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Brown Bag Lunches Effective In Stretching Paycheck

MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Whether you carry it in a brown bag or in an eco-friendly lunchbox, bringing a sandwich from home can save you a lot of money, according to the Sandwich Survey.

The survey, which aimed to calculate the true cost of making a sandwich versus buying one, found sandwiches made at home are on average about 1/5th of the cost of those made at a supermarket or deli.

The cheapest sandwich, by far, is peanut butter and jelly. Made at home, with name brand ingredients, a single PB&J sandwich cost just 62 cents. A tuna-salad sandwich came to $1.21, and a B.L.T. costs $1.29 to make. A cheese sandwich was $1.36, and an egg salad sandwich set us back just 90 cents.

Name brand ingredients like Skippy peanut butter, Smuckers Jelly, and Oscar Mayer Bacon were bought at a supermarket along with bread and eggs, which happened to be on sale. The sandwiches were assembled and the cost of each sandwich was calculated.

The Sandwich Survey is similar to one conducted by financial blogger Len Penzo. Penzo said PB&J is almost always the cheapest sandwich to make at home, while the cost of other homemade sandwiches tended to vary from year to year, depending on the cost of ingredients.

Sandwiches purchased ready-made or made-to-order at supermarkets and delis can vary in price from $3.90 for a PB&J to $9.00 for tuna.

Here are the calculations for sandwiches in the survey.

Tuna ($1.21):

  • 1/2 can Bumblebee Tuna 63 cents
  • 2 T. Hellman's Mayonnaise 5 cents
  • Tomato (2 slices) 18 cents
  • 2 slices Whole Wheat Bread 35 cents

BLT ($1.28):

  • 4 slices Bacon 60 cents
  • Lettuce 10 cents
  • Tomato (2 slices) 18 cents
  • Mayo 5 cents
  • 2 Slices Whole Wheat Bread 35 cents

Egg Salad ($0.90):

  • 2 Eggs 50 cents
  • 2 T. Mayo 5 cents
  • 2 Slices Whole Wheat Bread 35 cents

Cheese Sandwich ($1.36):

  • 2 slices Kraft cheese 83 cents
  • Tomato (2 slices) 18 cents
  • 2 Slices Whole Wheat Bread 35 cents

Peanut Butter & Jelly ($0.62):

  • 2 T. Skippy Peanut Butter .10
  • 2 T. Smucker's Jelly .16
  • 2 Slices Whole Wheat Bread .34


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