to think it's cheeky when my friend eats my leftovers?

(90 Posts)
HarlemHallow Fri 08-Mar-13 14:20:11

Now I probably am being unreasonable, but I have noticed on a few occasions my friend will not order food and then will eat our leftovers.

Such as I ordered a dessert, too big and I couldn't eat it all. She had refused to order a dessert and then when I finished she took a spoon and started eating it herself.

Another time me and a friend had a sharing platter and again didn't finish it and she started helping herself to it.

I guess the food is just going to waste so she might as well eat it but I do think it's quite cheeky still.

HeathRobinson Fri 08-Mar-13 14:22:13

Is she really skint?

Geordieminx Fri 08-Mar-13 14:22:24

Yes it's rude, I don't like anyone eating from my plate or vice versa bit I guess if the food was going in the bin...

Is she skint and maybe can't afford a desert/whatever?

angelos02 Fri 08-Mar-13 14:22:37

YANBU. Better in her belly than in the bin.

thezebrawearspurple Fri 08-Mar-13 14:22:48

I'd be concerned that she didn't have any money since she's obviously hungry.

TheChaoGoesMu Fri 08-Mar-13 14:23:26

It wouldn't bother me that much, better than wasting it. Is she skint?

No wonder the landfills are so full.

HarlemHallow Fri 08-Mar-13 14:25:54

I don't think it's a money issue as she always orders what she wants for a main course.

I guess if you were that skint you would just say no to going out for lunch or dinner anyway.

VinegarDrinker Fri 08-Mar-13 14:26:13

Better than wasting it. It's not like she orders nothing and is just waiting to pounce and eat yours for free, is it? I would definitely eat a pudding going begging! explains the size of my arse

Sugarice Fri 08-Mar-13 14:26:28

So you go out for a meal, she doesn't order, watches you eat then finishes off what you can't? shock

Oh dear, does she have money problems that you know of?

Snoopingforsoup Fri 08-Mar-13 14:27:03

Is she skint or just a tight-arse?
One of my friends used to do this sort of thing, yet thought nothing of spending hundreds on hair extensions, or face cream or whatever the latest thing was.
She felt it was our duty to pay for her dinner/drinks. She had plenty of cash, she only liked spending it on herself. When the bill came, she'd go missing on a big night out...countless times people didn't notice the pattern and would pay for her and she never reimbursed them...She grew out of it, but she's still tight...

Sugarice Fri 08-Mar-13 14:27:40

x post

ToTeachOrNotToTeach Fri 08-Mar-13 14:28:49

Not sure I see the problem. She might not want a whole pudding but happy to help clear up left overs. I know several people like this and if out for coffee and cake would offer cake I couldn't eat!

foxache Fri 08-Mar-13 14:28:59

It's a bit like when a friend says 'I won't buy chips, I'll have some of yours' grin A bit cheeky, but as you're buying it anyway and it's there, she might as well. She's obviously noticed a pattern!

It'll be a test of your softness when you do actually want to finish a pudding but know she'll go without if you do.

Branleuse Fri 08-Mar-13 14:29:17

it wouldnt bother me, but i would have offered it to her anyway

TheNebulousBoojum Fri 08-Mar-13 14:29:22

Maybe she hates the sight of food being wasted?
It's the sort of thing my family do.

cyclecamper Fri 08-Mar-13 14:29:24

Why not. I would eat up something that was being wasted! I don't often want a whole dessert, but a bit left over or someone else's is just right. If there is none left, that's fine too. Why would she pay for a whole pudding and then waste half of 2?

Trills Fri 08-Mar-13 14:29:45

As long as she waits til you are definitely finished then what's the harm?

Snazzynewyear Fri 08-Mar-13 14:30:05

Do you find you often order stuff you can't finish? Maybe if so you're over-ordering - I have often done this myself and it has taken years of practice to think 'actually, I won't have a starter because I won't finish my main then'.

