What can $8.75 buy?

How to optimize your Queen’s meal plan

Image by: Jonah Eisen

Every first-year meal plan at Queen’s comes with 200 meal equivalencies — meals that can be traded for up to $8.75 worth of tax-exempt food items at campus food retailers.

When used effectively, meal equivalencies can go a long way. However, when you spend an equivalency, every penny of that $8.75 that goes unspent in your transaction is discarded, as opposed to being banked for future transactions. For example, if you use a meal equivalency to buy $6 worth of food, $2.75 is wasted and can never be regained.

To help you make the most of your meal plan, and avoid wasting valuable dollars in meal equivalencies, we’re showing you just how much $8.75 can buy.

The Canadian Grilling Company

Mackintosh-Corry Hall’s MC Square

Classic burger + cheese of your choice = $8.00

Old school milkshake + sweet potato fries or small salad = $8.25 or $8.50, respectively Poutine + pop = $8.70

Garden Street Café

Botterell Hall

Must-try: All-day breakfast on Thursdays

Chicken caesar salad + large Java Java gourmet blends coffee + bagel = $8.72

Lazy Scholar

Victoria Hall Two-piece chicken snacker + Lazy Riser + apple = $8.33

Pita Pit

Queen’s Centre and Mackintosh-Corry Hall’s MC Square

6” chicken souvlaki pita + bottled drink = $8.69

Pizza Pizza

Queen’s Centre and Mackintosh-Corry Hall’s MC Square

Two slices of pizza + one bag of chips + one 20oz fountain pop + one dipping sauce = $8.78


Goodes Hall

Breakfast sandwich or wrap + venti Tazo tea latte = $8.60

Library Café

Stauffer Library

Large london fog + chocolate brownie + butter croissant = $8.69

Tim Hortons

Queen’s Centre, JDUC and the Biosciences Complex

Breakfast Bagel BELT Combo (includes a small coffee and a donut or muffin) + classic bagel with cream cheese + danish or croissant = $8.74

BLT Soup Combo (sandwich + soup + coffee) + danish or croissant = $8.75

To compare, here’s what $8.75 can buy you at Common Ground Coffeehouse (CoGro), the on-campus, student-run coffee shop which does not accept meal equivalencies:

Common Ground Coffeehouse

Queen’s Centre

Bruschetta Bagel + Exam (large) coffee = $8.65 (after tax)

On-campus dining pro tips:

– Tim Hortons’ low prices make it the perfect place to optimize your meal equivalencies. If you have a day with back-to-back classes, consider hitting up Tim Hortons in the morning to get both your breakfast and lunch, all at the cost of one meal equivalency. Also consider trading off with a friend: one of you takes care of breakfast, while the other takes care of lunch — in end, you’ve only spent one meal equivalency each.

– It’s not always possible to achieve a perfect $8.75 combination. If you ever find that you’re a little over, consider paying the additional cost with your flex dollars. Flex dollars are an extra pool of money that comes with all first-year meal plans. They’re ideal for when your meal equivalency’s total slightly exceeds $8.75, or you simply want a coffee on the go.

– If you run out of flex dollars, you can always pay differences in cash. Additional flex dollars, however, are available for purchase through Queen’s Hospitality Services.

– All meals, meal equivalencies and flex dollars expire unconditionally after April 30 of each school year. If you purchase “dining dollars”, which are taxable funds that can be used at any campus food retailer, they don’t expire.


Dining, Food, value

All final editorial decisions are made by the Editor(s)-in-Chief and/or the Managing Editor. Authors should not be contacted, targeted, or harassed under any circumstances. If you have any grievances with this article, please direct your comments to journal_editors@ams.queensu.ca.

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