Panera Bread — Hmmm… I think I can do this for $5.

Panera Bread is about mid-way on my trek, to and from work each day.  Until yesterday, the last Panera Restaurant that I had visited was in Petersburg, VA when I was coming back from a short vacation which included Wilmington, DE & Philadelphia, PA.  My gripe, other than “too much salt” in their food, has been that their flavored drinks (e.g. Akai Berry… sp?) are so watered down as to be like drinking the day old remains of a fountain Coke with ice.  You drank all the drink the day before, leaving some ice in the bottom of the cup, and today you have a watery Cokified drink that is almost flavorless and definitely not pleasant.  Wal*Mart has several powdered flavor packets for sale (10 packets for about $1.74) which I have come to enjoy and use quite frequently.  I sometimes think that I could order water at a restaurant and slip in a flavor packet to have a decent flavored drink… and Panera would definitely be a prime candidate.  However, I see they have assorted soft-drink products at the location I just visited.

So I ordered a 1/2 sandwich and a cup of soup special, with water to drink.  During my meal, I look down at the half-sandwich and think it unusually small, but flavorful (turkey, avocado, bacon) but the soup was enough (Broccoli Cheddar).  And, I say to myself, “I could make this for about $5.”

I don’t want to stay at work during my lunch time.

ADDENDUM [11/17/15]:  It is probably closer to $7 than $5;-)

  • Sliced turkey  $1.50
  • Bacon  1.25
  • Avocado  .75
  • Artisan Bread  .75
  • Curried mayo  .25
  • Cheddar cheese  $4.00
  • Half-n-Half  .75
  • Steamed Broccoli  1.25
  • Carrot sticks  .60
  • Sauteed onion  .75

Is that $11.85 for just the ingredients?  Makes 2.5 small bowls.

You’ve got to figure in the cost of heating the ingredients & cleaning the pot, plate, bowl, and utensils.

If I buy the family size can of specialty soup, for $1.50 +tax then it is probably over $7, but if I try to make the Broccoli-Cheddar Soup, it is probably closer to $8.50 for me to do it myself.