Other ways to save money on food

Makes Cents Meals

Every day, the University Housing and Dining Services dining centers (Arnold, McNary and Marketplace West) have multiple Makes Cents meals. These meals are designed to be nutritionally balanced, filling (but probably without leftovers) and delicious. These hava a $4.00 retail price, but on-campus residents save 25%, which means it costs $3.00. If you have money on your ID card as Mealbux, Orange Cash, or Full Plate Funds, you can get a 10% discount (bringing the cost to $3.60). This is a great value - in fact, many HSRC staff eat these meals all the time! You can check the menus for Makes Cents meals at this link. Currently, this option is not available in the Memorial Union or other MU Retail Food Service establishments.

Cooking "Good and Cheap"

It can be hard to learn to cook tasty food while on a thrifty budget. We really like the Good and Cheap cookbook for this reason. In fact, we have dozens of copies available that you can check out for an entire term. The Food Hero website, from the OSU Extension is also a good resource. If you have children in your life, you might especially like the kid-approved section.

Stretch your snap dollars

If you have SNAP (food stamps), you should know that local famer's markets have a program called Double Up Food Bucks to make it easier to buy your food fresh and locally. On days when there is a farmer's market, you can go to a special booth and get up to $10 of SNAP funds turned into $20 to use at the market - and you can do this each week. 

Harvest some savings

The Mid-Valley Harvest, a local non-profit has a great program where you can get fresh picked produce for your time. When you volunteer to help pick fruit or vegetables, half of what you pick goes to local hunger-relief agencies (like the HSRC Food Pantry!) and you can take home up to half of what you pick to help feed your family. This is an especially great resource if you like to preserve fruits and vegetables by canning or drying the food. Unfortunately, most picking options require the use of a car, but you might be able to find friends who are willing to turn this into a fun outing. Most opportunities to help are during mid-to-late summer and early fall.