for less than 20 bucks depending on what cut of meat I use/or if it has meat in it at all. resell the fridge if you no longer need it after your nine month stint is over.

Ann

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Re: A rather unique cooking / roommate situation ..
« Reply #13 on: June 07, 2016, 03:54:20 AM »
One of the stipulations here is that I don't really get to cook, because they make homemade meals every day .... they don't want me to cook...
I wouldn't recommend the meal sharing.  It sounds like they don't want to do it, so named a price that would make it worth their aversion. 

What exactly are the limitations on the kitchen?  Are they in the kitchen a lot and therefore it's too crowded to share?  Do they not want you to use their favorite/expensive/grandmother's cookware? Basically, what are the explicit terms of your renting a room?

Unless forbidden to do so, I would cook.  I would clean up immediately afterward - completely and before eating, hand-washing everything so it's not sitting in the dishwasher.  I might buy one cheap pot, pan, and casserole dish that I kept in my room when not in use.  Buy your own flour.  Don't assume staples or spices are free use.  It will/would be a little annoying and inconvenient.  I remember being in college and having to buy a bowl and a spoon and salt and EVERYHING because I had nothing to start with.  Back then eating out could be cheaper because I didn't have to purchase every single ingredient and cookware.  It got cheaper very quickly though.
« Last Edit: June 07, 2016, 04:40:07 AM by Ann »

Fishindude

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Re: A rather unique cooking / roommate situation ..
« Reply #14 on: June 07, 2016, 05:40:00 AM »
The price is fair considering they are preparing and cleaning up as well, but I wouldn't want to eat meals prepared by others every day.   I like cooking and doing my own thing.
Don't know where you are located, but I'd probably consider getting a camper if I was on a lengthy temporary assignment.

JLee

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Re: A rather unique cooking / roommate situation ..
« Reply #15 on: June 07, 2016, 07:27:22 AM »
Being devil's advocate for a sec:
Most of us who cook regularly and arrange/manage their own kitchens are not open to the idea of someone using the kitchen. For many it is irritating if others move boxes, ingredients or the likes. This might be a reason why they are not comfortable wit you using the kitchen.

That being said, you should be negotiating the rent if it includes any use of kitchen since you don't really get to use it. Get a small fridge and an induction to let you cook in your room. I assume you can prep in the kitchen and will not have to buy cutlery.
I would not get in agreement with someone for food because you never know what you might want to eat that day and what if you end up eating out instead of the food they make. Would they feel disrespected and would you want to pay for food that you did not eat?

...?

I've basically always lived in a shared housing situation and have never had (or issued) kitchen restrictions. 

Ann

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Re: A rather unique cooking / roommate situation ..
« Reply #16 on: June 07, 2016, 07:48:51 AM »
What are the official kitchen restrictions?