Friday, January 14, 2011

Bagged Lettuce is A Steal, Not a Deal

This guest post is from Elise Griffin, author of Every Child is a Genius. 

The dietary message has been clear; eat five servings of fruits and vegetables per day. Fiber is good for you, fresh vegetables are best, and a fresh salad should be a part of everyone’s well-balanced menu. We’ve been eating a tossed salad with dinner for years. One might expect that living within a two hour drive of the headquarters for Dole Fresh Express means bagged salads are more affordable on California’s Central Coast, yet that isn’t the case. In our area, bagged salads (including Dole varieties) run more than three or four dollars per bag, or on sale, only as low as $2.50 each for a blend of lettuce and carrots that’s old enough to spoil within a few days. Yes, it’s precut and packaged for convenience. On the other hand, it can get very pricey very quickly if you’re serving salad for dinner every night of the week.

At the market today, Romaine lettuce was $1.49 each. This was not a sale price. One “head” of Romaine lettuce (once chopped) will easily fill a one or two gallon zip top bag, and when combined with a shredded carrot, will provide an equal or greater amount of fresh salad for much less than a brand name, bagged salad blend. Cabbage is at a low price right now in the markets, so if you were to combine a half head of red cabbage with lettuce and carrots, you could have enough salad to keep for a week and feed a family of four at dinnertime at about half the price of bagged salad mixes. Celery and broccoli were also at very low prices today, so I can make even more home-bagged salads that are not only fresher, but much, much more nutritious and budget-friendly.

Note:  Most of us that make meals from scratch do it on one of our days off.  We prepped and cook so the week is not stressful. Angie

1 comment:

  1. Seeing this from a different point, as I live alone, in my trials and errors, instead of pre-cutting salad items, I store the items whole and cut them up as I go through the week. I've found that once veggies and leaf greens are cut, they begin to deteriorate and break down more rapidly than those that are left whole, washed and stored in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator, and they lasted more than 50% more than pre-cut items.