Wednesday, July 28, 2021
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Lions’ Financial: How to Optimize Your Meal Equiv at the Library Cafe

By Padma Radhakrishnan

Between 11:00 am and 1:30 pm, it’s possible to get food and drinks for up to $7.50 in points anywhere on campus… besides Eickhoff, of course. I set out to see if I could make the most of those $7.50 to get a complete meal.
A complete meal, at least for me, is a filling, lunch-sized food portion and a drink.

I reviewed the Library Cafe menu and based my suggestions off the daily menu prices for consistency. Here’s how to get the best deal during meal equiv at the Library Cafe:

  1. Turkey sandwich ($5.29) and any drink (under $2.21), like a water bottle, tall coffee of the day, tall caffe americano, or tall tazo hot tea
  2. Ham sandwich ($4.69) and any drink (under $2.81), like Starbucks’ bottled iced coffee, tazo bottled iced tea, or Tropicana pure premium
  3. Egg and cheese sandwich ($2.79) and any drink (under $4.71), like Grande Caffe Mocha, Venti Tazo Chai latte, or Sobe Lifewater

Keep these general guidelines in mind when you get meal equiv at the Library Cafe:

  1. If you order a ham or turkey sandwich, then don’t order a drink that is larger than a tall. Stick to bottled beverages; these type of drinks tend to help keep the total under $7.50.
  2. If want to order a larger drink, then order items of the breakfast items part of the menu, such as an egg and cheese sandwich or bagel. Although these items are labeled “breakfast items”, they can still be pretty fulfilling for lunch and help to stay within your meal equiv limit.
  3. If you would like to look for a vegetarian option or maximize your order even more, your best bet is to maximize your order.
    For instance, you could order a bagel with cream cheese ($2.31), any tall drink under $2.70, and still have about $2.50 to buy a cookie.
    You could also substitute the bagel with cream cheese for a plain bagel, allowing more variety for your drink choice. If you want to buy a cookie for under $2.50, you should pick a drink that’s cheaper than $3.20.

This is the second part in a Lions’ Financial series, where Padma will explain how to get the best bang for your buck during meal equiv at different on-campus dining locations.


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