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buying stuff from supermarket salad bar??

Not so much as making a salad, but more like buying "ingredients"!?!

On occasion, have bought sliced mushrooms. Loose ones looked a bit beat up and didn't NEED a whole package.

Not always available at SB, but when I see sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil, will buy some.

Yesterday found an interesting item. Supermarket usually has REAL bacon bits... have been told they make them in-house. Yesterday found something I had to ask about. Ended up being VERY thinly, basically shaved/chipped bacon... like flakes.

Didn't do any "math", but pretty sure bargain compared to alternative??

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  1. sometimes it is cheaper to buy the red and yellow bell pepper slices from the salad bar.

    1. On occasion I do shop off the salad bar when I need just a little of something for a dish. I am not great at "using up" bits and pieces out of my fridge and don't mind paying for the convenience/lack of waste.

      1. I do with some frequency from the whole foods salad bar. They have a great variety of high quality veggies. I buy a small box of the fancy little mixed sprouts- sunflower, broccoli, lentil, etc for much less than what the smaller amount of sprouts would be bought from the produce dept.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Ttrockwood

          also, in my local Whole Foods Markets, on wednesdays they offer a discount on their salad bar stuff.

        2. I'm always tempted, but I just can't get over the "sneeze factor" with salad bars. (No...I'm completely not a germ-a-phobe in general!)

          2 Replies
          1. re: jbsiegel

            why isn't there a sneeze factor with other produce?

            1. re: alkapal

              maybe because many wash veggie from the produce dept. while most people don't wash pre chopped veggies at the salad bar. Salad bar items are intended to be eaten as is.

          2. When I was single the cost benefit of buying veggies at the salad bar was awesome. Even if the price oz for oz was more expensive there was no waste and I could just buy what I needed. For a buck or two I could get onions, snap peas, shelled peas, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms and those little corn cobs. Add a BSCB and make stir fry, walla! dinner and lunch the next day was done. The whole thing would cost me $2-$3 bucks

            16 Replies
            1. re: foodieX2

              salad bar can be a real win for singletons. especially if it's something that doesn't last well (avocado) or you're not good at using scraps.

              1. re: foodieX2

                these days, the salad bar is around $6-7 per pound, which seems to mount quickly. ;-).

                1. re: alkapal

                  depends what i am buying. mushrooms, lettuce etc are cheap. i don't buy cheeses or meats - i run the numbers on salad bar price per pound, against quantities and price per pound on standard veg. some things are a better deal (more per pound, maybe, but less waste and less total price - which is a savings if i'll use only a fraction of the cheaper per pound item).

                  1. re: chartreauxx

                    Agreed. When you are just buying veggies it balances out. To me time is also money.

                    For example if my family of 3 just needs broccoli then obviously the salad bar is not a value. But if I am making dish that calls for just a small amount of lots of veggies, especially ones that are not in our regular rotation, the salad bar can cost me less. Again, ounce for ounce/pound for pound the salad bar veggies cost more but the amount I take out of my wallet is less and sometimes that matters more.

                    All that said, shopping off the salad bar is not nearly a regular occurrence now that I have a family.The few times I hit it is for veggies I don't care for, mainly bell peppers.

                  2. re: alkapal

                    at my local whole paychecks it's $8.99 pp. no way.

                    1. re: hotoynoodle

                      At least around here you can't compare the WF salad bar to the Stop and Shop one. Whole foods has things like mac n cheese, meatballs, chicken wings and other various hot dishes. There are a variety of cold grain based salads filled with veggies and/or proteins, asian noodle salads, assorted pre-made made salads like caesar or spinach and tones of various grilled meats and veggies. So yeah, if you just need a few chopped veggies WF is not the place to go as the price is really based on the expensive pre-made dishes/salads.

                      1. re: foodieX2

                        my supermarket salad bar i think is $7.99 and the olive bar is $8.99. i never buy from either.

                        people need to manage their perishables better. :)

                        1. re: hotoynoodle

                          so i'm supposed to down an entire avocado in 24 hours? no thanks.

                          1. re: chartreauxx

                            you can't manage to eat 1/2 an avocado today and 1/2 in a day or two?

                              1. re: sunshine842

                                squeeze of lemon and wrap in plastic. avocado stays just fine for a few days.

                            1. re: chartreauxx

                              I concur. Sometimes all I want is 3 slices of avocado for today's lunch, and have no cold storage to deal with more. Also, hopefully whomever is prepping the salad bar items has chosen the avocado which is RTE, rather than hard as a rock.

                              1. re: KarenDW

                                and sadly, they don't always quite have that one figured out.

                            2. re: hotoynoodle

                              It's not about "managing the perishables" for me. If it was I wouldn't get a farm share every year, LOL. You have to manage a lot of leafy green veggies with one! Its about what I have in my wallet. I spend *less* when getting just what I need.

                              It's also about needing the less-than-popular veggies. No one in my house eats bell peppers raw so its cheaper and a lot less wasteful to buy just the amount I need for that rare recipe that call for them. Otherwise I find my self feeling forced to use the rest. Why bother?

                              1. re: foodieX2

                                good for you with the csa. :}

                                i guess i am on the other side of the fence on this one. if i need bell peppers (we only like red anyway and i never eat them raw) i would still buy at least a whole one and either use it up in the recipe or leave the rest for scrambled eggs or something. even raw it will last quite awhile wrapped in the fridge.

                                to each his/her own. :)

                          2. re: hotoynoodle

                            my harris teeter salad bar is $5.99/pound. they dropped the price a couple of years ago. it had been $7.99.