The Problem, It’s Way Too Tasty

I said this very often on my blog, I absolutely love to eat salads. But I recently developed a really bad habit. I am buying a salad almost every day. You might think “Wait, but isn’t eating vitamins on a daily basis very healthy?” and you’re right. But it’s not so much about the fact that I eat salad every day, it’s more about the problem that I get it from the salad bar in my favorite super market. Before I mention the problem, let me talk about the advantages first…

The thing is, they have so many ingredients in the salad bar, and everything is absolutely fresh because they refill it regularly due to the demand. With so many fresh ingredients, there is the big advantage for me that I don’t have to eat the same boring salad again and again. I mean, if I buy and cut the stuff myself, I usually go with cucumber and tomatoes and a bit of canned stuff like beans or corn most of the time, and that can get boring. So, in the super market the advantage is that I can put all kind of ingredients into my salad, it never gets old. I mean, imagine you buy and cut the stuff yourself, you can’t consume all of it anyway. There is most likely something you will have to throw away. I think nobody likes to throw away food, but often we sadly have to. But with the salad bar, I can fill a small box that I definitely can eat up, and pay the price for it.

And here is the problem! The price. Not if you do it just once a week, but I am salad addicted and didn’t manage it very well to make my way around this salad bar in my favorite super market since I noticed how freshly cut their things are. Depending on how much my box weights, it’s usually around 4-6 Euro. I realized this is a lot of money in a month. That’s the same price I paid for a pack of cigarettes per month when I was still a smoker back then. And yes, you can argue that it’s a lot better to spend money on salads instead of cigarettes. And I do agree, otherwise I wouldn’t have stopped smoking. But I just realized my salad addiction did cost me the same freaking amount last month, about 100 Euro. If I buy and cut salad ingredients myself, I barely pay 3 Euro and have enough salad for two days, and I still could fill one or two other people with it. Note that I said “I could”.

First world problems, and problems of a single man. But with that said, the calculation would be that it costs just a bit more than 1 Euro per day if done by myself. So, what could you do with 100 Euro then? Exactly, you could invite a horde of people and throw filled salad bowls at them. You know I am getting funny here, but I guess you get the point. Making use of a salad bar has its price, and it’s a lot more pricey than creating your own salads.

So, here is the deal. I need to stop buying that often from the salad bar and I need to develop a cheaper plan for my salad addiction. The goal is to close the eyes whenever I go shopping in my favorite super market, which is a bit difficult because they strategically placed the salad bar at the entrance, and there is no other way into the store. But I am strong. From now on I will only pay attention to the salad bar once per week. That could decrease my salad costs to an acceptable level. For any other days I crave after salad, I do what I did before, buying and cutting ingredients myself. This is, as it has been before, a lot more cost-effective. And I can still enjoy the fresh salads of their salad bar once a week. You will agree with me, their ingredients look super fresh and delicious…

Mixed Salad

In that case I did put Turkish bulgur salad at the bottom. Then beans and corn on top of it. I also added ewe’s cheese cubes, paprika. And last I did put different lettuce leaves on top and two egg halfs. And goddamn, the greek salad oil is fantastic, I need to buy a bottle for my own salads. Didn’t help to write about salads, I could eat one again right now. I hope you liked my funny post.


10 thoughts on “The Problem, It’s Way Too Tasty

  1. Well, Dennis, there are worse addictions you could have but I know what you mean about the cost. Living alone it is the same for me. it’s not worth it for me to buy a lot of salad ingredients which will probably spoil before I can use them all so sometimes I like to buy one from the shop for a change but as you say you can’t do that every day. It gets expensive.

    1. Yeah exactly. Tomatoes are ok because I can buy as much as I need for the next days and I never throw them away because I can also put them on bread or use them for other dishes. Cucumber can sometimes be a problem… they’re so large and I usually throw a bit of it away days later. So, a simple salad is ok… but not buying like 5 or 10 ingredients. Some things would definitely spoil.

      So, a salad bar is very practical. But we have to pay the price for the variation and things we can put into the box. I will now also only use change money… and rather once in a while. It was too much last month. Yep, can add up fast if you use the salad bar every day :/

  2. I work from home three days a week now but when I worked at a regular job five days a week I made five salads at the same time and stored them in the refrigerator. I would buy a large container of organic spring mix or something similar and add a little to five plastic containers. I then added all the other ingredients and made my own dressing using raw apple cider vinegar and olive oil. Yes, that meant that all week I was eating the same salad but it was cheap and easy so I did not mind.

