Deciding whether to eat in or dine out

Photo by Diego Saldana/FIUSM

Adrianne Richardson/Contributing Writer

“Money doesn’t grow on trees, and even if it did, we would spend it on food alone!” My mother is infamous for this statement and, as I grew older, I began to understand this saying – especially in college.

The love I had for food before I started college was irreplaceable and never ending. Food was my company all the time. I would even make way for midnight snacks and go out to eat on occasion. But, I wasn’t paying for food at the time and so I never really thought about the cost of it.

Food adds up!

Freshman year, I would long for my mother’s homemade food, but that was just preference. The meal plan included Panther Bucks which made it easier to buy food on campus or go to Fresh Foods. Now, I am a sophomore and I no longer have a meal plan. I have to pay extra to obtain one and the funds just aren’t there.

I used to purchase food on campus, not realizing how the dollar amount slowly adds up. If you buy food on campus you are likely spending $5 or more, depending on where you go. For example, I love Subway but I had to cut back because $6 a sandwich made it seem like there was a hole in my bank account. Often, I complain about being hungry or not having enough money at the moment to splurge on food like I want to. Since I don’t have a meal plan, I have to buy groceries nearly every two weeks so that I can cook for myself when I’m in my dorm. Even though I have food, I have no money for anything else. Sometimes I don’t even see my paycheck.

If I am living on campus and am struggling because of the price of food, I know students who live off campus are!

“Rushing from home and driving to school for class, I want to eat something. I have money but sometimes the price of food is ridiculous…. I end up having to buy it anyway because I don’t have time to make something at home. This isn’t elementary school,” says sophomore nursing major Wedline Jean.

The only solution I can give to this issue is to prepare food before going to class, whether you live on campus or off. At least pack a granola bar. You’ll need it or you’ll fall victim to the price of food. Every now and then you can buy something, but not every day. That’s not a smart decision, unless you have money like Bill Gates.

Nowadays, I find myself eating for substance and not for pleasure like I used to. Times are hard and I appreciate my parents more and more because they provided food for me without me knowing the difficulty of it.

In conclusion, pack those lunches and start saving your dollars until we find money trees! To the freshmen, manage those Panther Bucks and share them with nice upperclassmen if you can find it in your heart to do so. The luxury won’t always be there and one of us may help you when that luxury of a meal plan goes away.

Cheers to a full stomach and great semester!

Thank me later! 

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