DO choose your protein wisely
At my Whole Foods, a dozen eggs is $3.49, or 29 cents per egg. On the small side, a hard-boiled egg weighs 50g, or about one-tenth of a pound. That means you're likely paying at least a full dollar for one egg at the salad bar.
Grilled chicken is a healthy option, but skip any meat that has a bone. One of the biggest salad bar steals of all is salmon, which is full of protein and omega-3s. The cheapest fillet at the fish counter was the farm-raised one at $13.99 per pound, so you're practically making money here.
DON'T let meat become the star of the show
Your salad should be so colorful that you'll want to Instagram it. (But please, don't be that person.) The more rainbow-like your plate is, the better it is for you, says Harrison. But be selective. Carrots, beets, cabbage -- per pound these all come in under $2, so paying $8.99 is highway robbery. Stay away from heavy fruits, and tomatoes, too. And don't even think about touching anything that's been steamed.
Water weight is your salad bar enemy.