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Cal Poly meal plan options

dietz199dietz199 Registered User Posts: 3,467 Senior Member
edited August 2010 in Cal Poly San Luis Obispo
Does anyone have insights or suggestions regarding the three types of meals plans offered at CP.

Freshman Dining Plans 2010-11 - Dining Plan - Campus Dining - Cal Poly Corporation

Her plan is to stock the room fridge with basic breakfast foods - yogurt, granola, milk etc - and quick grab snacks like cheese sticks and fruit. She doesn't think she will eat 3 meals a day at the cafeterias. It sounds like a reasonable approach.

Does anyone know if you can change the selected plan later in the year? Also, are the students allowed to have an electric tea kettle in their rooms. D has a much better outlook on her day if she can start it with a good cup of tea.
Post edited by dietz199 on

Replies to: Cal Poly meal plan options

  • riverrunnerriverrunner Registered User Posts: 2,715 Senior Member
    dietz the link you put up says you can change dining plans at "designated times during the year." I've not heard of a ban on the electric tea pots- many kids seem to have them at other schools.

    I think my daughter is going to start out with the Flexibility plan (the middle one). She sounds like she eats somewhat like yours: more of a snacker/grazer than a "three squares" kind of person. She's very tempted by the Freedom plan, but I wonder if she'll run out of money early in the quarter....

    A current Freshman guy I know is pretty critical of the dining plans- he says he can't get enough to eat without spending money. I think he's switched around plans a bit- he's a big eater though. I'm not sure anyone can really keep a teenage boy full....
  • 2Leashes2Leashes Registered User Posts: 1,632 Senior Member
    My friend's daughter is a freshman and she has the Freedom plan. She likes having more flexibility. The Plus Dollars can be used at the different campus stores, which is nice. Apparently, it's not always easy to find the most healthy meals in the dining halls. (A lot of fried foods.) She did say that the Plus Dollars don't carry over to the next year, so it's important to use them all up. That's all I know about the dining plans! :) A cup of tea in the morning would be nice. I just found this list which might answer some questions about what to bring and what not bring: University Housing - Cal Poly

    When I was at the Parents' coffee during Open House, a student told us that they hide a toaster under their bed. "Shhhhhh" (she said) ;) It seems like a toaster would be more evident than something like an electric tea pot.
  • vballmomvballmom Registered User Posts: 3,135 Senior Member
    My son recommends choosing the plan with the least meals and the most plus dollars. He lives in Cerro Vista and stocks his fridge for breakfast by buying groceries at Albertson's. He grabs lunch and dinner on campus. He hasn't run out of plus dollars and in fact sometimes has a hard time spending every meal credit during each week. He's not a fan of the food but likes the pasta.

    The food sold at the on-campus stores is very expensive - my son and his roommates never buy there if they can help it.
  • gotpetergotpeter Registered User Posts: 407 Member
    vballmom reflects my son's experience precisely; the plan with the most $$s is what you want. Cal Poly food, while good in quality, lacks variety and quickly gets boring.
  • CalMom05CalMom05 Registered User Posts: 143 Junior Member
    A person from housing told me to have my son pick the Freedom plan.
  • riverrunnerriverrunner Registered User Posts: 2,715 Senior Member
    OK, Freedom it is. Thanks!
  • hhhhhhhhh111hhhhhhhhh111 Registered User Posts: 222 Junior Member
    Seconding the freedom plan.

    You're not "supposed" to have an electric boiler in the dorms but I highly suggest getting one. They're great for boiling quick meals and making tea. You can even boil veggies and HB eggs if you're so inclined.

    As an aside, there is nothing wrong with drinking water from the tap. But if that bothers you, don't forget a water filter. The Brita ones work great. I tried running on water bottles my first year and man was it a mess.
  • 2Leashes2Leashes Registered User Posts: 1,632 Senior Member
    Looks like we all agree on the Freedom plan! I know my daughter would rather have a Jamba juice or something healthier than something fried and full of starch. At least she'll still have enough meals to eat one "hot meal" a week. Or large salad, etc. But, I know she would rather be able to have the option of eating elsewhere, as well.

