Buying food with M&G: An experiment

This week, I bought all of my food with Maroon and Gold Dollars — it didn't turn out very well.

In an effort to use all of my Maroon and Gold Dollars before the semester is up — and eat whatever I want in the name of journalism — I used the University currency for food for an entire week. I wanted to see what kind of food is available to those who only have M & G.

Day 1: Full of junk

I began my first day eager to start this project on a good, healthy note so I hopped into the nearest student store and bought some fruit and yogurt for breakfast. Even this is a change of pace, because I never usually eat breakfast. I bought extra fruit cups to last through the week, but the expiration dates on each cup listed the same day, which forced me to eat all four fruit cups in one sitting. For lunch, I caved in and ruined my healthy streak, buying Hostess chocolate donuts, Fritos and a shredded beef burrito with my M & G (because let’s be honest, fruit does not fill you up the way junk food does). For dinner, I purchased a pizza Lunchables from a campus student store and let me just say, it was not as good as I remember it being as a kid.

On day one of this endeavor, I realized it’s nearly impossible to find ingredients in ASU’s student stores. They aren’t equipped with basic meal makings like bread, eggs, meat, cheese or any variety of vegetables and fruits (although they do always have some sad-looking apples and bananas in the refrigerated section). By the end of the first day, I was craving a cooked meal, with substance.

Day 2: Running low

I don’t usually binge with chocolate donuts and Fritos, but I figured it’s every girls dream to do so before spring break, so why not? The following day — I knew why not. Waking up on day two of the experiment, I felt run down.

As I skipped the most important meal of the day, I made up for it with a large serving of noodles and shrimp from an Asian restaurant near ASU’s Downtown Phoenix campus that uses M & G. I should have known better though, because the restaurant’s portion sizes are ridiculously large, which caused me to feel worse than I previously felt.

I was craving a salad later in the day, but didn’t have enough energy to walk across the Tempe campus. As far as I know, Devils Greens is one of the only healthy alternatives where one can use M & G and purchase a freshly made salad. Too bad it’s so far away from where I live.

Day 3: Dominos

This is all I can say about Day Three: Dominos pizza is so good.

For the past two days, I’ve been longing for a meal that can actually fill me up, and it may seem ironic that Dominos pizza was that meal, but it hit the spot. I ordered two medium veggie pizzas from a nearby Dominos that uses the M & G currency on ASU’s Tempe campus. Also, as a disclaimer, I didn’t eat them both by myself.

The pizza didn’t make me feel less lousy, but it was better than any of the student store snack foods I have been eating.

Day 4: The Final Stretch

On Day Four, I decided to end the way I started — eating some fruit, yogurt and a granola bar for breakfast. Lunch came quickly, and I was able to snag a pre-made Caesar salad from the student store, though it made me feel sick afterwards. I can’t wait to make a fresh salad with fresh lettuce, tomatoes, carrots and berries tomorrow.

Although there are a variety of foods you can purchase with M & G, there’s nothing like buying groceries and cooking your own meals. Healthy on-campus options for students are limited, but they are present. With chips, candy bars and sodas, the student stores on campus give students a quick fix, but nothing nutritious. This is a struggle underclassmen with M & G meal plans face everyday. Unless your body is equipped to live off of Fritos and chocolate donuts, let me say that living off of M & G is not a good idea.

Reach the columnist at or follow @alliebice on Twitter.

Editor’s note: The opinions presented in this column are the author’s and do not imply any endorsement from The State Press or its editors.

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