Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Ask The Tight Fist: Sharing Food For a Group Trip


Eggs for All!

Hi Tight Fist,

I am going on a trip with a group of friends. We'll be renting a cabin and hanging out for a few days. The inevitable question arises, how do we divide up food purchasing? It seems that any solution leaves someone feeling ripped off. What is the best policy to suggest? I tend to lean toward anarchic self-organizing principles as a rule, so potluck?

Faithfully,
potunlucky
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Dear Potunlucky,

This is certainly a difficult situation. The problem is that undoubtedly, your cabin buddies do not know how to adhere to Tight Fist principles. But how can you remove yourself from that culture without looking like a cheap mooch?

Well, I see two possible solutions. If the group wants to do a bulk purchase of food/drink that everyone shares, just take charge and do the purchasing yourself. This allows you control over that amount that is spent per person, and you can ensure that the shopping is done efficiently. But this solution is kind of annoying- it requires you doing all the shopping, which sucks.

The second solution is along the lines you proposed above: every man for himself. But you don't want to be in a position where everyone is trying to cook different meals- groups meals are both nice and efficient. So instead, you can volunteer for a couple of meals, and hope that others do the same. 

Now, we are working under the assume that others in your group are going to want to spend more than you. So how do you make sure you don't come off looking like a cheapskate? The key is to make sure that your food offerings are of high quality, even if they are easy on the wallet. Any Tight Fister knows it's easy to make great meals on the cheap. (Pancakes and eggs are a great idea, especially if you happen to know someone with chickens who is always looking to give away eggs...) For drinks, you could make a nice cocktail with an inexpensive bottle of booze, instead of shelling out for the 20-yr old scotch. 

Happy Camping!

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