We’ve all been there: that call to home during which you beg for meal points so you can eat dinner. Tears ensue. Logic prevails. Your mother, no matter how annoyed, just can’t bring herself to let her child starve (even if said child needs points because she visited Starbucks one too many times). Want to avoid that call? Here are some easy actions that you can take to save those final precious meal points.

1. Eat Soup. If your dorm is close to a dining hall that offers take-away options (like Redifer or West), make soup your new favorite lunch. It costs only a dollar for a huge container of yummy goodness, and Penn State’s soup selection and soup quality are both superb. You even get a free breadstick or roll with your purchase!

2. Stock up on fruit. Fruit is another item that will cost you less than a dollar. Eat apples for breakfast! Eat pineapple chunks, instead of chips, with your lunch! Eat your weight in grapes for dessert! Binging on fruit is justifiable when it’s economical.


Photo by Bari Blanga

3. Go with carry-out and take-away for lunch. Eating double? Not quite. Lunch is less expensive to eat in the Commons, so fill up a carry-out box and heat it up later for dinner. As for your lunch, go with soup, a panini or another take-away option.

4. Make your coffee–don’t buy it. Ouch. This one hurts. But seriously, do you really need that Starbucks latte? As much as your heart may say yes, your wallet must say no. Brew your own coffee in your dorm room and use a fancy creamer to jazz up the taste instead. Hey, it gives you an excuse to use that cute travel mug on your shelf!


Photo by Jenna Rosen

5. Stay away from the sweets. I’m an ice cream girl, I’ll admit it, but even I go through times when I just can’t afford to be. Stay away from Redifer froyo, the Creamery and other desserts that don’t come with your swipe into the Commons.

6. Avoid the fast food chains on campus. Again, this might be painful to hear, but eating where there’s no student discount really takes a toll on your meal plan. Can’t get Chick-fil-a out of your head? Try this sandwich instead!


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