First tip: Always be nice to the people who serve you. My Dad always taught my sister and I to be extra polite to those working in food service, because they are, literally, feeding you. He worked at a Hardee’s (fast food) and has many “horror” stories of the customers he had to deal with. I experienced some stories of my own when I started working at Starbucks when I was 16. Treat your servers with kindness, because they’re trying their best.
I ran out of flex last week. It feels endless when Miss Nancy swipes your card when you get a Clif bar, yogurt, and venti iced chai with 2 shots of espresso and coconut syrup. (I’m so ashamed of that drink order, but it’s delectable and addictive.) I didn’t run out of flex last year, so I had no worries. Smooth sailing. Then I tried to pay for someone to get in the cafeteria. DECLINE. The horror.
Second tip: Use the options you have in the cafeteria for your own needs. Is there tomato soup at the salad bar? Go get yourself a cheese sandwich, at the sandwich bar, and press it in the waffle machine to get a grilled cheese that sort of looks like a waffle. It’s a win-win. Vegetarian? No problem. If there’s tacos or a salad made with meat in it, ask for it without meat and add beans from the salad bar to get your much needed protein.
My card declined. I was certain it was a fluke; no way I had spent $125 on cliff bars, yogurt, and coffee. I made a visit to the office, in the cafeteria, where they printed out the purchases made from my card. Low and behold, I had spent roughly $123 in a short two months. You need coffee though, am I right? There’s always free coffee in the cafeteria. It’s pretty low standards for a coffee snob like me, but hey, you gotta make sacrifices when you run out of flex.
Third tip: Use your five meals a week in the 405. Being a vegetarian myself, I go down there because I know there’s always an option for me. I’m also a sucker for chips and salsa, so I can get my fix there. Order the nachos with toppings or a tex mex cobb salad with chipotle lime dressing, and you won’t be disappointed. The salsa bar also has unlimited cilantro which can add flavor to burgers and burritos alike.
My first instinct was to ask my parents for more flex money, to which they said yes, but my dad commented on how I have to learn to budget my money. What a lesson to learn after the fact. Use your flex money to learn how to budget. It’s a skill some adults still haven’t figured out how to comply to.
Fourth tip: Eat breakfast in the cafeteria. Yes, the name brand yogurt and granola bars are enticing and comfortable, but you can always get a hard boiled egg with potatoes, make a waffle and add peanut butter and banana, or get a bagel with cream cheese. Make use of your unlimited meal plan, ya’ll!
In the end, I guess it will all work out. SNU Dining has a variety of options that even satisfy this picky vegetarian. Best wishes to your food endeavors this week.