A Guide To Saving Money At The Whole Foods Salad Bar

by KRISTIN LUCIANO · June 17, 2008

Whole Foods Salad barI've been known to eat salad for lunch. Like, every day. And since the nearest salad bar just happens to be at the Bowery Whole Foods, I've become quite accustomed to getting my greens at the ubiquitous health food emporium. However, it's hard to ignore the fact that the store's hefty prices ($7.99 a pound!) are burning a hole in my pocket as deep as Lindsay Lohan's love for leggings. But if there's one thing I've learned over the past few weeks, it's how to save a few bucks at the Whole Foods salad bar. Here are my tips:

The containers come in two sizes. Get the smaller one: choosing the larger container will only encourage you to fill it with food you probably won't even be able to finish. Plus, you can stuff the smaller container to the gills if need be (although your vegan dumplings may get a little squished in the process).

Avoid heavy foods. These include things like edamame, creamy dressings, and beets (although their purply deliciousness is sometimes worth it, at least for me). Better options include celery, mushrooms, and tofu.

Try a theme salad: the Whole Foods Salad bar offers Greek, Asian, and Southwestern-inspired ingredients that make it easy to create an ethnically-themed salad and to thus avoid piling on everything in sight. Because we all know that hummus does NOT go with pineapple...ever. My favorite is the Asian, which includes ginger carrots, seaweed salad, sesame string beans, and lemon tofu. Ohh, now I'm hungry.

Supplement. A yogurt, apple or roll from the bakery department costs under a dollar and can help fill you up.

Well, there you go. In only a few weeks I've been able to decrease my salad price by $5, and I'm hoping to keep it up. So, the next time you hit up Whole Foods for some midday vegetarian victuals, remember my tips and save some of your hard-earned cash!