Sunday, March 28, 2010

University Students Want MORE Money!

Okay, first off, 4 students trying to live on $7.50 a day is a very small sample group, so you have to take that into consideration.

Students say $7.50 a day food budget is not enough

Rachel Crane and Andrew Beach were two of four Ontario university students who took part in the Food For Thought initiative launched by the Ontario Undergraduate Students' Alliance. For three weeks, they stuck to the tight food budget to highlight that the Ontario government has not raised student loan limits in four years.

Beach, an undergrad at the University of Western Ontario, says while it may be possible to survive on a $7.50/ day food budget, eating nutritiously is another story.

"It's really hard. Trying to get a healthy balanced diet, getting enough fruits and vegetables, keeping your carbohydrates and protein in balance, it's really difficult on $7.50 a day," he told CTV's Canada AM Friday.

"And that's the point we wanted to prove."

So, they set out to prove that $7.50 a day is not enough, so of course they proved it! DUH! So, let's do some math. 7.50 a day for 30 days is $225 per month for one person. For four people it's $900 per month. The four people have the advantage of bulk buying, not too many single people will buy a ham and eat it for the week, yet my family of four can eat a ham for at least 3 days. Still a single person can buy the ham, cook it and then freeze what wasn't eaten, this can provide lots of quick meals. Turkey works even better because you can make turkey soup from the bones, and then freeze it.

OSAP's 2009-2010 outline for monthly living expenses allots $1,045 for a single student living away from home. That covers all living expenses, including food, shelter, transportation and miscellaneous. Out of the $1,045, $226 is allotted for food, which works out to about $7.50 a day or $2.50 per meal.

The Ontario Undergraduate Students' Alliance says not only is that allotment for food unreasonable, it does not allow for healthy eating -- especially in expensive cities and remote locations.

The alliance says that over a school year, the living allowance adds up to $12,540. That‘s below the Low-Income Cut-off, or poverty line, in Ontario, which currently sits at about $15,200 for rural areas, and it's well below the $22,171 poverty line in big cities.

"Right now, with OSAP, you're $3,000 below the poverty line," says Beach. "So the government is expecting students may have to live in poverty while going to university."

Okay, so they get a living allowance of $12,540. Many students in the comments noted that they might not have cooking facilities because they were living in residence. Remembering back to my residence days, you got living quarters and FOOD for one low price. So, I checked out residences in Ontario.

The university of Toronto has residences

All you can eat meals and even meals to go from the Java Shack:

How much does that cost students?

So, if we go with the SUPER Single option, it costs $14,855. That means a student would have to come up with $2,315 of their own money, but if they go with the double room carte blanche, it's only $11,900, meaning a cash strapped student would have $640 left over, without having to work.

Now, Beach is from Western, so I looked up the residence rates there:

Even a better deal, I could choose a double room with 7 day meals and only have to pay $8,970, leaving me with $3,570!!! Of course these students don't want a double room, so a single room is $9570, that still leaves them with $2,970! These limousine lefties think tuition should be free, heck, they think everything should be free, because they are the generation of tomorrow, heaven help us! With their socialist attitudes, they will expect companies to just give them jobs, whether they are qualified or not. Don't expect them to care for our elderly either, they already think they are a drag on our society.

I wonder if they could use their brains to think about free post-secondary education for everyone. If everyone is entitled to have a free education, then how much would their degrees be worth? A great example is lawyers, anyone can get their law degree, and because of that there are too many lawyers, so most do not make that good a living, better than those with arts degrees, but not by much. Now, open up the universities to anyone who wants to go, more degrees, more people competing for the same jobs, lower salaries. Econ101.

To the food challenged university students, get a few tomato seeds, plant in container, stick in window, water once in a while, and soon, you have cherry tomatoes for about $3, same with herbs. Buy a big bag of rice for about $20, it will last at least a year. Get a box of chicken breasts, usually at least 20, for about $23 with coupon.

Take chicken, cut into pieces, throw into rice with cherry tomatoes, some herbs, and you have a meal for about $2.30 in less than 30 minutes.

This whining about how expensive an education is has to stop. You can not live off your parents all your life, and you can not live off of taxpayers all your life either. Sooner, or later, you will have to get a job and leave the "safe" university environment and actually compete for the first time in your life!

You might even find out that you like it!


maryT said...

