The Grocery Game | Ultimate Grocery Shopping Guide

15 Easy Lunch Sandwiches For Less Than Two Dollars : The Grocery Game Challenge #3, Dec 21-27,2015

15 lunch sandwiches for under 2 dollarsDELICIOUS SIMPLE LUNCH IDEAS DON’T HAVE TO COST A FORTUNE

 

Lunch Sandwiches have long since been a popular food to eat any time of the day for both kids and adults whether at home, work, school, picnics, gatherings or on the run.

Although your typical homemade sandwich can range in price depending on how fancy of a sandwich you want you can’t go wrong by making it at home rather than buying it pre-made.

Layering your sandwich with roast beef, Swiss cheese and bacon will cost more than having a simple roast-beef and cheddar sandwich so it’s important to know what ingredients you like in your lunch sandwiches so you can stock up when there are grocery store sales. Keeping prices in mind will help to keep costs low while allowing you to eat the best foods available.

My wife and I are always looking for lunch suggestions because we get bored with eating the same foods all the time so we aim for variety in our diet. Although I enjoy taking a hot lunch to work every once in a while I don’t mind lunch sandwiches because they are easy meals to make paired with soup or other sides.

I do try to keep the sandwiches I make as relatively healthy sandwiches but on occasion I like to sneak in some bacon. Who doesn’t like bacon? It’s all about moderation. I was chatting to our neighbours daughter last week as she was about to go in the house to eat lunch who is 8 years old and always chatting.

I asked her what she was having and she told me a bacon, banana and peanut butter sandwich or avocado with cream cheese sandwich. Although I’m not a huge fan of peanut butter I thought her lunch suggestions were well-balanced but most of all unique. With kids though you have to keep them interested in food just like most adults want to be motivated. One day they might like one food and the next they hate it.

She had me thinking about what types of lunch sandwiches we enjoy eating in our home and were they cheaper to make than to buy at a grocery store, food truck, deli, restaurant, vending machine or cafeteria. Well of course it’s cheaper and let me tell you why, because you made it at home. Eating on the run will always cost your budget more money.

 

Ideas for simple lunch sandwiches

 

It’s always nice to pay yourself to be the family chef. Below are a few sandwich ideas that I think are noteworthy for anyone who enjoys simple lunch sandwiches without all the fuss.

 

Panini Sandwich

 

I love a nice panini sandwich filled with ham, turkey, cheddar and apple slices then grilled in a panini press. So, if you don’t have a panini press yet ask for one at Christmas time or scope out the sales throughout the year. They are a great way to jazz up any sandwich so they aren’t so boring plus you get a crunchy texture that you won’t get with pan frying.

Ingredients to grocery shop for

  • Panini rolls
  • Deli Ham
  • Deli Turkey
  • Apples
  • Butter
  • Mayonnaise or Homemade Mayonnaise
  • Deli Mustard

 

Tomato and Mayonnaise Sandwich

 

This is one of the easiest lunch sandwiches to make especially if you have a garden full of organic tomatoes that need using up. There is nothing quite like fresh tomatoes sliced with a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper layered on a slice of bread then topped with a bit of homemade or store-bought mayo. Easily this sandwich will come under $2 to make at home even if you had to buy the tomatoes at the store.

Ingredients to grocery shop for

 

Grilled Cheese Sandwich

 

I think just about all of us have grown up eating a cheese toastie also known as the grilled cheese sandwich. There are so many variations of this sandwich that the costs involved go up depending on what you pair with the cheese inside. Overall, if you keep it simple you could likely get 2 grilled cheese sandwiches in your belly for $2.

Ingredients to grocery shop for

  • Bread
  • Cheese slices or your cheese of choice
  • Butter

Related: Roasted Tomato Basil Soup

 

Peanut Butter and Jelly

 

Once in a while our son likes a peanut butter and sugar-free jelly sandwich for lunch but he has to be in the mood for it. Although PB&J sandwiches are cheap to make peanut butter these days must be bought on sale as prices have sky-rocketed over the years.

A 1kg jar of peanut butter for $3.99 is a sale price that most people will stock up on. If you fancy bacon on your PB&J sandwich add a bit more $$ to the costs but again this certainly won’t bring these lunch sandwiches over 2 dollars each. Watch for sales on bacon and stock up in your freezer. It’s not uncommon to find a pound of bacon for under $3.

