As the semester comes to a close, you may find your food point balance is falling too quickly. The following 5 tips are easy ways to save a few dollars. They can come in handy if you're trying to make your food points last all semester or want to afford more excursions to the Washington Duke.

1. Make your own hot drinks.

Dyan Khor

Late nights in Perkins have you buying tea in Vondy to relax and stay up a few extra hours? Bring your own mug and favorite tea bag to the second floor of Bostock where there is a hot water dispenser, free of charge. The Div Café also has hot water for your own tea. Even better? Gross Hall has hot water and free coffee if you've already made the trek over there.

If your favorite study spot is McClendon Tower, bring a mug to microwave your own tea in the dorm’s kitchen.

Whether you drink tea or coffee, carrying around a travel mug is always a good idea since every place on campus will give you a discount, making even a large coffee cost less than a small.

#SpoonTip: Check these this ultimate guide to decide which tea to purchase. A box of 20 Tazo tea bags costs $4.79 in the Lobby Shop, and a box of Celestial tea is $3.99.

2. Eat breakfast at Marketplace.

cranberry, raspberry, peanut butter, peanut
Maeve Greeley

While the cost of a dinner swipe is daunting, with breakfast at just $10.25 per swipe (or free, if you snag a freshman's guest swipe), you can actually save money.

Marketplace’s all-you-can-eat price is minuscule compared to the prices on West campus. At the Skillet in West Union, an omelette and toast, or banana and pancakes, cost $8. A bowl of mixed fruit costs $6.99 per pound at Quenchers. Oatmeal even costs $2.99 at ABP.

Plus, you can grab snacks to-go at MP. Go do town on that cereal wall you've been missing. Grab apples, bananas, and oranges, which cost $1 to 1.50 each on West campus. You can even grab bagels for tomorrow's breakfast, then make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with one of these outrageous twists. (Peanut butter AND bacon? Yes, please!

3. Search the Duke Calendar for free food events.

Just filter by "Free Food and Beverages." As anyone who has walked by one of the endless free food events knows, there will be plenty of extra food.

#SpoonTip: If food is offered at an academic talk, check if registration is required. If you're interested in the subject, take advantage of the opportunity. Chances are you'll enjoy both high quality food and discussion.

4. Make your own oatmeal.

cereal, corn, wheat, oatmeal, porridge, oat
Gabby Phi

An entire box of oatmeal costs around $2 at Harris Teeter. That’s less than a single serving at Div, ABP, or Joe Van Gogh. Even better, you can add all the toppings you want and still enjoy hot oatmeal on the days you wake up past noon. 

5. Change up your crudités.

cream, ice, dairy product, milk, sweet
Kendra Valkema

If your go-to snack is the crudités from Vondy, switch it up by buying a bag of carrots from the Lobby Shop for $1.79 and a little tub of hummus or peanut butter for less than a dollar. One serving of apples and peanut butter at Div Cafe is $3.25, so this is a steal.

If worst comes to worst and your food points run out, use this opportunity to eat out at some of the newest restaurants in Durham!