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AIBU to feel insulted for having to pay for Christmas dinner at my SIL?

360 replies

Headwir3 · 06/01/2019 21:05

My SIL said she would host Christmas this year as she has a big new house and plenty of room for us all. I asked if I should bring something and she said she would just do a shop and split the cost. She did suggest we bring our own alcohol. I thought it was a little odd, as did my hubby but he reminded me that she was cheap and the food wouldn’t cost that much anyway! Best to just agree with it instead of making a fuss.

Anyway we had Christmas, I took up 5 bottles of wine (only drank one and my hubby didn’t drink any). Left them there when we left. We were given cereal for breakfast and tinned soup for lunch and a basic Christmas dinner. No puddings and just a little cheese for desert.

We just got the bill... it came to £40 each! AIBU to feel angry and insulted by this all? It doesn’t seem right to hand over money. Especially to family. Also I feel really ripped off! I don’t want to upset my husband, but his family are a new level of cheap. If I did that to my brother, he probably wouldn’t speak to me again!

OP posts:
Ontheboardwalk · 06/01/2019 22:14

Herja ha my mother hid money at my house as well! My mother was told absolutely not to because last year I had to retrieve what she hid from a bin bag. Luckily it was living room rubbish in the bag and not the Christmas dinner leftovers

FenellasRedVelvetDress · 06/01/2019 22:17

While your dinner sounds lovely that is clearly NOT what the OP had .
They had cereal, tinned soup (yuk yuk!) and a basic Christmas dinner.
If the host feels happy serving times soup the i very much doubt she will be serving a £75 turkey!

We had Turkey Crown, all the trimmings and veg and a mirrored choc cake and a raspberry and Prosecco pannacotta from M & S. Fed five of us and the turkey did another 8 individual meals in the form of sandwiches and pie. I also got the gravy, a pork joint and a double lamb rack from M&S and this came ( in total) to £120 .

So I think we can safely say that at £40 ph she is ripping you off BIG

I think you need to be as brazen as she has been.
Ask her for an itemised breakdown and then when you receive it ( and have laughed hysterically at her charges!) then send her a cheque for a fiver which is the difference between the £80 for the two of you and the 4 bottles of wine you left there.
And never , ever accept an invitation to eat there again.
And it would be a while before she got more than a cup of tea at my home too!!

SisterOfDonFrancisco · 06/01/2019 22:19

Do not pay the full amount. Deduct at least the cost of the wines. Cf.

ChocolateWombat · 06/01/2019 22:19

The thing is, you agreed to the suggestion to take booze and for the bill to be split.

At the point you did that, you left yourself open to any kind of bill and to be honest £40 per head isn't that much. It wa S your choice to take 5 bottles of wine....they weren't in lieu of the cost of the meal.

Moral of the story, if you do t like this approach, don't go there again or arrange a different way to cover it all next year. For now, I'd suck it up and pay.

BarbarianMum · 06/01/2019 22:20

Our turkey was £50. Ive some idea what sort of life a £15 turkey must have and Id want no part of it.

chocatoo · 06/01/2019 22:22

It's surprising how much costs mount up but £80 does sound disproportionately high. I think I would ask her for a break down of the main costs...perhaps say something like, 'goodness that's a bit more than we anticipated, how much was the turkey?'

redredrobins · 06/01/2019 22:25

7 adults at £40 a head that's £280! Were there gold plated carrots?

Santaclarita · 06/01/2019 22:27

Give her a bill for the wine of yours she has.

mummmy2017 · 06/01/2019 22:28

Just tell her you feel there has been a mistake in the bill, and you feel she must have not deducted her family shop from the bill, as £40 x 7 is £280...
Tell her you left extra bottles and then just say you worked it out as about £10 each for Xmas Dinner And extra £10 for lunch and 4 lots of cereal... ...thanks for hosting.

DENMAN03 · 06/01/2019 22:28

I would never ask for money from my guests, but if money was tight and I was hosting because I was the only one who could fit everyone in, then I might accept contributions. Having said that my xmas food shop, including hefty amounts of booze did come to £57 per person, but £100 of that was a huge free range turkey and a gammon. Without that or booze it would have been far less.

poppiesallykatie · 06/01/2019 22:29

I don't think she deducted your wine offering but my Christmas dinner would have come in with a 200 at least, the turkey and ham had an unbelievable 33% rise in price from last year, I have heard others comment on the same. So she is saying it cost her 280 pounds. Local butcher turkey and ham could account for 80 of that, my turkey cost 60. Veg, pigs in blankets, condiments, basic cooking shit could have been another 40. Alcohol that probably wasn't drunk could have been another 50. Dessert stuff, another 20.

