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Dining Services

Planning Your Spending

Resident Meal Plans provide maximum flexibility. They do not provide a fixed number of meals per week—instead, you control your spending for the semester.

Each time you pay for food using your CougarCard, your dining account will be debited for the amount of your purchase and your remaining balance will appear on the cash register display and on your receipt. You can compare your balance to this chart to see if you’re on track with your spending for the semester.

You can also estimate your spending using the following table, which shows the projected average check per dining location for 2021-22 school year:

Projected Average Check After Meal Plan Discount (2021-22)  
Dining Centers $5.23
C-Stores/Markets $6.66
Carlita's Mexican Grille $5.61
Espresso Shops $6.11
Einstein Bros. Bagels $5.31
Flix Café and Delivery $9.01

*Note: This is based upon recent meal plan buying habits and the projected Consumer Price Index (CPI) for 2021-22. Since it is based on check averages, it may not reflect your particular buying habits.

With the 40% Resident Meal Plan discount, the projected average check at dining centers is $5.23. Dining centers are your best deal on campus. We recommend you eat the majority of your meals at the dining centers.

Because you receive a 10% Resident Meal Plan discount at retail locations, we recommend you purchase food from these locations on a more occasional basis. Below, we’ve provided sample purchases to illustrate what you can expect to spend at retail locations:

Occasional Purchases at Retail Price After 10% Discount
Lunch at Carlita's Mexican Grille: Beef burrito, fries, and soda $8.64
Snack at Freshens: Medium smoothie $4.94
Breakfast at Starbucks: Grande cold brew coffee and blueberry scone $6.21
Late Night Delivery: Two-topping pizza  $13.59
Market Purchases: Cheerios, Kraft mac & cheese, and a quart of milk  $5.84