Surviving without a meal plan at MU

Alexandria Albano, Staff writer

For my sophomore year, I decided to not purchase a Mercyhurst meal plan. The reason for my choice is that it is much cheaper to skip the meal plan and put that money toward my tuition.

I personally was a fan of Egan and all of the different options they had during my freshman year. I miss the brunches on the weekends the most.

It was very convenient last year to have unlimited swipes. I went to Egan a lot and felt that I definitely got my money’s worth.

When I began this year without the meal plan, my parents were very scared that I would be eating mainly junk food. So far, it’s not as bad as my family and I feared it would be. It’s actually really fun to make a shopping list, budget and cook all of my own food. It definitely is more time consuming, but I’ve always loved food, so it’s really fun to try and experiment new ways to cook things.

Based on my experience, it is really easy to live on campus without purchasing a meal plan.

Every other week, one of my roommates and I go grocery shopping together.

Our budget that we try to stick to is $40 each, but we usually go a little bit above our ideal amount we would like to spend.

We usually go to Walmart because it is cheaper than Wegmans. Things that we get at Walmart are our meats, eggs, milk, breads, fruit, vegetables, starches, salad and snacks.

When we go to Wegmans, we get our frozen vegetables in big packages so that they will last us.
I get cheese there for pasta, and in the future when I have more money aside, I will be able to purchase some of my favorite foods that are more expensive, such as olives and fish.

For those who don’t like to cook or can’t cook well, there are a lot of eating places in Erie. We have Arby’s right next to school, Tim Horton’s and Frogurtz.

On Peach Street, there’s even more: Panera Bread, Chipotle, Olive Garden and Ruby Tuesday, to name just a few.

It would be very hard not to find something to eat in this city.

Lisa Iadanza, a senior Bio-Archaeology student, also believes that not having a food plan is beneficial.

“I like not having a meal plan because it allows for greater flexibility,” said Iadanza. “I also can cook what I want when I want. I am a big fan of Picasso’s, Panera Bread and Olive Garden.”

That being said, I personally have found that there are many benefits to having a hand in how my food is cooked.

I know what is going into it and how it is handled because I’m the one who is cooking it. It allows me to eat healthy and not worry about what is put into it. Also, it is good practice for helping me become a better cook.

Food is a very important part in my Italian family’s life back home, so it is fun to learn how to cook like my parents. I am able to cook whatever I want and eat particular food when I want it.

There are many different ways to live here and survive without a food plan.