Charlie's Blog: Make Your Own Sandwich


Make Your Own Sandwich

A generation ago, three-quarters of the money used to buy food in the United States was spent to prepare meals at home. Today about half of the money used to buy food is spent at restaurants, mainly at fast food restaurants.

People eat fast food because they think it is cheap, convenient, and tasty. Fast food is none of these things. They sold this lie to the American people, and they continue to sell it. I am urging you, Gentle Reader, to stop buying this lie. I am telling you to make your own sandwich.

Before we had fast food, we had this invention credited to the Earl of Sandwich where he put some meat between two slices of bread, so he wouldn't have to leave the card table. The Earl probably didn't invent it originally, but he ended up giving the invention its name. Regardless, this man changed the world more than Edison or the Wright Brothers.

The sandwich is the original fast food. As long as you have bread and a choice of ingredients, you can make a sandwich in just minutes. In fact, you can probably make a sandwich and eat it in the time it takes for you to wait in line at some fast food place, place your order, pay for your order, and wait to receive your order. Nine times out of ten, the food you order will be some version of a sandwich except they made it instead of you. This whole ritual is incredibly wasteful and stupid.

The first thing we are going to dispense with is the idea that paying someone else to make your sandwich is cheaper than making it yourself. It isn't. You can buy a loaf of bread and all of the ingredients for a fraction of the price of the fast food meal. It is always cheaper to buy your food from your local grocery store and make it yourself.

The second thing is the convenience argument. Fast food is not convenient. It takes my wife and me less than an hour to buy a week's worth of groceries. If you add in the drive there and back, it takes less than two hours. Now, if you factor the time to get fast food, one meal can cost up to an hour of your life. As for the preparation, the time is the same. I can make the same sandwich in the same time as the guy at the sub shop. The bottom line is that fast food is not fast. It is slow and eats time.

The third thing is the taste factor. Eating a fatty greasy burger with a side of fries and a gallon of soft drink tastes better than eating a tomato sandwich with some pretzels and washing it down with a bottle of water. This is because fast food is comprised of the three magic ingredients of sugar, salt, and fat. A healthy sandwich will never be able to compete with an unhealthy fast food meal. Now, if you choose healthier options from these places, you find they taste worse than what you would make at home. I discovered this when I began eating a plant based diet.

People eat fast food because they are addicted to eating unhealthy crap. This addiction is what drives them to spend all that time and money to get their daily fix. I know because I was addicted to that crap. I regret the waste of money, time, and damage to my health.

Here are some tips for making your own sandwich:

1. Get a lunchbox.

It can be a brown paper sack or some other container. I use a $20 personal igloo cooler I bought from Big Lots. I put blue ice packets in there to keep food cold. Then, I make my sandwiches and toss them in there along with a ziploc bag of pretzels, a banana, and a water bottle. That lunchbox allowed me to fire McDonald's a decade ago.

2. Get up early and make your lunch.

It takes about ten minutes to pack a lunchbox. This is less than the time you will spend waiting for someone else to make your lunch.

3. Get a Kleen Kanteen water bottle.

There are other brands of water bottle, but I am still using my Kleen Kanteens from a decade ago. They have paid for themselves. Kick that soda habit. Your kidneys will thank you. As for coffee, I recommend an old school Stanley thermos. Those things are indestructible. Make your own coffee instead of buying Starbucks.


If you follow the advice I have given here, you will have more money in your pocket and improved health. But I already know that you are not going to do this. The fast food industry knows this, too. You will never go broke feeding people's addictions and vices.