There is a great cook book available called, FOOD FOR THE STARVING STUDENT. Got some great recipes that are tasty and nutritious.
Perhaps those students should take some courses in shopping instead of protesting. Lots of stores have 10% days and there are always great sales. And as they probably observe earth day and buying locally, not many fruits available in the winter, so why the complaint.
There are many people working minimum wage jobs that would love to have that amount of money for food.
And, of course there are food banks in every city. I have no sympathy for any of those students.

Anonymous said...

Hunter, I have to say that I am really enjoying this troll-free zone. If I might, I'd like to make some suggestions.

This is YOUR blog and YOU are the host so YOU get to decide what is and is not published.

You deserve respect and courtesy from commenters. Any comment in which you are demeaned, personally criticized, called 'Huntsy', dissed, etc. should not be published. Any comment which disses conservatives or our PM should not be published.

Any comment which disagrees with your statement(s) should be published, provided that it is not a personal slur or disrespect toward you or others. Opposing views are fine, as long as they are not personal.

Comments which include such nonesense as 'hahahahaha' should not be published. Commenters like SQ and Stereo obviously do not respect you and, since you are the host, you should assign their derogatory or provocative comments to the trash bin.

To those with opposing views - be respectful and courteous. If you want to get your own points across, start your own blogs. And above all, show some respect for the blog host.

Hunter - demand respect. Make it a non-negotiable standard. You deserve respect and if you don't receive it, don't publish those comments which are derogatory.

There - I will now leave my soapbox.

PS - I googled Jeanne Robertson - she is one of the funniest ladies I've ever heard. I laughed uproariously at her stand-up.

CanadianSense said...

I keep reading we have shortages of skilled labour.

Army, skills, jobs. Room and board covered!

We may lose a few lawyers, visual arts, humanities graduates but "Mario & Luigi" the plumbers are not getting any younger and we could use some diversity.

I am thinking of filing a HRC complaint against Nintendo for gender ethnic framing of Italians.

Southern Quebec said...

These are loans that will be repaid! It is not corporate welfare!

storytime grandma said...

you can pick up a small freezer new for about $200 used about $50.
Stick it in a closet and stock it with meats when it is on sale.
Buy pasta, canned tomatoes, a few spices, rice, flour, baking powder, and canned or frozen vegetables and fruit, milk powder, coffee tea, sugar, cocoa.
Purchase a slow cooker and a good frying pan and one pot.
With these staples you can make a nutritious meal on a dime.
I have done it for a family of 4 for 33 years.
I taught my sons how to cook so they didn't spend a lot on food when at university.
Put a chicken in the slow cooker with spices and vegetables.
roast chicken when you get home. Next day chicken sandwiches. Next day toss the bones back in add some stock or water vegetables,rice and you have soup and if you want add some flour to thicken it and stew is there, for a few days.
I am estimating here but for about $10. you have meals for about a week.
In other words teach your children how to cook.
My son made lots of friends while at school and some of it was due to the fact that to save money they would have game nights or movie nights where everyone contributed to the snacks. He would make pizza. The cost to him was probably $5. to make 2 large pizzas where the others were bringing chips and pops and beer.
He roomed with 4 other guys and I made a rule. Each paid $25. into the grocery bill every 2 weeks. They bought the staples and were each in charge of their snacks and wants but there was always real food for them all. That way nobody went hungry and I knew they were eating healthy. Some of them even learned how to shop cheaply and learned to cook a few things.
$25. for food doesn't seem like it would be enough but when you pool your money it goes a long way.
Nobody has to starve or go hungry if they use a bit of imagination and common sense.

West Coast Teddi said...

Wow ... $7.50 for meals ... AND wine with dinner! I'm in heaven! My wife and I live like royalty on that much (the wine is BC U-Brew but still very good). No lattes in this house tho ... a treat is a meal at Tims.

I lived in "res" at UofA and I know how tough it is ... gravy on everything but it was still good. And at the time we were segregated into male and female dorms.

Kunoichi said...

"So, let's do some math. 7.50 a day for 30 days is $225 per month for one person. For four people it's $900 per month. "

My family of 4's grocery budget is about $800 a month ($400 every two weeks). That is for everything we typically buy at the grocery store, including personal care products, TP, household cleaners and the odd prescription from the pharmacy. Oh, and bus tickets for my husband to get to work on days he doesn't walk comes out of there, too. That stuff takes up about half of the budget, so for actual food, I am feeding my family on about $400 every 4 weeks. Calculating it out to a daily expense, that's about $14.25 per day for the 4 of us, or $3.56 per person.

