The other day I went to the grocery store to restock some produce. I picked up some carrots, broccoli, tomatoes, bananas, Fuji apples that were on sale for $1/pound, and some other fill-in produce.
Grapes were on sale for 88 cents/pound.
And rather than buying bagged lettuce which is usually $1.99 at TJ’s or as much as $3.49 per bag at the grocery store, I bought a head of romaine for $1.99 and cleaned it myself.
Slice off the bottom one inch and top inch.
Rinse the leaves in the sink.
I always wear rubber gloves when I am chopping and cleaning produce. My hand skin would fall off and crack if I didn’t protect my skin from the constant washing, drying, rinsing, repeating, that I do all day in the kitchen.
Wrap in a few paper towels and shake, shake, shake.
Make a half dozen horizontal cuts.
Put in a bag. Add a paper towel or two to absorb excess moisture to preserve lettuce life even longer and prevent sogginess. Or, run lettuce through a salad spinner (however I don’t do this for the sake of time. The shake, shake, shake by hand and adding a paper towel to the bag method works fine for me).
I now have twice the amount of lettuce that I would have gotten in a pre-bagged mix and it took me about 90 seconds and I saved $3 bucks. I am all about saving money and cutting corners when I can.
I once did a pineapple cleaning tutorial and felt
a bit a lot silly posting How to Clean and Core a Pineapple, but I had dozens of people write to me telling me that they bought and cleaned their first pineapples because of that post and freed themselves of the habit of buying overpriced, pre-sliced pineapple or other fruits.
So, my lettuce cleaning may be silly, but whatever. I’d rather be silly than in debt. Maybe it will help someone else save a few bucks.
From my last post, thanks for all the great sweet potato cooking tips and ideas. I know food bloggers and food blog readers love their sweet potatoes.
And apparently mustard and nooch, too. Lots of you chimed in that you love both. Me too!
1. Do you clean and chop your own lettuces/greens/salad mixes or do you buy pre-packaged?
I do both. The TJ’s Organic salad mixes for $1.99/bag are hard to beat on price and convenience, but sometimes if they are sold out of my favorite blend or whole heads of romaine or red leaf lettuces or kale are looking especially nice, I will pass on the pre-bagged and just chop my own mix. Takes maybe 2 minutes for me to wash and chop and bag up my greens and many times, it’s worth it to me.
2. Anything that you think is just smarter to buy pre-made/pre-cooked/pre-chopped?
Most things I prefer to buy whole, or unpackaged, or prepare myself, but for my lifestyle and the sake of time/energy involved, some items I usually buy pre-made are:
Frozen veggie burgers
I could make them myself and have but for the price/time/convenience involved, I buy them.
3. Anything that’s easy enough to make and you’re happy to make from scratch at home?
A few of mine are…
Crackers (Vegan, GF, Nut-Free, and can be made Sweet/Cinnamon/Sugar or Savory/Salty)
Chips like Kale Chips
Hummus (4-Ingredient, Vegan, garlic & onion free)
What do you make at home that’s super easy? Or that’s definitely worth taking a little extra time to make at home rather than buying pre-made?