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Many people enjoy coming home from a long day at work and cooking a healthy and hearty meal. Even if you are not a huge fan of cooking, you will need to do a bit of meal preparation every now and then, even if it is just pouring milk into a cereal bowl or grilling a cheese sandwich. When living with other people, you may find that you are cooking for more than yourself or you may find that you are sharing the kitchen with other people on a daily basis. This can get annoying and frustrating if you are not prepared to share your living space and, if not cleaned properly, meal preparation can cause serious damage to rentals.

There are several different ways to eat your meals when you have roommates. Many people will choose to share the cooking, cleaning and buying groceries duties and work on a rotation schedule. Many people will choose to eat some meals together and others alone. Other roommates will be fully responsible for preparing their own meals and buying their own food.

Routine Meal Preparation

If you enjoy routine and your roommates are happy to comply with this, you may want to set up a meal preparation schedule each week. Perhaps each one of your roommates cooks two meals per week on a rotating basis. Sitting down and eating together is a great way to unwind and bond after a long day. Talk about your day, complain about your co-workers and discuss your plans for the week. Throw in a bottle of wine or two and you have an excellent dinner date every night without the long lineups, the rude waiters and the expectant tipping.

If you would prefer to eat whenever you wish and not worry about cooking other people dinners and other meals, then you will probably prefer to each have your own cooking and meal preparation schedule. This is often the best choice if you and your roommates work different hours. Many people will start work at 5:00 PM while many others will be getting off work at this time.

Common Meal Preparation Concerns

One of the problems with everyone cooking for themselves is kitchen space. You may find that you are starving but your roommate is busy cooking a meal. You can set up a time each day where you do your own cooking or you can try to share the space. Try to plan your meals for when your roommates are busy with other things. For example, if your roommate gets home at 7:00 and starts cooking dinner at 7:30, then time it so you are out of the kitchen before he is ready to start his meal.

Another concern is refrigerator space. Will you all go grocery shopping together and share the food or will you each have a separate area in the fridge for your own items? You may want to buy certain items together on the same bill (such as butter, bread, cheese, ketchup, mustard, etc) and then have your own separate shelves for your individual food. This is one way to keep the grocery expenses fair and inexpensive. After all, if every roommate buys their own ketchup, mayo and mustard, then there is a good chance that these condiments will go off before they actually get used.

Keep in mind that in addition to cooking meals, cleaning up from meals is also a big part of sharing your kitchen space and roommate meal preparation. The best rule to follow is this: if you make a mess, clean it up. That way everyone is the house can enjoy a clean and sanitary kitchen regardless of when or how they choose to eat their meals.

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