Lunch a place to save – or not

By Jordan Freisleben and Daniel Rothberg

With the economy sinking, some students have begun to modify their spending habits in the cafeteria while other students have made no change at all.

“I have always bought whatever and will continue to do so,” said Ben Castillo ’11. “Sorry, Mom. Sorry, Dad.”

On the other hand, the economy is taking its toll on the spending of some students. Drew Tuttle ’11, who budgets his money, has been more wary of his spending since the economic downturn.

“Before, if I went over it, it wasn’t a big deal,” Tuttle said. “But now, it’s more important that I stay around my budget.”
To help students budget funds, parents have the option to limit the amount that students can charge to their accounts. Cafeteria manager Nipa Boonyamas estimates that 10 percent of students have a limit on their spending.

“When you are just handing over a piece of plastic, you’re not going, getting the money out of the ATM, seeing the balance shrink, your just ‘oh, hand it over and give me something,’” Dean Jon Wimbish said. “And that’s a dangerous trap for a lot of people out in the world and now you have that with food at school.”

Unlike many other supermarkets and stores, the prices of some items sold are not visibly marked.

For students trying to watch what they’re spending, not knowing the prices can make the budgeting process more difficult.

According to Boonyamas, the cafeteria is not always able to display prices on certain food items because they rotate the selection.