    It's too bad they also don't have one cafeteria or food court with an "all-you-can-eat" option. I liked that feature when we visited UC Davis. For $9.00 we could eat from any "station" within the large dining hall. There were different ethnic choices, as well as a large salad bar. And, it's one price. Oh, well. It is what it is!
  • dietz199dietz199 Registered User Posts: 3,467 Senior Member
    Thanks for all the great input. We will revisit the freedom plan.
  • NTKS17NTKS17 Registered User Posts: 549 Member
    The food is not good, and for the most part not very healthy either. I feel like the majority of the options come out of a box or can. The food is bad for you and it doesn't even taste good. And it's way overpriced. The plan with the most plus dollars and fewest meals is probably best. As a girl, I find it hard to even finish most of the meals, the dinner portions especially are quite large in my opinion. The best deal, if you are living in the apartments, is to pick the cheapest plan and buy most of your food at the grocery store. Frozen dinners, such as Line Cuisine, taste like the dining hall food and they are probably healthier since at least you know how much fat/salt/calories you're eating. If you're living in the dorms, go for the plan with fewer meals and more plus dollars. Meals are also annoying because you have to use them up each week or they go to waste.
  • SanDiego2010SanDiego2010 Registered User Posts: 52 Junior Member
    Time to select a dining plan.....thought I'd get this thread going again. Check the Housing/Dining tab on the portal.

    Sounds from experienced students and suggestions for CP, Freedom Plan is the way to go.

    I was wondering how much extra in food money per week in general is needed to eat without starving.....Campus Express plus off-campus food budget including runs to the grocery store, $$ on average per week.
  • 2Leashes2Leashes Registered User Posts: 1,632 Senior Member
    I'm honestly hoping our daughter will be able to budget her dining plan so she won't need anymore money put into her dining account (from us, at least) :) I know she's going to want to eat or have a snack/beverage downtown at various times. But, she's going to have to figure that into her overall monthly budget aside from the dining plan.

    We're paying for her dining plan (Freedom) and will deposit a certain amount into her debit account every month--or maybe every 2 weeks. My husband said he considers this "allowance" to be part of the total cost of attending Cal Poly. He budgeted for the $2,250 they recommend for personal/misc. That works out to be about $250 a month. I would think that she could stretch her dollars to cover anything extra she needs, including food outside of her dining plan.

    I didn't even realize we were going to give her this amount until my husband said that he considered part of the total cost to attend. We don't want her working the first quarter or even her first year if she can help it. Later on, maybe she can get a very part time job and have even more spending money or save toward study abroad.
  • SanDiego2010SanDiego2010 Registered User Posts: 52 Junior Member
    Thanks for your input. I was trying to figure out the amount per week the dining plan represents to get a feel for what it provides...but in the end will just wait to see how it all works out.

    Also noticed that compared to last year the dining credit value for lunch and dinner is less this year, but there are more Plu$ dollars

    Residence Halls: (didn't look at apt. plan)

    last year lunch credit: $9.75 this year $8.75
    last year dining credit: $12.75 this year $10.75

    Last year Plu$ dollars per quarter: $360/qtr this year $475/qtr.

    Guess it's a redesign of the plan, more flexible dollars is probably a good thing.

    I know it's a personal budget per family--the extra amount--and will take it week by week in the beginning....but if anyone else, especially from experienced studentsor families have any insight how much extra food budget you need after using the freedom plan, I'd like to hear what you think.
  • vballmomvballmom Registered User Posts: 3,135 Senior Member
    My son lived in Cerro last year and had the Freedom plan. His total spending at Albertson's was around $130 per quarter. He brought other food from home, and probably gave his roommates some cash for Costco runs. He also occasionally ate at the farmers' market, but this was relatively infrequent. He's not a big eater, so someone who has a bigger appetite might find $130/quarter to be not nearly enough for extra food.

    He used up all his Plus dollars by the end of the year.

    My son and 4 other guys will be living off campus this coming year. He's planning on purchasing some Plus dollars to use for lunches on campus (you get a bonus if you load your card up early).

    Hope that helps!
  • momofmvmomofmv Registered User Posts: 595 Member
    Vballmom^ Did you have your son have the more expensive food plan (Freedom Plan) because the normal food plan for the Cerro apartments is less food right? I didn't think that you could choose a different food plan if in Cerro. My son isn't a big eater either. I am hoping that he will use his meal credits and plus dollars and then go shopping for foods for the apartment (cereal, milk, bread, snacks etc...) I am sure he will want to go into SLO for some better food on the weekends and we will load him up with staples when we see him. What do you think? Will the apartment plan work for him?
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