Fatigued upperclassmen, this is for you.

We are nearing the end of the semester, and those meal swipe numbers are ever dwindling. You’ve gone to Ferris every day for lunch, had your silly little coffee after your 8:40 as a treat, and gone on far too many late night runs to JJ’s. Now, you’ve got 10 meals to last through finals week—what can you do?

Thankfully, Bwog has compiled the best ways to cope with your limited funds, 100% guaranteed to work.

Make friends and influence people:

  • Befriend people living on the Barnard quad in the hopes of gaining a swipe or two.
    • Alternatively—1. be a first year, 2. profit
  • Make friends with first years in the 19 swipe plan. Ask them to swipe you in.
  • Make friends with people off the meal plan who cook.
  • Suck up to your professors so you get invited to all of their departmental talks and get free food there.
  • Don’t use JJ’s express meal swipes yourself; ask first years if they’d be willing to use their leftover swipes on a Friday or Saturday night to help a fellow out. Try this out at parties, you’ll be super popular.
  • Live in the multicultural affairs offices; there’s always free food there.
  • Go to the cringy dorm building events for the free food.


  • Steal, steal, steal. Bring Tupperware with you and load food into it while at your table. You can also use thermoses for hot things and drinks. Huge bags are your friend. Steal stuff like rice that’s compact and easy to make into a meal. Also JJ’s hard boiled eggs.
  • Try make smoothies at your own risk with stolen ingredients.
  • Steal milk from the fridges.
    • Steal oat milk from Ferris.
  • Sneak into the back entrance of John Jay and steal food.
  • Lie to the cashiers at Diana if you’re running out of points and you happened to get guacamole or chicken on your quesadilla, say you got the meal swipe instead (this will not work if they write what you got on the container).

Coffee alternatives:

  • Make your own coffee!
  • GIVE UP YOUR DAILY SILLY COFFEE/PASTRY FROM LIZ’S. Only do it once or twice a week.
  • If you have a load of points, use them at Diana (even for meals), rather than your swipes.
  • Eat the flavored condoms on Lerner’s 5th floor… if they have a taste they have nutrients.

Dining hall hacks:

  • Stock up on bags of chips from Ferris and those individually packaged cookies from John Jay.
  • Get crushed or otherwise slightly damaged muffins from Blue Java because they will give it to you without charging. (This happened to me once!)
  • Go to Cafe Wallabout at the very end of the day at closing time. The nice people there try to give out the food they don’t sell so they don’t have to throw it away, and if you’re anywhere in the vicinity, they’ll just hand you a salad and tell you to keep it.
  • Take packaged foods from the fridges and Chef Mike’s.
  • Buy a blender, take fruit from Hewitt, and make a smoothie later.
  • Bring an empty milk carton and fill it up.

Go feral:

  • Sleep more, you’ll probably feel less hungry.
  • Take a walk in Riverside, disassociate, look at the raccoon that just stole a muffin and is probably more nourished than you are.
  • Beg Barnard to bring back the meal swipe exchange/ pay it forward program. The first years do not need all those swipes!!
  • Alternatively, don’t ration your swipes. Keep using them normally, let them run out in two weeks. Then you’ll be the perfect level of unalivedness to do well on your finals.

The Fruit I’m Going To Steal via Bwog Archives