Thursday, January 24, 2013

Ham and Cheese Sandwiches on the Cheap

(Note - this post was written in January of 2014, and is based on prices at that time. However, the basic ideas for making cheaper sandwiches are likely to hold all of the time. Even when not on sale, spiral sliced hams are likely to be a lot cheaper than deli ham, and slicing your own cheese will be cheaper than buying sliced deli cheese. Cooking and slicing your own roast beef and turkey breast will be cheaper than buying deli meats, too.)

Marsh has Hormel Cure 51 Spiral Sliced Hams for $1.29 a pound. True, there’s a big bone in it, so the meat itself probably costs about $2.00 a pound. Compare that to meat from the deli, which will probably run you anywhere from about $4.99 on up. The ham is sliced, which means you’ll get nice even slices, and a lot thinner than if you were slicing it yourself – or at least if I were slicing it myself! Cheese to go with the ham is on sale in various forms at most of the grocery stores. Aldi has 8-ounce blocks of several kinds of cheese for $1.79 each. Kroger has block cheese for $3.29 for 12 to 16 ounces. They also have some sliced cheese at $3.29 for 24 slices. Personally, I would go for the sliced cheese because the slices are thinner and more even than I could cut them, and they’ll go further. It depends on what kind is sliced, though. I’d rather have real cheese than a processed cheese. Even if I cut the cheese myself, it will probably end up cheaper than buying it at the deli counter. Beyond the meat and cheese, the last time I looked, Aldi had mayo and “whipped salad dressing” for $1.99 for almost a quart. I think it was 30 ounces instead of 32. A few different varieties of mustard were $1.19 a bottle, I think. When it comes to bread, remember to compare the price per slice rather than the price per loaf or the price per pound. Unless the slices are unusually large or small, two slices of whatever size you get will make a sandwich. If you go for a hoagie type roll, think about how many sandwiches – how many “servings” – you’re going to get from them, and compare the price to the same number of “servings” of regular bread. 

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