Friday, September 2, 2011

Salad Bars: Helpful to Clean Eaters but Hard on the Wallet!

If you've ever stopped by your local grocery store for a quick Clean salad on your way home from work, you know the salad bar is both a best buddy and a mine field of occasionally Unclean choices. Skip the bacon bits, the cheese, the chow mein noodles. Yummy single quick salad of veggies on the go when you don't have time to make one at home.

But what about the money side of things? The average grocery store salad bar costs $5.99 a lb. What are the good deals on the salad bar, and what are you better off buying from the produce section and adding to your salad later?

A thank you to Food Network magazine where I found this list of the average markup on typical salad bar foods. Note - not all of these items are Clean. I've included the entire list, but only for informational purposes.

What an eye opening list!

Salad Bar Bargains:

Blue Cheese - 57% markdown from regular retail
Bacon bits - 55% markdown
Grilled Chicken - 44% markdown
Peas - 40% markdown
Walnuts - 19% markdown
Ham - 14% markdown
Cheddar Cheese ( shreds ) - 14% markdown
Dried cranberries - 11% markdown

Marked Up but Still Affordable For Small Servings:

Grape Tomatoes - 13% markup from regular retail
Avocados - 31% markup
Broccoli ( raw ) - 50% markup
Carrot shreds - 50% markup
Chow mein noodles - 50% markup
Sunflower seeds - 63% markup
Black olives - 78% markup
Coutons - 87% markup
Pepperoncini - 97% markup

Items Not Worth Their Weight on the Salad Bar: Add at Home!

Celery - 150% markup over regular retail
Hard boiled eggs - 167% markup
Mandarin oranges - 188% markup
Mushrooms - 200% markup
Green beans - 201% markup 
Beets - 212% markup
Cucumbers - 274% markup
Baby corn - 277% markup
Radish slices - 302% markup
Chickpeas - 368% markup