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Best Lunchtime "Meal Deal"

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Butts

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With the recent fuss about Sainburys reducing the quality of some of it's sandwiches in it's meal deal - which Supermarket/Store offers the best deal.

I would like to nominate the CO-OP as being good value at £3.25 for 2 Items and a Drink.

It may be a little dearer but the package I bought in Tarbert (Argyll) last Sunday was a winner. I had an Egg and Bacon sandwich which was well filled and tasty. Onto the second item this is where the co-op trumps the others - I had a twin pack of MM Pork Pies (could have had a Ginsters Medium S.Roll or other big ticket items) - not just a kit kat or packet crisps) and a Tropicana Orange Juice, I always bring the crisps myself or pinch them from the train/lounge if on the Train.

Any more nominations ?
 
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telstarbox

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Boots is nominally good value and has the widest range, although the sandwiches are expensive on their own. There's literally no such thing as a free lunch...
 

yorkie

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Boots can be really good.

I would have said Sainsbury but if they've downgraded their offering, I'll have to make Boots my first port of call in future...

Edit: is brie & grape still in the meal deal? If not, I'm boycotting :lol:
 

trainmania100

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I still rather like sainsburys
I preferred the salt beef and mustard posh nosh
But they still have a few good beefed up sandwiches, today I had a Egg and Bacon sandwich with a packet of nick nacks grab bag and a 500ml bottle of ribena. Well worth it :P
 

ainsworth74

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Edit: is brie & grape still in the meal deal? If not, I'm boycotting :lol:

Was that in 'Taste the Difference' (or whatever they're posher stuff is called)? If so then it won't be in the deal any more!

I usually go to Tesco but that's got more to do with it being the only shop nearby that does a meal deal!
 

Merseysider

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Definitely Boots. It's got the widest and best range of non-meat options of any store's lunch deal. Plus, whenever I'm in Sainsburys or Tesco they always seem to have one or more options out of stock; not so with Boots. Had a WHSmith lunch deal at Stansted once which was good but they're a bit pricier.
 

Butts

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Does anyone but the CO-OP give you a Sandwich and the option of adding Pork Pies/ Saus Roll et al as second item.:idea:
 

Starmill

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It's not the same Brie and Grape any more either. Irrelevant on the basis that it's unlikely to be worth £2.50 on its own.

Boots has by far the best meal deal because everything they sell in each category is included, and the range is huge. Triple or specialist sandwiches (although there's a Jamie Oliver premium) and unique snacks such as sushi and cakes are included. I reccomend an Advantage card too, and you can occasionally get a voucher for your next meal deal for £3. However, I often find you can get a better deal than a meal deal. For example, you can often get your hands on a packet of sliced cheese for £1 and a couple of fresh bread rolls for 50p or less. Flavoured water in 1 litre bottles at Tesco, Sainsburys Asda or Co-op is also less than 50p. Elsewhere, a soup at Greggs is very filling and only £1.20, you can get a slice of cheese on toast and a sausage roll, including vegetarian sausage, from Pound Bakery (or 70p each). For nicer drinks, packs of chocolate or multipack crisps (tricky to carry I agree) Poundland is often a good choice. Aldi or Lidl have decent bakery items too that are very cheap indeed. Only this afternoon I was considering a £3.25 meal deal at the Co-op. I eschewed it for a reduced pain as chocholat at 19p and a pack of transform-a-snacks at 30p, then went to Sainsburys and bought a pack of two vegetable samosas for £1. Waitrose can also be excellent for reduced cakes, donughts and pastries in the afternoon. They have a decent range of sandwiches that are under £1.50 too, I think you can have cheese or egg. Egg and Cress is my preference and I think that's slightly more. If you can bear it, most 'local' supermarkets and all medium or large versions still stock rice cakes (or Sainsburys 'corn thins' which come in handy packs of 4) and a tub of cottage cheese. You can then take them home with you. Finally Morrisons is also excellent but frustratingly they closed down M Local. Of the ones that remain, such as the one on Piccadilly Gardens in Central Manchester, the salad bar and hot food counter is highly rateable. Baked potato with cheese and beans for £1.50.
 
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GatwickDepress

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I usually go to Tesco but that's got more to do with it being the only shop nearby that does a meal deal!
Ditto. That's only because I work there! :lol:

I'm guessing Asda doesn't do a meal deal? Every lunchtime I usually see quite a few Asda employees come in for ours, since we're just down the road from them. I agree that Boots is the best, although when I worked there, unsold waste generated from the sandwich cabinets was quite staggering. Larger supermarkets tend to order the bare minimum...
 

richw

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Morrisons meal deal is best to me. Can you a diy salad pot, or some items from the warm counter- chicken bites and wedges were a main, couple with a pudding side and drink were a good deal.
Asda pulled their deal a while ago with little fuss, yet sainsburys do it and its worldwide news!
 

