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I don't understand how I can eat with the meal plan.

Old 09-01-2012 at 07:52 PM   #1
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I don't understand how I can eat with the meal plan.
So the meal plan is based on 225 days. Take the regular meal plan which is $3410. Which gives per day around $15 to eat.

A meal starts at $11 at Centro and go up in price from there. Am I suppose to only eat one meal per day in order to stay within budget? Or am I missing something here?
Old 09-01-2012 at 08:05 PM   #2
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1. Don't buy drinks, have water or pay with cash at the union market.
2. Splurge weekly, not daily. That means don't get pancakes every day for breakfast, the steak dinner, etc.

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Old 09-01-2012 at 08:08 PM   #3
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A meal definitely doesn't start at $11 anywhere on campus unless you're trying to aim for premium meals. Omelettes cost $3-$4, most wraps are around $5-$6 , burgers and fries are like $7 etc. Salads are obviously going to be less if you use a salad bar and don't add heavy things such as eggs, soups are very inexpensive. It depends on what you want to eat, it's not hard to stay under $15 a day.
Old 09-01-2012 at 08:09 PM   #4
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A meal does not start at 11 dollars. the cheapest thing you can get is a burger for 4 bucks i think (excluding just fruit salad soup etc). You can go up to the expensive a la carte stuff for 12 bucks. So the 12 bucks a meal is more so the MAXIMUM. You may pay more (max) at bistro.
Old 09-01-2012 at 08:15 PM   #5
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Remember if you run out of money you can add more. But I bought the cheapest one last year and I still have to buy a bunch of stuff at the end to use it all up. It kind of depends on what type of eater you are. Do you eat a lot, or a little? And as the others said, don't buy a lot of candy or whatever, just save your money for your meals and maybe splurge on something once a week or whatever.
Old 09-01-2012 at 08:33 PM   #6
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I think the 225 days includes weekends as well. But if you go home on weekends, which many people do, then you'll have more than. Just doing the math quickly, you have $21 per day if you eat on campus Monday-Friday.

Keep in mind that you'll probably be eating off-campus once in a while with your friends. And even if you stay during weekends, you might find yourself eating off-campus because there's little food selection on weekends (and I think even Friday nights).
Old 09-01-2012 at 08:52 PM   #7
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Also really depends where you buy the more expensive meals from. The A La Carte option from Commons probably has the most expensive meals on campus (exlcuding Bistro, but really, why would you want to eat there anyway? Food is sub par, prices are ridiculous), but the meals are huge. It will probably cost you around $9-$10 per one A La Carte meal, but they give you enough for two people. I've shared every A La Carte meal I've had and eaten well.

You just have to learn to stretch your dollar. Granted, in order to learn to stretch it, you'll have to spend to find out.

Bistro is the most expensive place to eat on campus, and a lot of it has to do with atmosphere. A very basic meal (I'm talking spaghetti with cheese) can run you $12 there. So if you're money concious, avoid it.

Bridges, in my opinion, is expensive for how much food they give you. Last year, they decreased the size of platter in which you choose your own vegetables to put in the pasta, so that's even less food for you. Bridges has a habit of giving you more "salad" (aka iceberg lettuce with shredded carrots) and less food. It's better, price wise, than Bistro.

Out of every place on campus, Commons gives you the most food for your money, regardless of which station you buy from.

If you're still not happy, look for places off campus that take your student card. It's not uncommon for people to order an entire box of pizza, eat some, and save the rest for later.
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Old 09-01-2012 at 10:52 PM   #8
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Meal plans are so parents can give their children money to eat, without giving them access to that cash to spend on stupid stuff. (basically) Not sure what the lowest meal plan is, but take the smallest one possible or forego it entirely if you can and make your own food budgeting choices. Flex (or freedom?) is the best to do, since it essentially works like a debit card.
Old 09-01-2012 at 11:01 PM   #9
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If you are a male in your 20's, I'd say learn how to cook, since it will be cheaper to keep you full and operation. A small stake, with fries and maybe a salad are not gonna cut it for the whole day. It barely cuts one lunch for me, not to mention breakfast, supper and in between snacks.
Old 09-02-2012 at 06:04 AM   #10
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Buy a box of cereal and eat breakfast in your room.
Old 09-02-2012 at 08:29 AM   #11
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Thanks! I will have to look further. I did in fact chose A La Carter station last night.
Old 09-02-2012 at 09:08 AM   #12
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To the unregistered poster... I highly recommend signing up for MacInsiders so you can post in the first-year questions forum, and better utilize the forums. This is more of a res/meal plan question for the residence & housing forum, which is for registered members only. This forum is for prospective students only.

See you in the forums!

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