Aside from that, it would be polite to at least say 'if you don't want any more, do you mind if I have it, it looks really nice!' rather than just digging in. How does she know you aren't having a 'rest' and will come back to it later? smile

What is her financial situation like? Do you think she genuinely likes your company, and the possibility of filling up on leftovers is a bonus to coming out with you, or does it seem more like a cynical attempt to get fed for free? Does she ever / has she ever ordered a dish for herself?

ChipTheFish Fri 08-Mar-13 14:30:49

I think it's better than it going to waste. You aren't going to eat it anyway, what's the issue?

foxache Fri 08-Mar-13 14:31:16

Or exactly like ToTeach says, she only wants a couple of bites. Lots of my friends are on 'diets' like this smile

Snazzynewyear Fri 08-Mar-13 14:32:44

Have just seen you say that she orders what she wants for main and money doesn't seem to be a problem. In that case I would either:

- not order a pudding next time yourself, and see what she does

- say 'Do you want to share a pudding and we'll split it on the bill between us?' Then if she says no, she can't really just start eating it - or if she does, you can say 'Oh, I didn't think you wanted to share - have you changed your mind'? wink

Snazzynewyear Fri 08-Mar-13 14:34:13

foxache Ah, the 'just a taste' diet! I know someone who does this frequently. It would be less annoying if she didn't make such a song and dance of how she couldn't possibly eat a pudding if she's asked by a waiter.

HarlemHallow Fri 08-Mar-13 14:36:05

I know this is ridiculous but I kind of hate it when people pick food off my plate - even when I'm completely finished. Believe me I know how stupid that is.

lottieandmia Fri 08-Mar-13 14:36:16

I think that if I didn't want it I wouldn't care who ate it or what happened to it but would never pick at anyone's leftovers myself - it seems a bit of an odd thing to do, particularly if you feel she's waiting for them so she doesn't have to buy a pudding herself.

OTOH, it could be that she does hate waste. Some people are like this.

Speedos Fri 08-Mar-13 14:41:05

Has she got an eating disorder maybe? This is the kind of thing people who have issues with food do! I'm sure she doesn't mean to be rude, might be just really wanting a desert but denying herself, if it's someone elses leftovers it may not make her feel as guily.

Anomaly Fri 08-Mar-13 14:44:03

Out of interest how do you split the bill? If she just paid for her main course while having polished off your starter and dessert I can see why you'd feel a bit put out.

ApplesinmyPocket Fri 08-Mar-13 14:47:00

You and your friend had a sharing platter - MEANT to share food from - and you resent your other friend having a few leftovers when the two of you had given up on it?

Seems very odd to me - odd of you to mind, I mean, not of her - but there you go, we're all different.

HarlemHallow Fri 08-Mar-13 14:49:15

Out of interest how do you split the bill?

I would pay for the dessert and starter etc.

HerLordship Fri 08-Mar-13 14:52:34

I have/had a friend who used to do this. I don't meet up with her anymore mainly for this reason, we just keep in contact via text and FB.

She's not skint, just totally and utterly tight arsed. She'd sit at a soft play centre and order nothing, then ask if her DCs could share my DCs meals. She would then watch me eating my food and pounce on any leftovers. Once she came out without nappies or wipes for her 1 year old, and used my nappies and wipes. I did used to get her and her kids drinks, but after a while of her never reciprocating and just sitting there like a tight arse counting coppers I stopped.

It used to annoy me as she'd scrounge off me, and then on the other hand would be buying new cars, ipads, laptops and designer clothes!

DoJo Fri 08-Mar-13 14:56:54

I don't see the problem - presumably if you didn't order or finished all your food, she would go without and be happy with that, but if you aren't going to eat it, then what's the problem? Does she actually ask before digging in? I could see that might be annoying, but if she does, then it wouldn't bother me.

I think YANBU - it's not about the waste thing for me, it's about her not being upfront about it.

Maybe next time when you order a pudding you could say something like "oo I couldn't eat a whole one, would you like to go halves with me and then we only have to pay for half a pudding each?" - gives her the opportunity to do a 'genuine share' and if she says no then you have every reason to object to her eating the second half when you are done!

