By PAIGE WALTON
Beginning this fall semester, Giant in Eagle Village now offers a 5 percent discount on final purchases to students or faculty with a valid University of Mary Washington ID. All residence halls offer access to either personal or community kitchens, but students are challenged to buy affordable and healthy food to sustain them. After buying textbooks, supplies and other college necessities, there is less money leftover for food.
For UMW students with dietary restrictions or preferences, food shopping and consumption can be all the more difficult at times.
“Being a vegan means having to be more particular in the food items I select,” said sophomore political science major, Tyler Michels. “The 5 percent discount allows me to do this and save money, so at the end of the day I am able to cook more of my own meals from the comfort of home, which is definitely preferable to any other alternative.”
Giant’s proximity to campus appeals to student’s desire for convenience.
“I found out about the discount from talking to Giant representatives during the Community Resource Fair on Ball Circle last Monday,” said sophomore psychology major, Amy Ha. “The discount is especially great for me because as a student without a car, I can get all of what I want and need from Giant without spending too much.”
In conjunction with advertising directly to students on campus at the Community Resource Fair, signs placed at the checkout counters within Giant alert shoppers to the discount.
“I didn’t even know Giant was offering this discount,” said senior psychology major, Taylor Henderson. “I am glad to hear it though because I have always thought their prices were high, but now I will be more likely to shop there since every little bit adds up when it comes to groceries.”
With the ability to save money through the discount, the appeal of shopping at Giant has sparked their interest.
“I normally shop at Walmart and Target, and get any fresh produce and meat from Wegmans but with this new discount I’ll be cutting out the long trip to Wegmans and shopping at Giant instead,” said Henderson. “The discount is an added bonus to Giant’s close location as well.”
From the quality of the food to the convenience, students consider a variety of factors when they are deciding where to do their grocery shopping.
“I usually do a lot of my grocery shopping at Walmart because I feel I can get more for my money’s worth there,” said junior American Studies major Mackenzie Hard. “In past experiences, the fresh produce at Giant does not last as long as the produce from Walmart but with the added 5 percent discount, I’ll probably buy fresh produce from Giant more often.”
We have reached out to Giant to comment on the new discount, but a Giant representative was not able to comment in time for this publication.