An Unexpected Way to Save Dining Dollars

By Martha Wyatt-Luth | October 21, 2021

It's been over a month back on the hill. Some of us still feel like we’re living in a dream, others are seriously sleep-deprived. One general consensus among all of us is that dining on campus has changed drastically. Fewer location options and longer lines due to a shortage of staff can certainly make food deliveries or using dining dollars more tempting. Moreover, at least for me, this has caused my wallet to cry for help.

We still have roughly three months of the term before dining dollars are restarted. However, if my elementary school arithmetic stands correct, I will be out of dining dollars sooner than that. With this dismal realization, I took matters into my own hands by brainstorming ways to save my poor wallet.

The most obvious way is to suck it up and eat Kimball every day, but that would make for a very bleak solution. Another way is to start making food in your room, but often that’s not as satiable and can lead to unwanted critters. Also, if you don’t have a fridge, options are fewer. Is there some way to enjoy the same variety of foods without making a large dent in dining dollars?

Inspiration for this answer came unexpectedly from my positive psychology class. We were assigned to do a random act of kindness and reflect on how it made us feel. Although I encourage everyone to do this, I’ll save us the time and reveal to you that it generally makes humans feel good to help others.

When I got my daily coffee from Cool Beans--which seems to be the cause of my wallet’s doom--they had accidentally given me an extra shot of espresso. Now, this seems amazing, but the coffee already had several shots so I would have been asking for trouble. I took the coffee graciously but also asked for an extra cup. I split the coffee and brought it to my brother, who was unenviously deep into writing a philosophy essay. He was even more excited about this coffee than I was when I ordered it. This made me even happier about getting the coffee, despite now having the size of my coffee cut in half. So far, all this did was make me pay the same amount for half a coffee.

To make this action financially savvy, I decided to make a deal that we split things such as coffees, sandwiches, and Croads grub with each other in order to cut the cost. Although this does mean the quantity is cut in half, sometimes it’s worth it to make another person happy. Plus, after all, if you are still hungry you can always walk down to trusty Kimball.

So here’s a sign to save your dining dollars and be kind to one another a little extra as we trudge through the fall semester.

Edited by Gigi Santis and Zachary Elias