Underground UK: Flexing through the year


A student uses their wildcard ID to purchase food at Bowman’s Den on September 14, 2016 in Lexington, Ky.

Megan Brown

It’s two weeks into the semester. The taste of home cooked meals are long gone and they have since been replaced with the insatiable and repetitive food of dining halls.

The unidentifiable smells of Bowman’s Den have become the new normal and there’s only one thing offering a glimmer of hope: Flex Dollars.

With meal plan hours being from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., Flex Dollars are a valuable commodity for students across campus. If used correctly they can last the entire semester and break up the monotony of normal meal swipes.

However, if used wrong, Flex Dollars can be gone within the first three weeks of the school year.

These are the most useful ways for students to use their Flex throughout the semester.

One of the most practical ways to save Flex is by using two meal swipes instead of one.

At Wildcat Deal locations such as Chick-fil-a, Subway and Panda Express, students can go to the register and ask to use two meals swipes rather than using one and paying for the rest of the meal with Flex.

Getting a meal including a drink almost always comes out to more than the allotted seven dollars to use a meal swipe.

By students using two meal swipes they can conserve Flex for the entire semester. Meal swipes go away at the end of each week but Flex dollars roll over after the first semester, so the more Flex dollars students save, the more they can use later in the upcoming semester.

UK’s Dining website advertises that Common Grounds Coffee House and K Lair are open for Wildcat Deals between 10 p.m. and 12 a.m. While this is true, both restaurants also accept meal swipes throughout the day such as other locations around campus.

By only closing meal swipe hours for six hours, students will rarely have to use Flex Dollars at these locations.

Also, if students have a sweet tooth and are craving one of Steak n’ Shake’s classic milkshakes, the best time to go is between 2 and 4 p.m. on weekdays.

During this time shakes are half priced and will save students valuable Flex Dollars they can use on other food or items for their dorm.

Finally, if students want to splurge a little, Papa Johns on Avenue of Champions accepts Flex Dollars.

Papa Johns also has a deal, “When the Cat’s win, you win!” The deal offers customers 45 percent off online orders with the code “CATS45” when UK wins a game in basketball or football.

While meal swipe hours are a constant stage for controversy, the amount of Flex Dollars included in meal plans doesn’t have to be if students capitalize on all the opportunities around campus to save money throughout the semester.