Delivering American University's news and views since 1925. | Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Students 'bank' on snow

While last week’s blizzard kept many students indoors, it also provided money-making and saving opportunities, like shoveling driveways for AU’s neighbors and discounts at Z-Burger.

Z-Burger sold hamburgers for $1 during the twin storms if customers mentioned the word “snow” during their purchase. Students who asked for a “snow burger” or said “it’s snowing outside” were given the discounted burger.

Lauren Heinz, a junior in the College of Arts and Sciences, lives close to Z-Burger and went there with her friends during the blizzard to take advantage of its $1 burger deal, she said.

“We decided to get the $1 snow burgers — it was cheap,” she said. “Originally, they charged me full price, and I was like, ‘Oh, isn’t there a dollar burger promotion going on?’ And they were like, ‘yeah, but you have to mention the snow.’ So I asked for a snow burger.”

Some students braved the cold to shovel snowy driveways for money.

Phil O’Neill, a senior in the School of International Service, shoveled the driveways of women who live near him, he said. He shoveled three driveways for $50 each, making a total of $150, but he said he also shoveled some for free — including the driveway of his landlord.

“I have a lot of old ladies that live in my neighborhood, and one lady ratted me out, saying there’s a young and able man in the basement,” O’Neil said. “I got all these phone calls — ‘Can you shovel me out? Can you shovel my car out?’”

During the blizzard, Safeway in Tenleytown apparently left one of its doors unlocked, according to The Washington Post. Hungry customers took advantage of the mistake, emptying the store’s shelves. Some left cash equivalent to their loot on the counter as they left the store. The grocery store had already been emptied of most foods before the blizzard struck, but customers took whatever remained in the store, the Post said. When word got out about the unlocked store, police came to the scene and blocked the entrance until a manager came and locked it, according to the Post.

“The lot had been plowed, the lights were on, the [public address] system was operating, but there was no one working in there,” a shopper told the Post. “It felt like a movie set.”

Safeway’s manager declined to comment about the issue for The Eagle.

The AU shuttle stopped running for several days, causing some students to stay inside for the duration of the blizzard.

Morgan Gress, a sophomore in the School of Communication, stayed indoors during the blizzard and saved money by eating only the food she already had.

“I saved money by staying on campus and using the resources I had,” she said. “For example, I ended up making dinner from the food I had in my room, rather than ordering out.”

You can reach this staff writer at

Never miss a story.

Get our weekly newsletter in your inbox.