Housesitters and my food

@botvot, come and stay here, you can do my shopping! Although I don’t mind too much, just when husband wants to ‘help’! :roll_eyes:

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I wouldn’t eat someone’s food unless they invite me to. That’s just me though, others might act differently. However, if I get a list of things I shouldn’t eat, I don’t feel very welcome or appreciated. It happened to me once and it wasn’t a good sit, not just for that reason.
I think the best thing for you as a pet owner is to openly discuss this when you talk to potential pet sitters. Lots of people who have posted here seem perfectly happy to never touch your food, drink or even ice cubes. :wink:

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No, it wasn’t perishable. I told them they could use anything that was perishable and they did, which is great. It’s the various things they used (and a plate that they broke but didn’t tell me about) that sort of got under my skin. And I have revised my Welcome Pack to detail what is and is not OK to use in the kitchen and pantry. :slight_smile:

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Of the 20+ sits we have had to date every HO has shown us their (generally very well stocked) larders, fridges, cupboards and gardens and said to use absolutely anything. We always ask what if anything they would not want us to use and apart from perhaps very expensive champagne or spirits they have said nothing.

On some repeat sits now we are finding they are insisting we use more and even going one step further and leaving out wine as realising that we are not helping ourselves! We have had very generous hosts that even stocked up the fridge with food for us for the whole sit as they were so grateful for taking care of their pet with special needs and another left us lots of wine and special treats as they had 5 large dogs. Many hosts have cooked a meal or taken us out or left a meal for us to cook the first night if they weren’t staying. We then reciprocate - if we are staying the night they get back we cook a meal for us all and if not then we leave a meal for them. We always make sure that we leave them basics for their return too and depending on what needs using up from the fridge or garden we will usually leave them a cake and homemade bread as I love to bake.

Essentially if they appreciate us and say thanks by their generosity then we reciprocate. Kindness makes the world a better place. Every one of our hosts has been so grateful to avoid both the cost and (often) stress of kennels for their pets they really do want us to make ourselves at home and use their provisions as appropriate. (We don’t take the p@** and do shop as well :smiling_face:). Just waiting on the pear cake coming out of the oven :yum:

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I sometimes do take food from hosts but one day before I leave I go shopping and replace everything. Also mostly I make food or cake before I leave as a thank you and small compensation for the spices, washing liquid ect i have used. I dont see it as granted to eat lots of food at peoples house. I prefer a good review instead of some money that i have saved by eating peoples food :smiley:

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I think that the empty jar was a petty move, but otherwise, nope, just the homeowner in this case. I would not accept a sit where I was expected not to eat the food in the home.

It’s possible that it was a petty move.
It’s also possible that other stuff from the fridge was used afterwards, and the jar got pushed back and forgotten by putting more recently used stuff in front of it.
It’s also possible that they put the empty jar back so that you knew it was empty and not just “missing”, spending time to look for it.
So often I see malice attributed as a motive, when different habits, ignorance or carelessness are more likely.

As HO, we say to our sitters, use what you like, let us know if something runs out so we can restock.

As sitters, we tend not to use HO stuff unless specifically invited, but we do keep an eye on perishables, and discard things which have gone off, or likely to go off before HO get home.

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hard same.
On my third sit and enjoying their food
this host actuallly ASKED me what snacks i liked.

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i don’t think you are being petty. There should be spoken understanding between owner and sitter about what is up for grabs. Staples and condiments I consider up for grabs but ask that the sitters make a list of what they finish up.

Was there whiskey in that jar?

Friday feeling started already @pietkuip ?? :flushed::wink:

HOs have said to me eat anything left in the fridge and perishables (it goes in the bin otherwise), which I take to mean don’t eat store cupboard food which is fair enough. Others have said please help yourself to anything, which is lovely but I don’t often do, except for herbs etc. One of the first things I do after settling in is do a food shop, after taking a look in the fridge first! :grin:

Slightly off topic so please excuse me - but we bought provisions for our sitters as a bit of a welcome pack so that they didn’t need to dash to the shops and they had the basics to get them through. It included milk, bread, butter, orange juice (plus they had use of our condiments including oils, rice, pasta etc.).

