Dining on a dime


With college tuition on the rise, students are forced to become savvy spenders at lunchtime. Some students said on-campus dining doesn’t suffice, so they are left to explore their surrounding areas for tasteful options that don’t break the belt or the wallet.
Other students disagreed and said on-campus dining is still more convenient and affordable.
So the question ‘just how much can you eat on a budget of $5?’ was raised at Mercer County Community College and Seton Hall University to investigate where exactly students can go for inexpensive dining options.
According to Seton Hall junior Anna Cirrati, eating for five dollars in her area might be tough.
“I’m not sure if I’d be fulfilled, but I would head to the Trat,” Cirrati said, referring to the Village Trattoria which offers slices of pizza between two dollars and three dollars and drinks between $1 to $2.50.
Cirrati said she might be able to get away with two slices of pizza, or one slice and a drink.
Sophomore Nicole Fischer said she would buy pizza at Seton Hall’s commuter cafeteria because she can get a lot for her money.
“It’s reliably good and you can get like two slices and a drink for five dollars,” Fischer said.
According to junior Mark Moses, the Mercer County cafeteria offers a variety of food for a low cost.
“I can get a porkroll, egg and cheese or a steak sandwich and coffee for under $5,” Moses said.
Seton Hall sophomore Brenna Fleis expressed some issues for eating just under $5 at school.
“It doesn’t get you much on campus, but if I really wanted a meal I’d go to Stony’s,” Fleis said.
At Stony’s, a local burger joint in South Orange, Fleis can just manage to get a burger for $4.99.
Sophomore Rebecca Livi said she can stay on campus to get quality coffee at the commuter cafeteria for a good price.
“I would go to the Pirate’s Express because it is convenient and it has good coffee,” Livi said.
Seton Hall also offers Dunkin’ Donuts right on campus. The cost of a medium iced caramel latte is $3.60, which is significantly less than the same coffee at Starbucks, which is $4.55.
Junior Matt Fantau said he prefers to buy sandwiches off-campus, because he can find a good deal in the town of South Orange.
For Mercer County students, Hoagie Haven is the place to go, where half a sandwich is priced at $4.50. On the other hand Seton Hall students have the option of going to Subway to get a more fulfilling footlong sandwich for $5.
Junior Joe Murgolo said he would rather go to Subway for the $5 footlong, while sophomore Chris Katsikis said he prefers Hoagie Haven.
“When I’ve got less than $5 – Hoagie Haven,” Katsikis said. “It’s a no brainer.”
While eating at an inexpensive price is great, students may not always be getting the healthiest choice.
“If I had more money I would buy something more healthy like a salad or a good chicken wrap,” Sessoms said.
Hoagie Haven may not offer the healthiest of sandwiches, however some $5 footlong sandwiches only contain 280 calories, according to Subway’s website.
To keep track of calories and find the healthiest choice, while still not breaking budget, go to caloriecount.about.com to look up the nutrition facts of any meal.
Students’ finances might be tighter than ever, but frugal minded students can take solace in the fact that they can still get a quality meal for a good price if they know the right places to go.

Author: Staff Writer

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