Birmingham Uni- Meal Plan Watch

Annaadunn
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I have an offer to study at UoB in September and have looked into the accomodation. What does the meal plan offer? Is it common to still cook meals in the flat for those that go for meal plan?
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kittycannon
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(Original post by Annaadunn)
I have an offer to study at UoB in September and have looked into the accomodation. What does the meal plan offer? Is it common to still cook meals in the flat for those that go for meal plan?
I'm not on meal plan but as far as I know, each week you get a £50 balance which you can use on food and (non-alcoholic) drinks in most places on campus, and in the food outlets on the Vale. There should be a list somewhere of all the places which accept meal plan. At the end of the week (Sunday night) whatever you don't use out of the £50 you got at the start of the week gets wiped, and you get another £50 allowance on Monday. I think you can use meal plan to buy basic items such as cereal and milk in Costcutters in Shackleton (on the Vale), as it's not uncommon to see students on meal plan buying several boxes of cereal to use up their allowance on a Sunday evening.

Sometimes people do cook from time to time while on meal plan, and most make breakfast themselves. There is a variety of food that you can get on meal plan, such as pizza (which is actually really nice), sandwiches, Mexican food, fast food, 'home-cooked' food, just to name a few.
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AHC25
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(Original post by kittycannon)
I think you can use meal plan to buy basic items such as cereal and milk in Costcutters in Shackleton (on the Vale), as it's not uncommon to see students on meal plan buying several boxes of cereal to use up their allowance on a Sunday evening.
I'm on meal plan and you can buy cereal/milk/fruit etc. from Infusion (the main restaurant/cafeteria) but not from Costcutters. As we're not really a fan of the food on meal plan, myself and my flatmates often cook dinner at the flat
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thatgr
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Everyone I know with a meal plan still spends money on food, and ultimately not going with it ends up much cheaper as the campus food is expensive so you can't have 3 meals a day based off a meal plan.
So it's £50 a week + shopping money for food to cover the rest of your diet, may as well just not have it, learn to cook and spend £10-20 a week on food...
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Broddle
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I'm currently on Meal Plan, and it takes the stress off having to cook each night while you settle in at uni, but you do have to budget to get it to stretch - it would definitely be cheaper to cook your own. However, there is a wide range of food outlets both on campus and the Vale: the Vale offers The Melt (okay pizzas, good cooked breakfasts
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Broddle
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(Original post by Broddle)
I'm currently on Meal Plan, and it takes the stress off having to cook each night while you settle in at uni, but you do have to budget to get it to stretch - it would definitely be cheaper to cook your own. However, there is a wide range of food outlets both on campus and the Vale: the Vale offers The Melt (okay pizzas, good cooked breakfasts
I & lunch, snacks, sandwiches, wraps, paninis & smoothies), Infusion (normal dinners, caters to wide range of dietary requirements, not the highest quality but okay & quite repetitive) where you can also get cereal, milk, jam and bread on meal plan, JC's (tex mex) and The Hungry Duck (just inside the pub; burgers, hot dogs and nachos etc). On Campus you have Go Central (cooked foods from different cultures: Go Asia, Go Italia and Go Britannia), Go Cafe (choose your own salad/sandwich/baked potato, prepacked sandwiches, baked goods, hot drinks, snacks etc.) and Go Mex (burritos), the Street Kitchen which should be on meal plan by next academic year (soups, BBQ wings, smoothies, loads of other stuff - think global street food) and Joe's Bar which accepts meal plan for food & soft drinks (AMAZING pizzas, burgers, hot dogs, lasagne, milkshakes and the (in)famous University Challenge!). Plus with a Joe's card you get 2 for 1 pizza which is great, and if it was like last year you should get the card free when you move into Halls. In addition, most departmental buildings have their cafes - Gisbert Kapp has noodles I believe, the Library cafe is nice. Oh, and the on campus Costa accepts meal plan too. Hope this helps! Good luck!
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TessDude
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All the above comments are really helpful, but can anyone tell me if can you just go into any of these meal plan restaurants and pay with money?

Is the main benefit of meal plan that you have to spend it on food not beer and make budgeting easier?

Basically, if you're ok at cooking but may want to eat lunch or dinner out 3 or 4 times a week when you can't be bothered to cook, is it better than tying yourself into meal plan and then doing extra food shopping?

Hope for a reply got to confirm accommodation by Tuesday 22nd August, confused. Got Shackleton with meal plan but wanted Mason without - I think. Thx
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