Cheap Bastard Says Don’t Order Your Bread Toasted at Subway and Always Order Your Coffee “To Go”

Cheap Bastard Says Don&squot;t Order Your Bread Toasted at Subway and Always Order Your Coffee "To Go"

Just got back from Subway where I ordered one of their new $5 foot long Subway sandwiches that they’ve been pushing hard here in San Francisco. $5 for a foot long sub is not a bad deal, plus it would be nice to lose all that weight like that Jared fella did by eating at Subway every day. The only thing is, somehow I doubt Jared was ordering footlong Double Meat Italian BMTs every day though. I had no idea you could even get 70 grams of fat in a footlong.

But here’s a tip. If you’re a cheap bastard, when the kid at the Subway counter asks you if you want your bread toasted or not, be sure and say no, at least in California.

Why?

Well with a sandwich on toasted bread at Subway they charge you sales tax. But with a sandwich on untoasted bread they don’t charge you sales tax. Check it out yourself if you don’t believe me. I just went there with my brother and another friend. My sandwich was not toasted and was $5. His sandwich was toasted and was $5.43 or so.

Another tip is when you order your coffee in California always order it to go. Even if you are going to consume it there. Why? Similar tax rules apply. Coffee to go is sales tax free in some cases, coffee ordered to drink there has sales tax.

Welcome to the wacky world of the California State sales tax.

Of course if you really wanted to save sales tax all of the time you could always just leave California entirely and head up to Oregon where they don’t charge sales tax on anything at all… and equally cool, it’s illegal to pump your own gas there.

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20 Comments

  1. Keith says:

    We have an unpredictably-priced cafeteria in my building (in VA, but same situation might apply). Order a sandwich one day, it’s $4. Next day, it’s $4.75.

    Maybe what’s actually happening is that there’s a luxury tax on sandwiches with cheese. All of the cashiers know to charge for cheese, but perhaps some don’t know that they need to hit the Dairy Luxury Tax button.

    Pressing the DLT button would presumably calculate a tax amount based on the total purchase price of the sandwich. If they press it, it adds the tax to the total. If they don’t, the system assumes that you’re just a working-class stiff who can’t afford cheese, and your sandwich is only $4.

    Good news: The cafeteria’s pricing model makes perfect sense to me now.

    Bad news: VA might be just as screwed up as CA?

  2. Elizabeth says:

    Wow, and I thought Massachusetts had whacky tax laws!

  3. I used to work at the Cala Foods deli in the Outer Richmond and we had to do the same stuff. Very bizarre.

    That said, I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed a Subway sandwich in the 20(?) years I’ve lived near one.

  4. Gary Denness says:

    Same thing in the UK. Works on McDonalds milkshakes there though. Cheaper if you take away. Crazy…

  5. Anonymous says:

    If you buy something in Oregon, you might be liable for use tax of course.

    Or if you buy a camera from New York…

  6. Paulo Jordao says:

    I thought that here in Florida our taxes were crazy… what is the actual tax there?
    Hey Thomas… may I ask you a favor… Is there anyway to you mention in one of your comming posts about our Fort Lauderdale PHOTOWALK on June 22 – 10:00am? Here is the link:
    http://paulopics.com/blog/2008/06/05/route-for-our-fort-lauderdale-photowalk/
    If you are here in Fort Lauderdale, it would be an honor and a pleasure to have you as a special guest.
    Thanks
    Paulo Jordao

  7. I’ve been trying to lose way too and have had moderate success with Subway. I buy the 3rd lowest calories Sub… The grilled chicken breast. The turkey breast has slightly less calories but not enough to justify its blandness, of course the veggie delight / vegetarian is the best for you but I have to eat meat.

    Make sure you get wheat bread, every other Subway bread is made with white flour which is terrible for you. Another thing is load it up with as many veggies as you can possibly stand, this will help fill you up and and some “spice” to the sandwhich so its not so bland. I also use the fat dress dressings which are good but actually fairly high calroies (I’ve spent way too much time researching this), so I end up getting the Sweet Onion sauce and tell them to put it on lightly. No cheese, toasted (Illinois doesn’t charge for that), parmesan and oregano and 6 inch subway (I had the foot long until my stomach shrunk a little) I also get the apple slices with it and a drink, diet soda even though its bad for you in other ways.

    I got to Subway every night for dinner and get this, it ends up being about 480 calories which isn’t bad for a dinner. I’ve lost about 10 lbs in 2 months.

    - Bryan Campbell

  8. Matt says:

    At places where the option is ‘to go’ in a disposable and ‘for here’ in a washable glass, I will always choose ‘for here.’ But thanks for the tip, for the places where it’s always disposable!

  9. Anonymous says:

    Oregon pays plenty of other taxes. The no sales tax thing is only really a good deal for people who don’t live there. But if you own property or earn money there they get plenty.

  10. rick d says:

    saving $.43 is not being a cheap bastard, it’s being smart especially in a recession. If you decided to help 12 hungry people by buying them $5 footlongs, you could help another for free with the money you saved by not toasting. you probably suck at poker.

  11. Thumbu says:

    I noticed the roasted sub tax too. Kind of ridiculous, in my opinion. Didn’t know about the coffee – thanks for the head’s up. I’ve been wondering why everytime I order coffee, it’s more than I thought it’d be. California is kind of ridiculous.

  12. Anne says:

    I happen to have a friend that works at Subway, and they JUST started doing this (they are apparently one of the last chains to start) – but there you get charged extra if you order anything to go, not just coffee.

  13. bigyaz says:

    “saving $.43 is not being a cheap bastard…”

    It is if you really prefer your bread toasted…

  14. Kevin says:

    Believe me, not having self-serve gas in Oregon is not as cool as it sounds. Many gas stations only have one attendant, whether there are four fuel pumps or ten. I know gas wouldn’t go down in price if we got self-serve here, but at least we’d be able to pump our gas and be on our way in half the time.

  15. pytzen says:

    And you wonder why California is bankrupt

  16. ludwigk says:

    Er, howbouts a money saving tip that doesn’t involve lying? Committing fraud to save 8.25% on a cup of coffee is not just illegal, its morally reprehensible.

    Try: Always get your coffee to go, and leave.

    Was that so hard?

  17. Steve says:

    The Subway CA tax thing applies to the un-toasted meatball sub. I assume it’s a hot/cold issue.

  18. Raymond says:

    Hilarious! California know this: the rest of the country thinks you are a bunch of idiots. Cool place to visit but a horrible place to live. Such a joke. Good luck as your economy continues it’s downward spiral.

  19. d says:

    hey raymond, I’ve been to EVERY state in this country, california is by far THE BEST state to live in. I wake up every morning thanking god I was born here! While your “bundling up”, being caught up in a storm, hurricane, tornado, whatever; I’m busy worrying about whether or not my spf is high enough so I can enjoy my pool!!!!!!! suka.

  20. Leo says:

    Hi, you can actually get your bread toasted and not be charged tax at some Subways. I went to one in Pasadena and they said the tax law states that if the whole sandwich (including the meat) is toasted then tax will apply.

    I usually order the bread and cheese toasted and then the untoasted meat placed on afterward. Actually it tastes better this way imho anyway.

    I tried ordering it like this in downtown Los Angeles and they charged me tax though, so I think they were not as familiar with the tax law.

    The zit-faced guy behind the counter laughed at me for being a cheap bastard but my net worth is 1 mill+ and he’s working at a sandwich shop, lol.