How I Save Money At Subway

I love Subway.  My whole family loves Subway.  In fact, over the last year, it has become tradition that I pick up Subway and bring it home for the family for Saturday lunch. We don’t eat out all that much, and it’s our way of saying, “How you doin?” to the weekend.

I’m not sure if  they suddenly raised their prices, or if it was a gradual increase that just finally hit my breaking point, but a few months ago I noticed that Subway for my family of four was getting  kind of expensive for a Saturday lunch.

Here’s an example of what was a typical Subway bill for us:

Me:      6” Subway Club             $4.50
Vonnie:  6” Spicy Italian           $3.75
Tristan: 6” Ham and Turkey:         $4.25
Tori     6” Turkey                  $4.25
Pop / chips ($2.50 x 4)             $10.00
-------------------------------------------

 Total:                              $26.75 

 

For some reason I had it in my head that our tradition cost “right around $20.” But after tax, my total was much closer to $30. As I stared at the menu board and prices, I realized two things:

  1. The Subway I go to is located inside a Walmart – where pop and chips are cheap.
  2. Sandwiches are less expensive if you order a 12”

The next time I went to pick up Subway, I altered my ordering a bit to order foot long sandwiches that we can then just give 1/2 of a sandwich to each person:

Vonnie and Me:    12” Spicy Italian     $5.50
Tori and Tristan: 12” Ham And Turkey    $6.25
No pop or chips.

 

I know exactly what you’re thinking:

  • Yes, They do allow me to put different toppings on the two halves of a 12” sandwich.
  • Yes, sometimes they get confused and/or roll their eyes.
  • No, I don’t care.

It does get a little dicey when I try to navigate the sandwich artist through Tori’s (aka, Miss High Maintenance daughter) request to have double cheese but only half the meat on her part of the sandwich – but most of the time I can get it done.

Sandwiches in hand, I walked into the Walmart and picked up a 2-liter bottle of Dr. Pepper and a bag of Doritos (both loved by everyone in the Pizel Family).

New Price:

Sandwiches:             $11.75
2-Liter of Soda:        $ 1.00
Bag of Chips:           $ 2.99
-------------------------------
Total:                  $15.74 

A savings of $11.01!!!

I do realize that we give up the ability for each of us pick our own kind of soda and chips. But, we discuss what we’re going to get before I leave the house, and we never have a problem coming to an agreement.   We saved a significant amount on our bill  just by altering  how we order a little, and purchasing our own soda and chips.

Our Saturday tradition was in serious danger of being discontinued,  but with that kind of savings, my family will continue to enjoy Subway for lunch on Saturdays.

So how about you, friends?  Do you have any traditions or routines that are becoming too expensive to continue?

 

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26 Responses to “How I Save Money At Subway”

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  1. Hey Travis,

    Do you remember their tagline of a few years ago: “fat is cheap?” I do, and I feel guilty each time I go to McDonalds. LOL

    Speaking of which, those prices have also escalated. A Big Mac meal at our local Mickeys doesn’t leave much change fro $7 any more. So fat isn’t even that cheap any more, either.

    We do the same thing you discovered with Subway – stick to the sandwiches. If we bring the sammies home, we have our own stash of chips (bought on 2 for 1 days) and pop (bought when the seasonal specials drop to 25 cents a can).

    Good catch!

    • Travis says:

      I know exactly what you mean with Mickey D’s! My favorite combo (#2 – two cheeseburgers) used to come in at $2.99 – now it’s almost double that!

      That’s a good point about having chips and pop bought previously on sale sitting at home….we commonly do that too. But if we don’t have them at home, Walmart is right there for the savings. 🙂

  2. Michelle says:

    That’s a great way to save money! We would always buy all the little things there, and they definitely add up.

    • Travis says:

      The “add ons” really kill your bottom line…..$2.50 to add pop and chips to every mean is a rip-off. Sometimes my kids ask me to get them cookies from Subway too. Every now and then we’ll do it, but most of the time I just suggest we bake them together. My daughter *LOVES* to bake cookies with me or my wife.

  3. Jerry says:

    I love Subway, too! They’re my insurance for not becoming a fatty! I think if you go there all the time it can lead to spending too much but if you’re not careful.

    • Travis says:

      “not becoming a fatty” – that made me laugh, Jerry! I agree, even at $16 a pop it’s not something we could do every day. That’s why it’s a “Saturday tradition.” It gives us all something a little special to look forward too!