It would bother me if a random stranger did it yes, because then that would be weird.

If i'm eating with friends and can't finish something then I usually will say "I'm stuffed, who wants to finish it off?" Would never occur to me to be annoyed by a friend finishing something off.

Bluemonkeyspots Fri 08-Mar-13 15:06:10

I have a similar friend, she always gets the rounds in when everyone has enough mixers and just needs the spirit (mixers are bloody expensive these days)

No matter how much everyone tries to be on their guard againsed it she still manages it everytime.

To make it even worse her mixer is red bull which costs even more than everyone else's coke/irn bru

dummad Fri 08-Mar-13 15:07:23

Well, it just isn't the done thing is it? Yuck .

there's nothing really wrong with this in principle, particularly with respect to waste etc, but if i were your friend, i would offer to split the cost.

especially if this is something that happens regularly, a one-off wouldn't be a problem

InNeedOfBrandy Fri 08-Mar-13 15:09:02

I would eat as much as my pudding as I wanted and then ask for it to be doggy bagged wink

KateDillington Fri 08-Mar-13 15:11:27

I often do this!

I don't want three courses but my friends ALWAYS over order so I finish theirs off.

But we always split the bill equally so it doesn't matter.

I hate waste! Greedy pigs!! ;)

HarlemHallow Fri 08-Mar-13 15:15:11

Does she actually ask before digging in? I could see that might be annoying, but if she does, then it wouldn't bother me.

No, most of the time she just starts eating it.

Would never occur to me to be annoyed by a friend finishing something off.

Wouldn't annoy me either as a one off, but it's being a regular thing now.

TheNebulousBoojum Fri 08-Mar-13 15:21:29

So just tell her not to, or that you find it annoying, or disgusting.
Or stop ordering food you can't finish on a regular basis.

Scholes34 Fri 08-Mar-13 15:25:54

OP - would you rather see food go to waste than someone eat it?

LaalRatty Fri 08-Mar-13 15:28:51

You hate people picking food off your plate but order a sharing platter? grin Just leave her be. Me and my friends do this all the time. The only time it bothered me was when a colleague asked if she could come to our meal without paying as she was anorexic and wouldn't be eating. Her business, her prerogative of course etc etc but the cheeky cow sat at the table and started helping herself to the tapas we'd ordered. There were ructions that night.

KobayashiMaru Fri 08-Mar-13 15:33:26

You should just tell her: "listen, I'd rather the food I can't finish go in the bin than you, my friend, have it to enjoy, ok?"

You won't sound at all weird, and she'll know that she's the rude one.

lljkk Fri 08-Mar-13 15:43:44

Just tell her you don't her finishing your dessert, and offer to split one instead (ask staff to bring a spare plate). You're overthinking this.

BramshawHill Fri 08-Mar-13 15:46:59

I wouldn't mind if it was a one-off and they asked to have some.
If she's doing it because she doesn't mind you footing the bill, I'd be annoyed; that's taking advantage.
Next time offer to share a dessert, if she says no thanks then starts tucking in to yours, say you're saving it to take home for later.
Even if you don't, by the time you've paid and are leaving it'll be too late for her to nab some!

Scaredycat3000 Fri 08-Mar-13 15:48:28

So your friend makes a point of not ordering a pudding, then as soon as she has decided you have finished starts eating your pudding without asking or being offered, then pays for only the food she has ordered without offering to pay for the food she actually ate and as far as you know has no money worries?

As a one off that wouldn't bother me, as a regular thing your friend is rude. If you choose to keep going for meals with her I would stop ordering pudding. Surely friendship is about sharing, not taking.

DoJo Fri 08-Mar-13 16:19:45

Does she actually ask before digging in? I could see that might be annoying, but if she does, then it wouldn't bother me.

No, most of the time she just starts eating it.

Ok, well then I can see how that would be annoying. Have you tried saying 'Oi - I've not finished yet' to see if that stops her? How long does she give you before digging in? Is she hovering while you eat? That would drive me mad!

