How to keep your prized $12 iceberg lettuce fresh with aluminium foil
With the Australian cost of living crisis weighing on shoppers and the price of iceberg lettuce soaring to $12 apiece, a crafty mom has shared her top tip for keeping the greens fresher for longer.
According to the grocery hacker, it will stay fresh for weeks if you wrap your lettuce in aluminum foil after removing the plastic and then place it in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator.
It works by trapping the moisture in the foil so that the condensation drips back onto the lettuce, keeping it moist.
But if you still don’t want to pay a dime for lettuce, an Australian dietitian has shared a range of other salad fillers you could eat instead.
Susie Burrell, who has two honors degrees in nutrition and dietetics and psychology, said the darker and more colorful vegetable should be prioritized when budgets are tight.
Susie Burrell, who has two honors degrees in nutrition and dietetics and psychology, said the darker and more colorful veggies should be prioritized when budgets are tight.
Speaking to FEMAIL, she explained that frozen spinach and kale are much cheaper and have better nutritional profiles than the humble iceberg lettuce.
They can often be picked up for under $3 a pound and are more versatile because they “can be used in everything from smoothies to bolognese,” she explained.
“When budgets are so tight, you don’t have to feel like you have to spend $12 on a salad to get your nutrition in,” she said.
“Iceberg lettuce is very low in calories because it’s mostly water, and while it does contain some nutrients, you’re not getting a lot of bang for your buck at these high prices.”
Pictured was a supermarket in suburban Brisbane that sold a single head of iceberg lettuce for a whopping $12.99 last month.
The price hike follows a wet start to the year with unprecedented rain and flooding spoiling crops in NSW and Queensland.
Some Queensland lettuce growers have lost their third crop in a row and are at risk of business collapse due to the unusual rain.
The peak horticultural group warned growers in the southeastern state will need millions to recover from the string of natural disasters.
What can you eat instead of lettuce?
Susie’s top five replacements include:
Spinach, kale, arugula, cos and beetroot leaves.
She said these can be fresh or frozen and work in drinks like smoothies, as well as meals like Bolognese and chips.
Fast food chains have also adjusted their menus after the massive price hike, with KFC and Subway warning customers to expect a cabbage blend on their burgers.
Susie recommends buying inexpensive, nutrient-dense veggies like carrots, spinach, and kale for a “fraction of the price.”
And suggests using more vegetable roasts while keeping salad prices strong.
‘If you still want salad for a sandwich, then carrots and tomatoes are better options.’
She recommends buying canned and frozen vegetables to save money whenever possible.
You can buy canned tomatoes and beetroot, frozen spinach, kale and cauliflower, and buy carrots for $1 a bag.
“After that, if you have some extra money for fresh vegetables, it’s best to buy something really colorful to get the most out of it – instead of lettuce or cucumbers, which usually consist of water.”
Pictured was a supermarket in suburban Brisbane that sold a single head of iceberg lettuce for a whopping $12.99 last month
Her “top five” substitutes for the popular vegetable include arugula, cos, and beet greens, as well as spinach and kale.
“If you have picky kids, you can make kale, carrot, or zucchini chips,” she suggested. “Or put them in a smoothie.”
Susie also recommends trying cauliflower in smoothies as well.
“Try a few florets if you’re trying to get more vegetables in their diet,” she said.
Susie said other expensive products, such as tomatoes and beetroot, can be swapped out for canned varieties to save money.
Her advice comes after a sharp rise in the cost of fruit and vegetables across the country.
Susie with Leanne Ward, left. The dieticians co-host The Nutrition Couch podcast
A video showing two women piling up their cart of “free” loose lettuce leaves has split the internet, with some commentators outraged by the pair, while others have defended their actions.
TikTok user James Longstaff posted the video, captioning the now viral footage “literally pulling the green bits off every iceberg lettuce…”
The video showed the women at a snail window in what appeared to be a Coles branch in Western Australia.
The ladies wagon was already full of lettuce leaves when the video started.
While one woman pulled the outer leaves from the heads of iceberg lettuce and placed them in the cart, the other then placed the leaves in plastic bags.
Then she saw her pull out another bag to use while a passerby stared at her, wondering what was going on.
The exorbitant price of lettuce lately struck a chord with some commentators, who criticized the women for “taking no one into account.”
A second pointed out that it is not the store that is to blame, but everyone who wants iceberg lettuce.
“Lettuce is sold by ‘each’ not by weight, so basically they steal from everyone who buys a lettuce after them.”