Off campus life comes with many benefits. Though as Uncle Ben told Peter Parker, with great power comes great responsibility. Being out of the BC bubble means that there are many instances where you have to feed yourself.
Believe it or not, a dining hall flex plan is not going to be the best answer for all your dining needs, even if you’re trying to spend the least amount of money possible without having to cook your own meals. There are plenty of ways to incorporate take out options into your diet without breaking the bank. These tips that I have provided will hopefully help you enjoy the freedoms of the off campus world without going broke in the process.
1. Get the full flex plan
It might be $1,200, but you will use it before you graduate. I lived off campus for two years and even as a senior I have $900 left on my second flex plan. Even if you barely eat on campus, it’s a good thing to have.
2. Order takeout, not delivery
Delivery tips add up and you often have to meet some sort of minimum to get them to deliver at all. Takeout is harder to get if you don’t have a car, but it’s not that hard to get to places like Roggie’s or Bluestone from off campus.
3. Get to know the specials
Most restaurants have some sort of special which gets you free or cheap food. Moogy’s does dinner specials Mon-Wed, Boloco offers free burritos for every $50 you spend there (that adds up real quick), and most places offer drink specials if they serve alcohol. Budget your off campus meals to coincide with these offers and you’ll save a lot of money.
4. No drinks
Get drinks if there’s a beer special if you’re eating your food there. But do not order soda or anything else, especially if you’re getting take-out. If you follow this rule, you’ll find that you’ll spend pretty much the same amount of money that you’d spend at Lower.
5. Get food for when you’re not that hungry
I don’t particularly like eating pasta for dinner, but it’s good to have around for those days when you don’t have much of an appetite. Likewise, it never hurts to have hot dogs, easy mac, or sandwich meat around.
6. Mooch off of sophomores and freshman for their meal plans
This tactic pretty much fed me all second semester when I was off campus. If you throw parties consistently for people, chances are they’ll throw their extra meal plan money your way. If they don’t, stop inviting them to your parties.
7. Treat yo’ self
Seriously. Most of BC’s student population only gets to live off campus once. Some only get a semester. Use moderation, but don’t hesitate to eat out during the week. You’re not going to do it as much when you get back on campus, live the dream while you still have a chance.
Hopefully these tips are of some use to you. If you ever want some good off campus recommendations, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Whatever you do, don’t eat lower chicken sandwiches all year.