Ingredients to grocery shop for

  • Bread
  • Peanut Butter
  • Jelly
  • Bacon *optional

 

Banana with Bacon Sandwich

 

I know this may seem odd to you but it’s actually very good. How do I know? Our son loves banana sandwiches with bacon on top. Sometimes he might even want a bit of peanut butter or cream cheese layered in his sandwich too but for the most part he digs a jazzed up banana sandwich every once in a while.

It’s also nice for change and if you buy a pound of bacon for $3.99-$4.99 or even on sale for $2.50 making these lunch sandwiches won’t cost you much money. If you are after a sweet fix add some honey to the peanut butter and banana sandwich for a nice treat. Even a dollop of yogurt tastes delicious!

Ingredients to grocery shop for

  • Bread
  • Peanut Butter
  • Bacon*optional
  • Cream Cheese
  • Bananas
  • Honey *optional

 

Egg Salad Sandwich

 

Quite possibly one of my favourite easy lunch sandwiches is the egg salad sandwich. I like to add a bit of lemon to my egg mixture along with fresh spring onions to take the flavour up a notch. There has to be butter on egg salad lunch sandwiches along with some pickles on the side with a hot bowl of soup.

Related: Thai Chicken Soup

Ingredients to grocery shop for

  • Bread
  • Butter
  • Dozen Eggs
  • Mayo or homemade mayo
  • Salt and pepper
  • Lemon juice
  • Spring onions (scallions)

Egg Salad Cheese Sandwich recipe

Not everyone knows how to make a simple sandwich so here goes the fasted egg salad sandwich I’ve ever made and eaten before.

  • Hard-boil about 6 eggs takes about 6-8 minutes
  • Crack the shells off and add all the other ingredients apart from the butter. Mix well and serve on a buttered bun or even in a wrap or pita with sliced mozzarella or cheddar.

 

Tea Party Sandwiches

 

Some of my favourite tea party sandwiches are cucumber with a herb and garlic cream cheese and curried egg with a bit of mayo, old-fashioned ham and old cheddar with butter. These were always popular back in the UK at my parents and relatives house. My mum would make these small sandwiches for a lovely afternoon lunch with some fruit and vegetables on the side with a cuppa tea.

Ingredients to grocery shop for:

  • Old-fashioned Ham
  • Mayonnaise or make homemade mayo
  • Old Cheddar Cheese
  • Eggs
  • Indian spices
  • Butter
  • Bread
  • Herb and Garlic cream cheese  (or your favourite kind)
  • cucumber
  • salt and pepper

Related: 50 Tea Party Sandwiches

 

Tuna Fish Sandwich

 

Ingredients to grocery shop for

  • Flaked tuna
  • Mayonnaise or make homemade mayonnaise
  • Butter
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Lemon Juice
  • Green onions
  • Bread

Mix everything in a bowl apart from the butter then make your tuna sandwich. The tuna sandwich is one of the least expensive lunch sandwiches to make. Most adults and children love tuna fish sandwiches and you can buy the ingredients for so cheap.

 

Chicken Salad Sandwich

 

If you have leftover chicken from that rotisserie chicken you bought at the grocery store for $5.99 or if you’ve made a chicken and have leftovers now is the time to stuff it in a sandwich. I love chopped chicken with a bit of mayo, salt, pepper, pineapple chunks and a bit of Franks Red Hot Sauce. You can literally add all sorts of flavours and textures to chicken salad sandwiches.

Ingredients to grocery shop for

  • Bread
  • Pre-cooked chicken or Chicken
  • Canned or fresh pineapple chunks
  • Mayonnaise or homemade Mayonnaise
  • Franks Red Hot Sauce
  • Butter
  • Salt and pepper

 

Turkey Dinner Sandwich

 

We always get leftover turkey to bring home after a festive occasion at the relatives whether it’s Christmas, Easter or just because. My wife and I both love double or even triple-brie cheese so if we can get it on sale we’ll stock up so we can slice it up and add it to our turkey along with any leftover cranberry sauce. We then warm it up to melt the brie and top with hot homemade gravy.

This is one of those lunch sandwiches you will eat with a fork and knife but it will be so worth it. The great part is this is inexpensive even if you pay $4.99 for a small brie it will still yield at least 3-4 sandwiches which is a great price.