BalloonSlayer Fri 08-Mar-13 16:26:42

I think you're just going to have to steel yourself and eat the whole bloody lot yourself.

That'll show her.

(she might be from a background where everyone had to clear their plates or they'd get shouted at and thinks she's doing you a favour. She might feel uncomfortable seeing leftovers being taken away.)

leeloo1 Fri 08-Mar-13 17:06:29

Stab her hand with your fork when she reaches for your plate? grin

rainbow2000 Fri 08-Mar-13 17:13:35

She is just being tight i would hate it.It would be different if she asked but she doesnt.She is being a fee loading tightarse.
Just split the bill 3 ways next time see how she likes that

ponyandpotatopie Fri 08-Mar-13 17:18:12

she sounds like a tightarse

Moomoomie Fri 08-Mar-13 17:19:03

" Joey does not share food " grin

HarlemHallow Fri 08-Mar-13 17:22:38

Stab her hand with your fork when she reaches for your plate?

Perhaps as soon as I get the dessert I could just lick the entire thing? or sneeze over it? But I'll have the fork idea as Plan B grin

HildaOgden Fri 08-Mar-13 17:27:11

Maybe she thinks free food = free calories?I have a friend like that,thinks that because she didn't actually order a dessert,it doesn't count as breaking her diet.

ZZZenAgain Fri 08-Mar-13 17:29:09

Tell her you haven't finished with it, you're taking a rest and you'll finish it later, move it to the side furthest from her. You could also accidentally spill some coffee all over it etc

Or be upfront and just tell her, "no, yuk, don't eat my leftovers. If you fancy a dessert, just order one".

ElliesWellies Fri 08-Mar-13 17:32:07

Do you habitually order food and not finish it? That seems wasteful - I am visualising you constantly leaving half your dinner or dessert or something. If it's only occasionally, where's the harm? And surely the leftovers are only a couple of mouthfuls?

HarlemHallow Fri 08-Mar-13 17:37:35

To all the people that said YABU - can I come out to dinner with you then? wink

LaalRatty Fri 08-Mar-13 17:38:46

It reminds me of a scene in the film Evolution where the guy reaches for the other guys bacon and says you gonna eat that? "Of course I'm gonna eat that. I ordered it didn't I?" grin

Scholes34 Fri 08-Mar-13 17:44:43

Harlem - come out to dinner with me. I'd much rather food was eaten than wasted. Perhaps your friend feels the same. Either eat it all or don't order it if it's going to be too much.

HarlemHallow Fri 08-Mar-13 17:47:11

Either eat it all or don't order it if it's going to be too much

I always finish my main course, and yes sometimes I can't finish eating my dessert.

I'll eat 3/4 of it so I don't really see the problem tbh.

Lovecat Fri 08-Mar-13 17:48:16

Moomoomie you beat me to it, I was going to suggest going all Tribbiani on her arse grin

Greensleeves Fri 08-Mar-13 18:00:59

Why is it better for the food to be wasted? I really don't get this one confused

quesadilla Fri 08-Mar-13 18:03:25

YANBU. I have a friend who does this and it drives me to distraction. To be honest I don't think the financial thing is an excuse either. If you can 't afford to eat you either decline or eat before or you see if you can come to an arrangement. Scrounging food just pisses everyone else off.

HollyBerryBush Fri 08-Mar-13 18:13:23

Does she come from a background where food was scare or rationed, or perhaps her parents were quite poor? Therefore she sees food waste as a crime, which it is.

I hate seeing food waste, but I would ask before polishing off your chips! honest!

willesden Fri 08-Mar-13 18:17:46

I would strain my corset to finish what was on my plate in future, just to scupper her tightwad plans.

seriouscakeeater Fri 08-Mar-13 18:35:36

I think this might my DD??!! (18) on her quest to be ever thin so she can climb through a letter box, she will never order any thing when we eat out, as she is never 'that' hungry, but when take away,meal, dinner arrives she just wants a 'tiny' bit of mine and DH meal. Which ends up in it being split 3 ways. I've started refusing but then feel guilty and give in, then the same happens for dessert!

