Doing The Lunch Math

We actually now have a Subway in our building, and they also participate in the $5 footlong subs (of which they recently expanded to 8 subs). You can choose from Meatball Marinara, Cold Cut Combo, Spicy Italian, Veggie DeliteĀ®, Black Forest Ham, Oven Roasted Chicken Breast, a BLT (bacon, lettuce, tomato), and Tuna. I decided to do some lunch math to challenge the whole “brown bagging is cheaper” paradigm. So, here we go.
I purchase a $5 footlong every other day, saving 6 inches for the following day. Ignore the fact that a meatball sub is going to be soggy and play along. Total cost for 5 day work week: $12.50. And I can load it up with lettuce, tomato, onion, etc. My favorite is to get the chicken sub, and put the sweet onion sauce on. Voila! Instant cheapo Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki sub (normally around $6).
Grocery store: Primo Taglio Oven Roasted Turkey Vacuum Pack – 8 Oz – $4.99
Kraft Cracker Barrel Natural Cheese Sharp Cheddar Slices – 7 Oz – $4.99
Arnold 12 Grain Bread – 24 Oz – $3.99
Total: $13.97, and I have no condiments or lettuce or anything on top. I also usually only get 4 days worth of lunch from this combination, 2 ounces of turkey a day. In fairness, if I wasn’t lazy and went up to the deli counter to buy my turkey, it’d be about a dollar cheaper, and the cheese would be about a dollar cheaper too. Yet that only brings us down to $11.97, or a $0.53 difference, not including condiments, etc. However, since that’s not what I do, I only present it here as an exercise.
The catch, obviously, is that you have to stick to the $5 menu (and avoid the delicious cookies!), which ironically does not include turkey. Still, I think there is enough variety in there to not have to worry about it, especially since I’ve been eating turkey since I can remember. The other catch is that I am lucky enough to have the Subway in my building, so it doesn’t cost me anything to walk over there, whereas others who have to drive (or ride their bikes!) to Subway every other day have additional time and gas costs to consider. The other consideration is chips, which I believe are still cheaper to buy at the store rather than buying by individual bags at Subway, whether through the combo or not.
I have a short week next week, since we will be going on vacation on Wednesday, so as an experiment, I’m going to get Subway rather than brown bagging it.