Full fridge

Hi everyone, so I’m just on my first sit from THS (yay!) and have a question on the food in the fridge. We never discussed this topic with HO, and I realized now that fridge is pretty full, and has quite some perishables. My instinct tells me: do not touch, try making space for my own food, unless sth starts rotting, then throw it.
I don’t want to bother HOs at this point, as I’m not into eating someone else’s food anyways, esp open, just want to get a feel what’s the general rule, if not discussed beforehand. HOs are also pretty new here, I’m their 2 sit.

I think a quick note to ask would be best. I always check before I go if there will be stuff left for me to use up. I have been left a full Waitrose shop to a tiny drop of milk and 2 lettuce leaves! People are very varied in what they leave. I’ve been left food in the Freezer and I go to some places where they have baked brownies or other goodies. I am sure if the dates are going to expire the stuff is there to use.


On a longer sit, one can safely assume that perishables are left for the sitter to eat or to throw out, whatever they like.

At the end of the sit, I would try to replace the things that I ate. Especially breakfast things like milk and cheese.


I’ve had several pet parents who had food for us but forgot to tell me. Try sending them a message and let them know some of the food might go bad. I bet they will ask you to eat through it. On our current sit, there was no freezer space so I asked if I could eat through some to make room for frozen berries and they said anything I want

Welcome @MagdaB. Congrats on your first sit. I’d not just throw stuff out as that’s wasteful to me. I’d message the HO and say you notice there’s food in the fridge that will go bad, what would you like me to do?


But the OP says she does not like to. There is no obligation whatsoever to do that. She can throw it out.

I do that with the things that I am not going to eat. Like ham or salmon that I do not have any idea how old it is, or when packaging was opened. I am not going to wait until it starts to rot.

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@MagdaB I have to assume that your Sit is at least a week long? Maybe the Owner filled the fridge for you and forgot to tell you! Definitely ask if they want you to eat the perishables while they are gone, so that food is not wasted. They will probably give you more than a “yes or no” answer. Then you will know what you can use in their kitchen, if that was not already clarified.

Most Owners have told us to “help ourselves to whatever,” but we always replenish anything that we use a lot of, like peanut butter or olive oil. We might use a few tablespoons of cornstarch or bread crumbs from the pantry, and I don’t worry about those small amounts.

My sit is 1.5 week, it looks like HOs just forgot to clean up the fridge (all the rest of the appartment is spotless). There are fruits in half open boxes, containers with old rice/meal, expiring packages of meals etc. I’m very frugal with food, and it does bother me a bit to see all this going to waste, but I do not also feel confident in eating any of this (it looks like it could have been there for a while). But I have barely any space for my cheese/lettuce/juice, so just a bit of uncomfort I guess… I might just ask them tomorrow if they want it to be thrown away, but considering how trash works here, it will be just rotting in the bin instead :roll_eyes:

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If food is going to rot before a sit ends, I’m going to throw it out unless I want to eat it (unlikely). I’m not asking anyone’s permission for that, because it’s not as if it will matter to the HO. What are they going to do? Come back and eat rotten food? And to me, that’s actually something a HO should’ve taken care of. No biggie if they forgot, but I’m just going to use common sense in such situations.

And FWIW, I rarely eat anyone else’s food. I buy my own even if the HO has something on hand that I normally eat.


I am in Groningen now (Netherlands), and the trash system is excellent! Every address has a card with which one can open a canister at the end of the street and dispose of one’s trash bag. That canister extends to a few meters below street surface.

And then a garbage truck will come and lift the whole thing with a crane and empty it. Impressive!


Randomly, there used to be a similar system in the U.S.

Yes, throw out the perishables from the fridge that you won’t eat. But anything unopened with a long use by date tuck away somewhere. Don’t waste food.

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Good plan to send a quick message to the HOs and ask them what they’d like you to do. Use, not use, throw, freeze. No one likes food to be wasted @MagdaB and you’ll probably be sending pet updates anyway so another quick what’s app won’t hurt.

Its important important to clarify with the homeowner what pantry and fridge items are available for you to use prior to the sit starting even if its while you are doing a handover with the owner
Most owners would say help yourself to pantry staples like olive oil etc and use up perishables . Often homeowners will do a special shop of things like eggs and milk etc to have in the house for a sitter and it can be a real cost saver in terms of grocery shopping to graciously accept the homeowners generosity in this regard
I make it a rule of thumb to accept graciously whatever the homeowner offers and be very clear in knowing about what I can and cant help myself to and make a list and replace whatever items are not offered outside of panry staples . Especially when a homeowner has been gracious in doing a shop for stuff like eggs and milk I will always reciprocate and make sure they have some goodies in the fridge for breakfast on their return and will sometimes leave a cooked meal for them on their return .

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You never know, the HO might deduct a star for “self-sufficient”!

We eat anything and everything that will go out of date or rot before the host returns, anything else we don’t touch.

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Something to call out for folks from abroad who might not know: In the U.S. a good number of homes have an extra fridge and/or freezer, so it might be worth checking if you’re at a new sit. Sometimes, they’re in the garage, a utility room, a butler’s pantry or alcove. Homes in the U.S. often are bigger than in other countries, which allows us to have extra appliances and more storage — Costco size, LOL.

Some homes also have extra fridges for just drinks, like in a wet bar area or in a master suite alcove. And some people have recreation rooms or kitchenettes in the basement, with more storage.

I mention that, because you might be able to shift stuff about if you need room.

Also, many Americans (and folks in various countries with roomy homes) have coolers that we use for parties or camping, often stored in the garage. You might also check whether there’s one you can use in a pinch. Dump a bunch of ice from the ice maker and you have extra cool space, for instance.

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