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Tamu meal plans???

Eagles2013Eagles2013 Registered User Posts: 11 New Member
edited August 2013 in Texas A&M University
I was wondering if anyone could explain to me exactly how the meal plan system works. I amsigned up for the Howdy plan (required for U1 on campus ), and am confused on how i can use my meals.

Seven Meals per Week
100 Dining Dollars per Semester
12 Guest Passes per Semester
Cost: $1236 per Semester, plus Tax

Does 7 meals a week mean, i can do breakfast every day and lunch twice, or vice versa. Or dinner everyday, and lunch/breakfast twice?

Also how do dining dollars work?

Post edited by Eagles2013 on

Replies to: Tamu meal plans???

  • wiiplay4wiiplay4 Registered User Posts: 132 Junior Member
    you only have 7 meals, and a meal can be breakfast/lunch/dinner.
  • FullMetalxFullMetalx Registered User Posts: 440 Member
    I got the same plan. From my understanding a single meal can be actually 3 meals per day. Not sure though
  • TXAggie92TXAggie92 Registered User Posts: 341 Member
    I got the same plan. From my understanding a single meal can be actually 3 meals per day. Not sure though

    Not unless they've changed it since I was a freshman (which they obviously have somewhat since this wasn't required when I lived on campus).

    For example if you go to lunch at chickfila and get a sandwich and fries then you tell the cashier to use a meal. There's no way that the one meal could be turned into three. I guess the only way one meal could be turned into three is to go into Sbisa with your backpack and a lot of tupperware and use a meal to get in and then fill up your backpack with food.

    Dining dollars can be used in place of meals. You can buy a chickfila sandwich and fries and just pay with dining dollars instead of a meal if you want. You can also only buy fries or a drink with dining dollars. Dining dollars could also be used at the convenience stores they have around campus (rattlers).
  • perazzimanperazziman Registered User Posts: 2,356 Senior Member
    I think TXAggie92 is right, a single meal can be any ONE of 3 meals: breakfast, lunch or dinner. You can use dinning dollars or cash for the other two meals during the day. In addition, I think there is an option to buy additional meals on a meal card if you run out.
  • AGmomx2AGmomx2 Registered User Posts: 1,153 Senior Member
    First of all, looks like they have completely changed the meal plans trying to fix all the 'loopholes'. I'm sure you will get some clarification in your move in information packet if you are on campus. Old rules range from not required to have a meal plan, to dining dollars required only to your new meal/dining dollar plans. You use to be able to run your card more than once (allowing friends to eat some of your meal money -there's always extra it seems), no guest passes (now there are), rollover amounts from fall to spring (now you can't). You use to be able to convert meals to dining dollars too then spend them at Rattlers (the convenience store on campus). Bottom line, don't listen to people about the old system - you have new rules this year. To the parents, the students eat lots of meals off campus- fundraisers, meetings of groups at restaurants, gathering of off/on campus friends, etc. You would be better off buying the small plan & giving the students their own 'meal money'.
  • Debbie7452Debbie7452 Registered User Posts: 521 Member
    This new plan seems deliberately designed to confuse students. Each meal counts as a meal. If you have 7/week, you can eat any 7 meals that you like in one week, but there's only 7. When the 7 meals are depleted, you are out of meals. Of course, you can eat with dining dollars after that, if you have them left. There is some crazy "meal trade" thing for eating at alternative locations other than Sbisa/Duncan. Don't know exactly how that works.

    The bottom line is that the new plan cost 3% more than last years required minimum plan but buys 45 less meals/semester. It is really a ripoff in disguise.
  • whciv01whciv01 Registered User Posts: 234 Junior Member
    What meal plan to folks recommend for incoming freshman that are going to live on campus. Its quite confusing to determine how many meals we should purchase for our son. Is it better to have more meals than dinning dollars or the opposite. Can you add meals to any plan if you find that its not enough. Any recommendations from freshman this past year.
  • AGmomx2AGmomx2 Registered User Posts: 1,153 Senior Member
    I had an on campus freshman last year : buy the smallest plan available. Last year it was all dining dollars, no meals. Min. was $1200, he never used it all ( did use it up at Rattlers buying other stuff rather than waste the money).

    My oldest had the meal/dining dollars plan available her freshman year. She did not use all of hers either. It was 150 meals/150 dining dollars.

    Dining dollars are easier to use, buy anything a la carte with them even the all you can eat at Sbiza is a set price. Meals were specific options at places like the on campus chic fil a and you could NOT substitute. So, if the meal of the day special was chicken sandwich but you wanted chicken strips, you would have to use dining dollars. Assuming they went back to that meal format but it's new- just started this week.

    Buy the smallest plan, you can always buy more if your child happens to have friends that never eat off campus. They get the same access to all the dining places with cash - you do not HAVE to use a meal card. There are roughly 100 'eating days' a semester. Hope this helps.
  • whciv01whciv01 Registered User Posts: 234 Junior Member
    I don't think the Howdy meal plan exists anymore. The plans look different for next year.
  • kldat1kldat1 Registered User Posts: 678 Member
    edited May 2014
    The plans are revised again from last fall. Much fewer guest passes, fewer meals. Dining dollars roll-over. And at a higher price.

    I agree there are roughly 100 'eating days' per semester. So 3 meals a day is 300 meals. The largest dining plan offered is 200 meals and $300 dining dollars which accounts for about another 30 meals. That still leaves about 70 meals to be consumed somewhere over a 16 week semester. About 4-5 times per week of eating out, skipping, snagging food from the dining hall, having something in the dorm room, mooching off friends, etc. Sure many students won't eat 3 a day or will have something in the dorm room. Meal trades are helpful for changing things up. My D used her plan to the max and spent all but 16 cents of her dining dollars.

    We will take the 200 meal plan the first semester and see how it goes. My son can get hungry like most teenage boys!
  • whciv01whciv01 Registered User Posts: 234 Junior Member
    It seems 200 meals is probably too many. My S is hoping to have his breakfast in his room (cereal) and then eat one big meal per day at the "all you can eat" dinning centers. From what I've read here, having more dining dollars is better than having more meals. I don't want my S to go hungry, but I also don't want to waste a bunch of meals.

    Anyone have input based on this years use of the previous plans (like the Howdy plan)?
  • kldat1kldat1 Registered User Posts: 678 Member
    @whciv01‌ - If you don't want to use the meals from the meal plan I would strongly suggest using cash instead of Dining Dollars. Cash is accepted anywhere. Dining Dollars are limited to where they can be used. Get the minimum dining dollars possible. You can add to the dining dollars if needed.
  • AuntieMameAuntieMame Registered User Posts: 77 Junior Member
    Does anyone know when the meal plans start? I've searched the A&M website and found nothing. The concern is for Gig'em Week, when (pretty much) only Fish are there.
  • lee6666lee6666 Registered User Posts: 245 Junior Member
    @AutnieMame, Last year, the meal plans were good during Gig'em Week, but things were scaled back a bit that week and not all options were open. Sbisa was open. There are also a lot of free food offerings on campus that week -- free pizza, etc. when you stop by informationals, etc.
  • AuntieMameAuntieMame Registered User Posts: 77 Junior Member
    Thanks, @lee6666 Very good to know!
This discussion has been closed.