Ingredients to buy at the grocery store

  • Bread Buns
  • Turkey
  • Double-Brie or even triple if you like extra-extra creamy
  • Cranberry Sauce
  • Flour to make gravy from the turkey drippings
  • Salt and Pepper

 

Italian Sausage and Roasted Pepper Sandwich

 

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had this Italian sausage and roasted red pepper sandwich before. It is so delicious and the roasted red peppers really are the star of the sandwich. You can buy a jar for about $1.99 or roast a couple on the stove-top or BBQ, add some olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper after you skin them and you’re good to go. Grill up some Italian sausages, slice in half and layer away on a fresh Italian Bun. You don’t need any condiments on this one, just enjoy the grill flavours.

Ingredients to buy at the grocery store

  • Red Peppers or Jar of Roasted Red Peppers
  • Olive Oil
  • Garlic
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Italian Buns
  • Hot or Sweet Italian Sausages

 

Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato Sandwich

 

Everyone loves a bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich especially club style and toasted. I always enjoy one of these lunch sandwiches when it’s a dreary day outside or raining for some reason. I guess it just makes me happy when I see how gorgeous all the layers look on my plate. A budget-friendly sandwich that should top any sandwich list.

  • Sliced Bread
  • Bacon
  • Tomato
  • Mayo
  • Lettuce
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Butter

 

Beans on toast with a poached egg and cheese

 

This is another one of those sit down lunch sandwiches that you need a knife and fork for. You can bring this to work with you as long as you have a microwave oven and toaster. If you don’t mind doing a couple of minutes of prep work to cook it up you can enjoy this hot lunch in a jiffy.

Although you may not be able to poach an egg at work you can easily microwave an egg and beans to top over the toast. If you like cheese you can shred it at home then add a bit to the top. If you are at home enjoying this simply poach an egg or two in some water with a bit of vinegar, swirl the water then crack in your egg. Easy!

Ingredients to buy at the grocery store

  • Bread for toast
  • Can of baked beans or homemade baked beans
  • Shredded cheese
  • 1 or 2 eggs
  • Salt and pepper

 

Meatball Sandwich

 

Although beef mince may be costly in some cities across Canada when I make meatballs I like to add a mix of pork and beef which make them cheaper. I can typically get a pound of pork for under $3 and a pound of beef for $5 sometimes less. If you can bulk beef mince in bulk you may even save some money this way and you can break it up and freeze it when you get home. Sometimes I just make huge batches of meatballs and freeze them raw.

Keep in mind that 2 pounds of meat will make a boatload of meatballs that you can drop raw into a homemade tomato sauce to cook on low for a few hours until they are moist and delicious. The costs involved making a pot of homemade pasta sauce is minimal.

Ingredients to buy at the grocery store

  • Pork Mince
  • Beef Mince
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 2 cans of diced tomatoes large
  • 1 can of tomato pastes
  • Garlic
  • Spices- salt, pepper, cumin, curry spice
  • Onion
  • Bread crumbs or stale bread pulverized
  • Mozzarella
  • 6 inch sub buns or round baps (homemade may be cheaper to make)

You can find my meatball recipe here but making a huge pot of meatballs and sauce can be used for pasta and meatball night or for Mozzarella Meatball Sub and all for around $1.90 each. If you like eggplant I also make a beautiful eggplant meatball which would be perfect topped with sauce and mozzarella on a bun. I’ve also made crock-pot turkey meatballs and BBQ sauce which would go perfect on a bun with cheese for dinner.

 

Vegetarian Sandwich

 

My wife loves to make vegetarian sandwiches that are easy which means adding lots of fresh vegetables to a light layer of cream cheese on a bun, wrap or pita. If we ever find Portobello mushrooms on sale she loves a grilled Portobello mushroom with mozzarella cheese melted on top with a bit of pasta sauce. You can also layer grilled eggplant or zucchini topped with cheese. The sky is the limit when it comes to vegetarian affairs such as the sandwich so splurge a bit and enjoy seasonal veggies for lunch.

Ingredients to buy at the grocery store

  • Buns, Wraps or Pita bread
  • Seasonal veg: Lettuce, tomato, red cabbage, cucumber, spinach
  • Portobello mushroom
  • Cream Cheese
  •  Mozzarella or Swiss Cheese
  • Mustard
  • Mayonnaise or other condiments you’d like.

 

Wrap Sandwich recipes

 

Lunch sandwiches made from wraps are healthy and can be filled with just about anything your stomach desires.The best part about wraps are they are less filling than your average 2 slices of bread and may cost less as well. Wraps can run about $2.00 for 10 large whole wheat or white wraps at the grocery store.

A loaf of commercial bread can cost up to $3.99 or more for one loaf. Some loaves of bread sell for $1.00 at the Dollar store and if you love to bake you can make bread, tortillas, pita and wraps for even less.