WestCoast

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Morrisons meal deal is best to me. Can you a diy salad pot, or some items from the warm counter- chicken bites and wedges were a main, couple with a pudding side and drink were a good deal.
Asda pulled their deal a while ago with little fuss, yet sainsburys do it and its worldwide news!

Agree 100% about Morrisons, it's the best value one at £3 by far. You can choose from most of the sandwiches, sushi and salads or even a medium pot from the salad bar where you select your own items (they've got things like falafel and bhajis in my local), the snacks include things like sausage rolls and hard boiled eggs too and the drinks include iced coffees and smoothies.

Boots is good too but I only partake at airports where there's little in the way of bakeries or anything affordable.
 
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Butts

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Woukld make my own but its probably cheaper getting a mealdeal
Compared to:
Purchasing bread and butter
Purchasing a variety of different fillings
Buying a multibag of crisps
Buying some ribena to put in a bottle

Chances are though you probably already have the bread and butter and crisps at home. You can get three cans of branded pop at Poundland for a £1. Egg and Tomato sandwiches anyone? £15 buys quite a bit.

For most people it's probably the hassle involved - bit like taking a flask for a coffee :p
 

DarloRich

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Woukld make my own but its probably cheaper getting a mealdeal
Compared to:
Purchasing bread and butter
Purchasing a variety of different fillings
Buying a multibag of crisps
Buying some ribena to put in a bottle

I make a week of salads or soups for the cost of one or two meal deals. Give it a go
 

WelshBluebird

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I'll usually just make my own lunch. Though quite often we will go to the pub for lunch, or there's also a cafe nearby that does a damn good fry up for less than a fiver.

Woukld make my own but its probably cheaper getting a mealdeal
Compared to:
Purchasing bread and butter
Purchasing a variety of different fillings
Buying a multibag of crisps
Buying some ribena to put in a bottle

None of that will add up to £15 a week (which is what a £3 meal deal every weekday day adds up to).

Bread - £1
Butter - £1 (and will last you much more than just the one week)
Fillings - depends on what you buy but say £5 at the very most.
Crisps - £1.50
Ribena - £2.50 at most. Quite often it'll be on offer, or you could just buy own brand squash which is pretty much the same.

Total - £10 most weeks, with an extra quid every now and again when you need butter. And that is a high estimate. I probably spend more like £7 a week doing my lunches for work.

To mix it up you could make your own pasta salads (which if you have pasta for dinner at some point in the week too can basically just be leftovers from that) etc. Or if your office has an oven like mine does, you can do a jacket potato etc. Quite a bit of choice really!
 
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trainmania100

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None of that will add up to £15 a week (which is what a £3 meal deal every weekday day adds up to).

Bread - £1
Butter - £1 (and will last you much more than just the one week)
Fillings - depends on what you buy but say £5 at the very most.
Crisps - £1.50
Ribena - £2.50 at most. Quite often it'll be on offer, or you could just buy own brand squash which is pretty much the same.

Total - £10 most weeks, with an extra quid every now and again when you need butter. And that is a high estimate. I probably spend more like £7 a week doing my lunches for work.

If you have a nectar card youll save quite a bit ;)
 

richw

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Just had a sainsburys new improved meat feast roll when I finished work, and can say the new product quality is vastly superior to the previous. I understand the improved quality is why the old meal deal is no longer feasible. I don't really want a side and tend to just eat one for the sake of it! With a 1 litre sparkling water it came in just under £3.
 

sprinterguy

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Woukld make my own but its probably cheaper getting a mealdeal
You must be joking. Over £3 is a scandalous amount to pay for a sandwich, a packet of crisps and a drink.

  • Bread, 20 slices (estimated): £1 - One slice per day, 5p. If you want to be lavish and use two slices, 10p.
  • Tub of butter/margarine: £1 - A tub of butter must last me nearly a month solely based on making sandwiches for work, so assume 20 working days and that's, again, 5p per day. Be lavish with your butter (and remember, you can use it for other meals outside of work) and say a tub lasts a fortnight (ten working days), 10p per day.
  • Sliced chicken, 13 slices from ALDI: £1.89 - 2 slices per day = 29p per day.
  • 6 Pack of crisps: £1 - One packet per day, 16.7p per day.
  • Water, funnily enough, comes straight out of a tap in my house which I pay a standard monthly rate for, the effect on which of filling a 1 litre bottle (one off payment for the bottle of around £5 which could last a period of years) once a day is negligible. Assume a fairly conservative lifespan of two years for a water bottle which cost £5, being used five days a week, that's a cost of just under a penny a day spread over 600 days.
So, at most, that's a cost of 10p + 10p + 29p + 16.7p + 1p = 66.7p.

