The Panera Bagel Hack For Bigger You Pick Two Sandwiches

Without a doubt, one of the highlights of Panera Bread's menu is its You Pick Two option in which customers can choose two items from a selection of halved sandwiches and salads, cups of soup or mac and cheese, grain bows, and pizzas all for a couple dollars less than if you ordered the items separately. The combo also comes with a choice of side including a bag of chips, apple, or baguette.

But here's where the hack comes in — upgrade the You Pick Two experience by requesting that your sandwich be made on a bagel instead of regular bread. Although it has a modest upcharge of $0.50 and gives you approximately the same amount of fillings as a half-sandwich, Panera gives you the entire bagel for the deli creation, as opposed to cutting the sandwich bread in half, meaning you'll get more for your buck.

Needless to say, swapping out your sandwich bread for a bagel also opens up a new realm of possibilities since you can mix and match any sandwich on the menu with any of Panera's nine different bagels, including asiago cheese, sesame seed, or everything bagel options.

Double the filling for a larger Panera sandwich

Another way to get more Panera bang for your buck is by adding more fillings to your sandwich. Certain options like olives, kale, apple chips, cucumbers, and wontons, are free to add, while you can double other toppings for an extra dollar or two.

As you can imagine, doubling your sandwich filling is already going to result in a significantly larger sandwich. However, if you pair this hack with the aforementioned bagel substitution, you might as well have scored the equivalent of two smaller sandwiches for the price of one — albeit on one mega bagel sandwich. And really, even a buck or two extra for those bonus fillings and the bagel swap is worth it, considering the alternative of paying the price for two sandwiches.

Of course, should you choose to upgrade your meal this way, keep in mind that it will be messy. On regular bread, that doubled filling may teeter on the edge of unwieldy, but on a bagel, the sandwich is a beast, which will make it a challenge to eat (though it's always worth it).

Use Panera Rewards to score free or discounted food

Regardless of whether or not you take your Panera sandwich to the next level, you can save yourself a bit more money by joining the chain's rewards program. The more you use it, the more customized your offers become. As such, you may be randomly treated to a free cookie, $2 off an order, even a discounted or free You Pick Two combo, depending on what you order most frequently.

Members also earn a free treat both when they join and for their birthday, with a maximum value of $5. Unfortunately, rewards do expire — usually after a period of 60 days — so it's ideal to use them right when you get them so you don't let those discounted or free items go to waste.

You can score a really good deal on a large sandwich if you put all of these hacks together, including ordering with your Panera account to rack up rewards with each purchase. Before you know it, you could be getting an even better deal on that double-stuffed bagel sandwich.