I like the 'oh i'll eat that later' method for the OP.

ponyandpotatopie Fri 08-Mar-13 19:22:30

Next time mash it all up with your fork
See if the tightwad eats it then

ImperialBlether Fri 08-Mar-13 20:51:24

I'm with you OP. I can't bear anyone eating my food, whether I want it or not. If someone starts to take food off my plate, I stop eating.

Worse even than this is when someone just watches you eating, waiting for you to put your fork down so that they can take something from your plate. Makes me ill.

rainbow2000 Fri 08-Mar-13 21:24:15

Its not the point its being wasteful she is not paying for it the op is,so its up to her to decide who eats it.She is just mean to much of a skinflint to buy her own.

Scholes34 Fri 08-Mar-13 21:42:27

The friend isn't desperate for a pudding, hence she doesn't order one. However, if there's food that would otherwise be thrown away, what's the harm in eating it? If it bothers the OP that much, don't order what you can't eat.

HollyBerryBush Fri 08-Mar-13 21:48:09

Sometimes MN is like Victorian Briatain, with an attack of the vapours.

Worse even than this is when someone just watches you eating, waiting for you to put your fork down so that they can take something from your plate. Makes me ill.

Can't say I'd be ill if someone watched me eat and took a chip from my plate, but I realise there area lot of -isms out there these days

ImperialBlether Sat 09-Mar-13 00:17:11

It depends how you grew up, Holly. If you grew up very poor with brothers who would take food off your plate when you weren't looking, you might think differently.

You seriously need to work on your greed or stop overeating op.

I bet your friends are really pissed off that your belly is full before your mind, and they feel compelled to eat your waste!

WorraLiberty Sat 09-Mar-13 00:38:22

Jeez do you worry about where your shit is going to end up when you flush the toilet?


Then who cares what happens to the food you over ordered as long as you're finished with it.

GreenEggsAndNichts Sat 09-Mar-13 00:38:40

Not sure I'd be upset about the eating as much as the hovering. I think if she were making a habit of this food-finishing, I'd feel as if she were sitting there, willing me to not finish my food so she could get her fill.

It's weird. YANBU.

If it were a one-off, I'd feel differently.

GreenEggsAndNichts Sat 09-Mar-13 00:39:33

I should add, though, that I really dislike eating when other people aren't. I try to avoid it if possible. I probably wouldn't be ordering dessert if she weren't, to begin with.

Catchingmockingbirds Sat 09-Mar-13 00:42:04

Yanbu! So rude.

OutragedFromLeeds Sat 09-Mar-13 00:45:21


My dad does this because he can't stand waste. He'll often pay for the whole bill, so it's not a case of being skint or tight. Just doesn't like wasting food, as a result of growing with not enough probably.

I think worrying about what happens to food you don't want, are finished with, can't manage any more of falls into the category of 'life's too short'.

Just offer her your leftovers and then it won't seem so rude because she's been invited to eat them.

PlinkyLove Sat 09-Mar-13 01:18:40

Yes., I think it is morally right not to incur waste.

TheSloppelganger Sat 09-Mar-13 06:47:16

If it was an occasional: "Ooh, its a shame to waste that as it looks so lovely - would you mind if I ate the rest?" I would perfectly happily pass something over to a friend.

Or if it went both ways with both people taking it in turns to finish up each other's leftover food/drink. Then I would also be fine with having people finishing up my stuff as long as I sometimes got a nibble of theirs.

But as it is, with her hovering like a vulture just waiting for cutlery to be downed before just diving into the food without so much as a by your leave, every single time - then I would feel taken advantage of.

I must admit if this was happening to me I would just sit with my fork welded to my hand, periodically nibbling minutely at my food until it was either all gone, the waiter came to clear away, or it was time for us to leave.

Just so she didn't get the chance to score a freebie every time - then maybe she'd start wanting to split dessert (and the price of it) like a normal person, rather than forever snatching up leftovers.

