There are approximately 1,025,109 words in English language, but none of them can describe how much you despise your roommate when he/she takes your food without permission.

Your roommate might think you won’t notice that one Oreo is missing from your cookie jar or that the milk you bought yesterday is already unsealed, but you do notice. You always do, and you have had enough. This morning was the last time your roommate will ever enjoy your Fruity Pebbles for breakfast because here are five ways to stop him/her from ever eating your food again.

Pull out the Sharpie and get creative


Photo by Deb Perelman

A right sign on a label sticker is the first step in deterring your roommate from taking your food. Forget about your standard “[Name’]’s food” or “The property of [Name]” signs because they do not work. Instead, write a label that signifies the importance of the food and shows that you’ll notice its absence. Write something like – “From mom, with love XO,” or “To my favorite daughter, mom.” Get creative, but don’t forget to change your cursive to make it seem like a label has been written by a different person.

Hide your food


Gif by Robert Arrasate

Learn you roommate’s habits. If your roommate doesn’t like to bake, hide your cookies in the pack of flour. If your roommate doesn’t use those pillows on the couch, stuff them with candies. Pour your Coca-Cola into the empty soy milk container, hide your cereal underneath the bed, store your apples in the winter shoes, tape your chips to the back of the table, bury your cheese in a pile of dirty clothes and just hope for the best.

If your roommate is too lazy to buy his/her own groceries, then he/she will be too lazy to seek for your hidden food. If you want to learn more tips to hide food from your roommate, watch this video.

Mark your territory


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Make sure your roommate can see you and then take a sip of milk or juice right from the bottle. That’s enough for him/her to realize that your drink is now a veritable heaven for your bacteria reproduction. For the maximum effect, cough a few times into your sleeve, pretending you are not feeling well. Even if you are a bad actor, the result is guaranteed.

Buy food that your roommate is allergic to


Photo by Jaka Beta

You have probably lived with your roommate long enough to know what food he/she is allergic to. Use it for your benefit and buy the food that contains the prohibited ingredient. It’s a pain to adjust your lifestyle to a person who disrespects your personal space, but look at this situation from a positive perspective – you get to explore the food they have probably never tried before.

Your roommate is allergic to gluten? I bet you didn’t know that rye bread is so freaking delicious. Just don’t forget to inform your roommate about the presence of an allergen in your food, because not telling them just wouldn’t be cool.

Talk with your roommate


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Before trying any of the methods listed above, talk with your roommate first. After all, you both want to maintain good relationships and he/she will understand your aversion to share food. Split the grocery bill, establish rules for sharing the food, or agree to not share it at all. Don’t be rude because your roommate might have a different background and just did not want to offend you. If polite conversation doesn’t work, you already know what to do. Good luck.