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A not-very-good buy.

In last week’s Sunday paper, there was a coupon and a rebate for Sargento’s new Salad Finishers, which made them better than free. This is a new-ish line of products which are marketed to dress up a salad or a potato…it’s basically several small pouches of salad or potato toppings, like cheese, croutons, bacon, dried fruit, and so on.

Always up for something free, I bought a package last week. Here it is…it’s about the size of an 8-ounce bag of shredded cheese.

And here’s what’s inside.


Are you underwhelmed? Me too. The package contains 1.2 ounces of bacon, 2 ounces of croutons, and 2 ounces of cheese. That’s it. At my grocery store, this cost $3.29, but I’ve seen these for as much as $4-$5. Even at the $3.29 price, that’s still a ridiculously small amount of food for the price.

I can get an entire pound of bacon on sale for $1.99, 8 ounces of cheese for $2 or less, and a bag of croutons is routinely available for $.99(and if I make them myself from leftover bread, they’re practically free). So, for $5 or less, I could have a pound of bacon, half a pound of cheese, and a large bag of croutons, or I could pay $3.29 and get 5.2 ounces of food. That’s not a very difficult choice for me.

Of course, this isn’t marketed as a money-saving option…it’s a convenience option. Honestly, though, croutons are no more convenient this way than they are when they are packaged in an normal bag. And the larger bags of pre-shredded cheese are just as easy to open as the little one was. Of course, pre-cooked bacon is significantly easier to deal with than the uncooked stuff, but if you really didn’t want to mess with frying bacon, you could just buy a jar of real bacon bits and be done with it(the bacon wasn’t any more tasty than Bacon Bits, sadly).

Another thing that bothered me about this was the excessive amount of packaging. A pound of tiny cheese packs requires a lot more plastic than a one-pound package does, and the same goes for the bacon and croutons. Plus, there’s another plastic bag that contains all the little plastic bags.

We did eat all 5.2 ounces(!) of salad toppings, of course, but I’m glad that I didn’t pay anything for them, and I don’t think I’ll be buying another package in the future.

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Tuesday 31st of March 2009

Wow....that's insane. You know I'm no bastion of frugality but even I wouldn't spend money on that. I guess maybe I could see it if you had stopped by the store to buy something to take with you to another location to eat lunch -- in other words, if you weren't going home but to a picnic or work or something. But how often does that happen? And with even a minor amount of planning you could've made up your own packets at home. It just seems like a bizarre concept to me to have that little in the package. If it had multiple packs of all the ingredients I could see it appealing to people who pack their lunches for work, but just one packet of each thing? Very strange.


Friday 27th of March 2009

Mrs. Green-it really wasn't that great! The croutons weren't as good as my homemade ones, and the bacon tasted like those jarred Bacon Bits do. The cheese was fine, but nothing special.

It definitely wasn't $3.29 worth of tasty!

Angela-even with four kids, I always feel like I have more time than money, so this is not a good option for me. I suppose, though, that this would be healthier and it would produce less trash(or at least no more trash) than a meal from McDonalds would.


Friday 27th of March 2009

How lazy have we become that people can't buy bacon bits, croutons and cheese separately? You could buy a bag of shredded cheese, a jar of real bacon bits and a bag of croutons at my local store for the price of those things (they are about $5 here).

The amount of packaging is disturbing. There must be a better way. Write to the company and complain?

Mrs Green

Friday 27th of March 2009

Oh my - I really hate stuff like that; it's such a rip off and that packaging has me weak at the knees!

Still, you got it for free; let's celebrate that and we can live and learn ;)

The thing is - did it TASTE good?!


Thursday 26th of March 2009

Obviously NOT a bargain. I think it's for the glassy-eyed single working stiff, at the market after a 12 hour shift, trying to be slightly healthier than Mickey D's, but too burned out to cook dinner for themselves. People who have lots of disposable income and little time. The same people who buy those containers of cut up fruit that costs about fifteen times what it would cost to buy whole and cut up yourself.

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