The Star Democrat

Don’t buy salad in a bag

- MARY HUNT Mary Hunt is the founder of EverydayCh­eapskate.com, a frugal living blog, and the author of the book “Debt-Proof Living.”

The reason I don’t buy salad in a bag is the cost.

As I write, Dole Hearts of romaine prewashed and chopped in a 9-ounce bag is $3.49 at my supermarke­t. A fresh head of romaine lettuce is $1.49, or about 83 cents for a 9-ounce equivalent. That’s a 420% markup! Granted, there are prep, labor and packaging costs required for the bagged option. But just seeing the difference in price makes me more than willing to handle all of that myself.

As I’ve queried readers and friends on the bag versus bulk question, the overarchin­g reason so many people go for the prepackage­d, triplewash­ed, salad greens in a bag or box, comes down to one thing: time. Bagged salads are convenient and so easy to grab and go.

(Ironically, nearly everyone I’ve chatted with admits to rewashing those bagged salad greens, just to be on the safe side. So, where’s all the convenienc­e and time-saving in that?)

I did my own time test. I washed and shredded an entire head of green cabbage using a sharp knife. I chose cabbage over romaine lettuce for my test because, well, I love cabbage.

I was done in seven minutes. I ended up with a great big bowl of beautiful, bright green, crunchy, fresh cabbage for our favorite coleslaw.

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