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Save a Ton of Money by Eating Salad for Lunch

I didn’t intend to focus on food this week, but food and money seem to be swirling around in my brain, so here goes another post about lunch. A few months back Generation X wrote an article on how to clean, prepare and store lettuce for up to a week.

Prior to reading that article I tended to be one of those awful people who bought fruits and vegetables with the greatest of intentions and then left them in the fridge to rot, but thanks to Gen X’s article I have yet to waste a single piece of produce in the last month.

In essence, the Generation X article says to buy a head of lettuce, wash it thoroughly, chop it up finely (I use a plastic knife), run it multiple times through the salad spinner and then place it in a bowl with a paper towel on top, covered with saran wrap. The paper towel helps to absorb the moisture in the lettuce and the drier the lettuce remains the longer it will stay fresh.

I altered Gen X’s technique ever so slightly. I actually keep the lettuce in the salad spinner rather than placing it into a different bowl. I place the plastic bin, with the lettuce inside, back into the bowl of the salad spinner and then place the paper towel on top and cover with saran wrap. By keeping the lettuce in the salad spinner the moisture can drip off of the lettuce and into the bottom of the bowl. I think this helps keeps the lettuce extra dry and crisp.

Since I began using this technique I now eat salad for lunch at least three or four days a week. I typically cut up leftover chicken from last night’s dinner and throw it into the salad along with sunflower seeds, dried cranberries, carrots, red peppers and whatever other veggies I have on hand.

I also make a point to cut up the lettuce as soon as I get home from the grocery store, because I know if I wait too long I’ll allow it to spoil in the bag. Since I’m already preparing the lettuce I go ahead and clean my other fruits and vegetables, well everything except strawberries and mushrooms, which tend to rot faster if you wash them too long before you eat them.

Thanks to Generation X I’m not only saving money… I’m also no longer wasting perfectly good produce.

Elizabeth

Monday 16th of March 2009

I was buying the pre-bagged lettuce and keeping it in the bag .. but once I decided to wash it and put it in the spinner. I was surprised how long it stayed fresh in there - easily over a week. Now I try to use the spinner always. Plus, it saves a container. :)

beth

Saturday 14th of March 2009

I buy the pre-bagged lettuce. It gives me a couple of different lettuces, which there's no way I could eat all of them if I bought full heads.

I also own a Progressive Lettuce Keeper which is pretty awesome at keeping my lettuce fresh.

Stevi

Friday 13th of March 2009

I've been doing something similar for the past few weeks. I use baby spinach, instead of lettuce, because I'm trying to increase my iron, but the technique is basically the same. I wash the spinach, let it dry thoroughly, then put it in a gallon zip bag, with a folded paper towel on one side. I also shred carrots and keep them in a quart size zip bag with a folded paper towel. A baggie of chopped red onions, some sunflower seeds, and a bottle of dressing finish up my supplies. The zip bags fit easily in the mostly unused crisper drawer of the breakroom fridge, so my coworkers don't complain about my week's worth of food in the fridge, LOL.