15 Simple, Tasty Sandwiches That Cost $1 or Less to Make

Focus on Two Hands Putting Avocado, Tomatoes, and Herbs on a Slice of Bread for a Sandwich, on a Wooden Cutting with More Slices of Bread, on a Wooden Table


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Focus on Two Hands Putting Avocado, Tomatoes, and Herbs on a Slice of Bread for a Sandwich, on a Wooden Cutting with More Slices of Bread, on a Wooden Table

Two Slices of Bread Never Tasted So Good

Sandwiches are comfort food, and the nostalgia evoked by classics such as simple grilled cheese makes them all the more delicious. These days, bread is dressed up with everything from imported oil-packed sardines to air-dried wagyu beef to, of course, the much-hyped fried chicken sandwich, but sandwiches are still generally budget-friendly. Plenty of tasty sandwiches can be made for less than $1.

Related: 17 Best Fried Chicken Sandwiches in America

Egg Sandwich with Tomato on a Brown-Rimmed White Ceramic Plate, Selective Focus, on a Wooden Table

Egg (70 to 95 Cents)

Whether you prefer scrambled, fried, or poached, one egg (30 cents) sprinkled with salt and pepper and sandwiched between two slices of toasted bread (40 cents) makes an excellent start to the day or a quick afternoon snack. There's even room to dress it up with a smear of mayo (5 cents) or slice of cheese (20 cents) and stay under $1 a serving. (Frugal tip: Check out these ways to put stale bread to use.)

Ham and Cheese Sandwich, Cut in Half, on a White Porcelain Plate, on a White Table

Ham and Cheese (90 Cents)

This classic sandwich can be enjoyed with cold cuts straight from the fridge, at room temperature, or heated up in the toaster for a crunchy exterior and slightly melty interior. To make, layer one thick slice of deli ham (30 cents) and one slice of cheese (20 cents) between two slices of bread (40 cents).

Nutella Banana Panini, Cut in Half, Piled on a Wooden Cutting Board with a Knife on the Left

Nutella Banana Panini ($1)

This sandwich makes a decadent snack, dessert, or breakfast for those who crave sweets in the morning. While it is delicious at any temperature, toasting it lightly creates a warm treat with a slight crunch. To make, spread an ounce of Nutella (30 cents) onto a slice of bread (20 cents), add sliced banana (30 cents) and top with another slice of bread (20 cents). (Here are a bunch of banana recipes, each offering its own appeal.)

Closeup of Fluffernutter Cut in Half, Selective Focus, on a Green-Lined White Porcelain Plate with Flower Motifs

Fluffernutter (75 Cents)

A combination of peanut butter and Marshmallow Fluff hits all the right flavor receptors with its sweet and salty profile. To make, simply spread an ounce each of peanut butter (20 cents) and marshmallow creme (15 cents) on two slices of bread (40 cents). (Peanut lovers might enjoy some of these easy, nutty recipes, too.)

Half of White Bean Arugula Sandwich on One Slice of Bread, Selective Focus, on the Left-Center

White Bean Arugula (88 Cents)

This lunch or snack is sophisticated enough to be cut into fours and served as an hors d'oeuvre with wine. A drained can of white beans ($1) blended with dried or fresh Italian herbs (20 cents) and the juice of a lemon (70 cents) makes enough filling for five sandwiches. Spread evenly on five slices of toasted bread ($1) and top with sea salt and a small handful of fresh arugula (50 cents), then top with toasted bread ($1). (Here are a dozen more recipes that celebrate the humble bean.) 

Two Halves of Grilled Cheese Sandwich on a Purple and Orange Ceramic Plate, Selective Focus, on a Wooden Table
Olga Miltsova/shutterstock

Grilled Cheese ($1)

Just two pieces of bread (40 cents) with two slices of cheese (40 cents) and an ounce of butter (20 cents) griddled, toasted, or melted in the oven is a combination that adds up to more than the sum of its parts. There are few simple, cheap meals as satisfying as melted cheese between lightly toasted or grilled bread.

Several Cucumber Sandwich Pieces Piled As a Pyramid on an Avocado Green Ceramic Plate, Selective Focus
Elena Shashkina/shutterstock

Cucumber (81 Cents)

These delightful tea sandwiches are light, refreshing, and perfect for sharing. Spread half an ounce of cream cheese (13 cents) on a piece of bread (20 cents) and layer slices of cucumber (15 cents) with salt and pepper, then top with another slice of bread (20 cents) also covered with cream cheese (13 cents). They're even more budget-friendly in summer when cucumbers are in season.

