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Food - what do you do?

  1. #1
    not pizza is offline Registered User
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    Food - what do you do?

    Hello,

    We are new to helpers, trying to reading up on it.
    One thing we are unsure of is how to handle food. I know some employers share all food with helpers, some others just give them an allowance (how much?), some others still give them both I think I've heard...
    I was wondering what your arrangements are, and what the pros/cons.

    Off the top of my head, sharing, if it works out, is nicer because it's closer to the ideal "family" setting, trust-based relationship. Also you don't have to contend shared resources such as fridge, pans etc because you both cook/eat/refrigerate the same stuff.
    On the other hand, there is potential for abuse (e.g. helper ate all my cake, helper buys luxury food that even I don't buy for myself), so you may end up going paranoid and counting the beans. Also the helper may have totally different tastes from ours, and some things necessarily have to be split. Finally an allowance would allow her to be independent and buy whatever she likes with no guilt trips.

    ...am I making a mountain out of a molehill?

    Thanks :)

  2. #2
    not pizza is offline Registered User
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    Just to add, apparently minimum food allowance (if you don't provide any food) is $875 per month, by law.

  3. #3
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    nicolejoy is offline Registered User
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    We have her share our food. We asked when we hired her and she didn't have a preference one way or another. We eat dinner together. I personally don't mind, except sometimes she's eaten our leftover takeaway food (which was on our plate) and I don't think that's very hygienic so now I tell her what is for someone in particular, and what is for anyone (the kids and her included). She doesn't eat our sweets/treats at all unless I specifically ask her to, or tell her that she can. Our current helper eats a LOT more than our previous one and at first it kind of bothered me a bit - but I actually think that this one eats better which is a good thing... our old one I think bought bags of crackers and would eat them by herself in her room...

    Personally I think discuss with your helper as to whether she would prefer an allowance or to share the same food as you. It can work either way, there's no right and wrong - only personal preference... but best to decide in the beginning.
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  4. #4
    not pizza is offline Registered User
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    This is apparently a *much* more sensitive topic than I ever imagined - 80% of the candidates I'm interviewing want to break contract because they "don't have enough food"! Is this a cliche' excuse? Are they taking me for a ride?
    The obvious follow-up question, did you try to talk to your employer about it, is inevitably answered with a "no", and then my investigation gets nowhere, perhaps some other near-slavery conditions emerge, but that's it. Uhm...

  5. #5
    Chipon's Avatar
    Chipon is offline Registered User
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    My helper also had similar problem with her previous employer, she didn't have enough food to eat. She actually told the employer and finally got food allowance and was happy with it. We gave her food allowance too and it seems to be a good arrangement since she is happy with it, and we have less thing to worry about. I can cook whatever i like for dinner without having to check if she would like it or not.
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  6. #6
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    our first helper ate with us, whatever we ate, she ate. it took her a while to get used to new tastes and flavours, but by the end of 5 years, i think she'd come to enjoy much of the food. however, when we hired her husband, he really doesn't enjoy much western food and likes rice at every meal. so, they asked if they could have food allowance instead. we agreed.

    we have kept it at food allowance for all subsequent helpers. and i must admit, i much prefer it this way. our two helpers have a small fridge and they can pool their money if they like to lower costs. we provide rice/oil and condiments. we pay them each $300/week, that way, they are more likely to get fresh food and not try to live on instant noodles. i must say, it has eliminated a lot of stress and we all seem to enjoy the arrangement.

    of course, if we have a bbq, we invite them to join in with us... sometimes they do, sometimes, they don't.

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