The Perfect Durfee’s Swipe is the Loch Ness monster of Yale Dining. Many claim to have glimpsed it, but there is still no definitive proof that it exists. It seems unlikely. At Durfee’s, you select food/non-food items from a large array and have eight dollars to string them together to make the most out of your missed meal. The process sounds more like a recipe for disappointment than anything else. However, there are some students who make Durfee’s a regular part of their days, either by choice (don’t know if you’ve noticed, but dining halls don’t tend to have Cheetos) or by necessity (10:30am – 2:15pm classes, anyone? *STEM kids raise hands*). These regulars have strategies for how to make their eight dollars go as far as they can, and we can all learn from their mastery.
1) The Classic
Durfee’s does have their own recommendation for how to deal with the infinite possibilities of The Swipe, and it is a good choice if you are replacing a meal. This combination consists of a sandwich or salad, a bag or chips or a fruit and a drink. It comes out to exactly $8.00. Some pro-tips: If you are going the sandwich route, pay attention to the bread. Anything on a mega-flavorful cheddar jalepeño roll is bound to be delicious. And don’t overlook the fruit! It’s healthier–woot New Year’s resolutions–and often much better than the fruit in the dining halls.
2) The Healthy Snacker
Speaking of New Years Resolutions, this is the combination for all of the full-on resolutionistas out there. If you are looking to change your habits (or you just like the idea of a meal made up of a bunch of little things), there seem to be a cornucopia of trendy-snack items at Durfee’s. Here are a couple of the eight-dollar recipes I have concocted: Chobani + raspberries. Cheese Stick + Luna Bar + Sabra Hummus Snack. Naked Juice + Rice Cakes. And just because I know we have all noticed it–think about including a Chia Pod as well. They may look and sound like something you would find in the International Space Station, but they serve as a pretty delicious and low-cal dessert alternative, and according to the Huffington Post, chia seeds are chock-full of health benefits.
3) The One-Item Wonder
This strategy is loved by the students I like to call “the economists,” or those who want to invest their Swipe. Some classic choices include Pop-Tarts, Nutella (if you missed World Nutella Day, it’s never too late to celebrate) and Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream. These items are more expensive, between five and seven dollars, but they will continue to serve your late-night snack needs long past when you actually hand over your ID. Complete your swipe with a pack of gum to continue the investment or some Lindor truffles if you are craving an impulse buy.
4) The Repeater
This one has a special place in my heart. Pick a favorite item and get as many of that item as you possibly can. Cheetos, aka God’s gift to cheese-loving mankind, are $1.10. That means you can get seven bags. Enough said. Except not because it is also worth mentioning that although the jalapeño variety is surprisingly good, many Cheeto-loving Yalies are still mourning the end of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos at Durfee’s. Want to make it up to us? Stock the newest addition to the family, Sweetos, when they arrive on the scene.
5) The Stock-Up
This is the go-to if you have a Durfee’s Swipe because you ate off-campus or you slept until 4pm on a Saturday and are planning on waiting for food until dinner. If you don’t want a snack, save yourself a chilly trip to Walgreens and buy yourself that shampoo or shaving cream you need. Students often forget about the non-food items at Durfee’s because they are overpriced, but if you have the extra money anyway, you may as well get what you need.