How to Survive the Meal Plan Hunger Games

SabineC.Mealpoints3It’s that time of year again – the semester is winding down, and so are our meal-points. This struggle to survive the remainder of the semester is better known as the literal “hunger games.”

So how do we join the winner’s circle? It’s no easy feat. Each day we will battle temptation from Starbucks, Au Bon Pain and Chick-Fil-A, each begging us to swipe for a $10 meal. But, we must resist temptation, perfect our swiping skills and make those meal points last.

Cut down on the coffee

Starbucks is a beautiful thing. It’s also the biggest meal-point-sucker ever. Instead of relying on your points to cover that $5 latte, use a Starbucks gift card.  Or, if you have confidence in your bank account, head to an off-campus S-Bucks and pay with cash. You’ll likely be more mindful of how much you’re spending when you’re paying with “real” money.

Buffet, anyone?

The truth is, dining-hall buffets are totally underrated.  They’re awesome. Seriously, a $4 all-you-can-eat dinner? Yes, please. The dining hall may have a bad rep, but their buffets keep your stomach, and your wallet, full. In these last three weeks of the semester, embrace the buffet. It may be all you can afford.

On Campus Convenience Stores


Don’t do your “grocery shopping” here. Don’t do it. Do not. These places charge $6 for a box of Special K, which costs $3.68 at Walmart. These stores aren’t meant for bulk-buying, and they aren’t priced that way either.

Rick McGuire, an employee of Louie’s convenience store in the South Food District, says that he has seen students spend up to $60 of their meal points in the store. Instead, he suggests taking your debit card and doing some grocery shopping at McLanahan’s. We know it hurts to spend your own money, but it’ll save you from starvation in the long run.

Photo by Sabine Clermont

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