Monday, March 7, 2011

Kalamazoo College students procrastinate even on grocery shopping

A recent survey studied how typical Kalamazoo College students spend money on food, given Sudexho meal plans and Kalamazoo College dorm policies. The survey was intended to assist students in making the most financially responsible decision about food when considering meal plans against alternative options.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, there was a positive correlation between a student's academic year and the number of times they go grocery shopping per month. That is, upperclassmen tend to shop for groceries more than first-years. A similar trend is seen with off campus dining and ordering out.
Some obvious factors for this include upperclassmen being able to keep a car on campus, a growing distaste for the cafeteria, paired with a better opportunity to prepare food in suites rather than in the first year dorms, a generally increased comfort with the city and the stores therein. In addition, there is a tendency to choose a more conservative meal plan, while obviously making a tradeoff therein with increased grocery shopping.

Considering the average college student's cost of living in terms of groceries in Kalamazoo City is a little over $150/month, or $375/term, one can begin to question the range over Sudexho's meal plan prices, ranging from just over $1000/term to nearly $2000/term.
This shows that while meal plans are certainly more convenient, there is a sharp difference of in price between meal plans and preparing your own food that one should consider when making decisions for future meals.

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