    1. That’s the way to go. Previously I also made my own salads because it’s cheaper. And I never really trusted any salad bars because it usually just takes one look to say “Nah, that doesn’t look fresh at all”. But this super market is different… it’s really fresh, probably due to the high demand since they need to chop and refill so often. But now I will start to make my own salads again more often… salad bar is simply too expensive. Once a week is fine, but not every day.

      When I make my own salads, I usually just buy what I need for the next two days. Shop is around the corner. Like 6 tomatoes for two days or two salads… one cucumber which is enough for two salads as well and a couple of canned things like beans and corn. Lettuce is difficult, because it`ll spoil. I always liked and still like to make my own salads. I can eat it all day in a week too… it’s just that it gets boring after some weeks when it’s always the same kind of salad. That’s why I found the fresh salad bar pretty interesting.

      I think I will go the middle way now… make my own, and once in a while shop in the salad bar 🙂

        1. Yeah. Me and my friends actually talked about this a couple of days ago. Two of them are buying in the same store and went through the same thoughts. It’s practical to put a salad together in this store, but they find it too expensive too if done everyday. Yep, I think it’s the best compromise. 🙂

  3. Dennis,

    My first thought was that since you enjoy eating these salads so much, and given that they are healthy for you, you could justify the cost. Life is too short to “settle” for less.

    But then I thought a little further. My vegetarian wife also enjoys salads. She judges the quality of a restaurant by the salad offerings. Present her with just some iceberg lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes and some croutons, and she’ll award a 1/4 star, regardless of how good the entre is.

    We discussed your post, and we both agree that you can have your “yummy” salad and eat it too. Could you spend the £100 (really hard to use the £ on an American QWERTY keyboard) on books or classes on salad making? Perhaps shift the spending in that direction until you can find salads you can make at home that are as good as any from the grocer. What is the real cost of having to throw away ingredients? Perhaps the wastage is a lot less than £100 but more than the £1-2/day of doing it yourself.

    1. I would say the same, but I live in Germany where livings costs are super expensive. We count every pennies 😀 So, we usually can’t have everything. If a German stranger would invite me for a salad, I’d be 100% sure it would be a cucumber/tomatoe salad because that’s fairly cheap and everyone makes it that way, because of that reason. In fact that happened often… go somewhere, if they make salad, it’ll be cucumber and tomatoe for sure, maybe with some onions. Not because they can’t make another one with more stuff in it, but because costs will add up with every ingredient added. Just a typical Northern German salad 😀 Nobody can afford a salad every day that contains more than the common ingredients. Neither made by themselves nor from the salad bar. Money will be missing somewhere else.

      That’s probably why the salad bar concept works if it’s freshly chopped stuff… because people are tired of cucumber and tomatoe. The trick is probably not to buy every day from the salad bar. and making own salads most of the time, even if they are simple.

      Time is a thing too… Making bulgur salad alone would be already a huge effort… my mother sometimes makes bulgur salad… that means spending quite some time in the kitchen. Can be done once in a while, but not every day. But in the salad bar? They have bulgur, it just has its price to not have the work.

      So, I think I will go with my simple own salads again most of the time, and buy one from the salad bar once in a while. That should keep the costs low 🙂

  4. Places that sell salad usually charge by weight. So, boil your own eggs. If you bring your OWN hard-boiled egg (the heaviest part of the meal) and get the rest of the salad at the grocery. That should lower the costs. What my boss at work used to do is bring a bag of cut up greens and keep them in the company fridge (a very small one, I should add). Each day he’d bring a small container of other things to throw in with the greens and he kept dressings in the fridge. That was his solution. I used to skip lunch. Too expensive to buy and I never had time to put one together at home.

    1. That’s actually a really good idea Marilyn. You’re right… the eggs weight a lot more than the other stuff. 🙂 But I often add Bulgur, which has weight too… and it’s sadly a lot more difficult to prepare Bulgur. At least it is time consuming. But your trick is still pretty good.

      Today I also realized that I could buy canned corn. 3 cans do only cost about 50 cents. Same for kidney beans. That would save money too. I realized I maybe just need to get Bulgur from the salad bar, and maybe a bit of greens. I think your boss had it all featured out 🙂 Really good idea!

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