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5 Sandwiches You Can Make for $5 That Will Make Your Co-Workers So Jealous

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a pita sandwich being assembled
Carmen Mandato/ The Penny Hoarder


Five. Five dollar. Five dollar Foot…

OK, I’ll stop. But I have to admit I do miss that commercial — as annoyingly catchy as it was.

But what I really miss is how far $5 used to get me. I remember when I could get pretty far on $5 in my gas tank. Nowadays, five bucks doesn’t even turn my low-fuel light off. (Yes, I tried. And I paid in quarters because sometimes laundry money must be sacrificed for other things.)

And of course, you can’t get a $5 Footlong from Subway anymore — not to mention that those Footlongs seem to be lacking in the meat department these days.

Five dollars may not satisfy the fuel needs for your car or get you a Footlong, but it can satisfy your body’s fuel needs. So why pay $5 or more for a less-than-satisfying Footlong — or any fast-food sandwich, for that matter — when you can enjoy some seriously delicious and filling sandwiches for less than five bucks each? And with so many options, your sandwich variations are endless.

To get you started, here are five of the best sandwich recipes that will not only satisfy your appetite but also save your bank account.

1. Peanut Butter and Banana Stuffed French Toast

peanut butter stuffed french toast on a plate
Photo courtesy of valerieskeepers.com

Ingredients

  • 3 large eggs: 18 cents
  • ¼ cup milk: 4 cents
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla: 72 cents
  • 1 banana, peeled and sliced: 30 cents
  • 2 tablespoon peanut butter: 18 cents
  • 4 slices of your favorite bread (ideally day-old): 80 cents
  • 1 tablespoon butter: 10 cents

Servings: 2

Cost per sandwich: $1.16

Stuffed French toast might not be the healthiest option, but this recipe from Valerie of valerieskeepers.com does offer a few food groups in one sandwich — that’s enough for me! Plus, peanut butter keeps you full longer, so this makes for a great sandwich to start your day.

You can serve this with a bit of warm honey or maple syrup, or eat like the King himself and add some fruit preserves and bacon, too. Yes, bacon.

2. Cheesesteak Sloppy Joes

a philly cheesesteak sloppy joe
Carmen Mandato/ The Penny Hoarder

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil: 2 cents
  • 1 onion, chopped: 74 cents
  • 2 bell peppers, chopped: $1.56
  • 1 garlic clove, minced: 5 cents
  • 1 pound ground beef: $3.98
  • ½ cup beef broth: 25 cents
  • 2 tablespoon ketchup: 9 cents
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce: 8 cents
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar: 4 cents
  • 4 slices provolone cheese: 48 cents
  • 4 hamburger buns: 64 cents
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Servings: 4

Cost per sandwich: $1.98

This recipe by Lauren Miyashiro from delish.com had me at cheesesteak and sloppy Joes. Seriously, what could be better than two classic sandwiches combined into one for under five bucks? Plus, according to MyFitnessPal, this recipe comes in at under 500 calories. Beat that, Big Mac.

3. Hawaiian Pizza Grilled Cheese

Ingredients

  • 8 slices bread, preferably ½ to ¾ inch thick: $1.60
  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened: 30 cents
  • 4 slices pineapple patted dry, preferably thinly sliced: $1.50
  • 4 ounces ham, thinly sliced: $1.74
  • 12 ounces mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced: $3.33
  • Pizza sauce for dipping (optional): 6 cents

Servings: 4

Cost per sandwich: $2.13

The best thing about this sandwich recipe by Brandie from homecookingmemories.com, aside from its inclusion of the word “pizza,” is that the sauce is served on the side, so it can satisfy both sides of the pineapple pizza debate. It’s also great if your friends and family hate pineapple on pizza, which means you know if you order a large pineapple pizza, you’re going to eat it all yourself — sometimes in one sitting. I must thank the creator of this recipe for saving me money and some self-deprecation.

4. Eggplant Parmesan

eggplant parmesan sandwich
Photo courtesy of theliveinkitchen.com

Ingredients

  • 2 eggplants, peeled and sliced about ¼ inch thick: $4.70
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil: 80 cents
  • 1 medium onion, sliced: 74 cents
  • 8 ounces baby portobello mushrooms, sliced: $1.19
  • 3 cups marinara sauce: 36 cents
  • 8 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese: $1.11
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs: 42 cents
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese: 31 cents
  • 6 whole-wheat hoagie buns: $2.74
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Chopped fresh parsley (optional)

Servings: 6

Cost per sandwich: $2.06

For me, nothing says comfort food like an eggplant Parmesan sandwich — or Parmesan anything, really. But this isn’t just a comfort food — eggplant is the perfect component for a delicious and nutritious sandwich, and this recipe gives you both. Coming in at just under 500 calories, this eggplant Parmesan sandwich recipe by Lindsay Moe from theliveinkitchen.com is packed with protein and extra veggies to keep your appetite satisfied. The recipe calls for oven-baked eggplant, but there are plenty of other ways to enjoy eggplant, so be sure to check out our tips on cooking eggplant like a pro.

5. Anti-Mayo Egg Salad Sandwich

anti-mayoo egg sandwich on a plate
Carmen Mandato/ The Penny Hoarder

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons hummus (more or less depending on your taste): 10 cents
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs: 12 cents
  • 3 or 4 mini sweet peppers: $1.49
  • 2 slices bread: 36 cents
  • Salt and pepper to taste (if needed)

Servings: 1

Cost per sandwich: $2.07

Healthy recipe alert! This one came about as my own creation while I was following a monthlong diet that did not allow me to have mayonnaise… or coffee or dairy or pasta or… a lot of other things I love. It was one long month, but it was worth it in the end.

When I brought this for lunch at my previous job, my co-workers looked at me like I was nuts — until they tasted it. They were shocked at just how well hummus served as a replacement for mayonnaise — so impressed that I was asked for the recipe, which was actually only three ingredients (make it four if you put it on bread).

I’ve always found hummus quite filling by itself, but combine it with eggs, and you’ll feel satisfied long after you’ve had your lunch.

To make the filling for this sandwich, simply mash up the eggs, add the hummus, chop up the mini sweet peppers and mix it all together in a bowl. Season the mixture with salt and pepper to taste, then serve it between two slices of your favorite bread, or stuff it into a pita or a wrap. And if you’re avoiding bread all together, use some cucumber slices instead for a delicious, protein- and veggie-packed meal.

Jessica Gray is an editorial assistant at The Penny Hoarder and can be easily bribed to wash your car in exchange for an eggplant Parmesan or cheesesteak sandwich.

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