Our grocery store has a great new fresh salad bar close to the entrance.  It enticed me enough to pick up a container and start building a salad.  As I was layering a bed of lettuce, I thought “Wait a second.  Look at all these vegetables here!  They’re all cut up, fresh, and half of them are on my list to buy for several dishes this week.”

So I kept my bed of lettuce, added cranberries, carrots, some nuts–and then I proceeded to essentially check off my list.  I stacked on a whole layer of black olives, a layer of ham, layer of onions, layer of peppers, a few artichoke, layer of mushrooms, more tomatoes, and topped the whole thing off with about two layers of mozzarella cheese.

At checkout, the whole container was heavy and scanned in at $10–maybe pricy for just one salad but pennies for what I ended up using it for.  We made three meals out of this one salad bar purchase.  The cheese, black olives, artichokes, and mushrooms were all used to make a pizza for the two of us.  The extra tomatoes, onions, olives, and peppers were used to make a nice omelet the next night.  And then the salad lettuce, cranberries and whatever else I had at the bottom ended up being a great salad one evening.

Maybe this isn’t news to many of you–but I had never done this!  Whenever I used to make pizza, I’d buy the can of olives, the can of artichoke, the can of mushrooms, bag of cheese, ham…etc.  All this ends up being kind of costly.  Adding it all up I’d say the fixings for a pizza round out to $14-$15 alone.  Not to mention the time it takes to cut all these things up.  But by using the salad bar I saved an incredible amount of time.  When I got home, I simply divided the container into 3 bowls for our different meals, spread some tomato sauce on the pizza crust, and literally had it in the oven in 5 minutes.  And it turned out great!

So the next time you go into the grocery store with your list…check the salad bar to see what you can pick up there first!

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