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PB&J Is still a budget champ

Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are cheap and delicious. If you are careful, one will cost you about 50 cents and provide a lot of nutrition. The National Basketball Association tells its athletes to eat peanut butter because a PB&J sandwich has 15 grams of protein per serving, 13 grams of plant-based unsaturated fat and 5 grams of fiber.

As long as you or your children don’t have allergies, this is one of the best back-to-school and back-to-work lunches available.

Costs have gone up a little in the last few years. The price of a pound of peanut butter and jelly sandwich has risen 87.98% in the 26 years since 1997. A Whopper Junior is 102% more. And it’s not nearly as good.

Photo: Deposit Photos

Shop smart for peanut butter

The three best-selling peanut butter brands are Jiff, Skippy and the house brand wherever you shop, according to business website Zippia. We checked prices and concluded that Aldi and Walmart house brands cost the least. If you want name brands, you may actually find Jiff slightly cheaper, but it is a tossup. And you have to be willing to buy in large quantities.

Check out our chart below.

Jelly is pricey

Between the rising costs of sugar and fruit, the price of jelly has escalated. If lunch PB&J is going to cost no more than 50 cents a sandwich, you’ll have to control the cost of jelly.

The best prices we could find were at Sam’s Club and BJ’s. Both of these are for Welch’s grape jelly, which costs $4.98 for 60 ounces at Sam’s and $4.99 at BJ’s. Amazon isn’t too far behind at $17.94 for six 32-ounce jars of Smucker’s jelly. And yes, you have to buy a lot more than you do at Walmart or BJ’s.

Bread is the cheapest ingredient

The best-selling brand of bread all over the country is the grocery’s house brand, according to marketing researchers. So, we priced that at our local grocers and found that it is hard to beat bread costs at Aldi, Walmart and Target, with Winn-Dixie right behind. It’s just a 20-ounce loafs of plain, old white bread. But honestly, PB&J is best on squishy, soft white bread.

Enjoy your lunch!

Cost of 40 ounces of peanut butter and a 20-ounce loaf of bread

 Grocery                               Jif         Skippy                         House         Bread

Aldi $3.89 $1.29
Amazon $13.94 $10.53* $5.08 $2.79
Publix $14.85* $7.49 $5.17 $2.39
Sedano’s $8.49 $5.69-28 oz $4.99-28oz $2.19
Sprouts     $2.49-16oz $4.29-18 oz
Target $13.80 $11.39 $4.29 $1.39
Trader Joe’s $6.54 $1.99
Walmart $13.44* $5.92 $3.98 $1.32
Winn-Dixie $14.99* $6.79 $6.29 $1.49-16 oz

*Two 40-ounce jars

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Living on the CheapMiami on the Cheap is a member of Living on the Cheap, a network of websites published by frugalistas, journalists and consumer advocates. Find practical advice on saving money on groceries, travel and shopping, plus tips from our experts on how to live the good life for less at Living on the Cheap.

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