Career

Ways To Live Off Office Food In The Week Before Pay Day

If you work at a start-up, a young and hip office or somewhere trying to trick you into thinking you’re having a better time than you actually are, chances are there is free food or snacks for you to eat at your convenience.

Now the quality of snackage depends heavily on how much money your bosses are willing to fork out. It could vary from a loaf of raisin toast and some Cruskits to a full spread of assorted goodies.

If you’re looking to save a buck or are seriously struggling to make it through till pay day, we’ve got some hot tips on using the free office food as your main source of sustenance.

Disclaimer: being a scab isn’t cute, just know that. These tips are to be used dire circumstances only – you don’t want to be dubbed the office food thief, it’s a hard label to shake. What you can scab might not be too healthy either, these tips are just to fill up the corners while you make your way to your next pay cheque.

Don’t be scared to try new things

They say beggars can’t be choosers and when you’re eating exclusively office food, that statement couldn’t be closer to the truth, so don’t be scared to try new things. This means getting creative.

Ever had a peanut butter and banana toasted sandwich? You haven’t lived until you have.

Work with what you’ve got. Just pretend you’re in an episode of MasterChef in one of those challenges where they put a box in front of you to reveal mystery ingredients for you to create something incredible with.

Only this time you’ve got a half-eaten Yoplait yogurt, some Babybel cheese, Mamee noodles and a whole lot of desperation to work with.

 You can do it, we believe in you.

Beg, borrow, but don’t steal

The office fridge will be full of delicious cooked meals in Tupperware containers that look so damn good. But in the words of Fergie in the ground-breaking track, My Humps, “you can look but you can’t touch it, if you touch it imma start some drama, you don’t want no drama. No-no drama, no-no-no-no drama.”

Don’t mess with people’s food, guys – a big no-no.

Ask your office bestie if they can spare some ham, trade that can of tuna that’s been sitting in your desk draw for a concerning amount of time for a muesli bar – do what you’ve gotta do, just don’t steal.

Be creative with flavour

Now most offices will only stock kitchen staples, like bread, crackers, snack foods etc. the kind of foods that don’t exactly pack a lot of flavour. So if you’re ok with your food tasting like cardboard, you can skip this step. But if you’re into flavour, listen up.

Get creative! Canned tuna on a Vita-Wheat is OK, but can go from a three to at least a six with the right flavour combo. Slap some siracha, some salt and pepper, heck, even some chilli flakes on that bad boy and voila! Delicious! *kissy fingers*

Be stealthy, not sneaky

Like we said, stealing office food is never cute. But it’s best to just own it, rather than creeping around trying not to be caught. Most people will just mind their own business (like they should) and not ask any questions.

But if you get a sly “damn, you’re going hard on the bread this week” followed by some side-eyes, just tell them the truth!

Let them know that you’re on struggle street and will happily buy an extra loaf when that direct deposit hits. This will more than likely make them feel super uncomfortable and they’ll back off.

Yeah, so don’t try and be sneaky. Don’t creep up to the kitchen, sneak two slices of raisin toast into your jacket pockets, retreat to the bathrooms and nibble at them behind a closed door like a gross sewer rat. Do better.

Most people will relate to the struggle! We’ve seriously all been there, and if people judge you that’s on them. If you’ve been transparent and have followed the above steps, there’s no reason for people to be salty.

And maybe next month you will plan better, and stick to that budget you wrote up for yourself to avoid situations exactly like this.


Bradley is a writer from regional NSW and he didn’t come here to make friends, he came to win. He tweets infrequently to his 43 followers @bradjohnston_.

Main image: The Office (US) / NBCUniversal