Cheaper, smarter, more convenient meals that don’t cost an arm or a leg

Michael Read, Contributor

We’ve all seen our bank statements and gasped at the amount of money we’ve all spent on food each month. Although, $5 for a Grande Very Berry Hibiscus at Starbucks doesn’t seem like a lot of money at the time, it sure adds up.

Brianna Brenon, 19, a sophomore business management student at Hilbert College, can attest to this.

“I probably spend around $100 a month on food, including Starbucks,” said Brenon, a

frequent Starbucks drinker. It’s easier because “someone else does all the work for you and you don’t have to worry about the clean-up.”

Kevin Pickering, 19, a sophomore business administration major at SUNY Buffalo State, spends around $80 a month on food. Something that Pickering says “needs to change.”

Pickering also troubles with the problem that many college students face: lack of time.

“I have no time to cook. Between school, work and homework there isn’t enough time,” Pickering said.

So, here’s the problem: we all spend too much money on food and drink for various reasons.

Here’s the solution: cheaper, smarter and more convenient choices when you choose what to eat. Below are some of the solutions that could eventually save you money and time when you’re hungry and hurting in the wallet.


Wegmans is a great source for food if you want an easy and healthy meal idea. Between their fresh fruit and salad bars, the chain has a great selection of various grab-and-go meals.

It also has a $6 meal deal.

The $6 meals are a take-home and heat-up meal. Consisting of one meat and two sides.

Chef Jennifer Renner has been working in the Prepared Foods Department at Wegmans on Alberta Drive for three years and praises the convenience of the meal deal.

“Personally the benefits of the $6 meals are that they are easy, quick, and cheap meals that college kids grab on the go. They are already to go and all they have to do is warm them up,” Renner said.

Wegmans and its prepared food department sure hit the nail on the head with this convenient and easy meal. And the best part is you can choose your own combination of various foods they have offered in the case.

To add on to the grab-and-go, they also have these exact $6 meals, already packaged with a delicious combination of food already chosen for you.

Renner also stresses that these meals are for everyone.

“These meals are just an easy way for both families and students because they are so easy.”

Wegmans also has available cafe seating in their store if you want to eat there and get some homework done. And if you’re lucky, there may be some free samples of food to try throughout the store.


Moe’s Southwest Grill

Welcome to Moe’s!

As if the bright yellow and maroon logo didn’t scream out to you, the employees will take care of that. Moe’s is a fun and energetic restaurant that offers customers a taste of the southwest at a reasonable cost, too!

Mondays are Moe Mondays. You get a delicious, cheap deal.

For $7.25, you can order either a burrito or a burrito bowl, made to order with desired toppings and just the way you like it. Included with the main entree is, your choice of homemade queso or guacamole, paired with their never ending free tortilla chips and a drink.

Dominique Capizzi, a Moe’s employee on Niagara Falls Boulevard in Amherst, said, “Mondays are crazy, it’s literally insane.”

“Since it’s so cheap, people end up getting more stuff on top of the special. The 10 bins full of chips we have are gone through within the first few hours after we open.”

Wednesdays are College Nights.

For $8, you get more choices on your main entree than you do on Mondays at Moe’s. You can either order a burrito, burrito bowl, salad or two tacos. Also included with the main entree is everything you’ll get with the burrito on a Monday – chips with queso or guacamole and a drink.

“We are pretty steady on college nights,” Capizzi said.

If you don’t want to wait in those long lines on a Moe’s Monday, flash your college ID card on a Wednesday and you’ll still get a great deal.

Maybe one day Brenon will open a restaurant. Meanwhile, Moe’s or Wegmans will suit the business management major just fine.

“I want to try cutting down on my spending,” she said, “when I am going out to eat.”


Meal Deals for consideration


If you want to go somewhere extremely affordable and get waited on, Denny’s is your best bet. Denny’s has a great, but small, side menu which features a $2, $4, $6 and $8 section.

If you want to go somewhere casual with your buds to watch the Bills beat the Patriots, Applebee’s is your go-to sports bar dining destination.

Applebee’s offers a 2 for $20 deal where you order an appetizer and two entrees, all for $20. With a great variety of meals to choose from, this meal deal is also a good idea for a date night.

For our guests, 21 and older, this meal deal is the ideal date night extravaganza.

At Panos on Elmwood, dinner for two and a bottle of wine costs $30 after 4 p.m., Sunday through Thursday. This deal includes a house salad, two entrees and a bottle of wine.


Meal deal locations near Buffalo State



601 Amherst Street

Buffalo, New York 14207

0.6 miles from Buffalo State


Moe’s Southwest Grill

2658 Delaware Avenue

Buffalo, New York 14216

2.1 miles from Buffalo State



2215 Delaware Avenue

Buffalo, New York 14216

1.4 miles from Buffalo State



2656 Delaware Avenue

Buffalo, New York 14216

2.1 miles from Buffalo State


Panos on Elmwood

1081 Elmwood Avenue

Buffalo, New York 14222

0.2 miles from Buffalo State


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