Summer Before College Series 29: Choosing The Perfect Meal Plan

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Happy Friday, bloggers!

I hope that all of you are having a fantastic summer and that it is not going by too fast! We are half-way through July, which means that you only have one more full month until you make the trip to college! From experience, I am sure that there are still plenty of tasks to be completed off of your college checklist. Today, I would like to address a rather large task: figuring out the correct meal plan for you.

Choosing a meal plan can be an extremely difficult and stressful task. Many schools have multiple tiers that combine to create a handful of options. This can be very overwhelming, but with some guidance, you will be able to choose the perfect plan for you! There are several things to consider. Do not simply guess!

1. The first thing to consider is where you will live on your school’s campus. Will you live on, off, or half-way between? If you will live in on-campus housing, you will most likely be placed close to a dining hall. This will make it easy to access and allow you to have more meals there, requiring you to get a larger meal plan. If you plan to live in off-campus housing, then you will most likely have your own kitchen where you can prepare your own meals, therefore, it would be cheaper and easier for you to either get a small meal plan or none at all. For the “in-betweeners”, I would suggest combining the two suggestions above. Get a small meal plan but also cook several meals at home. That way, you can save time and money.

2. The second thing that you need to consider is how you eat (your eating habits). Do you have to eat every two hours or every five? Do you eat small meals or large meals? All of these habits will determine how big or how small your meal plan will need to be. Like I said above, most schools have many different meal plans that take all of your habits into consideration. Just make sure to pick the one that will cover all of them!

3. The third thing to consider is your budget. Are you willing to spend anything that you need to or do you have a specific budget in mind? If you are trying to save money, I would suggest getting the plan that both fits your habits and your budget, and if that is not enough, then plan grocery shopping into your budget as well!

4. The fourth and final thing to consider is any food allergies that you may have. If you are very allergic to certain foods, then I would recommend scratching the meal plan idea and opting to buy your own food elsewhere. If your dorm room does not have a kitchen, do not fear! Contact your university’s kitchen staff and describe your situation! Most schools have designed plans around students’ allergies!

After taking these four things into consideration, you will be better prepared to find and choose the perfect meal plan for you!

For extra help, ask your school if they have a meal plan calculator. These devices are extremely helpful in finding your perfect meal plan!

 

Which personal favorites are you hoping that your cafeteria will have?

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Sara Sitler

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