How to Start a Salad Club

You guys have heard of salad club, right? You've probably seen me mention it on Instagram. No biggie, just the greatest invention EVER!!!

Healthy, hearty lunches for a buck fifty a day!

Lush green veggies and a rainbow of throw-ins to keep your taste buds guessing ALL week long!

Endless varieties of cobb, caesar, blue cheese, asian, honey mustard-induced, whatever your fancy!

The FULL recommended serving of veggies EVERYDAY... for a buck fifty!

(In my let's-get-ready-to-rumble voice:) ARE YOU READY FOR SALAD CLUB????

There's only two things you need to do this: a fridge at work and some friends! Here's the low-down:

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1. Establish a group- Don't be intimidated by the fact that there's 10 people in my salad club. I work in a big office! If yours is small, that's OK. Is there at least one or two other people who, like you, may want to eat healthier or want to spend less on lunch? Buying lunch near my job usually costs upwards of $8! Salad club totally eliminated that expense! If you can get a least one other person onboard, you can do this!

2. Meet and discuss a schedule- Who's going to buy first? When are you going to start? If you're ready to give it a go next week, that means on Monday, one of you will be responsible for bringing in the salad items for the week (read: the entire week)! You can't just bring in enough salad for one day, it's gotta get you through the week.

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3. Discuss the staples- This is the fun part! What do you like in your salad? What do you not like? I'm not a fan of olives or beets, and there's a woman in my office who hates cucumbers! There's another lady who loves avocado. Figure out what your ideal salad looks like and make your list of "staples." These are the must-have items for salad club! If there's just two of you, your grocery list may read:

  • 1 box of lettuce
  • 1 box of cherry tomatoes
  • 1 package of shredded carrots
  • 2 avocados
  • 1 cucumber
  • 2 bell peppers
  • A few non-pershiables (think 1 bag of croutons and a can of beans)

4. Set a spending limit- Our limit is pretty high ($75) but that's because each member buys every TEN weeks! That's a long time! When your turn is up, we expect for you to make up for all free salad you've been eating! If there's only two or three members in your group, start with a low limit. After all, this is supposed to save you money. If you run out of something mid-week, you can always go back to the store and restock! You can always re-evaluate your spending limit too!

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5. Pitch in and purchase non-perishables- You can go about this step one of two ways: buy in bulk (about a month's supply), store it in your office kitchen, and then split the total cost with your fellow members. Or, lump these items in with your weekly staples, buying just one or two non-perishable items at a time. I guarantee they'll be leftovers that will overlap weeks!

A few of my favorite non-perishables are: croutons, crispy onions, bacon bits, beans, and even canned chicken and salmon. You can also buy shaved almonds, beets, banana peppers, mandarin oranges, flax seeds, whatever you like!

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Logistics- We all have our own methods for transporting the veggies to work. One lady brought her stuff in a suitcase! Others go to the store on their lunch break and some of us lug big heavy bags on the metro.

Chopping and storing salad- When it's time for lunch on Mondays, the most amazing aroma comes from our kitchen as we chop and store the week's vegetables. You can smell it in the hallway! It's a great way to recruit new members, too!  We label our containers "salad club," but there's nothing fancy about this folks! It's all old, worn tupperware and it's all donated.

Investments- We invested in a drying rack (that cost $3 from Target) that we use to dry wet containers and it's also where we store our cutting knives. We have one or two donated cutting boards and I think we have a peeler. Again, nothing fancy!

How it works- Whenever you're ready for lunch, go to the fridge and pull out the stored veggies. Add whatever you like to your bowl or plate and return the items to the fridge. Top your salad with whatever non-perishables tickle your fancy and TA DA! Delicious salad!

Skeptical a salad will fill you up? It certainly can if you plan ahead and have a hearty breakfast and a snack in the afternoon. I usually have my greek yogurt around 3 o'clock after I've worked out and burned through my salad.

Want a hot lunch?  Consider eating a cup of soup with your salad or precooking a few servings salmon at home that can be reheated and added to your salad during the week.

Keep in mind, there are ways to switch things up! Try a new dressing or new throw-in, or try a new type of lettuce (sometimes we buy romaine for a little added crunch). Salads are anything but boring, I promise! If you don't believe me, start a club, try it for two weeks, and then let me know!

Please comment and let me know if you decide to do this at your workplace! I'm a salad club fanatic! I think EVERYBODY should be doing it! (Why not?) I'm currently trying to convince my husband (wink wink) to start one at his job. I'd really love you jump onboard too! You can thank me later! :-)

PS: You know you love salad club when after a snowday, you're excited to get to work and eat salad! True story!