Trim the Budget: Sandwiches


    My husband takes two sandwiches to work every day.  Typically I was using lunch meat.  He liked lunch meat and it was easy and convenient for me.  But it was not great for the budget or a healthy choice either.  Lunch meat is processed and full of non healthy ingredients and loaded with sodium.   

So here is what I have been doing to cut the cost of purchasing lunch meat and improving health while I am at it!  

When I started I took a whole chicken and cooked it in the crockpot.  When it was done I deboned the meat and chopped it up into small pieces.  I divided the meat into 3 containers.  One I used the week I made it and the other two went in the freezer.  To make a sandwich I took the chopped chicken meat and added a little salt, pepper and mayonnaise to it.  I used this chicken spread for the week.  My hubby loved it and I loved the savings.   

Sandwich meat can run anywhere from $3.00 to $6.00 per pound (and up, but that is the range I have paid).  I buy about a pound or so a week.  My chicken cost me about $5.00 and I had enough meat from it for 3 weeks.   

The second type of sandwich meat I made was beef.  I will have a harder time giving you an accurate cost calculation on this because we buy our beef from a local farmer and buy a whole cow each year.  But I can tell you what I did.  I put a small beef roast into the crockpot (I will guess maybe 4lbs) and let this cook for a good long time… until the meat was falling apart.  I then removed bone and fat and chopped this up and was able to divide it into 4 containers (I figure about 2 cups of meat is what I need per week).  I used it the same way I used the chicken. I added salt, pepper and mayonnaise to the chopped meat and used this to make sandwiches.  I also added a little Dijon mustard as well and that gave it a really nice flavor.   

The cost of this meat would be determined by how much you paid for the roast.  You can use an inexpensive cut of roast like a rump roast or a chuck roast to do this.   

Putting the meat into the freezer also means that I have the added bonus of this being very convenient (one of the reasons I liked lunch meat).  After cooking just one chicken and the roast I ended up with enough lunch meat for 7 weeks of lunches. 


  1. Thank you, I make lunches for 4 men, and one does not like bread!! With the chicken and roast I can make a 3 sandwiches and pile some in a bowl for the other! Kelley

  2. Great ideas here!!!! You can also do some leftovers in sandwiches, like meatballs or even a slice of meatloaf.

    Thanks for sharing Crystal. You always have the best ideas.

    God's Blessings,

    Amy Jo

  3. My friend told about this back in the early '80's - its still my favorite sandwich spread. I mix it in my food processor.

    Mix leftover roast beef, mayonaise, and some mustard pickles. Thats it. When I have not had mustard pickles I have used sweet pickles and a squirt of mustard. Sometimes I will also add some garlic powder. This is also really good on crackers.

    I really enjoy your blog - especially your recipes.


  4. Those sound great. I have also done a roast (beef or pork) broken it up & then added bbq sauce and made sandwiches that way too. ~Just another option. Take care!

  5. This is so smart to do and yet I am sitting here thinking, why didn't I think of this, lol...

    Thank you again for what you are doing here to help us out. This is a wonderdul idea and I plan to put it to use here right away.


  6. I am enjoying your blog and came here after someone linked to your website in their blog. I wonder if you could let me know if there are alternatives to use in place of the sucanat in the recipes at your site. I am specifically interested in breakfast meals as I know my children LOVE breakfast while I am content with toast every morning. Yet, saw a lot of myself in what you wrote in the intro. I'm not sure how diligent I'll be with a toddler and newborn coming this July but I know it is something I have to work on eventually after kitchen renovations are done on the home we're moving into.

    Many Thanks,


  7. Sounds yummy and easy for our family of 6! This is my first time surfing your site and I am finding that I love it more and more :)

    God's Blessings,

  8. This sounds great! I was just thinking last week how quickly deli meats add up. Our whole family eats them, and usually go in my hubby's sandwiches all week long. I think I'll try this as an alternative! Thanks!


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