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How meal plans work

FadedSpiritsFadedSpirits Posts: 36Registered User Junior Member
edited May 2009 in SUNY at Binghamton
I understand that there are different meals plans that you can choose at the beginning fo each term (or is it each year?). I'm just wondering how you use those meal plans.

Like, on the website, it says that you have a certain number of meals and a certain amount of money. But I'm not the type of person who eats the normal three meals a day. I usually just eat a bunch of small meals through out the day. I only sit down and have an actual meal a couple times a week.
So, assuming i pay for my food using my bing card all the time, how will this affect my meal plan? Does it count as a meal every time I buy a candy bar? or is it the cost of the food that is counted?

Thanks in advanced.
Post edited by FadedSpirits on

Replies to: How meal plans work

  • iamhereiamhere Posts: 517Registered User Member
    http://www.budining.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=15&Itemid=30 and see links along the left side for more details regarding the plans.

    the meal plans at binghamton are a little unique from what i've seen. there are no "meals" -- its all a la carte, pay as you go. what's unique is they figure out what they want to charge every student on the meal plan up front to cover their overhead costs. the difference between the total cost of the meal plan and the amount they calculate for their overhead is the amount you have available to buy food in the dining halls and other on campus "retail" dining locations (eg food court) (Binghamton Dining Services - Resident Meal Plans) -- you pay for what you eat at each meal. but because they've charged you the overhead costs up front, the cost of the food in the dining halls is pretty low -- so even though the spending amount available sounds low, you can buy a lot for a little (in the chart at the prior site, they give an idea of what type of eater should be able to get by with the amount of spending money indicated -- i don't know how accurate their categories are). the cost at the retail dining places is higher.

    the only difference among the meal plans is how much you have available to spend -- the same overhead cost amount is included in each plan. but if you run out of money, it is VERY easy to add and if you have money left over it carries over to the next semester IF you are still on a meal plan.

    so in answer to your question -- you eat whenever you want, however much you want -- you pay for what you eat.
  • BingAmbassadorBingAmbassador Posts: 379Registered User Member
    The meal card, which is your student ID is like a debit card. At the beginning of the semester (or during orientation), you add a certain amount of money to it. Everytime you purchase something in the dining hall, or food court, you spend the amount the food item costs. The dining halls are cheaper than the food court or the cafes that are open at night. You will generally get the basic plan which you can find out from the link in the post above, however, you can add more money to your card at any time either online at budining.com or at the mealplan office in the Union.
  • BleeD27Gr33NBleeD27Gr33N Posts: 35Registered User Junior Member
    So is it basically like a debit process? Isn't there an automatic charge for board?
  • iamhereiamhere Posts: 517Registered User Member
    Isn't there an automatic charge for board?

    see links in my prior post -- its like a debit card in the sense that you have a given amount of money on the card to spend down, but there is also an upfront amount to cover their overhead -- you don't start the semester by just putting any amount on the card that you want -- you start with one of their defined meal plans, each of which gives you a specific amount of spending money -- you can then easily add additional money to the card if you need to.
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