Each semester, students are faced with the issue of declining balance. To help you balance your account, I will detail some helpful tricks for current students, prospective students, and parents to have insight on how to balance their meal plan with a few meal swipe hacks. It is important to balance your meal plan to maximize its value. As module two approaches, it is a good time to check in with your spending habits so you can see if you are at a good about halfway point to make your funds last throughout the year. Many students forget this and are left without funds. Here are some helpful ways that you can get the most of your Metz experience. I hope you enjoy if you have any questions feel free to reach out via socials or stop by Metz to speak to an employee today!
Yearly, many students are faced with the issue of declining balance on their Metz meal plan accounts. This can be a result of over-spending and not tracking balance, throughout the year. As an al a carte location items are individually priced and sold. This is contrary to many traditional colleges which have swipes for each meal that allow you to eat in a buffet-style fashion. With consideration of this system, it is important to keep track of your balance and use some of these helpful hacks that I will discuss in this blog post.
Some ways that you can stay up to date on your balance is to ask for your balance weekly. I recommend choosing a day, maybe Friday at lunch. This way you can keep track and ration your money throughout the year. If you request, a team member will be happy to print on a receipt that shows your current balance and money left. The total price spent in your order and the remaining balance on your account will appear on the bottom of your receipt.
Furthermore, it is important to be conscious of the pricing of items purchased. It is important to be aware of the convenience items you are purchasing and the frequency in which you are buying these items. You can always look at the prices sign or take two similar items up the register to ask for the pricing. In my experience, this hack has saved me quite a bit of money on my shopping trips at the C-Store.
Food is best shared with friends! Instead of buying all of your items from the C-Store, split the cost or items with friends. This way you can all make a meal together for the fraction of the cost. Also making food with friends is a great way to decompress after a long day and hang out. Some examples of vegetarian/vegan-friendly meals you can make with C-Store items include pasta and sauce, rice and beans and ramen. Have a friend buy one item and you buy the other for a fun time.
Also, note that if you would like a snack with your Boar’s Head item the C-Store offers a meal deal with a bag of chips of your choice and a drink from the drink fountain.
If you did not know Metz also offers catering services for many events on campus. In the past, this has been a great way to be connected with the community and get a meal as well. For example, did you know that Metz catered the fourth year kick-off bash this year? Along with many ways to get connected to the school and various services, Metz offered some amazing sliders. The event included free drinks, meat and vegan sliders with toppings and snacks like cookies. There are also events open to the whole campus, such as Late Night Breakfast. Late Night Breakfast, is a yearly event in which Student Activities and Campus engagement partners with Metz to offer a themed catered late-night meal for students around finals week. Be on the lookout for details about late-night breakfast and other events Metz will be. If you have any meal plan hack recipes you would like to share and be posted to our socials feel free to reach out to me!
Here is how to continue meal hack swipes in the cafe. Some other ways to save money is through special offers on meals. On certain days we offer meal combos on pizza or tacos along with many more items. This deal included two tacos and a 24oz soda or chips and cheese and a 24oz soda for $5.99! Follow social media accounts to stay in the loop for the latest special offers available. With offers like this, you can save money and get a great, delicious deal. If you someone who stays caffeinated, you can save on Peet’s® coffee by getting yourself a reusable coffee travel mug available for purchase at the registers. This way not only are you reducing waste but saving yourself a lot of money in the long run. You can also request a reward card for coffee that will get you a free cup of joe!
Be aware that the salad bar is priced by weight. You may save money by getting some items on the hot plate as opposed to the salad bar due to the weight. In my experience, meats tend to be heavier. When weighted, the value may be significantly more than what you would pay for a dish. In regards to the salad bar, another hack it to take ingredients and make something for yourself. I do this quite often when I do not have time to come back to the cafe for dinner due to scheduling conflict. I will get items from the salad bar to prepare a fresh salad or dish for later. It is also important to note that you do not need to purchase an entree with sides if you only want a side. You can purchase sides individually.
Sometimes you need more points on your account! Here is how you can navigate the process of re-loading your balance. You can contact Hamilton Classroom (HCL) 1 and request an addition on funds to your account. I recommend meeting with someone in housing and Bill Moore, our general manager to decide which option is best for you depending on the frequency and amount you spend each semester. Metz also offers Black Friday deals. The Black Friday, flex sale happens November 25th- December 6th. With this offer you can get a percent bonus added to the value you add to your account. For example, if you chose to add fifty dollars to your account, with the bonus a total of sixty-five will be added! Wow! What a deal! An offer similar to this is also offered in the Spring Semester. Be on the lookout on socials and for posters around Metz for when this bonus is available. With this offer, you can add to the value of your account balance without breaking the bank. This way you can maximize your funds!
Sometimes students may have a surplus of Flex points at the end of the school year. It is important to know that these Flex points do not have to got to waste. Metz at New College offers a variety of options to reuse and redistribute your remaining funds. You can order any items from the C-Store in bulk. For example, you can buy a case of your favorite canned drinks or snacks to take home for the summer! Be sure to be on the lookout for an email at the end of the year for when orders are being placed. You won’t want to miss out on this offer if you have a surplus of Flex points. Additionally, for students that run out of Flex points, Metz has a New College community card towards the end of the year. If you have a surplus of Flex points, you can donate your extra Flex points for other students to use that may not be able to re-load their balance.
If you may need Flex points at the end of the year, the community card is available for your use. Once the community card is available just ask a team member at check out if you can use the card. There are additional charitable options for your surplus Flex points at the end of the year. Some of these options include on campus through the food pantry or within the community with initiatives such as the Humane Society of Sarasota. If any of these options interest you be sure to reach out to Bill at the end of the year!
If you have any questions, comments or concerns reach out to Bill, the Metz manager at New College of Florida. Also follow our socials on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram for the latest events, good food and updates. If you would like to be involved feel free to attend the Food Committee meetings held on the second Tuesday of each month at 2 pm in the Hamilton Center with light refreshments provided. At these committee meetings students, myself, the food representative from the New College Student Association, as well as Metz management, come together to discuss feedback on Metz at New College. I hope you feel more informed with these Meal Swipe Hacks!
Elizabeth R. is a New College of Florida undergraduate student. Her interests in food lie not only in the culinary aspect but food justice and access for all. Elizabeth hopes to provide students with the necessary tools and resources so they can get the most of their experience with Metz during their time at New College. She is also the face behind the socials for Metz, including Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.