Now we return from our holiday and of course they’ve used the things that we left but they’ve not reciprocated. Find that a bit strange to be honest.

They’ve not used anything that they shouldn’t have done, we made it clear, for example, that whilst we’d made space in the freezer for them the rest of the stuff was ours, but it just seems a bit odd. If you were staying at a friend’s house and they were coming back from a holiday surely you’d see if they needed anything as a minimum?

We also gave them some gifts but they didn’t even leave a card. Odd or am I just picking fault?

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I find it odd that any ‘special’ things have to be done. We eat breakfast, probably lunch and dinner too and there would always be enough for others! We don’t have to get in additional supplies as we already have enough to sustain us for several days! Obviously we can accommodate visitors in the short term. Do people live from day to day?

@Mobbers - you are not odd or picking fault. You generously left provisions for your sitters and if I was a homeowner I would expect at the very least some basic provisions of bread, milk, eggs etc. on my return. I always ask the homeowner if there is anything else they would like for their return.
If your pets were well cared for and the home found as you left it I wouldn’t mention the lack of supplies in your review or deduct any marks.
As someone said previously sitters can arrive at a remote sit to find no provisions so it works both ways.
Personally I treat homeowners as I would like to be treated.

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@Mobbers

We’d love to sit for you if you go to the trouble of leaving a welcome pack. :blush:. We’ve had a couple of sits do that, its very thoughtfull & much appreciated.
We reciprocate 99% (1% alliys fir unforeseen circumstance) by some basic provisions to rerturn to and/cake or chocolates.
We always try to leave a card because we can relay any info necesarry or a note at the very least.
Fingers crossed you get appreciative sitters next time

This has happened to me also. Last sitter ate bread, cheese, etc and drank an entire 12-pack of La Croix sparkling water in 2 weeks, and replaced nothing. I didn’t ask her to replace items, but I would always replace basics as a sitter. It’s not about the cost, it’s about leaving something for the HOs on their return. My sit is incredibly easy, so I don’t feel that sitters are doing me a huge favor by taking care of my one easy cat.

As a HO, I always leave a tiny gift (chocolates, for example) for sitters but rarely receive one. As a sitter, I almost always (unless it was a mediocre sit) leave a small gift for the HOs but again, I rarely receive one.

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I couldn’t agree more @Twitcher - which is why I’m surprised! In our PS’s defence they were only quite young. There are some other niggles, for example, I’d like to think that if a HO made us dinner before they left then we’d not turn up empty handed, I’d leave the house as clean as it was found and not use an unbelievable amount of gas and electricity, but that probably comes with maturity - and manners!

At least our pets were happy well looked after, so not all bad. I’m just a bit sore tonight after coming back I think.

Honestly, I wish this would just be in the welcome guide. So many HOs have different rules. The message via THS to housesitters is don’t eat anything. Replace anything you eat – which is easy enough but I think some sitters especially less experienced ones, aren’t getting the message. When I sit, I abide by whatever I"m told and if not told anything, I assume I shouldn’t eat anything and should replace cooking oil etc if I use a noticiable amount. But honestly, I’ve basically told sitters to feel free and have a can of soup or a frozen entree and not to worry about it and they rarely have taken me up or not replaced.

When I’ve said things in the past about HOs really needing to spell some stuff out, experienced sitters who wouldn’t do this stuff have pointed out that common sense and courtesy is to be expected, but honestly some people with less life experience aren’t mind readers.

I rarely eat HO’s food, but I will throw out what’s going off. They might’ve thought I ate it, but no. And I’m not replacing food I tossed. To me, it’s simplest if no one expects food. And if you want to leave some out of hospitality, then don’t expect anything in return. And if you want food on return, then say so, so no one has to read anyone’s mind.

My current HO didn’t leave food and I wouldn’t have wanted any from someone else anyway. Because they’re returning late at night, I asked whether they wanted something DoorDash’d or would like to order and have me take delivery. It was a text that took me a minute. And no chance of misunderstandings.

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