I realize that the timing of this post won’t be great for most (all?) current students, but with any luck it’ll be useful to incoming rezzies in the fall. The reason I am making this post today is: with only two weeks of classes left in my entire undergraduate degree, I still have money left on my UBC card. Yes, all the way back from first year residence.
So. How did I do it? First of all, let me just say that I don’t eat as much as, say, a varsity athlete. So this obviously isn’t going to work for people who eat more than I do. But, this is how I did it:
- I didn’t eat breakfast or lunch in the cafeteria. At least not on weekdays. I kept milk in the communal fridge (at least until the last month when it kept getting stolen) and kept cereal, fruit, and sandwich supplies in my room which I would use to pack lunches to eat at school. Most of this I also bought from Shoppers or that supermarket in University Village, because we all know the convenience stores really charge for the convenience. (This also leaves you Flex dollars to work with later.) The bottom line here is, anything the cafeteria sells is overpriced, and anything you make/buy yourself will be cheaper. It also gets you out the door faster in the morning.
- I didn’t always buy unnecessary things. I’m talking name-brand ice creams, ice creams and desserts in general. I mean yeah, I got the occasional dessert, but paying $5 for a Reese’s ice cream bar? I don’t think so.
- I didn’t eat at Flex locations very often. I packed my own lunches, and in the evening I was too lazy to walk anywhere from Totem, so I didn’t get takeout much. I still don’t. A lot of places that take the UBC card are just as expensive or more so than the cafeteria, so this saves Flex dollars.
That’s basically it. I understand that everyone has different eating habits, and not everyone is as thrifty as me, so not everyone will be able to pull this off. But meal plan dollars don’t expire, so in later years if you’re forced to eat dinner on campus or you forgot to pack a lunch one day, it’s pretty nice to pop into Pacific Spirit Place and grab some Subway or get yourself a treat from Triple O’s without paying out of your pocket.