Living the student life usually means being on an evolving budget. You feast when your OSAP comes in, accidentally blow it all on takeout, call your parents looking for more cash, and then spend the rest of the semester eating instant noodles and Easy Mac. Worst of all, good food isn’t cheap and prices keep rising, especially with the minimum wage increase. Luckily, Carleton University understands the struggle that students are going through.

Tons of locations across campus have menu items that don’t break the bank and actually taste good. The following are the best dishes on campus that cost six dollars or less, so students never have to skip a meal to stay on budget.

#SpoonTip: Want to save even more money on campus? If you get an Off Campus Meal Plan , you can save 5% to 15% at all Dining Services locations. Also on Spirit Days (Fridays), if you’re wearing official Carleton swag, you can save 10% at select locations in the UC Food Court. 

1. Raven’s Breakfast at Bakers - $6.00

Carleigh Reynolds

Bakers is located on the fourth floor of the University Centre and is open weekdays from 7:30 to 2:30. Everything on their breakfast menu is six dollars. With the Raven’s Breakfast, you can start your day by spoiling yourself with brunch. You get two eggs any style, some crunchy hash browns, seasonal fruit, toast and jam, and your pick of protein (Bacon, Sausage, or Canadian bacon).

2. Banh Mi at Chez Anh - $5.99 

Carleigh Reynolds

This is a massive sandwich. Huge. Like comparable to a Subway sub. In terms of protein, you get to choose between chicken, pork, beef, or tofu and then the sandwich is finished with parsley, sauce, and shredded carrots, which make it satisfyingly crunchy.

3. Veggie Burger at Burger 101 - $5.39 

Carleigh Reynolds

The veggie burger is much cheaper than the regular burger and is thus much more sustainable for your wallet. Also, did I mention how much of an experience getting food at Burger 101 is? You order your burger with personalized toppings via touchscreen— I went with ketchup, mustard, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and pickles— and then watch your burger get grilled and constructed in front of you.

4. Garden Veggie Pita at Roosters - $5.09 

Carleigh Reynolds

I am not a vegetarian but I adore this wrap and would recommend it to all vegetarians and non-vegetarians. With the crunch of the green peppers, you not miss the mouth-feel of having chicken in there. It is completely customized to you. You get your choice of bread (white or whole wheat) and then fill it with your pick of a variety of sauces and veggies. I filled mine with tomatoes, cheese, green peppers, lettuce, and barbeque sauce.

5. Tacos at La Cocina – $4.99

Carleigh Reynolds

Available in the Food Court or down in Oasis, these tacos are loaded. You get two soft shell tacos with your choice of protein (chicken or fish) topped with beans, pico de gallo, jalapeños, sour cream, and guacamole. Also, the guac is not extra. I repeat, the guac is not extra. 

6. Pork Dumplings at Bento Sushi - $4.99

Carleigh Reynolds

Gone are the days where you must pay eleven dollars when you’re craving sushi. For $4.99 you get five good-sized dumplings and a dipping sauce that is a happy and tangy midway between sweet and sour sauce and peanut sauce. It’s noteworthy that the dumplings are stored in a refrigerated area so they are served cold. So if you like your dumplings steaming like me, it is definitely worth it to heat these up in the University Centre microwave before consuming. 

7. Pizza at Pizza Pizza - $4.34

Carleigh Reynolds

Notice how I was so hungry and eager to eat this that I took a bite before taking a photo. #Priorities. I dig this pizza because you can debate with your friends whether it you technically get one or two slices. It’s available in the Food Court, Loeb Café, and Oasis and you get your choice of toppings (cheese, pepperoni, veggie, etc.).

8. Kettleman’s Bagel With Cream Cheese at The Market - $3.25

Carleigh Reynolds

Kettleman’s bagels are an essential part of the Carleton student diet so it is so exciting that they are now available as part of the new breakfast menu at The Market in the Food Court. TBH I woke up late and was able to still get one at lunchtime. You get to pick your favourite flavour of bagel and choose between a smear of berry, chocolate, veggie, or plain cream cheese.

9. Rooster’s Grilled Cheese at Roosters - $3.24

Carleigh Reynolds

This dish is exactly what I’m looking for when I want grilled cheese: crunchy fried bready outside and chewy gooey cheesy inside. Also, you have the option to add any of their sandwich toppings like bacon, veggies, and sauces. Bonus, if you want to save even more cash, you can order the Classic Grilled Cheese for $2.50. The only difference between the two sandwiches is with the latter, they use American cheese as opposed to shredded cheese

Is it me or did all restaurant pasta dishes just decide they were $17 now? Avoid this hypocrisy by sticking to this definitive list of inexpensive and high-quality campus eats.

Munch on Ravens! But like, financially responsibly.