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$18 A Day

Editor’s note: Freshmen living in the residence halls have about $18 per day to spend on food. To get an idea of what a student can eat on campus with that budget, we sent out one of our Cal Poly Corporation student employees to investigate.

Written by Molly O’Brien

I'm a healthy eater, so I like to keep a balance in my diet. But with a busy schedule of classes, studying, work, exercising and keeping up with my friends, finding time to grab a bite in between my activities can be tough.

Fortunately, it’s pretty easy for me to get what I need to eat on campus for around $18 a day. And because I don’t have a car to get around, it’s great that there are so many different choices right here on campus. This is how my typical day looks:

8:00 A.M.

I want to have a breakfast that’s nutritious and will keep me full during my morning classes and energized until lunch. I like to get the avocado toast from The Avenue. It’s avocado, sunflower butter, sprouts, sliced radish and toasted quinoa on multigrain bread for $5.99. Yum.

10:30 A.M.

After my morning classes, I head to the library to study for a couple hours until my next class begins. Meanwhile, I like to munch on almonds from Campus Market. One bag of almonds lasts me all week, and it’s an easy snack to keep handy in my backpack.

12:00 P.M.

For lunch, I go to Red Radish to grab a salad to bring with me to my afternoon class. For $5.50, I can build my own salad, using romaine lettuce and spinach as the base. Then I choose my four toppings: carrots, cucumber, tortilla strips and some chickpeas for protein. A sun-dried tomato dressing tops it off and adds some kick.

5:00 P.M.

After my last class of the day, I hit the recreation center for a spin class. It’s a great workout and leaves me famished, so I meet up with my friends at the all-you-care-to-eat spot on campus. Entrance is $6.50 for first year students. The chefs change up their offerings every day so there’s always something new for me to try. Tonight I’m going for the honey baked ham and veggies. My best friend is gluten intolerant, so he goes to the gluten free station and gets the zesty quinoa salad with the Memphis-style ribs.

Total cost of the day: $17.99