13 Ways to Overspend at the Salad Bar—and 6 Ways to Save
Lettuce isn't exactly a steal when you're paying by the pound (it's priced about $3 more at the salad bar than it is in the grocery store), but you'll get the most bang for your buck with the higher-end stuff.
Skip: Romaine, $5.32/lb. in-store
Load up on: Organic arugula, $12.77/lb. in-store
Penny pinchers may want to skip the standby grocery-aisle proteins in favor of seafood-counter upgrades, such as salmon.
Skip: Canned tuna, $6.37/lb. in-store; kidney beans, $1.29/lb. in-store; eggs, $2.50/lb. in-store
Load up on: Salmon, varies, but generally $8.99/lb. and up
Vegetables and Fruit
Basic veggies are definitely cheaper in the produce section than they are at the bar.
Skip: Shredded carrots, $4.79/lb. in-store; white mushrooms, $5.98/lb. in-store; roasted red peppers, $4.65/lb. in-store; bell peppers, $5.99/lb. in-store; radishes, $2.65/lb. in-store; broccoli, $3.99/lb. in-store; avocado, $6.67/lb. in-store; cucumber, $1.44/lb. in-store
Load up on: Blackberries, $9.98/lb. in-store
In general, foods you might find on a cheese platter will be a good deal. Those items can be priced between $10 and $20 per pound (or more) in the store, so you'll pay considerably less at the salad bar.
Skip: Strawberries, $4.99/lb. in-store
Load up on: Sundried tomatoes, $10/lb. in-store; dried cranberries, $10.38/lb. in-store; walnuts, $11.99/lb. in-store; grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, $22.99/lb. in-store