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The GW Hatchet


The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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Crime log: Subject barred after shoplifting at bookstore
By Max Porter, Contributing News Editor • February 26, 2024

Stretch your food budget with these simple D.C. dining hacks

File Photo by Lily Speredelozzi | Photographer
Local farmers market vendors often compile a bin of “imperfect” fruits and vegetables with small bruises or scratches that sell for a fraction of the price.

Whether you’re cooking on your own for the first time or adjusting to an unfamiliar dining plan, budgeting your dining expenses can be difficult through the thick of the school year.

D.C. is packed with restaurants serving all types of cuisine capable of masking your frugal eye with such irresistible taste often surpassing $15 per dish. Here’s our advice for how to stretch your budget with cheaper food alternatives both on and off campus.

Fresh finds fill the “imperfect” produce bin
Fresh produce incredibly difficult to fit into a college diet because of steep grocery store prices and thin inventory at dining halls and vendors. But local farmers markets are filled with fresh, local produce that can enhance your cooking and diet. If you are looking to taste those sweet summer peaches or ripe tomatoes without breaking the bank, the “less than perfect” produce bin is for you. Many farmers market vendors compile a bin of “imperfect” fruits and vegetables with small bruises or scratches that sell for a fraction of the price. Check out the farmers market stands in Dupont Circle and Eastern Market each Sunday or Foggy Bottom Wednesday.

Savor the scraps with Too Good to Go
Fight food waste and enjoy some tasty treats on the Too Good to Go app, which allows businesses to sell leftover food at a cheap price. The platform spread from Europe to major cities in the United States in 2020, and now restaurants across the District have joined the network to cut down on food waste. Users can check the app to reserve a hold at their restaurant, grocery store, bakery or cafe of choice and retrieve their items in a mystery goodie bag near closing time. You can snag baked goods like croissants and scones from your favorite bakery for a fraction of their original price before they’re thrown away.

Save on spending at Safeway
If you’re looking to save on GWorld while grocery shopping, Safeway in Georgetown is the way to go over the closer, but costlier Whole Foods. While Whole Foods supply boasts more organically produced products, Safeway’s stock of brand-name products with consistent bargains cut down on the price tag at the register. Whole Foods’ line of groceries will be sure to put a dent in your budget by the end of the semester, so make the trip to Georgetown to find cheaper groceries that will make your money last.

GW events are free food galore
Between food fairs in University Yard, weekly bagels with your professor and food nights thrown by faculty in residence, there are plenty of opportunities to snag free food from the University. Check your email to stay up to date on these prime opportunities for free food. Don’t leave without packing some leftovers in a bag or Tupperware to enjoy later.

Stock your grocery list
No matter your grocery store of choice, enter with a plan before dropping more dollars than your budget can handle. Write a grocery list to plan out your meals for the week and schedule which will be spent in the kitchen versus a campus vendor or dining hall. The grocery store can feel like a buyer’s paradise, especially when you’re staring at the strategically-placed cookies, candies and chips in the checkout line at Whole Foods. Break down your grocery list into food categories, each with a cap on spending, if you struggle to make up your mind until you’re at the store shelves.

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