Budget Flexi, Drink From the Tap

Midterms are coming to an end and half of the semester is complete. Students who live on campus and use Flexi should have about $900 left according to a week by week budget created by Jon Torres, senior cafe manager of Bon Appetit.  For the week beginning on October 27th, students should have $896.55 remaining. By purchasing meals for friends and making impulse buys, some students run through their Flexi points quickly. The meal plan for on-campus students is $1,905 each semester.  Torres and Holly Winslow, manager of Bon Appetit, have worked to create bail out specials, which feature a daily $1 special food item, such as pizza and soup.

To budget Flexi, Winslow suggested decreasing impulse purchases and also limiting the consumption of boutique bottled water, like Dasani and Evian. She said that the tap water available in the cafeteria is from Hetch Hetchy, a water reservoir near Yosemite National Park, which is “pure and free.”  Winslow said, “I would much rather see students using their own (reusable) water bottles.” Purchasing bottled water “has a tendency to drive the check up,” she said.

USF students typically make about five trips through the cafeteria each day. Winslow said that these fly by trips and spontaneous buys can also eat away at Flexi points. She cautioned, “Be aware of how many times you are walking through.”

While the current meal plan does provide for three hot meals a day, replacing scrambled eggs and tater tots with a bagel could help students conserve Flexi.

Sophomores Morgan Harper and Jenae Lozada both have about $900 left. Harper isn’t concerned with running out of Flexi, she said, “ I can estimate it because I don’t eat here on the weekends.”  Lozada said, “I eat out too. I get sick of the cafeteria food.”  Sophomore Quin Herron has a $634 balance and is being a bit more careful about his spending than at the beginning of the semester. For those concerned about running out of Flexi points, Winslow said that last year she made her phone number available to students to discuss their low balances. She met with ten students, five of whom began working for Bon Appetit. Bon Appetit offers student workers Flexi and complimentary employee meals as additional benefits. Winslow said, “Before students revert to inappropriate behavior, (they should) come talk to Jon or myself. We will always help the students.”

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