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Top 5 Places to Get Meals for Under $5 at UW

Let’s just face it: we’re all poor. We don’t just pregame before we go to the bars because we love the taste of our own drinks, we do it because if we bought those same drinks at the bar, we wouldn’t have enough money for tuition next semester. We know from personal experience that one of the biggest living expenses for college students is food. School is hard enough without worrying about where your next meal is coming from, so here are the top 5 places to eat cheap food at uw for under $5.

5.) Jimmy John’s:
Now, we’re sure you’re all familiar with the sandwich joint Jimmy John’s and their patented “freaky fast delivery”. And while they do make delicious subs with the efficiency of a grade-schooler in a Korean sweatshop, that’s not what we’re there for. What some people don’t know is that anyone can buy loaves of day-old bread at Jimmy Johns for only 50 cents each! At 250 calories a loaf, you can walk away with 2500 calories worth of food for only $5! It’s not exactly a balanced meal but, hey, you can’t beat the price!

4.) Greenbush Bakery:
Ah, the sweet smell of kosher doughnuts. Madison’s premier purveyor of sweet treats for blacked out frat boys. If you’ve never stumbled into Greenbush Bakery at 1:30 a.m. to witness the drunken cacophony of drunken doughnut orders and exasperated employees, we highly recommend it. For the uninitiated, Greenbush Bakery sells some of the best $1 doughnuts you will ever have in your life. Speaking as people with a low budget and even lower self-control, those doughnuts are dangerously delicious.

3.) Sonic:
This next one may require you to drive a bit, and it’s only available after 8 p.m., but the deal is worth it. Sonic is a fast-food chain known for their drive-up carhop service. While there are many deals on the Sonic menu, there’s one in particular that we’re looking for to get the most bang for our buck. After 8 p.m. at Sonic, all shakes and ice cream slushies are half price. That means a large peanut butter fudge shake costs less than $3. That may seem like a good deal already, but wait until you hear that a large peanut butter fudge shake at Sonic contains 1,940 calories! Hot damn that’s a lot of sugar! If you hammer down one of those bad boys, you’ll be set for the rest of the day. Just be sure to bring some insulin.

2.) Q’s Express:
Okay, we know, technically QQ’s doesn’t cost less than $5. It’s a little more expensive than some of the other options on here, but in terms of sheer amount of food given, QQ’s is hard to beat. Plus, it’s super convenient. It’s one of the only places that you can walk into and come out two minutes later with two pounds of General Tso’s chicken. Be warned though; if you eat all the food that they serve you in one sitting, you will not be able to function for at least six hours. Don’t make the same mistakes we have.

1.) Faculty Lounges:
All right, let’s try to keep this last one on the DL, okay? This will require a little bit of reconnaissance and subterfuge in order to accomplish, but if done correctly, will result in a completely free meal! What you need to do is go to various faculty buildings early in the morning when professors and other faculty are having meetings during breakfast time. A lot of the time faculty will bring in donuts or bagels for the entire staff, and sometimes they just leave them in the faculty lounge! All you have to do is find one of these lounges, walk in casually, and abscond with the breakfast food of your choice! If anyone asks, just say you’re a freshman looking for the bathroom and get the heck outta there. Don’t worry about stealing, most of that stuff is probably provided by UW anyways, and isn’t that what we’re paying tuition for?


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