Related: Homemade Pita Bread

How’s that for a list of lunch sandwiches that are exciting and frugal to make. Although we all have different tastes as you can see it’s easy to create a sandwich that you enjoy by manipulating ingredients in already popular sandwich recipes.

What are some of your favourite lunch sandwiches that you make that are inexpensive and delicious?

 

December Grocery Game Challenge posts

 

Join in the Grocery Game Challenge (GGC) fun and post your grocery shop in the comment section of each GGC blog post. Here are the rules to get you started and if you have any questions feel free to email me.

New monthly prize: $10 President’s Choice Gift Card for Canadian residents only.

NEW!! If you want to play from outside of Canada and have PayPal and you win I will pay you $10CDN via PayPal. I use a random online generator to pick the winning ballot every month.

If you missed any grocery game posts for the month I will post the line-up each week here for you so you don’t have to go looking for past GGC posts for the month. This makes posting a bit easier although all you need to do is click on The Grocery Game Challenge on the homepage sidebar and you will see them all.

 

Free Grocery Budget Tools

 

Click, Save and Print. It’s that easy!

2014 Free Money Saving ToolsFree Money Saving Downloads are awesome lists that were created to get us on track to work towards reaching our budgeting goals and now we are sharing them with you.

I hope you take the time to get back on track and start the savings process in your grocery budget today.

Get organized with a FREE freezer inventory, meal plan, shopping list, price comparison list and much more all for FREE. CLICK HERE to download all the free lists and even our family budget spreadsheet for FREE.

NEW!! You can now download the FREE Canadian Budget Binder Budget Spreadsheet in Excel…Grab it while you can… It’s FREE! We use it to budget and in large part a reason we could pay our mortgage off in 5 years, check it out!

 

Ultimate Grocery Shopping Guide

 

the ultimate grocery shopping guide cbbEverything you want to know about grocery shopping in Canada is below with new information added monthly.

If you are new here and haven’t had a chance to read past posts grab yourself a beverage, sit down, relax and enjoy some educational reading material on ways to save money in your grocery budget.

If you missed a Grocery Game Challenge post some of the most popular posts are listed below or you can now find the posts listed on their own page called The Ultimate Grocery Shopping Guide.

If you know a topic that should be discussed send me an email.

 

2015 Grocery shop results

 

Yearly grocery budget for two + 1 Toddler 2015: $2820

(The above total does not include the stockpile budget of $235 per year or $25 per month.

Points Overview (add any other sections you need to show us your savings)

  • Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $235.00 $174.05
  • Total Grocery Budget with any carry-overs $235.00 $174.05
  • Total Gift Cards used to date: $32.40
  • Total Rewards Points redeemed this week: $90.00
  • Total Rewards Points used to date: $230.00
  • PC Points Plus Earned to date: 31,947
  • Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP) to date $0.98

Coupon Apps (add any other apps you use to save money)

  • Snap Groupon to date: $28.00
  • Zweet to date: $18.00
  • Checkout51 to date: $7.00

 

Grocery Shop This Week

 

Food Basics

  • 6 x dozen eggs $2.44 each
  • 6 x Schneiders Bacon $2.88 each
  • Pork Roast $11.99-$4.80 discount
  • Avocado Bag $1.88
  • 4x Lactancia cream $1.99
  • Quaker Oatmeal $2.49

Total Out-of-Pocket: $51.44

  • Total to spend this month $235.00-$60.94=$174.05 (overspend from November)
  • Stockpile budget 2015 ($25.00): (Jan/Feb) $50.00 +$0 (Mar)+$16.94+$25.00 (April)+$25.00+ May $25.00+ June $25.00+July $14.44+Aug $25.00+Sept $25.00+ Oct $25.00+ Nov $25.00+ Dec $
  • Stockpile budget used this month: $23.28
  • Total coupons used this week: $0
  • Total coupons used to date: $40.77
  • Total in-store discounts this week: $4.80
  • Total in-store discounts to date: $718.82
  • Total spent this week: $51.44
  • Total spent so far this month: $114.71
  • Total over/Under spend this shop: under
  • Total over/Under spend for the month: over $n/a
  • Total left to spend for the month: $59.32-$51.44=$7.88
  • Total Spent To Date 2015: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan $166.49+ Feb $261.51+ Mar $231.02 + April $258.44+May $218.12+ June $235.67+July $212.16+August $118.15+ September $130.37+ October $281.89+ November $249.04+ December $

Weekly Overview (your final thoughts)

This is our last shop for the month as we are heading home to my wife’s parents house tomorrow where food will be supplied even though my wife is bringing some bits from home since she is on a low-carb diet. Overall we had a great shop this week for some odds and ends.

