Redbrick Food writer, Jennifer Cook, looks at what a student can expect in a week on meal plan and provides top tips on how to make your money go further.
Before I started my life at university, I had many preconceptions about what the food served on campus would be like. Chicken nuggets, greasy chips and ominous vats of unknown brown stew came to mind when I tried to picture stereotypical ‘canteen’ food.
Fortunately, these turned out to be misconceptions. For a week of my life I decided to keep a record of everything I bought (and ate!) as part of my meal plan. I prefer to have breakfast at home, so I prepared porridge in my flat each day and for that reason breakfast is not included in how I used my meal plan allowance. However, various breakfast supplies such as milk, bread, cereal, jam, fruit and yoghurt can be purchased on your meal card.
Whether you’re a prospective student curious about catered life on campus or simply someone wishing to escape to chores of cooking for one night a week…take an inside look at where your money goes!
My Week on Meal Plan:
Total spent: £49.79
Left to spend: £0.21
Top Tips to avoid a Meal Plan Meltdown:
- Plan ahead! If you know that you’re going home at the weekend or if you simply want to eat off campus one evening try to take this into consideration earlier in the week so that you can consciously spend that little extra on your card!
- Try to fill up your own bottle of water; you’ll be surprised how much you can spend on drinks alone
- Although you can sometimes be left with an awkward amount of money remaining on Sunday, you can always buy additional items such as milk, cereal or even bottles of orange juice to have for breakfast rather than buying a carton from the supermarket