Healthy Budget Sandwiches
Crystal Miller


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. 

Another sandwich meat that is easy to have on hand is ham.  Buy a boneless ham and use some of the meat for sandwiches.  I make it the same way I do the beef and chicken sandwiches, only it does not need to be cooked first.  Chop up your desired amount of ham. I like to use my food processor for this to get the ham meat finely chopped.  Divide the meat into containers or zip type baggies and put in the freezer.  I make the sandwiches the same way, adding mayo and a little pepper. 


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