  4. Beth says:

    My family and extended family have been giving up so much the past few years due to cost, but the newest that I am in horrible fear of losing is date night. Every other Friday my oldest babysits the youngest and hubby and I go for ice cream, or fries, or whatever. It’s just getting so expensive, or rather, everything else is getting so expensive it’s tough to keep going. The last time we went, we spent around $5 for gas and $8 for our ice cream. I am trying to hold on to it as long as I can…it’s my getaway.

    I suggested to hubby that we go to the movies, using an AMC Silver Experience package that I could cash in some My Coke Rewards points for, but he is reluctant to drive the 40 miles to our nearest AMC theater.

    • Travis says:

      I know exactly how you feel, Beth. Since entering a Debt Management Program in 2009, we have had to make some major changes in our life in order to stay on track to pay off our debt. Little things like just going out for ice cream can mean so much….and hurt so badly when we have to give them up. I hope things get better for you soon, Beth!

    • Mary Byrne says:

      I am not sure how far the ice cream place is but maybe you could consider getting to it a different way than by car like ride bikes or walk or you could buy ice cream or another treat ahead of time on sale at a grocery store and then package it special (cute ribbon to keep it from being eaten or hide it in the back of freezer) then take it with you to go to a nearby park.

  5. I love subway too! Do you have their loyalty points card? I got mine a few years ago and they still accept it — it’s 1 point per dollar and then you can redeem them for free food. It adds up pretty quickly!

    • Travis says:

      Ooooh, no I do not have a loyalty points card! They used to have a punch card that after X amount of purchases you’d get a free 6″ sub, but they discontinued that. I had no idea they had such a thing anymore….I wonder if it’s regional? I’m definitely going to ask about it next time I go in….thanks for the pointer!

  6. For some reason, my children prefer homemade burgers and hotdog sandwiches because they can always experiment on their “toppings” and “add-ons” without paying more. We only dine out when there is a special reason o celebrate, e.g. birthdays, winning in a contest, etc.

    • Travis says:

      That’s a great way to approach eating out, Cherleen! When I was a kid, we probably went out to eat twice a year…..and that was to McDonalds after church. It was definitely special, and something we looked forward to. Even though our Subway trip is an every week tradition, I really feel like my kids look forward to it because we’ve made it into a family event that we all look forward to. Thanks for sharing, Cherleen!

  7. Des says:

    We do the same thing (though, we just opt out of the chips entirely). We avoid the eye rolls by just getting everything on both halves and then trading or (even better) learning to like new things. Before I met DH, I only wanted cheese, mayo, and pickles (so picky). Now, I like all my veggies 🙂 Easier ordering, plus more veggies in my diet. Win win.

    • Travis says:

      I wish I could get the other members of my family to try new toppings. I get pretty much everything on my half….but the rest of my family are not very adventurous. If I could get my daughter to try some though, that would be AWESOME as we have a lot of trouble getting her to eat vegetables at all. That would definitely be win/win!

  8. Cassi says:

    Mmmm subway. My brothers LOVES subway, and sometimes when my parents take us out and ask what we want to eat, he says Subway every single time. Gets annoying, but I like it so. Speaking of which, I need to go there and schmooze my way into a job 😉

  9. Travis,
    Those extras really kill. If you happen to like their sandwich of the month, it’s a good deal too.

  10. Suzanne Cramer says:

    I love Subway too–never spring for the chips, soda, or cookies. My picky eater won’t eat lunch meat so this special treat is just for my boyfriend and I. We always order the footlong; he eats all of his and I save my other half for lunch the next day 🙂

    • Travis says:

      Ah, a no lunch meat eater……I’m kind of there with Tori wanting “double cheese but 1/2 the meat.” But she loves Subway….it’s on her list of 10 approved things in the world that she’ll eat. LOL. Which makes Subway an even better option for us – sometimes I think she’ll turn into a chicken nugget.

  11. Mike says:

    This is exactly the sort of thing we do now at all places. We share meals, look for bigger portions to then split, skip drinks in favor of water, and any number of other things to cut our eating out expenses! Cool post!

    • Travis says:

      It’s amazing how much you can bring your bill down when eating at a restaurant, isn’t it Mike? I used to feel “odd” doing so, as I’d think, “I’m eating out, I should be able to treat myself to whatever and everything I want!” But then I found that after I left the restaurant, I would always feel like I spent too much. Now, it’s almost a game….how cheap can we make our bill!

  12. Sassy Mamaw says:

    I like to get a kids meal when I eat in at Subway. It’s a 4″ sandwich, a bag of chips (or a cookie) and a beverage. Cost $4, here in the Midwest.

    • Travis says:

      That’s a great idea, Sassy Mamaw – if it’s big enough to fill you up, and they’ll let you order it, it’s definitely cheaper than a 6″ meal!

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