Homemade frugality

Sometimes, you just want something fun or nice.  Especially kids. 
My kids love when I do something fun to their sandwiches.  Friends’ kids also love it (one friend’s boys *still* talk about the dinosaur or train sandwiches I made one time years ago!).  The current favorite is uncrustables.  My hubby…  yeah, he playfully threatened me one day when I said the giant box of uncrustables from Costco looked awfully tempting one day.  Me on the other hand, I totally get it.  I’ve always had a tendency to cut the crusts off my sandwiches.  I’m weird, I own it.

So, a box of 10 Uncrustables is $7.13.  That’s $.71 for a little circle of a sandwich!!  Yeah, with four kids, that ain’t gonna happen.
Solution?  Make my own, of course! 
I went and got myself one of these square doohickeys (vs. the pricier Pampered Chef one some folks rave about).  Buy my own loaf of bread, pull out the PBJ, and get to it.  It takes some time and I do use my microwave a little, but still.

A loaf of cheap generic bread from the store is $1.18, makes about 9 sandwiches.  Peanut butter used to cost around $6.99/32oz at Costco, I usually use about 4-5 ounces of peanut butter per loaf.  Yes, the trick is to thinly coat each side of bread with the peanut butter and put the little lump of jam there in the middle.

Jelly/jam, depends. 
The grape jam costs about $2 for the grapes (or free if we count my yard grapes) + $.60/sugar or $4/local honey + $1.19-$2.28/pectin + $.10/lemon juice + $.75/disposable canning lids (or free-ish if we’re counting my reusable canning lids) = $4.64-$9.13/batch, each batch is 4-8 half-pints, we’ll go with 6 half-pints to split the difference.  Equals $.77 to $1.53 a half pint.  I only use about half of a half-pint per loaf of sandwiches.
Strawberry jam is about the same, costs a little more because it’s u-pick at $1/pound, but it also tastes loads better than anything (anything!) you’ll find at the store.

So…  one loaf of bread ($1.18) plus 5 ounces of peanut butter ($1.10) plus $.76 for the jam = $3.04 for 9 uncrustables.  Aka, a whopping $.34/sandwich.
Sure, it takes some time and prep work, but it can be done.  😀


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