Virginia Commonwealth University

Whether you were required to purchase a dining plan because you live in a campus or you just really enjoy Shafer Dining Court, there is so much more you can do with your dining plan than what the school advertises.

1. Dining Dollars

These puppies are worth way more than the school gives them credit for. You can use them whenever the restaurant you wish to eat at is open, they can be used at all the places on campus. You can also buy toiletries at the POD Market in Student Commons with Dining Dollars! You can buy up to $300 a semester but they can be refilled on the VCUcard website.

2. Shafer Dining Court

VCU Shafer Dining Court

Many people unfairly avoid Shafer. It has great breakfast choices right in the middle of the compass so it accessible between those early morning classes. It takes one swipe to get in and you can stay and get as many courses as you would like. You can stay from open to close if you so please and eat all 3 meals on one swipe. If that isn’t going to sell you on Shafer, you can also swipe in and get unlimited coffee. So instead of going to the library to study, go to Shafer, grab as many cups of joe as you can handle and hide in the quiet corners to study.

3. RamBucks

Although these are not technically part of the meal plan, they go alongside it. Places around campus like Chipotle, Noodles & Co, Panera and Starbucks take RamBucks. You can treat it as almost a debit card as you can fill it up as much as you please. You can even use RamBucks on the vending machines on campus!

4. Swipe Exchange

VCU has a fantastic Swipe Exchange program featuring places like Subway, Pizza Hut and even Chick-Fil-A! Planning out your Saturday to get some Chick-Fil-A for swipes is definitely not a waste considering how much money you save in the long run. Just make sure you aware when places are swiping and what is on their menus.

With these suggestions, you are bound to get the ‘bang for your buck’! VCU students have so many options to buy food that Ramen is off the table (literally.)

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