“You are what you eat,” is an old-time saying that has some truth to it if you look at it in its most basic form. The healthier you eat, and the more balanced your diet is, the better off you will be. At Millersville University, I believe that our dietary needs are met through our meal plans on campus, as we as students have a wide range of healthy options to choose from as well as having highly sustainable foods to choose from. Nutrition in these times is a very important topic to talk about, and should never be pushed to the side, but the main thing that I want to cover in this article is how students can get the most bang for their food buck when it comes to picking a meal plan.
On campus, we have a lot of meal plan options including some as small as a 5-meal a week allowance, some that allow for block usage where meals are not counted by week, and of course we have the traditional 19-meal plan.
As some students weigh other options, and think about how maybe they may not need 19 meals a week, or how they may want to try to save some money, they may take a lower mean allowance, often times, and take the 14-meal plan like I did.
If students are torn between this 14 or 19 death-defying dining decision dilemma, they should take a moment to look closely at the prices, and they will probably have the same kind of “aha moment” that I experienced.
The 19-meals a week plan including 200 flex dollars is $1,995, and the 14-meals a week plan including 125 flex dollars is $1,911. If students were to include just 75 more dollars of flex to the 14-meal plan a week (because that is how much more they would get with the 19-meal plan) they would be brought up to $1,986! This number is a mere 9 dollars away from the 19-meal plan. Even if students were to combat this logic and say that they would not spend over the allotted flex, and say that they would rarely go over the 14-meal allotment, there is still only an 84-dollar difference between the two plans.
Say a 14-meal plan user used flex once a week for late night for each week of the 16-week semester, they would use $81.60, which is basically (baring $2.40) the same thing as having the 19-meal plan! And not to mention, students with the 19-meal plan would still have an additional $75 of flex to work with and of course 5 more meals a semester.
In summarizing up my attempt at providing some insights into the school’s meal plans, I urge students to consider how much more they can get with the 19-meal plan as opposed to the 14-meal plan, all the while still saving a good deal of money in the long run. For 84 dollars extra, you can improve your lifestyle and diet by ensuring that you get enough to eat, as well as saving money on extra groceries, or restaurant trips. Think about it the next time you are faced with the decision to select a meal plan, and your body and your wallet (or your parents’ wallets) will thank you.