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I am looking for opinions on the available meal plans for my son, who will be a freshman this fall. I've just submitted his housing app and am now looking at his meal plan options.
125 Block - 300 dining dollars - 75 Blue bucks - 10 guest meals
150 Block - 100 dining dollars - 100 blue bucks - 10 guest meals
200 Block - 75 dining dollars - 75 blue bucks - 10 guest meals - costs an extra $140/semester
Unlimited - 25 dining dollars - 25 blue bucks - 10 guest meals - extra $410/semester
Unlimited+ - 150 dining dollars - 150 blue bucks - 15 guest meals - extra $545/semester
The kid doesn't eat a ton at each meal, but he eats often.
What do you current students have? Any suggestions?
It's normally better to go with the smaller packages because you always add more later, at least you can at A&M.
Go Blue & Gig Em'!
I was thinking for $500 I should get him the unlimited plan.
Get the 200 one for the first semester and see what happens. That way you can do 200 or the 150 or 125 for the second semester depending on what he does in the first semester. I know I did the 200 one and had MANY meals left when I was a freshman as did all of my friends. We all crazily would go to the dining hall at the end of the year for no reason to just get a ice cream cone or a cup of çoke because we had too many left that would go unused.
Good info. Thanks
Did you use many "dining dollars" or "blue bucks"?
I just remember hating the food. The less of that drek I had to eat, the better.
Can you still use ur card to go eat in the Union or other local joints
I'd save money on the meal plan. When I was in school (not at Michigan but similar plans), my dad got me the unlimited meal plan and it wasn't worth it. Don't get up early enough for breakfast, would usually eat lunch on campus and then dinner was a mix of caf food/on campus other dining/fast food. After my first semester I just told my dad to cut it to 10 meals a week which equals 150 meals for a semester and still had meals left over.
I'd say at the very MOST do the 200 meals and see how that goes, but I'd lean toward the other 2 cheapest.
P.S.: Tell him to get in good with the people at the register. My sophomore year I didn't even have a meal plan but I was friends with the people who worked in the caf so they just let me in free. Tell him he's got to start hustlin' lol
Agree with the others who said to not go unlimited, it just ends up being too many because most kids are not going to head down to the cafeteria for breakfast. One other thing to consider is which dorm he will be in for his first year. I was in Markley which meant in addition to never eating breakfast, I was rarely in the dorm around lunch time and would end up just grabbing something on campus. Rarely found myself going with friends to other dorms for lunch, that would only happen for dinner if we were all meeting up with friends to head out somewhere.
One other thing to consider is that you don't want to buy him more than what his friends (current friends going or friends he'll meet when he gets there) have. My parents did that and when my friends couldn't go to the cafeteria because they were running low, I didn't go either.
Thanks for the replies everyone.
I'll go with the 200 Block and just add more Blue Bucks if he starts running low.
I was Mary Markley than Mojo than Frat house....always kind of wished I was in South or West Quad
This post was edited by RicoX19 23 months ago
70% of freshman are put up on north campus now. We ranked Central Campis/Hill as our first choice. I was in South Quad and would like my son to be there too.
If you're ever in South Quad, 4600 corridor, open the utility closet door. I tagged it 28 years ago and it's still there.
Ouch, Markley to Mojo? That's unfortunate. I had a fun freshman year on 4th Frost in Markley, but then lucked out and two friends and I got a triple in West Quad my sophomore year. The dorm wasn't as much fun in West Quad compared to Markley, most likely because we all had friends across different dorms and apartments rather than hanging out with whoever happened to live on our hall, but location was far better.
So Markley -> Mojo -> SAE .... what part of New York are you from originally?
yes, i was entrenched at Passover! SAE was more beer swilling Irishmen than anything else. When i was there all the Local HS's were present like Lahser, Brother Rice, Catholic Central, Country Day etc..
I was in Markley and then West Quad. I had the 150 and then the 125. They worked well for me. I would recommend starting with the 150 unless you already bought the 200. You don't use as many meals as you would think. Plus, depending on where he's living, he'll use a lot of blue bucks and/or dining dollars instead of meals.
I don't think we had dining dollars when I was in the dorms but blue bucks went mostly unused by anybody I knew. By the end of the semester people were buying anything just because the money was going to waste and their parents would just get it back.
Blue bucks are used all the time. Everyone has to get more blue bucks because we run out.
I got a 200 meal plan last year and used about 130 my first semester. My second semester I used even less because the food really gets old. Instead, I would recommend the 125 meal plan and loading your kid up on blue bucks to use in other places around campus. Second semester I ended up eating out most of the time plus I had meals left over from the first semester that roll over.
Great info. Thanks everyone for your input.
The dining dollars work at the university owned stores. You can buy snacks, pizza, and sandwiches (that actually are pretty good). These will not be refunded at the end of the year, so use them all.
Blue bucks are the best. They pay for fast food at the league and union (wendys, panda, pizza hut, etc..) and they also can buy anything that is included for dining dollars (the university stores).They can even be refunded if you don't use them.
I personally liked having more of the blue bucks and dining dollars than the meals, because its gives you more freedom(and I wouldn't use all the meals anyways. You use much less than you would expect)
I lived in Markley too. Big mistake.
Blue bucks are clutch. A lot of the vending machines in campus buildings accept them as well. Such a life saver when you can't find a dollar bill in your wallet and want a coke or something to hold you over in lecture. Also if your son lives near Mojo thats the spot I'd suggest eating at most often. Big selection of food and better tasting stuff then the drudge they give you at some of the other dorms.
Dining dollars are just for the places in the basement of Markley, South Quad, the Victors in Mojo, and places like that. Not very convenient unless you live in a place that has those (for example I lived in Markley freshman year and lived off of Dining Dollars from the Hideaway, but this year I lived in West Quad and hardly ever used dining dollars).
Blue Bucks are awesome because you can use them with vending machines, cafes (like Seigel in Ross), Subway/Wendys/Taco Bell in the Union and League, etc. I lived off Subway because West Quad is attached to the Union and I could just walk there while staying inside.
So it really depends on where he's living. I'd recommend the 150 and then the 125 for second semester so he can have more dining dollars. And just refill the blue bucks whenever he needs
Since this thread seems to have some legit interest, I'd like to hear the craziest cafeteria related story you have while attending Michigan. I have two I think are worthy to share here, the first I'll post, the second one I need some drinks in me because it might involve some sort of counterfeiting crime.. .
First: Two friends and I went down for an early dinner in West Quad, right when the cafeteria opened, with the plan we were heading over to our friend's apartment in the evening for the normal drinking, TV, video games, hoping to find a girl type of evening. We grabbed whatever they had quick and then my friend made the statement "This cake is good, I could probably eat the whole thing..." HUGE mistake.. Of course I jumped on that saying there was no way he could eat more than like 6 pieces, which of course sparked a competition since we were there and it was free. That skinny-af-150-lb-mf ate 16 pieces of sheet cake (yellow cake, chocolate frosting) that evening. I don't know how he did it, but our evening plans were ruined... as were the community bathrooms. The coupe-de-grace was leaving a comment card that the 'cake was ok, but a bit heavy after eating more than 15 pieces.'
My best dining hall stories involve stealing the larger metal trays to go sledding in the arb.
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