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Au pair food costs

(14 Posts)
singlemommy Thu 14-Feb-13 19:33:24

My au pair wants to buy her own food - what is a reasonable amount of money to pay towards her food each week?

wrinklyraisin Thu 14-Feb-13 19:35:59

I would say a fiver a day, so 35? I got this in one if my first nanny jobs 10 years or so ago so it's probably not enough now...

fraktion Thu 14-Feb-13 19:52:33

You need to be careful as there may tax implications that put your over one of the thresholds. MrA will know more.

I would say it costs around £10 a day for everything but are they talking about buying bits for themselves or everything? Will they use your milk/pasta/bread etc?

SamSmalaidh Thu 14-Feb-13 19:56:22

I don't spend £70 a week on me, DH and DS! I would say £40 is more than enough.

ZenNudist Thu 14-Feb-13 22:18:19

If she's living in your house can't you just ask her to add to your food order for things she wants? Either shop online or just when you/ she goes shopping. It's easy and doesn't have tax implications.

Scarletlips Thu 14-Feb-13 23:40:24

We have a blackboard in our kitchen and this is where we write our shopping list. I get our au pair to add items to this list that she needs or if we run out of something I get her to write it on the list. I also give her £10 at the beginning of the week to buy milk, bread and other essentials if she notices that we're running low but she'll usually give me the change at the end of the week. Did your au pair specifically ask for money for food? Does she not eat your family's meals?

dikkertjedap Fri 15-Feb-13 00:31:44

All our au pairs always eat together with us, whole idea of being part of the family IMO. Why does she want to buy her own food?

MrAnchovy Fri 15-Feb-13 00:32:33

My ears are burning. Yes if you "pay money towards her food" this is part of her income and if her total income is more than £107pw or she has another job you need to account for it through PAYE. However if she purchases food for the household (and she is part of the household so it could be food that is only eaten by her) and you reimburse her you do not need to account for it through PAYE.

singlemommy Sun 17-Feb-13 12:35:27

I have been doing the shopping for her but she has decided that she would rather buy her own food. Also, she prefers to have her main meal at lunch time so doesn't eat with us in the evening - which I do find a little difficult as she is meant to be part of the family. My concern is that she will be expecting me to pay for luxury food for her that I wouldn't ordinarily buy.

SamSmalaidh Sun 17-Feb-13 15:58:58

She doesn't get to decide that though, does she?

dikkertjedap Sun 17-Feb-13 20:14:13

Personally, I would expect an au pair to make an effort to blend in with the family. So if the family, like most families I expect, have their hot meal in the evening, I expect an au pair to join in and similarly with lunch.

I think you are creating a rod for your own back TBH.

Agree with Dikkert and others. She needs to fit in...

Fwiw, our (males this time) AP usually eats with us in the evenings. He will occasionally buy his own bits and pieces, but usually just uses what is in the fridge. On Saturday he didn't fancy pizza with us, but made himself a ham sandwich and salad.

I had words with a previous AP who was eating my salmon steaks for lunch....it was an additional cost to me, and she really didn't need to eat that much (I paid for Weightwatchers!).

middleeasternpromise Mon 18-Feb-13 21:17:55

Agree with others - this is a slippery slope. Part of the au pair arrangement is the joining in with the household. That doesnt mean you cant make accommodations but a full on separate shopping budget does cut it. I had one who ate alot of salad and vegetables so I upped that menu plan for us (was very healthy) I think she would of liked a nice steak each night but as we dont eat that much meat here every night she had to make do. Had another who couldnt cook for toffee - and smothered everything in huge lashings of tomatoe ketchup. She liked iceland food so often stashed a £1 pizza in the fridge but bought her own. Discovered at the end she had a whole stash of cake and very cheap fizzy drinks upstairs to fill up on (no wonder she had very bad skin).

Apart from that the others ate very little and even when sitting down to a main meal it was small amounts on the plate no matter how much I checked for orders on the shopping list.

its worth finding out what your au pair would prefer to eat but not shifting the whole balance that way, this is meant to be a cultural exchange after all which also means trying out the food!

blueshoes Mon 18-Feb-13 22:49:37

Only our first aupair ate with us. All the rest started out that way but very quickly ate separately. Maybe it is the age of the aupairs we tend to have (late teens/early twenties) but many of them were funny with food and ate very little - constantly dieting. As a family, we cook every meal from scratch and have a great variety of cuisine. It all seems a bit much for the aupairs who prefer meals more bog standard. I am fine with their eating separately because dh and I don't come home at reliably set times for dinner, so it makes for the aupair not to wait for us.

I always asked them to add what they want to our shopping list. They paid for the occasional thing out of their own pocket money.

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