Thom Sisson ’09has updated Matt Bush ’09‘s points spreadsheet for this semester’s calendar, so that it schedules you to run out of points at the end of exam period, not the beginning. Thanks Thom!

To use it, just enter the current date along with how many points and/or meals you have left in the semester. The spreadsheet will automatically show you how many points you should spend per day and how many meals you should use per week.

[EDIT] Nick Marshall ’10updated the spreadsheet with a chart predicting how many points or meals you should have as the semester progresses, depending on your meal plan. Choose this one if seeing more numbers will help you plan more wisely:

Among the most vexing parts of life at Wes is figuring out what and how much you can afford to eat at any given point in the semester.

In the past we used to post an Excel points spreadsheet each semester to help you calculate how many points and meals you should be spending per day, based on your meal plan. Unfortunately, spreadsheet champion Matt Bush ’09, who used to make it, graduated last semester.

If you’re an Excel wiz/math major/altruistic human being and can figure out how to adjust it to 2009, email it to staff(at)wesleying.org and you will be everybody’s hero, for real.

For those of you who are new to this, the points spreadsheet is a way to tell if you’re spending too many or too few points to end the semester with a zero balance. You can also use it to ration out your remaining points from now to the rest of the semester.

New this year is that everything you can do with points, you can also do with meals!

The way it works to track your “ideal” usage since the beginning of the semester: Enter the number of points and meals that correspond to your meal plan in the two boxed cells. Leave the “enter the current date” field alone.

To track your “real” usage based on what you have right now, enter your current point and meal balances in the two boxed cells, and today’s date in the cell next to “enter the current date.”

Note that for those of you using the “ideal” option, you may want to deduct your starting point value for certain large, initial purchases, like the Fruit and Veggie co-op, or a meal contract at the S&C, or something.

Also, the spreadsheet assumes that you use the same number of meals each day of the week, but rounds all the totals to whole numbers.

Post comments with bugs, problems, questions or whatever.

This is basically just a re-posting of what I wrote at the end of last semester, but now it’s actually relevant.

The meal prices that I’m quoting are based on what they told us at the end of last semester, when we all got our fancy wooden spoons. If they’ve changed, or are just plain wrong, please let me know.

I have updated the points spreadsheet for the spring semester. Surprisingly, I found that it is theoretically possible to eat 14 meals a week at Usdan and not run out of points. In fact, you’ll have a whopping $2.05 per week to spend on late night, cereal for breakfast at weshop, yummy drinks at pi cafe, and other essentials.

A disclaimer: I’ve made this rather complicated, but I’ve tried to also make it super user-friendly. Please, give me suggestions on how to improve it.

To do the magic 14-meals-at-usdan, you sign up for the 8-meals plan, pay for 7 dinners and 1 brunch a week with meals, and all the other lunches and one brunch with points. This will require a lot of telling the cashier how you want to pay for your meal, because otherwise you’ll spend your meals early in the week on lunch and end up paying for the more expensive dinners with points.

As far as the spreadsheet, there are quite a few options, not all of which are necessary to use. The only thing you really have to do is put in your starting number of points in the appropriate cell. As last semester, the starting point values for each meal plan are listed on the right.

If you want to get into some fancier calculations, you can tell the spreadsheet that you want to keep spending points at the same rate over spring break (the default is to assume that you don’t spend any), or you can tell it how many meals per week you want to buy with points, and it’ll tell you how much you can afford to spend on each meal. If it’s halfway through the semester and you want to figure out how to ration your remaining points, just change the date at the top of the spreadsheet.

At any rate, the only things you should edit are the cells that are outlined in black. Everything else will adjust itself automagically.

In the midst of Bon Appetit’s “power of the spoon” campaign, I have updated the points spreadsheet for the spring semester. Suprisingly, I found that it is theoretically possible to eat 14 meals a week at Usdan and not run out of points. In fact, you’ll have a whopping $2.05 per week to spend on late night, cereal for breakfast at weshop, yummy drinks at pi cafe, and other essentials.

A disclaimer: I am a math major, so I’ve made this rather complicated, but I’ve tried to also make it super user-friendly. Please, give me suggestions on how to improve it.

To do the magic 14-meals-at-usdan, you sign up for the 8-meals plan, pay for 7 dinners and 1 brunch a week with meals, and all the other lunches and one brunch with points. This will require a lot of telling the cashier how you want to pay for your meal, because otherwise you’ll spend your meals early in the week on lunch and end up paying for the more expensive dinners with points.

As far as the spreadsheet, there are quite a few options, not all of which are necessary to use. The only thing you really have to do is put in your starting number of points in the appropriate cell. As last semester, the starting point values for each meal plan are listed on the right.

If you want to get into some fancier calculations, you can tell the spreadsheet that you want to keep spending points at the same rate over spring break (the default is to assume that you don’t spend any), or you can tell it how many meals per week you want to buy with points, and it’ll tell you how much you can afford to spend on each meal. If it’s halfway through the semester and you want to figure out how to ration your remaining points, just change the date at the top of the spreadsheet.

At any rate, the only things you should edit are the cells that are outlined in black. Everything else will adjust itself automagically.

And yes, I do realize that this is a bit early; I plan on re-posting it next semester.

PS: It’s really gross outside. See tags.

PPS: already I’ve encountered a problem. If you try to adjust the date and don’t specify a year, then it assumes that you’re talking about 2007, and then acts all weird. So make sure to put in a year, until 2008 starts, when this will no longer be a problem.

Ask and you shall receive! Wesleying’s new hero, Matt Bush ’09, just created the ultimate point spreadsheet for us all:

This worksheet can do everything the old ones did, and more. If you’re on the all-points plan, and just want to know how many points you’re “supposed to” have at this point, then you don’t have to do anything. BUT, if you’re on a different meal plan, just change the value next to “How many points do you have?” to the number of points in your meal plan (conveniently supplied on the worksheet).

But wait, there’s more: Suppose you say to yourself: “Self, I’m not satisfied with just knowing how many points I’m “supposed to” have, I know that today is September 6th, and I have 1200 points left, I want to know how to ration my points so that I end with just the right amount.” Well now you can! Just enter the pertinent information next to the two questions at the top, and voila! it calculates how many points you should have left at the end of each day, and it’ll even tell you how many points you’re averaging per day.

Matt Bush ’09, who is either the most selfless, altruistic human being on the face of this earth or just has more free time than I care to think about, has modified Rebecca Parad ’09‘s “How Many Points Do I Have Left” Excel spreadsheet that we posted about here. Now by changing one cell, you can adjust your starting points–Way useful for people who are on something other than the all-points plan, or who have bought a meal contract from the S&C, or whatever.

Download the customizable spreadsheet here. Thanks, Matt!