Parents and Families

Students at UM Farmers Market

Living off-campus can be an exciting time for many students! The freedom and independence are what many students look forward to. One challenge your student may face is having time to prepare healthy meals to fuel their busy lifestyle. The novelty of eating whatever they want will wear off eventually. Plenty of options exist to make quick meals at home or find delicious and healthy meals on campus.


On-Campus Options

Your off-campus student has the option to choose one of three Block Plans or one of three Unlimited Plans from Michigan Dining. Block Plans are for students who would like to eat some meals in dining halls with the flexibility to choose an on-campus café for additional meals and snacks. The Unlimited Plans provide students with an unlimited number of meals at any dining hall and Dining Dollars to spend on coffee, snacks, and meals when they can’t make it to a dining hall during regular hours. Meal Plans can be purchased online at MyPlan or by contacting

Blue Bucks are campus currency at U-M. The cards allow students to not worry about carrying cash, and parents to not worry about where money is being spent. Blue Bucks can be used at any campus café or market, dining hall, residential hall laundry room, vending machine, on campus Barnes & Noble bookstores and even athletic venues.

You can treat your student to extra Blue Bucks by visiting MyPlan. Blue Bucks can be purchased during regular service hours at Mcard Service Centers with cash or a check. They can also be purchased at any Michigan Dining market or café with cash or credit card.


Off-Campus Resources

Students who opt out of the on-campus options purchase food from any of the local grocery stores. Some are within walking distance of campus and others require a quick bus ride (TheRide or Blue Bus) or drive. Four popular food blogs for college students include Budget BytesFull Thyme StudentGood Cheap Eats, and The College Food Blog. Recipes featured are quick, inexpensive, and healthy...most of the time!

Ann Arbor Farmer’s Market – Farm-fresh produce every week of the year! Vendors and market goers gather on Wednesday’s and Saturday’s in the Kerrytown neighborhood of Ann Arbor.

People’s Food Co-op - They have a little bit of everything: a grocery store, bakery, and cafe. Your student can find a healthy bite to eat or a place to spend the day studying. No membership is necessary at this judgement free natural foods store.

Lucky’s Market - A grocery store dedicated to good food and community fun. You can find weekly deals and weekly recipes on their website. 

The two major and most popular student grocery stores are Meijer and Kroger, with Kroger being on both North and Central campuses. Trader Joes and Busch's Fresh Food Market are a bus ride away, too. All are within a few miles from campus and have everything your student may need to cook their favorite family recipe! 


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