View Full Version : For those of you who farm sit...

Feb. 21, 2013, 05:00 PM
Do you expect food to be provided, or do you bring your own?

I'm currently on a 2 week gig. Brought the dogs and their food along, but the cupboards were bare, so I had to go do some grocery shopping.

When I stay at my BO's place for them, I'm welcome to any food in the house, and they usually defrost a steak for me. They also go buy me the green tea I drink and pick up a few other things they know I eat like yogurt and fresh veggies. They eat way too much junk food, so I do usually end up bringing over some of my own food to supplement what they have.

I guess I'm a little spoiled by my regular gig, because I was a little annoyed by the lack of food here. So what are the expectations - especially when you are staying in the home for a longer gig?

Feb. 21, 2013, 06:06 PM
Anytime I have pet/house sat they have always stocked the kitchen. Some would shop for me and others just said to help myself to anything.

Sorry that is annoying!!

Feb. 21, 2013, 06:08 PM
I expect the kitchen to be stocked.

That said, I have one client I sit for who always has plenty of food in the house, just not things that work for quick fix and eat etc. I'll request some stuff, but always plan on stopping by Publix on the way there.

Feb. 21, 2013, 06:10 PM
OP - I think that's absolutely rude & absolutely staring CHEAP!

If you're doing an in-house (as in "stay over") sitting job, the kitchen should be STOCKED. Not necessarily with every little thing your heart desires, but at least enough basic everyday food so you don't have to provide your own meals. It's the same as expecting that you'll have a bedroom with clean linens & a bathroom with fresh towels.

Feb. 21, 2013, 06:11 PM
I ask the sitter what she likes and then stock up on it.
However, I do that as an extra.
I guess it might depend on what the pay is though.

Feb. 21, 2013, 06:11 PM
I've farmsat twice for 2 different people. Both times I was told to help myself to anything - especially anything that would spoil soon. I did try to use up those items, but I did a lot of my own grocery shopping, too. I was paid well for farm sitting and it didn't seem right to use the canned and frozen foods.

Feb. 21, 2013, 06:12 PM
...Why would they buy you food? What if you were a vegetarian, would you leave them a list? Or if you were allergic? I think that it is very sweet of your BO to leave you food but...I don't think it should be expected.
The only situation in which I think it would be nice is if they lived like two hours away. When I've house sat (barn full of horses, dogs and cats), they said I could eat whatever I want from their pantry but I just went home and made food or brought something to make there. Do you replace the food when you leave so they don't come home to bare cupboards?

Feb. 21, 2013, 06:15 PM
I always bring my own: I have to eat anyway :) Sometimes the farm owner insists on paying me extra to cover food, other times no. Either way is OK by me.

Feb. 21, 2013, 06:21 PM
I would feel weird eating someone else's food. They may not like the same things I like, etc. I would certainly appreciate an offer to eat anything that is available, but I would still bring most of my own food. (This is how it has been every time I have house/pet sit in the past.) Not sure how it is being cheap if they don't provide the food, since you would be eating on your own dime anyway if you weren't house sitting and most other jobs don't provide you with meals.

Feb. 21, 2013, 07:01 PM
What do you all think of this situation?

I just moved to a new town. My name was given as a potential house-sitter by an acquaintance of mine. They want me to stay 2 weeks and look after their 2 dogs. I think (but haven't had the tour yet) that they will be fairly low-key. Let the dogs out in the yard in the morning, let them in after work, feed them, possibly clean up after them.

Feb. 21, 2013, 07:05 PM
Oh, my trainer and I often swap dog sitting for lessons. If she doesn't have time to grocery shop, she'll usually throw in an extra lesson so I can shop myself.

Feb. 21, 2013, 07:15 PM
I don't expect food for me... but I do expect food for the pets. I have had to run to buy grain for a backyard barn of 3 horses during a week-long vacation after it ran out on day 2. Pissed me off to no end!

Feb. 21, 2013, 07:46 PM
When I used to housesit, my hosts always told me to help myself to anything they had (and they usually stocked up on frozen dinners, soups, etc.). Sometimes I did, and sometimes I didn't.

As someone who now has a housesitter, I always ask what she likes to snack on and make sure I purchase it. I stock up on bread, deli items, and frozen meals, and make something like potato salad to leave in the fridge. If we're gone for more than a couple of nights, I also leave an extra $20 with a note attached for her to use it to buy herself dinner.

Feb. 21, 2013, 07:50 PM
What do you all think of this situation?

