The Cost of Sandwiches

*I’m just going to start off by saying: No, this is not a post about why you shouldn’t eat sandwiches. The only reason I’d ever say that is because it would mean MORE FOR ME!! I love sandwiches and when people say they are just “not really a sandwich person,” that’s weirder to me than when people say “I’m not a dessert person.” They just have to be crazy, right? Sandwiches are delicious. That’s the only logical explanation for not liking them.

This is, in fact, simply about how much money it costs to buy a sandwich.

You used to be able to get a pretty good sandwich for about $5. I don’t remember details, but I remember it happening. It was a really long time ago – which is my point, but we’ll come back to that.

Add a beverage, and you had a meal for 6 or 7 bucks. Not bad, really. And, like I said, I love sandwiches, so for me it was GREAT!!

If you wanted a really fancy sandwich, the most you were likely to pay was 7 or 8 dollars. I never went to REALLY fancy places, so I don’t know, could have been more there.

…Now, if I go out and buy a sandwich, it’s usually closer to $7 for a basic one, more for a more complex one. So, add the price of a drink to that, and you’re approaching $10.

Let’s be honest here. A sandwich is only as good as its ingredients. Fresh meats and veggies and really good bread are the most significant aspects of this. Now, just think a minute. Usually, if you’re ordering from a place that’s using really top quality, fresh ingredients, All but the most simple sandwiches are going to be upwards of $8. Local businesses are often more expensive, presumably because they aren’t getting super-bulk discounts on their ingredients… (you’d think buying locally would cost less, but for some reason it often seems to cost more.) And if you decide you want a latte or a fancy tea with that, that’s $2-5 more. Get a smoothie as well, and congratulations, you just spent too much on lunch.

This is not laid out in the simplest way, so I’ll just say it outright: when I go to some of my favorite cafes and delis for a sandwich meal, I’m spending almost $10 without any extras. Add a drink, it’s about $11-12. Leave a tip in the jar, it’s $12-14 (I usually give no more than a dollar for counter service: delivery guys and waitress/waiters get way more). That is approximately twice as much as what it used to cost.

I’m not including fast food in this account, because I really don’t eat at fast food places much anymore. It wasn’t even a conscious choice. More of a simple lack of desire to eat at places like McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Subway, etc. I know you can get pretty cheap meals at those places, but since I don’t want to go there, I’m not even thinking of it as an option for anyone else. Just, ew.

Even at Au Bon Pain, which I still like, if you get a sandwich and a coffee it’s usually $8 or 9. Not as high as the delicious places I like to go to, but still a few dollars more than what a meal used to be. It seems the only cheap sandwiches these days are breakfast sandwiches, which I tend to only want for breakfast.

There is still one option for cheap sandwich-based meals, of course – diners! And diner food is ok, often even good, but how many diners do you know that are using the best quality bread and all-local ingredients? …probably not many. If they are, their prices are probably higher.

The takeaway here, in case it’s not clear, is that sandwiches cost more now. Deal with it.

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Posted on March 8, 2013, in Food and Drink, Life and Style, Restaurants, Shopping and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. The only way to have a really good sandwich with good bread and fresh ingredients, at a LOW COST, is to make it yourself and take it to work.
    I totally agree that sandwiches cost too much when eating out.

    • I usually eat salads for lunch now, and sometimes I really want to just buy a sandwich. It costs plenty to buy all the separate ingredients to make them at home, unless you already have all that stuff around your house.

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