Ways to save money before you get your meal points

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Mikaela Raphael/File

With school around the corner, dining halls across campus will soon open and begin accepting meal points again. However, this poses a problem if you are moving in before those meal points are credited to your account. Food can be expensive, and if you’re not careful, your usual eating habits may cost you more than you want. We at the Clog, of course, are here to help! Here are some tips for saving money before those meal points kick in.

Split the cost

One way to save money when out with friends is to not be the one picking up the tab. Instead, each pays their own share so that one person doesn’t get saddled with a large cost. If you’re paying for friends who don’t have cash on them, make sure they run you money through Venmo! 

Shop smart

Sometimes the best way to save money is to pay attention to the opportunities that grocery stores give for saving money. Coupons and rewards cards (which can lead to annoying emails, but that’s what a spam account is for) can help mitigate costs, and many stores cut prices for buying in bulk, which means you won’t have to go shopping for a while and you get discounted for it.

Mooch

By asking for food from others, you won’t lose your dignity — entirely. Often if you act silly or just polite, a friend will be happy to share with you with very little grief. The best part is that the little snack you get is completely free, which is the best savings there is.

Get filling foods

Mooching, however, usually can’t replace full meals. Food that fills you up as quickly as possible is always the best option. This allows you to go longer until you have to get more food — possibly until meal points come — while also keeping you from feeling terrible because you didn’t overeat.

Don’t buy a lot of snack food

Snack food is the exact opposite of filling food. Chances are you have an anecdote or two of you eating some ridiculous amount of some snack food just because you weren’t paying attention. Take it as a warning and don’t let yourself absentmindedly eat all of your money.

In summary, don’t fall victim to your basic instincts. Instead, think about what you are eating and what you will eat. It may feel like too much work, but soon enough, you’ll go back to eating mountains of food at the dining hall without sparing a single thought.

Contact Zachariah Nash at [email protected] .