One Tuna Salad Sandwich Cut in Half on a Brown Paper Napkin with Sliced Pickles

Tuna Salad (94 Cents)

Add some mayonnaise, carrots, celery, onion, and pickles ($1 worth) to a can of tuna ($1) and it's easy to make four sandwiches from one batch. Divide among four pieces of toasted bread ($1.60), add a leaf of crunchy lettuce (15 cents), and top with more toast for a heart-healthy meal. (Frugal tip: Check out these simple kitchen hacks that save food and money.)

Top-View of Hummus in a Dark Brown Terracotta Low-Rimmed Bowl, an Herb Leaf in the Center
Brent Hofacker/shutterstock

Hummus (95 Cents)

Using hummus that you make at home can bring the cost of a hummus sandwich down dramatically, but even those who prefer to save time with pre-made hummus can enjoy this sandwich for pennies. Spread 2 tablespoons of a preferred store-bought hummus (55 cents) between two pieces of toasted bread (40 cents) for a simple, savory snack.

Cheddar Apple Sandwich Cut in Half, Lined Behind One Another on a White Rectangle Porcelain Plate, Selective Focus

Cheddar Apple (95 Cents)

This crunchy, sweet, and savory sandwich is healthy and tasty any time of day. Slice one-quarter of an apple of any variety (25 cents) and layer with 1 ounce of cheddar cheese (30 cents) between two slices of bread (40 cents) to enjoy this farmer-style snack. (Here are some more creative apple recipes to consider.)

Three Halves of Balsamic Roasted Veggie Sandwich on a Rustic Serving Board with a Spoon on the Left with Sauce, Surrounded By Ingredients

Balsamic Roasted Veggie (97 Cents)

Pack flavor into vegetables by roasting or grilling them with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. One tablespoon of vinegar (10 cents) is enough for a small onion (30 cents) and bell pepper ($1). Once cooled, use the veggies to make three sandwiches by dividing them over three slices of bread (60 cents). Smear a half-ounce of creamy cheese such as boursin or chevre (30 cents) on three more slices of bread (60 cents) and combine.

Two Halves of Egg Salad Sandwich Piled on a Fancy White Porcelain Plate, Selective Focus, on a White Tablecloth
Lesya Dolyuk/shutterstock

Egg Salad (90 Cents)

A simple and comforting classic, an egg salad sandwich is easy, cheap, and satisfying. To make, simply combine a hard-boiled egg (30 cents), a half rib of diced celery (5 cents), a tablespoon or two of mayonnaise, and salt and pepper to taste (15 cents). Put the egg salad between two pieces of bread (40 cents), whether soft and fresh or toasted for crunch. Adding curry powder can be a nice twist. (Here are some more easy egg recipes to nibble on.)

Pizza Sandwich on a White Porcelain Plate, Selective Focus, Herb Sprinkled on the Plate, Surrounded By Ingredients and a Stainless Steel Bowl of a Salad
Thammaratt Jtmr/shutterstock

Pizza Sandwich (80 Cents)

Take the basic elements of pizza and repurpose them into a scrumptious, easy-to-eat sandwich built with a quarter-cup of marinara sauce (20 cents) and a thick slice of mozzarella (20 cents) between two pieces of bread (40 cents). Place in a hot oven or toaster until the cheese melts and the flavors combine. Marinara sauce can also be easily made at home, too.

Closeup of Two Avocado, Lettuce, and Tomato Sandwiches on Top of Each Other on a Brown Napkin on a Wooden Table
kay roxby/shutterstock

Avocado, Lettuce, and Tomato ($1)

A riff on the classic bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwich, this version replaces the bacon with heart-healthy avocado for a creamy, rich flavor. The avocado also stands in for mayonnaise, making this a vegan-friendly option. With a fork, mash a quarter of a large Hass avocado (40 cents) onto two toasted pieces of bread (40 cents) and top with salt. Layer on a thick slice of tomato (10 cents) and crunchy lettuce (10 cents).

One Half of Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich on a Dark Beige Ceramic Plate, a Jar of Strawberry Jelly and a Small Glass Bowl of Peanut Butter Behind It on the Top

Peanut Butter and Jelly (70 Cents)

A list of inexpensive sandwiches wouldn't be complete without this classic. Satisfying at any age, salty peanut butter with fruity and sweet jelly on soft bread is an easy-to-pack sandwich that also couldn't be easier (or cheaper) to make: Spread an ounce of peanut butter (20 cents) on a slice of bread (20 cents) and an ounce of jelly (10 cents) on another slice (20 cents), then combine.