From making new friends to refining your study habits, freshman year is hard. For Duke students, though, there is the added challenge of budgeting food points and eating three square meals. If you're stuck on West and need something to hold you over until 5pm Marketplace, look no further. Here are the best ways to stretch your $4.50 daily allotment at West Union.

1. Sprout’s Fresh Salads

The portions are small, but if you’re looking for something healthy, tasty, and just filling enough to last until 5pm, then look no further. Sprout offers a variety of salads, including several more filling options like orzo or couscous tabouli. Even better, Sprout always offers several vegan options, making this a go-to spot for Duke's vegan freshmen. A single portion is just about $4, so this is a truly healthy option that won't break the bank.

Bailey Bogle

2. Au Bon Pain’s Pasta or Soup Bowls

ABP is known for it’s grab-and-go goods like bagels, pastries, and pastas. But did you know that you can get a medium-sized bowl of pasta or soup for under $5? A warm bowl of creamy mac and cheese or hearty chicken noodle soup will fill you up without breaking the bank. Skip the lighter soups like tomato, though, because you’ll need to eat a greater volume to feel full.

3. Il Fiorno’s Massive Pizza Slices

Sure, they’re $3 a slice, but at sizes double that of a Marketplace slice you’re bound to fill up quickly. Plus, Il Forno tastes ten times better than anything you can find on East Campus. Your best bet? Grab a single slice and add on a breadstick to round out your meal (read: add more carbs). Now that's what I call a meal!

Bailey Bogle

4. The Skillet’s Mac and Cheese

West union offers a lot of macaroni and cheese varieties, but The Skillet has the best deal. For starters, The Skillet's $2.50 heaping side portion is bigger than my face. Beyond that, though, it’s everything that mac and cheese should be: cheesy, gooey, and hard to resist

5. Au Bon Pain’s Good Egg Sandwich

Clocking in at under $4, ABP’s the good egg is perhaps the only healthy, tasty, and truly filling option that doesn’t break the (food point) bank. Featuring two eggs, avocado, tomato, spinach, cheese, and lemon aioli, the good egg is a meal in itself. If you're trying to eat lunch, this is the best bang for your buck in west union

Bailey Bogle

The next time you're studying in Perkins and your stomach begins to rumble, try out one of these options for a filling snack. And just remember, next year you won't have to worry about food points!