When Dining Dollars Run Out

    Every student on campus faces the same dilemma towards the end of spring quarter: a lack of dining dollars. Three meals a day and buying that daily Frappuccino for $3.75 seemed like nothing, but small transactions add up. A month of school is left, and that month includes a week of binge eating during finals. Those 100 dining dollars you have remaining just aren’t going to cut it. Cooking is a challenge for many, especially due to limited appliances and food storage space in dorms. Here are some unique and resourceful ways to eat with limited dining dollars inside and outside the dorms.

    Coffee Maker 

    1. Make instant oatmeal. Pour two packets into the carafe. Add honey, syrup or jam and a pinch of salt. Then, put a tea bag into the filter. Pour eight to 10 cups of water into the coffee maker. The oatmeal should be ready in about five minutes.

    2. Make instant ramen. It won’t taste like Tajima, but it will do. Put the uncooked noodles into the carafe. Add water to submerge the noodles. Then, pour seasoning and your toppings of choice, like seaweed, eggs or onions into the coffee maker. Place the eggs in the carafe, and let the water drip down over them for a couple minutes.

    3. Make boiled vegetables. Put all the vegetables you want in the filter and run water through the coffee maker until the vegetables are tender.

    4. Make pasta. Buy raw noodles for $2.50 at a dining hall. Fill the coffee pot’s carafe with water. Then, place the pasta in the water. Turn the coffee pot on, and drain when it’s done. No filter needed.


    5. Cook bacon with an iron. Put bacon inside of a foil sheet. Crimp the sheet to seal the bacon. Then iron the foil sheet for about 10 minutes. Do this on an ironing board or any flat surface.

    6. Cook chicken with an iron. Seal the chicken in foil. Then, with the iron on the highest setting, iron the chicken on both sides until it is cooked all the way through. Cook it for about 20 minutes until it’s no longer pink in the middle. You can do the same with fish, turkey and grilled vegetables.

    7. Make grilled cheese with an iron. Wrap the bread and cheese in foil, and then iron them. Make a quesadilla with an iron the same way.


    8. Cook scrambled eggs. Coat a bowl with non-stick spray. Then, crack and beat the eggs. Add toppings like cheese, onions and peppers. Cook for one minute.

    9. Cook a potato in the microwave. Wash the potato. Then cut it in the center and wrap a paper towel over it. Cook it in the microwave for 5 minutes. 


    10. Join every club on campus. Many student orgs try to attract new members with the promise of free food. With over 500 clubs and meetings almost every day of the week, you’ll never go hungry — and you might find a new club or meet some new people along the way.

    11. Check out the farmers market every Tuesday in Matthews Quad. It offers healthy food at reasonable prices.

    12. Check out Roger’s Garden. It is located in Revelle College, just past the Che Cafe. Keep in mind for next year’s budget: If you volunteer for enough hours, you can earn a plot to grow your own vegetables. Other colleges have gardens as well: ERC has Ellie’s Garden, and Earl’s Garden is located in Warren. Many gardens offer harvest days where anyone can come to harvest and the food.

    13. Go to the General Store Co-op, located in the Student Center. It has food and snacks that are 5 percent to 25 percent cheaper than Price Center and the campus markets. Also check out the Food Co-op next to the General Store. It serves all-organic cheap vegetables, baked goods like cookies and cakes, juices and Indian food. 

    14. Eat at Porter’s Pub. Many students think Porter’s only serves beer or that you have to be 21 to get in, but there is no age restriction and there’s plenty of food, too. They offer a $3 menu until 7 p.m. that includes macaroni and cheese, hamburgers, chicken tenders and Mexican-style pizza. 

    15. Triton Cash to the rescue! You need it to do your laundry, but you can use it for more than that. When you use Triton Cash, you save 10 percent on your purchase at all dining halls and markets — even the Bistro. Some off-campus vendors also accept Triton Cash, like Chipotle, Islands, McDonald’s and Sammy’s Woodfired Pizza. 

    16. When all else fails, eat your roommate’s food.      

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