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Try This to Save $1,235 This Year!

Written on November 30, 2011 at 12:20 pm , by

You can control the quality of ingredients when you brown bag! (Photo by Andy Lyons)

Sounds too good to be true, right? Well consumer savings expert Jeanette Pavini says this is reality with one simple trick: Packing your lunch.

Pavini, a Coupons.com pro, did the leg work by shopping at her local stores and using available discounts (don’t worry, she didn’t spend hours scouring the circulars like the extreme couponers…meaning you can do it to!). She compared the prices for homemade to the average deli price for three popular sandwiches, and found that you can save $23.75 per week—or $1,235 over the course of a year—by doing just a little shopping and taking five minutes each day to prep your lunch.

Here’s the scoop:

Turkey and cheese on wheat with lettuce, tomato and mustard

  • Average deli price: $7.13
  • Homemade price: $2.68
  • Homemade price with sales and coupons: $1.93

Tuna and cheese on mulitgrain

  • Average deli price: $7.63
  • Homemade price: $2.60
  • Homemade price with sales and coupons: $1.66

Veggie sandwich on multigrain (lettuce, tomatoes, sprouts, red onion and cucumber)

  • Average deli price: $6.72
  • Homemade price: $2.00
  • Homemade price with sales and coupons: $1.30

Pavini says that you can save big by watching for coupons and being open to trying different brands and products on special at your local store. More good news: You can rest assured knowing that there won’t be any unwanted “secret sauce” on meals you make yourself!

More from FITNESS:

Now tell us: What is your favorite brown bag lunch? And how often do you pack or eat out for your midday meal?

Five Ways to “Eat Fresh” and Build a Better Lunch

Written on July 12, 2011 at 12:10 pm , by

Written by Lauren Cardarelli, Editorial Intern

Pile the veggies high! (Photo courtesy of Subway)

Pile the veggies high! (Photo courtesy of Subway)

Subway is known for promoting nutritious, fresh produce and made-to-order food (remember Jared and his amazing slimdown?). By recently introducing avocado to their menu and reducing sodium levels, the world’s largest restaurant chain has improved its reputation in the health world once again.

We had the opportunity to get the skinny on the healthy, fast food by chatting with Lanette Kovachi, MS, RD, Subway’s Corporate Dietician for almost 10 years, and Rachel Johnson, PhD, MPH, RD, member and vice-chair of the American Heart Association Nutrition Committee. Here are the top five tips we picked up to build a better lunch:

  1. Load up the veggies. “We have lettuce, tomato, cucumber, green pepper, onions,” Kovachi said. “Add in all those vegetables, you get two servings of veggies. Bulk up the sandwich without adding many calories.”
  2. No need to skip the condiments. “With our sandwiches, there’s room to add things and you’re still keeping it under 500 calories, which is a pretty good calorie level for a 6-inch sandwich,” Kovachi said. Looking to make some healthy swaps? Try avocado instead of mayonnaise on your sandwich or cut down on salad dressing calories with olive oil and vinegar.
  3. Think beyond the sandwich. “I think there are lots of other healthy choices when you think about beverages,” said Johnson. “There’s water. They have milk, which, you know, most Americans have a shortfall of calcium and vitamin D, so that’s a great option.” Consider pairing your sub and drink with a bag of baked chips or apple slices to complete your meal.
  4. Personalize while reaping the taste and nutrition you desire. Subway provides a plethora of healthy components so it’s hard to not have your cake—or should we say sub—and eat it, too. Start with one of the eight Fresh Fit sandwiches and customize with protein-rich meats, high-fiber breads (now fortified with calcium and vitamin D) and low-calorie vegetables!
  5. Skimp on sodium without feeling deprived. The folks at Subway pride themselves on recently reducing sodium levels without affecting ingredient taste or quality. After years of evaluating and improving upon every sandwich component, the Subway Fresh Fit lineup has seen a 28 percent sodium reduction with a 15 percent reduction across the menu. “We had all the other bases covered with the fat and calories, vegetable quantity, fiber so this was the next step to really make the sandwich a complete nutritional package,” Kovachi said.

More from FITNESS: Make gourmet sandwiches at home with these recipes from top TV chefs.