Should You Bring Your Lunch to Work?

The bottom line

cho-argentina-5-sm.jpgLast year some 8.5 million Americans brought their lunch to work, a figure that's likely to grow as more of us look for ways to cut costs. But are a few bucks saved really worth all that effort — especially when a new season of Dancing with the Stars beckons? We priced a hearty, healthy DIY sandwich versus our favorite 6-inch-with-chips-and-soda deal from Subway. Here's how the lunch-meat face-off went down.

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MADE-AT-HOME-SANDWICH BREAKDOWN

INGREDIENT INITIAL COST COST PER SANDWICH
Arnold by Brownberry Dutch Country bread, 100% Whole Wheat

Double Fiber
$3.89/18 slices $0.43 for two slices
Hellmann's Light Mayonnaise $5.39/30-oz. jar $0.08 (serving size: 1 tbsp.; 64 servings/jar)
Land O' Lakes Sliced Swiss Cheese $5.29/8 slices $1.32 for two slices
Sara Lee Fresh Ideas Turkey Breast, Honey Roasted Pre-Sliced $5.99/24 slices $1.00 for four slices
Organic beefsteak tomatoes $1.79 each $0.90 for three slices
Red Delicious apple $0.69 $0.69
Six-pack Diet Coke (cans) $3.49 $0.58 per can
Glad Fold Top Sandwich Bags $1.99/180-count box $0.01 per bag
$5.01 TOTAL COST

SUBWAY SANDWICH

6-inch whole-wheat turkey sub with Diet Coke and choice of Baked Lays or apple slices: $5.59 (prices may vary)

TOTAL SAVINGS: $0.58/day, or roughly $12/month. Barely enough to cover the cost of that Foreman Grill you'll need for next week's BLTs.

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