What Is A College Meal Plan And How Can You Save Money?

Summer is approaching and before long it’s back to school again. For those of you starting college next year, you’re probably going to think about what courses, living arrangements, and meal plans.

What is a meal plan?

For those of you who don’t know meal plans are basically a prepaid account to be used for on campus meals. Every time you get a meal, you can swipe a meal card and the value of the meal will be deducted from your account.
Most colleges offer many different meal plans. For example you can choose to eat 21, 18, 14, 7, or unlimited meals a week. Each meal plan comes with a different price. As a student it’s your job to choose the meal plan best suited for you. For example, if you know you usually don’t wake up in time for breakfast and eat three meals a day, then don’t choose the 21 meals a week plan.

Ways to save money

College meals are often more expensive compared to cooking your own food or even ordering food. As a result, if you want to save money, you can buy a smaller meal plan and plan out the rest of the meals yourself.

A good thing to do is to go grocery shopping once every week or so. You can stock up on granola bars and yogurt for the morning, make your own sandwiches to eat as you go to the next class and buy extra snacks for late night studying.
Worse case scenario, you are probably in a college town so there are plenty of places to go to eat. College towns make profit off of the students and usually offer special deals like Taco Tuesday or buy one burger get another one free.
Another good idea (if you like your roommates) is to eat together. Cooking for three people together is actually much less expensive compared to cooking for three separate individuals.

Ultimately, it is up to you to decide what you would like to do. Try to choose the option that benefits you the most and remember to stay healthy. Don’t eat ramen noodles or pizza every day.