13 Sandwiches You Can Make for $1 or Less
Sandwiches are comfort food, and the nostalgia evoked by classics such as simple grilled cheese make them all the more delicious. These days bread is getting dressed up with everything from imported, oil-packed sardines to air-dried wagyu beef, but sandwiches are still generally friendly to those trying to be frugal. Plenty of tasty sandwiches can be made for less than $1.
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Of course a list of inexpensive sandwiches has to be led by this classic. Satisfying for people of all ages, salty peanut butter with fruity and sweet jelly on soft bread is an easy-to-pack sandwich that also couldn't be easier, or cheaper, to make: Spread 1 ounce of peanut butter (20 cents) on one slice of bread (20 cents) and 1 ounce of jelly (10 cents) on another slice (20 cents), then combine.
Whether you prefer it scrambled, fried, or poached, one egg with salt and pepper (30 cents) cut and layered between two slices of toasted bread (40 cents) makes an excellent start to the day or a quick afternoon snack. There's even room for a smear of mayo (5 cents) or slice of cheese (20 cents) to dress it up while staying under $1 a serving.
A combination of peanut butter and Marshmallow Fluff hits all the right flavor receptors with its sweet and salty profile. To make, simply spread 1 ounce of peanut butter (20 cents) on one slice of bread (20 cents) and 1 ounce of Fluff or a generic substitute (15 cents) on another slice of bread (20 cents) and combine.
This lunch or snack is sophisticated enough to be cut into fours and served as an hors d'oeuvre with wine. A drained can of white beans ($1) blended with dried or fresh Italian herbs (20 cents) and the juice of a lemon (30 cents) makes enough filling for five sandwiches. Spread evenly on five slices of toasted bread ($1) and top with sea salt and a small handful of fresh arugula (50 cents), then top with toasted bread ($1).
Just two pieces of bread (40 cents) with two slices of cheese (40 cents) griddled, toasted, or melted in the oven is a combination that adds up to more than the sum of its parts. There are few simple, cheap meals as satisfying as melted cheese between lightly toasted bread.
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These delightful tea sandwiches are light, refreshing and perfect for sharing. Spread half an ounce of cream cheese (13 cents) on a piece of bread (20 cents) and layer slices of cucumber (15 cents) with salt and pepper, then top with another slice of bread (20 cents) also covered with cream cheese (13 cents).
Add some mayonnaise, carrots, celery, onion, and pickles ($1 worth) to a can of tuna ($1) and it's easy to make four sandwiches from one batch. Divide among four pieces of toasted bread ($1.60), add a leaf of crunchy lettuce (15 cents), and top with more toast for a heart-healthy meal.
Using homemade hummus can bring the cost of a hummus sandwich down dramatically, but even those who prefer to save time with pre-made hummus can enjoy this sandwich for pennies on the dollar. Spread 2 tablespoons of a preferred store-bought hummus (55 cents) between two pieces of toasted bread (40 cents) for a simple, savory snack.
This crunchy, sweet, and savory sandwich is healthy and tasty any time of day. Slice one-quarter of an apple of any variety (25 cents) and layer with 1 ounce of cheddar cheese (30 cents) between two slices of bread (40 cents) to enjoy this farmer-style snack.
Pack flavor into vegetables by roasting them with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. One tablespoon of vinegar (10 cents) is enough for a small onion (30 cents) and bell pepper ($1). Once cooled, use the veggies to make three sandwiches by dividing them over three slices of bread (60 cents). Smear a half-ounce of creamy cheese such as boursin or chevre (30 cents) on three more slices of bread (60 cents) and combine.
A simple and comforting classic, egg salad sandwiches are easy, cheap, and satisfying. To make, simply combine a hard-boiled egg (30 cents) and half of a rib of diced celery (5 cents) with 1 to 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise and salt and pepper to taste (15 cents). Put the egg salad between two pieces of bread (40 cents), whether soft and fresh or toasted for crunch. Adding curry powder can be a nice twist.
Take the basic elements of pizza and repurpose them into a scrumptious, easy-to-eat sandwich built with a quarter-cup of marinara sauce (20 cents) and a thick slice of mozzarella (20 cents) between two pieces of bread (40 cents). Place in a hot oven or toaster until the cheese melts and the flavors combine.
A riff on the classic bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwich, this version replaces the bacon with heart-healthy avocado for a creamy, rich flavor. The avocado also stands in for mayonnaise, making this a vegan-friendly option. With a fork, mash a quarter of a large Hass avocado (40 cents) onto two toasted pieces of bread (40 cents) and top with salt. Layer on a thick slice of tomato (10 cents) and crunchy lettuce (10 cents).