Creative Ideas for Reducing Your End of the Year Flex and Meal Swipes

   As the end of the semester approaches, many students realize the plethora of meal swipes at the Den and flex dollars that they have left. Although flex dollars carry over to the spring semester, meal swipes do not.
   Therefore, students who tend to go out to eat or prefer snacking in their rooms generally have a huge surplus of meals left over. Since no one wants to waste their money, some students have crafted clever ways to get their money’s worth of flex and swipes.
   Junior Hailey Busch lived on campus for two years before moving off-campus this year, and she explained how she decided to donate her swipes. An avid snacker and restaurant-customer, she had in excess of 50 swipes left at the end of each semester—and she had friends who had even more left.
   Busch explained that one way she donated her leftover swipes was to swipe in less financially stable students who lived off-campus and did not have a dining plan.
   Reflecting on her experience living on-campus versus now living off campus and providing her own food, she said, “Money seems tighter when you live off-campus because you don’t have ‘free meals’ on hand whenever you are hungry.” With this in mind, she offered to swipe for her friends who had this problem as well.
   Junior Steph Anderson also recalled how she handled her excess of swipes and flex dollars. She explained how she would offer to swipe for people in the line to get into the Den, and some people would be thrilled because they were either out of meals or running very low.

Money seems tighter when you live off-campus because you don’t have ‘free meals’ on hand whenever you are hungry.
Junior, Hailey Busch

   As for her extra Flex, Anderson would go to the C-store and stock up on anything and everything nonperishable. “I would get enough food to pretty much keep me going for two weeks,” Anderson laughed.
   If you decide to take this approach to utilizing your Flex, though, keep in mind that many students have the same idea, so the C-store supplies can run low pretty quickly. Make sure you stop by as soon as you can when supplies are still high.
   Senior Megan Brink was an RA, so she tended to have large amounts of flex left at the end of the semester. Like Anderson, she would go to the C-store and buy huge portions of nonperishables — except she would donate them to a food shelf. The holiday season is a great time to donate food to those in need of more stable sustenance.
   Whether you have extra flex or extra swipes, make sure you are crafty with how you use them. If you are on the other side and nearly out of both, maybe you will run into someone like Hailey or Steph who will help you get fed without spending extra money.

Annika van Oosbree

Featured image photo courtesy of Kyla Schuster, Staff Photographer. NSU sophomore Lauren Paatela using Flex at the Den.