One HUB, Three Meals, & $20: How To Construct A Cheap Diet On Campus

For those of us with loooooong days filled with classes, you may find yourself on campus from early in the morning to late in the evening. It can be challenging to take the time to make enough food to get through the day — and that’s even worse if you’re on a budget.

To put that challenge to the test, I took on the task to see if it’s possible to eat three meals — breakfast, lunch, and dinner — at the HUB for under $20. That’s an especially daunting task when you consider nearly every HUB option won’t give you a discount for using meal points.

For breakfast, I started at Starbucks because it felt like the obvious choice. I got myself a chocolate croissant because they are a personal favorite and a good size for a small breakfast.

I am blocking my misspelled name under the croissant, but it wouldn’t be a Starbucks trip without a spelling variation of my name I’ve never seen before.

The croissant put me back $3.25, leaving me $16.75 for lunch and dinner.

Around 1 p.m., I decided to find something for lunch. I chose Slim Chickens because I knew I could get a decent amount of food for a pretty decent price.

I got a three-piece tender meal and fries (with a side of ranch, of course) and that set me back $7.44, leaving me with $9.31 for dinner. The $7.44 I spent on Slim Chickens was well worth it, though. It was filling enough that I didn’t finish the whole thing. That said, I was confident I could make the $9.31 stretch for something substantial.

Around 5 p.m. I headed to Sbarro for my last meal of the day. I was planning on getting one of their combo meals, but a broken soda fountain stood between me and that goal.

So, I walked away with a slice of pizza and a breadstick for $4.88 with no fizzy drink in sight.

This left me with $4.43 to my name. I decided to make use of my extra coin by heading to the convenience mart located outside of Sbarro to grab a strawberry-banana Naked smoothie for $3.88.

I ended my day with 55 cents in my pocket. To be honest, I thought I would lose this challenge, but it can be done!

There are several ways you can assemble three meals for under $20 at the HUB, and this is just one path. Upon further reflection, it wasn’t exactly a balanced day’s worth of food, but I encourage you to give it a shot and see how you get those calories in.

Happy HUB dining!

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About the Author

Teagan Staudenmeier

Teagan is a senior majoring in photojournalism and is one of Onward State's photographers. She is from Wilkes-Barre, PA, but is a Canadian at heart. On campus, she is involved in Photo Club and is an Aurora outdoor orientation leader. For more fun content, follow her on Twitter: @Teag_42.

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