2008-08-19

Peanut butter jelly time

Do I save money eating PB&J for lunch every day at the office, or am I just making myself miserable? I sometimes wonder about these things. Here is my analysis.

I often eat PB&J for lunch when I am at work. Local restaurants charge $5-8 for a reasonably tasty and filling meal. Over the course of a year (assume 45 weeks x 5 days/week x $6/day), that's a lot of money: $1350.

Here's the price breakdown on the daily PB&J ingredients:
  • I buy bread at the expensive corner store. The store is more of a vice store, making almost all their money on cigarettes and lottery tickets. I feel silly walking out with a loaf of whole grain bread. They charge $3.89 per loaf. Each loaf contains 16 slice, or eight sandwiches, for a price of $0.49 per sandwich.
  • I like plain old peanuts in my peanut butter. That means I buy the relatively expensive wholesome brands like Teddie at $2.69 per jar. According to the label, there are 14 servings per jar. I probably use more than that, so let's call it 9 sandwiches per jar, at $0.30 per sandwich.
  • As far as I can tell, jam is jam. I use the local grocery store brand at $3.79 per jar. The label tell me there are 45 servings per jar. As with the peanut butter, I probably use more than the typical amount, so let's call it 30 sandwiches per jar, at $0.13 per sandwich
My total price per sandwich is $0.92. I eat two PB&Js per day, so that's $1.84. The total price per year (5 days per week x 45 weeks/year x $1.84/day) is $414.

$1.84 for lunch is a good deal, and the annual savings of almost $1000 makes me feel great!

When I really have to eat out, best value is the samosa chole chat for $4.50 at Punjab Foods & Spices/Chai Cafe. It is as super delicious and filling as it is inexpensive. Yum!

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