Roommates

What Do I Do If My Roommate Steals My Food?

You head to the fridge and notice that your milk is almost gone, that someone ate your chips, or that somehow your entire carton of ice cream has completely disappeared.  If you know it isn’t you, there can really only be one reason why everything is almost/completely gone:  Your roommate.

The first thing to do is assess the situation.  How much are they snagging?  If it’s only a little, maybe you just want to let it slide.  In a lot of ways, it’s not worth confronting your roommate over a few chips.  However, if it is a constant problem, or they are stealing all or almost all of your food, it’s really time to say something.

Like with many other situations with your roommate, it is best to speak with them about any issues rather than not saying anything or just letting things slide.  This is because your roommate won’t know that what they’re doing bothers you, whether you think they should or not, and it will just make you more and more upset as time goes on.

It’s also not a good idea to immediately confront your roommate about any situation like this.  In most cases you will say something you don’t mean, and your roommate may react poorly.  Therefore, it’s best to plan out what you’re going to say before you say it and figure out a good time to sit down to talk with your roommate.

It’s a good idea to keep your talk about the behaviors that your roommate is doing, rather than attributing the problem to personality flaws.  It also best to work on ways that you can both get what you want.  Maybe the problem is that you two should be splitting the grocery bill a little bit more!

Overall, handling your roommate stealing your food, or any other roommate problem, doesn’t have to be terrifying or frustrating.  All it takes is a cool head, a plan, and a workable solution for both you and your roommate.

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Student Life

How Long Do I Have To Eat My Leftovers?

Looking at the leftovers you have in the fridge, you just never really know. According to Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D., leftovers are actually good for three to four days. However, she says that if you know you can’t eat them in four days, you should be sure to freeze them. It is best to keep your food in temperatures under 40 F if you aren’t going to eat them.  Zeratsky says that by keeping foods in temperatures above 40F for extended periods of time, or leaving food in the fridge for longer than four days, you run the risk of getting food poisoning. However, when you are ready to eat the leftovers, you should cook them in the stove, in the oven, or in the microwave until the internal temp is at least 165 F to kill off any bacteria.  Raw foods should not be kept out for longer than 2 hours at room temperature.

Photo from myrecipes.com

In an article at My First Apartment, they suggest avoiding cross-contamination, as well. This means avoiding using prep items, containers, and surfaces that have touched raw meats to prepare other food. It is best to keep things separate, and to heat raw foods to at least 125 F if it’s beef, and at least 165 F if it’s chicken.

The article also suggests keeping the refrigerator organized so that you know how long food has been kept in the fridge. You can do this by either putting food in special containers, or by placing a label on it so that you remember. It’s also a good idea to avoid tasting the food to see if it’s still good, and to throw it out when you aren’t sure. As Zeratsky explains, bacteria will not usually change the taste or smell of the food.

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Cooking, Housing Advice

Starter Pantry Essentials Checklist

When you’re moving off-campus for the school year, there are a lot of things to consider.  If your living in an unfurnished pad, in particular, there are a lot of things you have to remember to pack.  While it’s important, I’m sure many of you may forget the important essentials you’ll need to stock your pantry with when you move in.  It’s not like at home where your mom always had some chicken noodle soup in stock.  You’re on your own!

Knowing from our experience, we wanted to make sure you weren’t left out in the cold if you didn’t get to go grocery shopping one week.  Thanks to a couple articles we read at MyFirstApartment.com, we’ve come up with a list of things that every college student living off-campus needs to keep themselves fed.

  • Canned beans
  • Canned soups
  • Canned tomatoes
  • Pasta sauce
  • Spices (you at least want garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper)
  • All-purpose flour
  • Sugar
  • Vanilla extract
  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda
  • Vegetable oil (optional)
  • Olive oil
  • Vinegar
  • Dried pasta
  • Instant oatmeal
  • Mustard
  • Ketchup
  • Coffee/Tea
  • Cereal
  • Honey
  • Hot cocoa
  • Rice

The articles we referenced:

http://www.myfirstapartment.com/2011/10/first-apartment-pantry-essentials/2/

http://www.myfirstapartment.com/2005/11/starter-pantry-and-staples-checklist/

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