I think we all know that by bringing your lunch to work, you save a ton of money, not to mention that it is way healthier than eating out every single day. You might say, “but Amanda, I buy a salad every day for lunch, you can’t tell me that’s not healthy.” Sure, a salad every day for lunch is great, and a healthier option than most, the greens are great, but are they organic? How about the salad dressing, is it loaded with sugar? Is the olive oil organic? Is there even olive oil in your dressing, or is it vegetable oil, or canola?
Aside from the healthiness, are you saving money on that daily salad purchase?
If you go out to a place that has a “make your own salad bar” type thing, the minimum charge for a salad is $8, with no extras. Maybe 3 toppings are included but if you want more, it will cost you. You could easily spend $15 on that “healthy” salad that doesn’t have a single organic ingredient and a sugar-loaded dressing packet whose base is canola oil.
Here is a salad that’s simple to make, it’s 100% organic, a generous portion, and costs you roughly $6.65 to make, including the price of the homemade dressing. Obviously the cost will vary depending on the prices in your local grocery store, as you can see it is a much more economical solution to buying that salad everyday.
The most expensive thing in this salad is the half of an avocado, so if you’re really pinching pennies, you can swap this for something else, but I personally cannot pass up an avocado in my salad.
- 1.5 ounces Baby greens salad mix $1.28 (Roughly 1/3 of a 5 ounce container)
- 2 tbsp dried cranberries $0.44
- 1/2 avocado, cubed $1.67
- 1/4 c carrots, chopped $0.10
- 1/3 of a cucumber, chopped $0.66
- 1/4 c walnuts, chopped $1.01
- 1/4 c cherry tomatoes, halved $0.31
- 1/4 c balsamic dressing $1.18 (recipe below)
- Dressing (makes 1 1/4 cups. Total cost: $5.92)
- 3/4 c olive oil $3.79
- 1/4 c balsamic vinegar $1.15
- 2 tbsp dijon mustard $0.35
- 2 tbsp maple syrup $0.63
- Add salad ingredients in a bowl, except dressing and avocado, unless you're going to eat it immediately.
- Whisk all dressing ingredients in a bowl, store in a mason jar in the fridge.
The total amount that the dressing makes is 1 1/4 cups, so if you use 1/4 c per recipe you can use it 5 times over. But with this recipe I am being generous on the dressing, you can always pull that back if you like less dressing on your salad, and you can get more uses out of your dressing recipe.
I usually buy a 5 ounce package of baby greens and split it into 3 portions and prep them ahead of time so all I have to do is grab and go. Obviously keep the avocado and dressing separate until you are ready to eat it.
It’s so easy to do this guys, don’t be a lazy ass. You can cost out your own recipes here, its a FREE website to help you budget and see where you are spending your grocery money. It’s so easy to use.