I'll admit that that's just the basics, but you could buy a lot more tasty things alongside that, and trade up in the quality of some of the items stated above that, for the rest of your £3! As others such as DarloRich have stated, potentially more interesting alternatives to the basic sandwich, crisp and drink combo are also possible. My other half is having a steak dinner for lunch at work today, left over from last night, and I would be surprised if the ingredients for that came to much over £3.

Personally on those occasions when I do grab something for lunch from the supermarket, I ignore the meal deals as they rarely offer the combination or range of products that I want, and buying what I actually want is typically no more expensive.
 
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richw

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You must be joking. Over £3 is a scandalous amount to pay for a sandwich, a packet of crisps and a drink.

  • Bread, 20 slices (estimated): £1 - One slice per day, 5p. If you want to be lavish and use two slices, 10p.
  • Tub of butter/margarine: £1 - A tub of butter must last me nearly a month solely based on making sandwiches for work, so assume 20 working days and that's, again, 5p per day. Be lavish with your butter (and remember, you can use it for other meals outside of work) and say a tub lasts a fortnight (ten working days), 10p per day.
  • Sliced chicken, 13 slices from ALDI: £1.89 - 2 slices per day = 29p per day.
  • 6 Pack of crisps: £1 - One packet per day, 16.7p per day.
  • Water, funnily enough, comes straight out of a tap in my house which I pay a standard monthly rate for, the effect on which of filling a 1 litre bottle (one off payment for the bottle of around £5 which could last a period of years) once a day is negligible. Assume a fairly conservative lifespan of two years for a water bottle which cost £5, being used five days a week, that's a cost of just under a penny a day spread over 600 days.
So, at most, that's a cost of 10p + 10p + 29p + 16.7p + 1p = 66.7p.

I'll admit that that's just the basics, but you could buy a lot more tasty things alongside that, and trade up in the quality of some of the items stated above that, for the rest of your £3!

Personally on those occasions when I do grab something for lunch from the supermarket, I ignore the meal deals as they rarely offer the combination or range of products that I want, and buying what I actually want is typically no more expensive.


Spot on with your cost justification, however most packet meat says to use within 3 days of opening and a loaf of bread wont last 10 days in good quality, but even still your then looking at 4 slices of meat a day to use your packet up, so 58p a day for meat if you use within those 3 days. still just under a quid a day for your menu. But when you shop buy a deal its for convenience/ laziness/ practicality. I'm not messing around making a sandwich at 2am for when I finish at 10am so I grab something to eat or get a pack of bacon/sausages and knock up a mini fry (grill) up.
 

sprinterguy

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Spot on with your cost justification, however most packet meat says to use within 3 days of opening and a loaf of bread wont last 10 days in good quality
I think that some of those "use within" guidelines are excessively cautious, but I would agree you with regards the bread.
But when you shop buy a deal its for convenience/ laziness/ practicality.
Oh aye, certainly - it's horses for courses and there's other considerations to take into account. Purely on a price comparison, though, a supermarket meal deal can't compete.
 

DarloRich

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I usually take the leftovers from the day before's tea as I'm lazy....:D. Meal deals are only if I'm out and about when I'm not working.

if there are leftovers they go in the microwave at work for my lunch. The money you save by not buying all the prepacked rubbish is astounding. Making it yourself takes, what, 10 minutes?
 

richw

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I think that some of those "use within" guidelines are excessively cautious, but I would agree you with regards the bread.

My brother used to work for a lab that tested these kind of "use within" and he explained they take 50-100 samples of a product, and the use within was the quickest one to turn, rounded down to nearest day. That of course was for the company he worked for, others may be more cautious.
 

sprinterguy

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My brother used to work for a lab that tested these kind of "use within" and he explained they take 50-100 samples of a product, and the use within was the quickest one to turn, rounded down to nearest day. That of course was for the company he worked for, others may be more cautious.
Interesting to see some hard facts on the tolerances used and how they are arrived at, thanks for that. :)
 

Blindtraveler

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I'll make my own if conveniemt but failimg that I take the best value option at the time with meal deals, burger king, supermarket cafs, greezy spoons and chinese/indiam/whatever restaurants with 7 quid business lunch deals plus pubs all regular contenders. Whilst I agree its pricy what I do find worse is the cost of hot and cold drinks. A jar of coffee and often a flask often accompanys me and I bet iv confused many a hotel cleaner with the bottle of value orrange squash left in the bathroom for filling bottles
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
To answer the OP, my favourite meal deal is coop with saimsburys and boots joint second and odly enough spar shops next. Supermarkets generally are great as you can have a bit of what you want
 
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