It’s no secret that Benson can get boring and that the Cellar can get expensive. For those of us on a meal plan, our on-campus food has already been paid for, and therefore, it’s a simple waste to not use up all those points.
The Cellar is a convenient little grocery store, but people get turned off by the potential of getting ripped off. I won’t argue that your total at the Cellar is going to be a bit pricier than if you had shopped at Safeway, but knowing what to buy can make the Cellar a great, on-campus choice.
Not everything has a price tag on it—annoying, I know—so knowing prices ahead of time can help you out. Here are some quick suggestions for what to buy on your next shopping trip to get a good deal:
1. Quest Bars: $3.19
So maybe paying over $3, or 3 points depending on how you look at it, on one protein bar seems a bit excessive. But Quest bars have found a way to taste delicious with about twenty grams of protein and only 1 gram of sugar.
They’re a great on-the-go snack, or even breakfast. And a $3 breakfast is not bad. Try the S’mores, Cinnamon Roll, or Oreo flavors, and you’ll be hooked.
2. Tostitos: $4.99
$5 will get your fiesta started. These tortilla chips aren’t marked up much from what you’d pay at the grocery store, and if you throw in some salsa, you’re already on your way to a fun night in with friends, or a delicious salty snack for yourself.
3. Dove chocolate and other assorted candies: $1.29
For $1.29, there are some great treats available to keep on hand for in between classes or to have in your dorm for those late night sugar cravings. Plus, Dove chocolate comes in milk and dark, and dark chocolate is healthy, right?
4. Sparkling drinks: $1.69
To add a little more pizazz to your day without all the empty calories, opt for a Glaceau sparkling FruitWater. For less than $2, you’ll get a refreshing soda alternative.
5. Carrots: $2.69
This option is exciting because it’s actually healthy. A bag of carrots will last you at least a couple rounds of snacking, so grab some hummus or peanut butter (sounds weird, just try it) and get in a serving of veggies for the day.
6. Kashi “Go Lean” Cereal: $5.39
One of the cheaper cereals in the Cellar, Kashi is a healthy, fiber-filled option. The variety of crunchy bits is a step up from your average breakfast food. Use it as a topping for yogurt, or just as a snack during the day. The fiber and protein will keep you full to prevent you from buying even more Cellar snacks.
7. Avocado: $2.29
Yes, this is expensive for a single avocado. But, in relative terms, you can get a full avocado for $2.29 or you can get half an avocado at Saute for $2.49. The math is simple, people.
8. Nutter Butters or Oreos: $0.99
6 Oreos or 4 Nutter Butters for just under a dollar? And in a convenient little snack pack? Yes, please. This snack is actually even cheaper than what you might find at other grocery stores – one of the few Cellar items that fits this criteria.
9. Cinnamon Rolls: $5.29
If you have access to an oven and a craving for baked goods, you can enjoy five cinnamon rolls at about $1 each. It’s a pretty good deal, and everyone knows that calories don’t count when you got a good deal.
10. Siggi’s Yogurt: $2.79
I can understand the skepticism of paying $2.79 for a serving of yogurt, but this Icelandic-style yogurt treat has lots of protein, little sugar, and keeps you full for a while. Branch off from Greek yogurt and get this healthy snack in your life.
11. Ben and Jerry’s: $6.39
This one’s obvious if we’re talking about getting the most bang for your buck. Ben and Jerry’s ice cream is worth the price tag. Plus the Cellar stays open until 12 on weeknights for those late-night cravings. To all my economists out there—you can’t get a marginal benefit much higher than this.