Dorm snacks are an essential part of living on campus. They're perfect for when you aren't hungry enough to have a full meal at the dining hall and just need a little blood sugar pick-me-up, and they help make you a great host when inviting new friends over during the first few weeks of freshman year!
Thanks to the always wonderful UMass dining system, there is an easy and (almost) free way to get pre-packaged dorm snacks: Grab & Go! Grab & Go is located at all four dining halls, however Hampshire only serves breakfast and Berkshire only serves lunch. Personally, my favorites are actually Franklin and Worcestor's Grab & Go.
At Grab & Go you're allowed one entree, one drink, and up to four "sides". Here is where the free snacks come in. The sides options vary from dining hall to dining hall, but there is always a huge variety at each one. You can choose from fruit, granola bars, desserts like cookies or rice crispy treats, soup, and my personal favorite, little bags of chips or pretzels! I don't go to Grab & Go very often, but when I do I always take full advantage of the four sides we're allowed. I choose my entree and then four bags of options like Cape Cod Chips, Sunchips, or Doritos to take back to my dorm!
Obviously it isn't literally "free" considering going to Grab & Go is one of your meal swipe options as part of the dining plan you pay for, however it saves you a walking trip into downtown or a bus or car ride into Hadley to purchase snacks yourself! Discovering Grab & Go has saved me money that would have probably been spent at Target otherwise, so it's a win-win!