To be honest it seems steep and is kind of embarrassing. I would never invite someone for dinner and tell them they need to pay. I just would not host. Don't go there again.

Guineapiglet345 · 06/01/2019 22:29

@lazymare it was a small turkey, feeds 3-4 people.

mummmy2017 · 06/01/2019 22:29

Anne sleeps with ex

FuckingYuleLog · 06/01/2019 22:29

I’d hand it over and chalk it up to experience. You should have discussed how much people were chipping in beforehand but I get that you probably weren’t expecting to get fleeced.
If she tries it again next year just go out somewhere and make a big fuss about how you get this and that and less than it cost for you to do it at home!
I’d also be sure to drop off the money in person and ask if you can take the wine you accidentally left. If they’ve drink some and I was feeling extra cheeky I might say ‘shall we call it x then’ and deduct it off my bill 😂

mummmy2017 · 06/01/2019 22:29

Woops that was a Google search for film I was watching...

ChocolateWombat · 06/01/2019 22:31

It's very easy for a trolley load of stuff for Christmas to cost £200+. It's not just the turkey but everything else from coffee to snacks etc etc.

If the host is very hard up, or if she decided to split the cost of everything she spent for Christmas, it could easily be £40 or more. It might be tight if her to split it all or she might need the cash, but it really doesn't sound that much to me. And the wine is a separate issue - that wine didn't mean she spent less on the food. Booze was a separate thing to the cost of the meal and agreed in advance.

I think Op objects to being asked to pay, full stop. There are loads of threads about this. If you agree to split the cost, you have to trust the other person.....and is it really likely she's trying hard to fleece you? You could ask for an itemised bill and then feel aggrieved that she's included something for milk and something for tea bags, but that will be because you want to be aggrieved about the whole issue.You can imagine the reverse thread too can't you.....I hosted Christmas with family who agreed to split the bill, and after all my hard work in hosting and providing a lovely Christmas, they're now quibbling about the east amount I've charged and want an itemised bill.

Pay up and simply don't go next year or find another way to cover it all. Just move on from it. If you think eyre a bit mean, don't retaliate.

Dogsmellssobadbob · 06/01/2019 22:32

Don’t question the bill (unless you really can’t afford it) but offer to drop it round so you can collect the wine you didn’t drink whilst you are there. Remind her it was FOUR bottles.

Alternatively I’d ask her if that £80 was actually the WHOLE cost and she forgot to split it as you find it odd that it cost so much.

Never eat there again.

lazymare · 06/01/2019 22:33

lazymare it was a small turkey, feeds 3-4 people.

So not equivalent price-wise to the 7-10 that the SIL was feeding.

Poloshot · 06/01/2019 22:33

It seems like there was a sort of prior agreement to this but that from what you've said they're ripping you off.

If people can't afford to host, either don't offer or sort it all out upfront would be my view.

LifeImplosionImminent · 06/01/2019 22:34

I bet that big new house of hers has squeezed her finances more than she will ever admit. She might try it again at Easter if she makes a tidy profit... If you value your relationship chalk it up to experience and learn the lesson. Wine If you like a spat, pull her up on it, or as others have said, offset the wine costs but be prepared for things to turn sour with your family if they all pay it with no objections.

FuckingYuleLog · 06/01/2019 22:35

To put it in perspective I spent just under £200 and fed 12 on Christmas and Boxing Day! We don’t drink alcohol so that was just on food but included a very large fresh turkey and ham, all the trimmings, soft drinks, a choice of desserts as well as nice nibbles for tea time - crackers, nice cheeses and pickles, olives and cold meats etc and festive snacks like mince pies. There was loads of meat left over as well.

Guineapiglet345 · 06/01/2019 22:35

@lazymare well yes but I also would have bought fewer veg etc. I still think my estimate of £6.66 per person is about right for a home cooked basic Christmas dinner, especially if the food came from Aldi.

MixedMaritalArts · 06/01/2019 22:39

Is she charging Airb’n’b style for the beds? My Husband says I’m harsh making family strip their beds in our holiday home and placing it all in the laundry room. Grin

Headwir3 · 06/01/2019 22:40

Wow I never expected so many responses.

Just to add we had a long drive there too so it will be hard for me to drop by to collect the wine I left. Shall I suggest she pays for half our petrol (joke!)

My issue is the exchanging of money between family for food! I come from a culture where we feed people no matter the cost. I don’t want to cause a rift between my DH, in laws and SIL but it has made me feel really uncomfortable.

I think I will pay and then just make an excuse for next year unless my DH wants to say something.

OP posts:
Littleraindrop15 · 06/01/2019 22:40

I do feel it's not fair on the person hosting to fork out all the costs to the food especially if budget is tight, however, 40 each is steep!!! I would get the wine bottles back

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