I just moved to a new town. My name was given as a potential house-sitter by an acquaintance of mine. They want me to stay 2 weeks and look after their 2 dogs. I think (but haven't had the tour yet) that they will be fairly low-key. Let the dogs out in the yard in the morning, let them in after work, feed them, possibly clean up after them.

Think of the situation in what way? Sounds like a normal pet/housesitting job to me. What's your question?

Feb. 21, 2013, 07:55 PM
I ask my farm sitter what she would like to eat, but she always says don't worry about it. I leave it feel free to help yourself to anything. At a minimum, 2 weeks I would expect to have to buy some as most perishables are not going to last 2 weeks. Also, unless my sitter gave me a list of perishables, I would not buy any because I would not want to come home to rotted or spoiled veges, fruit, milk etc.

Feb. 21, 2013, 09:14 PM
When we've had friends house-sit for us, the expectation is always "help yourself to whatever you want, if you use the last of something just put it on the grocery list on the fridge." (I keep a ridiculously stocked pantry and freezer; I could probably skip grocery-shopping for 2 months and still cook at home every single day.)

I also always leave a couple of gift cards for local places that deliver, in case our house-sitter is not so inclined as to cook for him/herself, gets home late from work, etc.

I don't understand the concept of bare cupboards (lol!), so I can't imagine not leaving plenty of stuff for someone to eat...

Feb. 22, 2013, 01:58 AM
I house sat and farm sat for years. It was nice to have some food available, but I also liked it if they left some room in the refrigerator so I could bring in some of my own staples. We don't all eat the same diet, and I like to be able to stay somewhat on track.

Feb. 22, 2013, 04:26 AM
I always tell my farmsitter to help herself to anything, and she does eat a little of our food, snacks and whatnot, but mostly she brings her own meal-like food (she is often on a specialized diet that differs from the few, toddler-focused ready-made options I stock, apparently). I don't stock the fridge with perishables because they always go to waste/never get eaten while we are gone. I would hope you are fully compensated in non-food ways, it's not like "food and housing" is a big farm-sitting perk or anything. You are just there for short periods.

We use ours often enough that she keeps some of her own food in our freezer, which I don't mind at all. Not a lot, just a couple frozen meals, etc.

I always have enough food in the pantry to feed a family of four for months so there is always something to eat -- maybe not to someone's taste, but they aren't going to starve in my house.

risky business
Feb. 22, 2013, 07:23 AM
I stock up on drinks (water, gatorade, ice tea, soda) and all that is in the house is available to the sitter but I found the food items usually go untouched so I started leaving "cash for meals".
They could either shop themselves or get take-out or whatever.

Never had the cash go untouched :)

tabula rashah
Feb. 22, 2013, 09:05 AM
I always buy my own and do not at all expect clients to provide food for me.

Feb. 22, 2013, 10:04 AM
Does bare mean there is no food at all (I doubt) or simply no food that you like?

The few times I have had someone house sit for me I have always asked her what she wanted to eat and bought that (snacks, cereal, drinks). It was something we did not normally eat so I left her a note to take it all with her if she did not eat it all and she did.

I used to house sit a ton (for free, silly me) and I never had anyone leave me food or cash to buy food.

Unless food is discussed as part of the pay I would not consider it a requirement, more of a bonus.

Feb. 22, 2013, 10:35 AM
Bare means there is a pack of shredded cheese, a few eggs and some condiments in the fridge, a pack of chicken in the freezer and a few cans of soup.

I always buy groceries for my house sitter and tell her to take home what she doesn't use because I won't eat it. (soda, chicken nuggets, cereal...)

it just felt very odd to be faced with no food here.

Feb. 22, 2013, 10:48 AM
When I house sit, most clients say help yourself to anything (if they are going out of town for more than a few days, perishable goods will just go to waste anyway). One client gives me cash for food in addition to the check I will recieve for the job. All of this is completely unsolicited by me, and I would NOT expect this. In fact, I often just buy my own food anyway, or if it is closeby just go home to eat. I'd feel bad having them come home to an empty kitchen.

I definitely would not expect the kitchen to be stocked for me.

Feb. 22, 2013, 12:07 PM
I would expect to be told to help myself to anything in the fridge, but would not expect them to go grocery shopping for me.

Feb. 22, 2013, 12:15 PM
It would depend on how much I'm being paid. If I were being well paid I would shrug it off, but if I were doing it as a favor I would be more than a little miffed and they would be scratched off my 'do a favor for' list.

Feb. 22, 2013, 12:18 PM
Back eons ago when I used to house sit I was always told to help myself to whatever was there.

On the rare occasions when I actually get to go away I always ask whoever is housesitting what they like to eat and then stock up.