We have just under $10 to spend plus a bit of the stockpile budget so I’ll just hold off for final numbers until next week. You never know what we will need to buy while we are away. Next week I will see how we made out for the year plus toast some of the top GGC posts for 2015! Here we go 2016..I hope you’re all ready to save with us! – Mr.CBB

 

Canadian Coupons

 

Here are some great places you can find Canadian Coupons! These are your latest Checkout 51 offers which you can use to help save money. We’re finding less and less coupons in the stores these days. What are your thoughts? Are coupon apps taking over the paper coupons?

I found one coupon this week for sweetener which is great because it’s $3.00 off even if you buy the packets in the box. You can practically get them for free if you can find them on sale.

3 dollar splenda coupon Canada

Grocery Game Challenge FAQ’s

 

  • Grocery Game Challenge RULES: Read the rules first and if you have any questions email me or comment on this post with your question and someone will answer you as soon as possible.
  • Do I have to be Canadian to post my Grocery Shop?: No, you don’t have to be Canadian to post your shops. We have fans who post their grocery shop who live all over the world.
  • What is the monthly prize and who can claim it?- The monthly prize is a $10 PC Loblaws Gift Card and for our out of country friends it’s $10 CDN via Paypal if they win. As more people join I will add more money to the gift card or I will split it up and offer 2 prizes every month.
  • When does the Grocery Game close each month?: The Grocery Game Challenge closes at midnight of the last Sunday of the last post for the month but you will still get a ballot when you post your shops even if they are late but I encourage you to stay on schedule. If you choose to post monthly  or bi-weekly you will only get 1 ballot for that shop. It’s a proven fact the minute we stop doing something that is scheduled that we end up forgetting to do it all together. Don’t let that be you! You can post your shops all month-long.
  • Does your Grocery Budget include health and beauty and laundry products?: Yes No, our Grocery Budget includes such items as shampoo, conditioner, laundry soap, fabric softener, dish soap etc. As of 2014-2015 we no longer include such items in our grocery budget so we can see actual food numbers at the end of the year so we can plan accordingly for our budget. We don’t mind stockpiling items that won’t be affected by expiry dates or have long expiry dates but not so much food any more. It’s just one way to help cut your budget to save money.
  • Canadian Coupons: Where can I find Canadian Coupons?: Here are your latest  Checkout 51 offers that you can use to help you save money in the Grocery Game Challenge. There are many great Canadian Couponing websites online that share weekly coupon match-ups so you can plan your grocery list.
  • Best Coupon Apps: Coupons are slowly fading out but mobile coupon apps are the big rave these days. Just recently the popular coupon site that mailed coupons to households have gotten involved with their new mobile Save.ca app joining forces with the many apps that are already out there.
  • What is the Best Flyer App- We use Flipp on our Iphone so if you wan to have all your flyers in one spot download Flipp from the Apple Store or get it on Google Play.
  • What is an FPC?: An FPC is a free product coupon which means you can get a free product as described on the coupon.
  • What is GGC?– The Grocery Game Challenge of course!
  • How Do I Grocery Shop?: I can tell you about grocery shopping and what we do in terms of shopping to save money and how it works for us. There are no wrong or right answers, just smart choices.

Over time you will gradually learn where you should and shouldn’t go in the grocery store or at least how to say no, I’m on a budget I need to buy this or that.

You may also substitute items in order to stick to your grocery budget to make it work. Nobody is perfect, heck we struggle with this part of our budget like many people do.

This is why the grocery game challenge was created to not only show you that we are like everyone else but to bring us all together to work as a team to get our budgets on track.

If you have just joined The Grocery Game Challenge 2015 get ready to dive deep into your grocery budget and learn just where you are spending, how much you are spending and what you are saving.

Feel free to read all the above posts that I linked to above which I feel are relevant to learning about the grocery budget and grocery shopping in general.

If you are brave and want to learn everything I know about grocery shopping in Canada check out my Ultimate Grocery Shopping Guide! It’s FREE!

You’ve made a wise decision to take control of your grocery budget now show me your shops and let’s get saving!

Welcome to The Grocery Game Challenge 2015!

Join in and become money savers and take control of your grocery budget.

-Mr.CBB

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