Some things can pop up unexpectedly.

Like a few heads of lettuce I’ve found sprouting in the dryest of soil in a neglected planter…from seeds I planted a year ago!

I aim to nurture them to their fullest and enjoy them, while I think of what to do with the crisp fiver they’ve saved me. We won’t talk about the cost of the organic soil, or my novice, less than efficient planting methods. From hereon in, it’s all about possibilities and growth in unexpected places.

So… lettuce. I know it’s not the most exciting thing in the world, but it’s a great representative of how varied prices can be on produce. And as my goal is for people to have all they need at a lower cost, it’s a ripe example of how to save more green. Let’s spend less on lettuce!

The options of lettuce and salads can vary widely. You’ve got your iceberg, romaine, butterhead, leaf, spinach, etc. You’ve got stalks, heads, loose pre-mixed, torn in a bag, or torn in a box, individual types or mixed types. Loosely packed or tightly packed. You’ve got pre-rinsed that you’ll want to re-rinse. Non-organic and organic. Range of sizes of packaged. Brand and in store variations. Some that last longer than others, etc.

One store has 454 gram big boxes of mixed salad and another has boxes that may look the same size but only offer 325 grams. Oh…wait a second…now they only offer 283 grams. A blink of an eye gets us 10% less product for the same cost or higher.

Let’s put aside whether the product is organic or non-organic for now and just compare a regular head of lettuce that costs $1.50 for 400 grams vs. a 300 gram box of similar lettuce leaves for $6. In other words, we can get over 30% more product for $4.50 less and have less packaging to recycle.

If every week, you buy a head to get ahead, you can save over $330 in a year, covering varied amounts as well as prices, instead of buying a box. The amount of effort involves a couple of extra minutes a week to rinse and spin as opposed to just rinsing the torn leaves from a box.

Then again, I know it’s tempting to just pick up the box especially of the pre-mixed variety blend. (I sometimes do it too!) So if that’s your leaning, be sure to keep your eye out for the brands that offer a lot more for the same cost or check out the loose pre-mixed at your local smaller grocer (just give it some extra rinsing).

Even when the land of savings seems dry, whatever the product is, you can explore the options that will pop up (or that you will seek and find) to get what you want at the best deals, and avoid the rip-offs, while keeping more green in your fridge and your pocket.

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