I am a bit of a Joey though, and anyone trying to take my food without permission should reasonably expect to lose a finger or three.

twofingerstoGideon Sat 09-Mar-13 07:35:47

I always finish my main course, and yes sometimes I can't finish eating my dessert.
I'll eat 3/4 of it so I don't really see the problem tbh.

So now you're saying you generally eat everything except about 1/4 of your dessert... So actually you're whining about friend eating a tiny amount of leftover pud.

SomethingOnce Sat 09-Mar-13 09:22:43

I hate wasted food so think YABU and a bit petty.

Maggie111 Sat 09-Mar-13 09:39:07

You are being unreasonable, although I'd really hate watching someone eat my leftovers - but I am unreasonable too!

I'd be mad if she didn't order any food and then picked at my own - but as she bought her own, even just the one course it wouldn't bother me.

everlong Sat 09-Mar-13 09:42:31

Time after time I think this would bug me.

Unless I knew my friend was skint, but in that case I would offer to pay for a starter for her.

HecateWhoopass Sat 09-Mar-13 09:43:46

Tell her you don't like it.

Or when it comes to ordering, say to her "You should order your own pudding, I'm feeling really hungry and I don't think I'll be leaving any this time."

Or ask the waiter to give you a half portion.

Or don't wait for her to take it - give it to her! Then you are in control. You have chosen to give it to her.

Areyoumadorisitme Sat 09-Mar-13 09:51:16


It is not about wasting food but about your friend continually trying not to pay for starter/dessert but eat it anyway. That is rude.

A one-off is completely different and I wouldn't mind that at all. It is the repetitive nature of it that makes it unacceptable.

I go with the suggestion that next time you say "do you want to share a pudding then we can split the cost", then you either share and split the cost or she says no and can't reasonably then start eating yours can she? Problem solved in theory

I am surprised at the about of YABUs you've got OP, I definitely think YANBU.

StrawberryMojito Sat 09-Mar-13 09:51:17

YANBU. She's tight and after freebies.. Agree to those who say ask her before hand if she wants to share your pudding, if she says no and still tucks in split the cost. Either that or put a napkin over it when you're done or idly play with it until the bill comes.

Other option- say "stop eating my left overs, it annoys me. If you want a dessert, order one!"

Shodan Sat 09-Mar-13 10:06:18

Actually I think I can kind of see your point - because DH used to do this. I didn't (and don't) mind anyone finishing off anything I've left on my plate- so long as they a) give it a decent interval between my finishing (in case I suddenly find a spare bit of room in my tummy) and b)ask if it's ok.

When DH used to do it, I started feeling a little bit harassed, as he would swoop every time I put my cutlery down, if he thought I was finished. I did actually tap his knuckles with my spoon once, after having told him several times that he should ask first blush

He doesn't do it to me anymore- but I have caught him doing with ds2's meal!! (Only once, mind)

So, on balance, I think YAprobablyNBU.

Edlyu Sat 09-Mar-13 10:11:01

Could be worse .

I have an acquaintance who once ate leftovers at a communal table . The rest of the party were complete strangers and she picked from their plates as they were passed up the long table. Now thats minging

At the next meal she attends ,why don't you as friends all routinely pass her your nearly empty plates with the clear expectation that she will eat from them . If she protests just look bewildered and tell her you assumed this is what she wants as she has done so at every other meal you share.

Unless she is just a greedy pig and doesnt care how she appears she will probably be horrified and stop her antics.

However , you might lose a friend. sad

Alligatorpie Sat 09-Mar-13 10:32:42

She is being cheap. As a one off, fine, but every time would really annoy me.

Ask her if she wants to share a dessert, if yes, she can pay for half. If not, either take tiny, tiny bites and make your dessert last really long, keep picking until you see a passing waiter and hand him your plate with the remains. You can then say to your friend "I knew if I kept it in front of me, I would eat the while thing, and I don't need to"

OTT, maybe, but I can't stand cheap people.

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