Six Ways to Make Your Meal Plan Last

the produce section of the Village Market

You may have heard that running out of meal plan money is part of the college struggle. Here are some tips for making your meal plan last past midterm.

Skip the drinks.
Having a drink with every meal will really cut into your budget. Instead, buy a reusable water bottle. There are water bottle refill stations all over campus, so buying bottled Smartwater every day isn’t smart. Another, more difficult to resist, drink is the Kayak smoothie. The Kayak has literally hundreds of different smoothie combinations. Whether you like variety or you always get the same thing, their creations are hard to beat. Try saving the Kayak splurge for when you actually go work out at the Hulsey, instead of only walking there for the smoothie. Or, if you really do work out every day, pick one “Kayak treat” day per week.

Have breakfast in bed.
You don’t need to be a five-star chef to fix oatmeal for breakfast. You’ll save some major meal plan cash by buying one box of cereal instead of making yourself a waffle in the cafe every morning. Don’t worry, you can still have the waffle, just a little less often. Accept invitations to Sabbath lunch and look out for events that offer free food (we have lots of those)!

Take out the take-out trays.

Some students eat every meal out of a take-out tray. At the beginning, those $0.50 may not be much, but spend it three times per day, seven days a week, and it starts to add up ($10.50). That’s enough to eat an extra meal every week! Don’t put food in a take-out tray unless you really need to save it for later or you need to eat elsewhere. Also, try using a disposable plate or bowl. Still carry-awayable, but not as pricey.

Salad is your new BFF.
Both the dining hall and the Village Market deli have beautiful salad bars. Salad is healthy, nutritious, and light! By which I mean it weighs less and therefore costs less. Try switching from having a plate of the entree and a bowl of salad to having a plate of salad and a bowl of the entree. You may be surprised at how filling salad can be! Of course, keep in mind your own
calorie needs.

Buy your snacks in packs.
Once in a while, we all need a snack. There are a few vending machines around campus, and the dining hall, KR’s, and the VM all have great snack sections. However, you’ll save money by buying a larger amount of snacks at one time. Get the 12-pack of granola bars and put one in your backpack instead of feeling tempted to add one to your lunch tray. The same goes for
drinks and grab-and-go fruit, like apples and Cuties.

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Suny Cardenas-Gomez Story by Suny Cardenas-Gomez Published: Last Edited:

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