6 Ways to Make Your Meal Plan Dollars Last

Saugeen Dining Hall

September 16, 2022

From getting dinner in residence to grabbing a quick snack on campus, it can be easy to swipe through your meal plan without thinking about what you're spending.

With a few helpful tips, it's possible to try all the great food options on campus, but still budget your meal plan dollars. Here are ways to get you started.

  1. Check your meal plan balance regularly

    Don't let your meal plan balance be out of sight, out of mind. Check your meal plan balance online at any time by visiting the Meal Plan website or by asking the cashier at the time of purchase.
  2. Eat in residence as much as possible

    Since you've already paid the overhead for your residence dining hall, you're basically saving 50% on all of your food purchases made in residence. This discount does not apply for any on-campus eateries or off-campus partners. If you are dining at a campus eatery, try using the WesternEats mobile order app to take advantage of opportunities to save.
  3. Take what you can eat on your plate

    Make each meal plan dollar count by using it for food you'll actually eat, not throw away. Serve yourself portions you'll actually eat or let the serving staff know how much of a dish you'd like on your plate. They're happy to help! Still have leftovers? Put a lid on your container and store it in a fridge.
  4. Choose dispensed drinks over bottled drinks

    When looking for a drink in your Residence Dining Hall, head over to the self-dispensed drinks instead of going for the bottled drinks in the fridge. With a variety of juice and milk on-hand, you'll be able to quench your thirst and save on the higher cost of the bottled drinks.
  5. Treat yourself on occasion

    The cakes and desserts in residence are delicious but can lead to a quickly declining meal plan balance when purchased frequently. Save them for a special occasion like after you've completed an extra tricky exam. They taste better that way too!
  6. Treat a friend sometimes, but not every time

    Try to only pay for your own meal when using your meal plan. If you're regularly covering the cost for a friend, you're going to work your way through your meal plan dollars at a rapid pace.