Now, if you were to hand me $14 and change a day to feed my family, or $3.56 to feed myself, it would be really hard. But $200 for food every two weeks, and I can feed my family quite well. Saying they get only $7.50 per day for food is very misleading, since it makes it sounds like they've got $7.50 to spend per day, nothing more, nothing less, and that's not how it works.

I'm at a loss about one thing, though. Since when were student loans supposed to fully support a person? I always thought it was supposed to be a supplement to help out, not pay for everything!

Kunoichi said...

To follow up on maryT's comment, I agree. Learning how to cook with basic ingredients is a big first step. We've tried to help out friends in dire straights by giving them food, only do discover they didn't know what to do with it! (We're talking plain rice, here. The cooking instructions are right on the package! :-P)

I'm not usually a coupon shopper, as I find most coupons are for things I wouldn't buy in the first place. Our local grocery store, however, has buy-one-get-one-free BIGO) coupons every week. Once a month, they've got 15% off day. One week a month, they've got dollar days. There's also a loyalty card points reward system that is actually worthwhile. I'll be getting my Easter ham for free later this week. Using the points and BIGO coupons, I was able to knock almost $70 off my last grocery bill to keep it in budget while picking up baking supplies I normally stock up on once every 4-5 months or so. Once I realized how useful their points system is, I've since used them to get a free large sized Crock Pot, among a great many other items. Crock pot cooking would be ideal for a student to help stretch the time and money budget and still eat well.

It takes knowledge, creativity, and desire, not just more $$. I think that's missing from the equation in a lot of cases.

Anonymous said...

I just calculated my food costs: lunch and supper - all of which I make on the weekend and package for the week. My per diem food cost is sometimes less than $7.50 and I eat well. Mind you, I am a careful shopper and I make almost everything from scratch.

CanadianSense said...

You could always go to buffet eat for four people during the lunch menu.

After the food coma wears off, the calorie intake should last for two days.

Enter all you eat contests works.

/sarcasm off

Some in the younger generation, or city folk have no clue when it comes to making due with very little.

Great post. I is fun reading this stuff thanks.

Groundhog Day at
LPOC. <---I am with stupid.

Patrick Ross said...

Man, you've gotta love the extent to which Robbie Day is lying about East of Eden's comment.

Apparently he can't figure out that EoE said that comments that disagree should be posted so long as they aren't personally disrespectful.

But, then again, that's Robbie Day for you: he's such a lunatic that he can't separate disagreement from personal disrespect. It just doesn't compute in his addled brain.

He just can't take it when his sycophants are denied free range over other people's blogs -- which is amusing considering that he deletes any dissenting voice from the comment section of his own blog.

Hypocrite and coward. Would you expect any less?

maryT said...

Sorry to burst your bubble, but a lot of those loans are NEVER repaid. My sister worked for a collection agency and they were always going after students who left the country with thousands in unpaid loans. Then you have the ones who plan to declare bankruptcy, till they find out that doesn't cancel out student loans anymore.
Then years later, under a new name they try to get back into Canada, and some make it and others are caught.

MariaS said...

Oh Hunter.. you are forgetting that these brainless brats want to eat in style on other people's money. They want a tall glass of wine with their meals too and a couple of bars of Lindt chocs after a meal and when they are at their internet tricks they like to dip into a big bag of Lay's potato chips.
Here's a great source where these pampered brats can read how to make do with $1 a day for meals leave alone $7.50 which would be a luxury for many folks.

Anonymous said...

Who is Robbie Day?

Patrick Ross said...

You know, at the University of Alberta, the food services company contracted to provide food to the residences also provides those services to the prison system.

They had University students on the same plan that prions were once on, which was unfortunately so terrible that prisoners rioted demanding better food -- and they got it.

Which led to a state of affairs where, at least at one point, convicted felons in Canada were eating better than students at the U of A were.

I hope that's food for thought.

Wolf said...

o.0 Wow currently iam in my 4th year at UofA and can only dream of being lent a "living expense loan". Forget eating a dollar a day, last summer when I was not able to get an internship nor able to get work right away, I got by by not eating for lenghts of 4 to 5 days. I dont think the loan systems needs work so much as the schools administration. 600-700 a class at 10-16 classes a year adds up. If were so sort money why dont they ever reduce research grants, construction or landscaping expenses. :S