Meal Planning & Budgeting
With more than 80 diverse dining partners, you have your choice of where, when and what you want to eat with your GW Dining Plan’s Dining Dollars. While some of our dining partners offer deals and discounts to students using their Dining Dollars, you may need to be mindful about how much you are spending on food throughout the semester. To customize your eating habits to meet your unique needs, tastes and budget, consider a balance of eating at one of our on-campus dining spaces (Pelham Commons, District House or Thurston Hall), or at one of the 80 restaurants, fast-casual or quick-service dining partners along with purchasing groceries to prepare some of your meals in your room kitchen or your residence hall’s community kitchen.
A Budgeting Tool
If you are not already using the GET mobile app to manage your GWorld Dining Dollars, download the app on Apple or Android. Once downloaded, select George Washington University as your institution, enter your username (ie: your GW email), create a password and a custom 4 digit pin that will be used within the app. Once in the app you can check your balance on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. You can also use the app to add more Dining Dollars to your account anytime you want.
Tips for Success
- Take advantage of the Meal Deals and discounts available at several of our dining partners
- Follow the GW Dining Representatives on social media for valuable dining tips and resources.
- Purchase store brand items or items on sale
- Look for specials and rewards programs at the restaurants you love. For example, you can download Sweetgreen and/or Beefsteak’s app to earn rewards
- Sign up for programs at CVS and/or Whole Foods to earn rewards, get coupons and learn about discounts
- Look for coupons to use at the store
- Take a list with you to the grocery store so that you only buy what you need
- Cook with friends and share ingredients
- Check out the various programs that the Community Coordinators offer in the residence halls, as many will include free food
- Cook more than one serving at a time and plan to eat the leftovers for another meal.
The GW Dining Meal Prep Guide (PDF) is a beginner's guide to shopping, preparing, and portioning out budget-friendly meals. This guide is designed to help students learn how to strategically grocery shop to prepare meals for the week. With grocery shopping lists, step-by-step cooking instructions, and planning tips, you will be sure to be a meal prepping master after reading!
The GW Dining Budgeting App is located within the GW Mobile App under the "Dining" options. The app displays how much dining cash you have remaining on your GWorld card. In addition, the app will break down what your weekly and daily spending should be to stay on budget to have sufficient funds for the whole semester. This is a great tool to ensure that each week you stick to your budget and if you fall off track, the app is there to help you get right back on budget!