What can $8.75 get you?

A guide to Queen’s meal equivalency

Lazy Scholar food.
Lazy Scholar food.

I was so nervous going into first year of university that I read every FAQ, FYI and Q&A I could find to avoid making familiar frosh mistakes. While I had course selection nightmares like everyone else and somehow managed to manipulate my way into a single room, one thing I forgot to plot was my meal plan.

The most important part of the meal plan I wish I knew more about going into first year was the meal equivalency credits. Worth $8.75, you have $150 of additional flex dollars to supplement your 200 equivalencies. While flex dollars are refillable, meal equivalencies are not, so use them wisely.

Without knowing exactly how best to strategize my Equivalency Allocation Technique (EAT), I finished my first year with 37 meals left. While I might be a lost cause having finished first year, let me save you, future frosh, the flex dollars I couldn’t save myself.

The following is a list of $8.75 meals to help save your funds and fill you up until your next Lazy Riser. 

The Lazy Scholar

Whether you go for a 1am snack or a 1pm “breakfast” the next day, the Lazy Scholar is close to every frosh’s heart. It’s the most accommodating place on campus to use a meal, with a wide range of suggested combinations. A first year favourite is the four-piece combo: $8.75 for four chicken fingers, curly fries and a pop. For a breakfast option, swipe your card for the Lazy Riser combo: a breakfast sandwich, home-fries, a piece of fruit and a bottle of juice. 

Botterell Hall

Botterell is Waldron Tower’s best-kept secret and one of my personal favourites for EAT implementation. With all-day breakfast and a ridiculously cheerful staff, I’m convinced it’s the best use of meal equivalencies on campus.

Botterell is famous for its $8.75 Big Breakfast: two eggs, bacon and sausage, home-fries, toast, a muffin, yogurt and juice, pop, coffee or tea. However, after my friends and I had one too many of these, we devised our own winning $8.75 combo: a customized breakfast wrap, home-fries, and tea, coffee or juice. 

Tim Hortons

Using a meal equivalency at Tim Hortons before class means that: 1) opening your bag will result in at least four paper-wrapped items falling out and 2) your TA will judge you. Regardless, desperate times call for desperate measures. You could feed yourself for a full day on $8.75 at Tim’s – and I have.

My go-to was a BLT or breakfast sandwich, a cream cheese bagel, a hashbrown, a muffin and a medium coffee or tea. One of my friends preferred a BLT, a no-egg breakfast sandwich, a cream cheese bagel and a medium lemonade. 

I could go on and on about the options, but they’re endless. And in the last few months of school, the ability to get two meals in one swipe is especially critical.

Booster Juice

Some say that Booster Juice doesn’t accommodate meal equivalencies, but those people just aren’t trying hard enough. Just $8.75 at Booster Juice gets you a regular smoothie (with one extra booster) and a piece of fruit. Perfect for staving off scurvy after a straight week on Tim’s bagels.

Future frosh, I hope these suggestions leave you more informed about navigating the intricacies of EAT than I ever was. And if all else fails and four-pieces sweep you off your feet, Ban stir-fries will always have your back.



Dining, Food, value

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