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What do your meal card spending habits say about you?

That £27 isn’t going to spend itself …


Ahh the meal card! A glory unto itself for freshers. Not only have Mum and Dad cashed in a few hundred quid on your weekly budget card to spend on god knows what on campus, but you've also got a wild selection of overpriced food that'll max out your card every Wednesday because you went to Mans Cafe to eat.

Whether you side for a cheap meal deal at SPAR to save up your cash for the weekend or splash out Mans, this is what each foodplace on campus says about your frivolous spending habits:

Portland Building Food Court

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You had your lunch here on your open day, and so now your midday lectures are followed by default with a trek up the thousands of steps en-route to the most crammed place on campus. Despite the variety on offer, you still opt for pasta three times a week, where you’re confronted with an elite breed of student who will say yes to the additional 65p charge for some everyday value cheese thanks to their poverty-fuelled maximum maintenance loan.

Alternatively, you may find yourself tucking into some of Man’s finest at lightning speed (due to the extra appetite gained in your 15 minute wait), which is soon followed with a dilemma on which day’s food to sacrifice since you’ve just blown £8 on one dish. I suggest us non-international students should just accept this place is a bit out of our budget and stick with our second-rate version of KFC : Chicken Joes.

The Pasta place AKA Vesper

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Portland’s Italian cuisine isn’t quite up to your standards, so you took it upon yourself to wonder through the wilderness, beyond the downs, to Willoughby hall’s campus bar. Here, you’re greeted with extra large portions of pasta, arguably better garlic bread, and the option of takeaway pizza, which makes you reconsider whether ordering dominoes twice a week is such an economically sustainable option.

George Green Library café

You’re in here because you heard the paninis were decent, but now you’re in the queue and you can’t hear yourself think over the deafening screeches of ‘ chicken fajita ‘ and ‘spicy meatball ‘ as the staff manically dance around to the melody of the constantly- beeping toasting machine.

As exam season hits you'll find yourself in here more often, with the fear of an August plagued with resits, transforming you into an espresso-loving machine that will happily accept a 3 -week diet of jacket potatoes and sub-standard steak bakes. You are also left genuinely bewildered as to why nobody is still working at 11pm so you can order yet another chai-tea latte with soya milk (of course), and so have to resort to plain old water to force your eyes open for another few hours.

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Trent Building

Portland building is too mainstream for your liking, so you ventured out towards the lake to get yourself a bagel and overpriced bottle of apple juice. The lack of freshers leaves you questioning whether you should be in here, but thankfully the secret tunnel to Portland is on your doorstep so you can make a quick escape back to where you belong.


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Going back home for three days was a great time to relax, but now its ten-to-five on a Sunday and the only place left selling food on campus closes in 10 minutes, and you’ve still got £23 left on your meal card. Excessive quantities of sweets and biscuits leap into your basket, before you realise you ought to start buying fancy chocolate amongst other overpriced goods, in a desperate attempt to drain your weekly allowance.

If you have been on campus all week and you’re still choosing to shop here, then you’re either just getting some pick and mix, or you're one of those fussy types who claim they don’t like any of the food served at the 25 different catering outlets on uni park.