1) For 14p, if I swipe 3 times during one designated meal period, then it counts as 1 or counts as 3?
Three. I have never heard of anybody swiping multiple times per meal period for entry into a dining hall. The dining halls are all-that-you-can-eat, so there is not much need to go more than once if you get your full the first time. It is common to swipe multiple times at the quick-service cafes, such as Bruin Cafe, Rendezvous, and Cafe 1919 during one meal period. I do that all the time if I want multiple menu items. 2) I usually have 21 meals per week at home, how can one only have 14 swipes per week? How about the other 7 meals? How do you usually spend these 14 swipes? Let's say, if I already swiped 14 times, but still want food. Can I pay cash in dining halls and restaurants and any other markets at school (is there any)?
14 meal plans really are designed for those that go home, I believe. 19 is designed for 3 meals during the weekdays, and 2 meals each day of the weekend (weekend hours only really have two meal periods--brunch and dinner). A premier meal plan is much more flexible if you want to swipe whenever you want and not be restricted by the meal period hours.
I usually do not eat breakfast, and rarely lunch, at the dining halls/cafes. I can't wake up early enough, or do not have the enthusiasm to walk back to the dorms when I have things to do on campus, so I stock up on my 14P meal plan.
If you have a premier meal plan, and you have already swiped 14 times in one week, you can continue swiping. A premier meal plan is distributed at the beginning of the quarter. You will receive (I roughly estimate) 150 meal swipes at the beginning of the quarter for 14P, and you can swipe them whenever you want, no restrictions. It is only the non-premier meal plan that expires at the end of the week.
If you want to swipe in for a meal without using a meal plan, I do not believe you can do it with cash. Instead, you would deposit money onto your Bruincard (either EasyPay or food only) and use its debit feature for the dining halls and cafes. It might be a bit annoying that you can't use cash up front, but you have to first deposit it onto your Bruincard.
On campus we have multiple coffee shops (with bagels, salads, sandwiches); we have a Subway sandwich shop, a Yoshinoya Beef Bowl shop, a Carls Jr., Taco Bell, Panda Express, the list kinda goes on. Ralphs supermarket is also just across the street to the southernmost part of campus. You can use cash here or use your Bruincard's debit function.
Info on debit function: https://secure.bruincard.ucla.edu/bcw/web/Home.aspx
You might also want to look into the meal coupons here (I've never tried it myself before): Special Services & Programs (1000914)
For a list of ASUCLA restaurants, look here (does not include Carls Jr, Taco Bel, Subway, or Yoshinoya, but instead are the restaurants owned/ran by Associated Students UCLA): UCLA Restaurants
Glad to help. SUMMARY
- Premier meal plans give you all of your swipes at the beginning of the quarter.
- Each entry into the dining hall counts as one swipe.
- Each menu item at the quick-service cafes count as one swipe (but usually come with a drink and a small side (chips or fruits))
- Premier meal plan allows you to swipe whenever you want.
- Student life is not always so flexible; students sometimes skip meals
- I think 19 "regular" is cheaper than 14Premier; I recommend 19 regular if you have a good eating schedule, and 14premier if you like flexibility
- There are options to eat at other places on campus