If you’re like me, you’re always looking for innovative ways to eat healthy on a limited budget. Takeout gets expensive and who has the time and energy to gather ingredients for complicated meals?
So, when I discovered this fantastic money-saving trick of eating my roommate’s food and then gaslighting her, I knew that I had discovered the solution to my financial troubles.
With just a few simple adjustments to my daily routine, like removing my roommate’s name from their cereal box or finishing their pasta non-consensually, I’ve saved hundreds of dollars on my grocery bill over the last few months. Crazy, right? Well, at least that’s how your roommate will feel after you eat their food and lie right to their precious face about it!
Here are some tips to help you get started eating your roommate’s food and using psychological tactics to manipulate them when they confront you about it.
The “I thought that was mine”
This is a great tactic for beginners and a classic that anyone who grew up with siblings will be able to master with great ease. It works well with leftovers like Pad Thai or taco salad, but can even be used for homemade dishes like lasagna or three-bean salad. Feign innocence and appear genuine that you sincerely believed that their food belonged to you in the first place. It’s like you just got $10 in your pocket!
The “Sorry, I wasn’t here this weekend”
This is a great money-saving technique because it will make them question whether that really was you that they saw on the couch in your underpants eating their cereal. Tell them that you were in Vegas or at your parents’ house or took a last minute trip to Mexico. The destination isn’t as important as convincing your roommate that you weren’t home snacking on their tasty treats, separating the marshmallows from the regular, boring-ass lucky Charms with your filthy fingers.
“I can’t believe you think I would do that”
This can be a good one for friends who have lived together for a long time, like college roommates or maybe even friends that had too much to drink one night and made out a little bit that one weekend in Cabo. Bring up the bonds of friendship while acting hurt by their accusations and your roommate will forget all about their macaroni and cheese that you are actively turning into poop.
“Were you sleepwalking again? Maybe you ate them in your sleep.”
This is a good money-saving technique because it will make them think they’re doing weird stuff in their sleep, like getting out of bed, turning on the toaster oven, and preparing an entire box of S’mores Pop Tarts. And we can all agree that the cost of Pop Tarts has really skyrocketed over the last couple years. But not for you, you penny-pinching, gaslighting, genius!
“Are you sure you even remembered to bring your leftovers home?”
Become the puppet-master of their emotions when you redirect the blame toward feelings of sadness that their leftovers got left behind at the restaurant. For an added bonus, try emphasizing how sad their poor, delicious egg rolls were to be left behind all alone on the table to fend for themselves. They probably just got thrown in the trash! Wow, not only is your roommate crazy, but they are also very wasteful.
“Did you eat them when you were high?”
This is a great one because it will make them extra paranoid if they are already smoking pot. Just blame the drugs! You can follow this up with something like, “You know how you can be when you get the munchies, Carl.” When you get really good at saving money, you can even try to convince them that they ate your food, not that you’ll be buying much of your own food if you follow these suggestions!
“Well, we must have a ghost!”
Bringing up the paranormal is a great way to play to play to their childhood fears while adding to the paranoia they are likely experiencing from smoking pot (See above technique). Did you stick your fingers in their peanut butter? No, you scooped that shit out like Winnie the Pooh scooping honey from a jar in Hundred Acre Wood, but as far as your roomie needs to know, that creepy girl from The Ring will be crawling from her TV at any moment.
“Oh sure, I just came in here and ate half a pan of your brownies, riiiiiight”
Don’t be intimidated by this more advanced technique of gaslighting where you use sarcasm to actually admit to eating their food. It may seem difficult at first, but admitting to eating their food with a smirk will definitely make them question their own sanity. As you master this advanced form of psychological warfare, feel free to improvise with phrases like “Suuuuure” and “Oh, Okay,” and remember to add an exaggerated eye-roll for effect to help you start growing fat stacks of cash.
For all of these techniques, it’s important to remember to stay calm and make your roommate feel like they’re slowly unraveling. They will second-guess themselves and never suspect that you are passive-aggressively eating their food. Playing mind games with the person you live with can be tricky at first, but the benefits are vast and you will quickly notice the extra money in your pocket and food in your belly. No one said adulting was easy, but it sure can be fun. Rip up those sticky notes with their name on them and get to gaslighting, my friend!