How to Maximize Your College’s Meal Plan

Students eating pizzaWhen you’re a freshman and you live on campus, it’s mandatory that you purchase a meal plan for both semesters. Meal plans can be thousands of dollars, so why not get everything that you can out of your meal plan?

First of all, the reason your meal plan is so expensive is because of the main dining facility, which of course is buffet style.

If you didn’t have a meal plan and had to pay cash, the price ranges anywhere from $7.00 to $10.00 a visit! So, you can see how that can add up pretty quickly when deciphering how much a meal plan should cost.

Buffet-styled, dining facilities also face a lot of waste every day. It’s very common that peoples’ eyes are bigger than their bellies. Also, people like to try new things but they don’t always like them. Hence, all of the waste and having to raise the prices charged for food. The department that is in charge of pricing the meal plans has said, “If you don’t eat at the dining hall at least 3 or 4 times a week, then you’re not getting your monies worth.”

The best way to get your monies worth is by eating at the buffet-styled, dining facilities on campus because it only costs one of your meal swipes. Granted, like I said before, a meal swipe equals about $8.00 but that is why your meal plan is so high. You have to take advantage of the buffet dining.

Other food joints on campus have much more of a fast food approach. They do take a meal swipe but they’ll cut you off around five dollars. Then, the rest comes from another account. The other accounts are much like bank accounts, because you deposit a specific amount of money. Then, the cashier swipes your card and the money is then deducted from the account.

Certain dining facilities on campus will not accept mean swipes. So, then you have to pay for the whole, entire meal from your other account. Your meal plan wasn’t even touched! No matter how good these smaller, dining facilities might be, they’re a rip off and you’re wasting your money.

When at the main dining room, you can even take snacks of sorts with you. You’re allowed to leave with an orange or apple in hand. Students have taken an ice cream sandwich or two out the door to snack on while walking to class. At the smaller, fast food styled dining places you can’t take anything extra. If you want a sandwich then that’s all you get, with the exception of a handful of chips. But if you want a drink or even a banana, then it will cost you extra.

So, these other food joints lower the worth of your meal swipe, cause you to take money from another account, and in the end you receive way less food than you would have been able to receive at the buffet dining.

Be smart and capitalize on your meal plan.

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