Okay so I thought I'd share with you how I make my own washed and bagged lettuce. I love the convenience of prepackaged washed and ready to serve lettuce, but I don't like the price tag and I don't always love the quality. So here's what I do. I buy a big thing of lettuce that is still in it's natural form (often a really big bag of romaine hearts from Costco or Sam's), and I chop it with a lettuce knife, run it through my salad spinner, and bag it myself. Maybe this is a no brainer, but I've been so surprised when I've been preparing meals at friends houses and ask for their salad spinner only to have them say, "what's that?"
I got my OXO brand salad spinner when I got married (so I've had it for 10 years). I'd definitely recommend this brand, even though it's a bit on the pricey side as far as salad spinners go. I've seen these recently at Ross for like $20, if you bought it at Dillard's or Macy's it might be $30, but you can definitely get them cheaper. I'm just sayin mine has held up really well, so I'd definitely recommend the OXO brand. Now if you want to wash and bag lettuce then you'll definitely also want to get one of these handy dandy lettuce knifes. I picked mine up at the grocery store for about $5. It was right in the produce section (Smith's for locals). I had been looking for one of these at Ross and T.J. Maxx in their kitchen sections for a while but didn't find one, and was surprised to find this right at the grocery store. The brand I have is called Zyliss. I bet they'd have them at kitchen stores. Anyway it keeps your lettuce from browning the way a regular knife would. Or if you don't want to buy one of these you could just tear your lettuce.
So once you've cut, washed, and spun your lettuce (the salad spinner spins off excess water from washing, it's centrifugal force, just like you learned about in Jr. High and at the State Fair on that horrible spinning ride) then I just put it in a Ziploc bag lined with a paper towel. This lettuce will keep up to a week in your veggie drawer and costs a mere fraction of what you'd pay for prebagged lettuce.
I used some of my washed lettuce last night with this CPK barbecue chicken salad kit I picked up at Sam's Club. I'm not as enthusiastic about this kit as I would have liked to have been. Although it was convenient, it wasn't that tasty. There is a similar Asian Chicken Salad kit at Costco that is much better, so try that. You could definitely make a barbecue chicken salad on your own and your taste factor would be much better. Although for an easy weeknight meal you sure can't beat this type of convenience, especially when you have your own washed and bagged lettuce :) How's that for a tip?
P.S. I'm not starting a weekly tip thing here, I just liked the way Thrifty Thursday Tip sounded, cause I'm kinda nerdy like that. In college when I worked for the paper I hated the fact that the editors wrote the headlines to my stories. That's what I love about blogging, no editors (please don't point out my grammatical mistakes, that was never my strong point, and yes I love a good run-on sentence) and I get to choose my own nerdy headlines.