We know, you’re mad you’re getting a salad for lunch. Then, you walk into Chop’t and see the enormous array of mix-ins – charred asparagus, pita chips, avocado, quinoa, dried cranberries… Salads almost seem fun for a second. However, each exciting addition adds serious cash to your bill.

Here’s how to avoid making your Chop’t salad the same price as that trendy sushi restaurant you would have rather gone to anyways.

1. Avoid Arugula


Photo by Becky Hughes

Arugula is delicious. In fact, it is the only lettuce that tastes good even without being drenched in dressing. However, Chop’t is evil and charges an extra $0.59 for choosing arugula as your salad base.

Try ordering half mesclun greens and half spinach instead of that pricey arugula. You’ll still be expanding your salad experience beyond the basic romaine, but without shrinking your wallet.

2. Stick to 4 Core Choppings


Photo courtesy of @choptsalad on Instagram

Chop’t generously includes four of their Core Choppings (AKA basic mix-ins) into the price of their craft salads, with each additional chopping adding another $0.59 to your total. If you’re trying not to break the bank, limit yourself to the four included in your custom salad order.

Try combining these four Core Choppings – edamame, charred red onion, scallions, and jalapeño peppers – to make a spicy Asian-style salad, and top with the 5 Flavor Asian dressing. Edamame packs in the protein, so you won’t even need to spend extra on the FreeBird chicken.

3. Pick Your Protein Wisely


Photo by Laura Palladino

Speaking of protein, Chop’t offers a variety of proteins, or “The Goods,” to add to your salad, costing anywhere from $0.99 (cheeses and egg whites) to a whopping $4.49 (shrimp). Choose a plant-based or vegetarian option like tofu or cheese and pass on the pricier proteins like steak and seafood to keep your tab low.

You can also skip “The Goods” section entirely. Protein-filled legumes like chickpeas and black beans included in the Core Choppings list will keep you full till dinner time and only add $0.59 more to your bill.

#SpoonTip: Bacon is only $1.99. You’re welcome.

4. Beware of Featured Choppings


Photo courtesy of Chop’t Creative Salad Company on Facebook

Chop’t offers a handful of Featured Choppings that are used in their rotational Destination Salads and thus only available for a limited time. However, each Featured Chopping comes at a premium of an additional $0.99.

If you’re really desperate to add kelp noodles or beet-pickled cauliflower to your salad, choose one, or try them out in the pre-designed Destination Salads themselves.

5. Opt for a Classic or Destination Salad


Photo courtesy of @choptsalad on Instagram

In fact, Destination Salads are a great option if you’re trying to stick to a budget. Chop’t releases several new Destination Salads – which include their Featured Choppings – every 60 days, so you always have something new to try, and the fixed menu prices let you know exactly what you’re paying.

Chop’t also always offers their Classic Salads, which range from $7.29 to $11.49, depending on your choice of protein. These salad selections are tried-and-true and universally loved by Chop’t customers. Picking any of these pre-designed salad options will help you avoid going overboard with choppings in a custom salad.

6. Go Low-Carb


Photo by Christin Urso

Yes, quinoa is totally in right now, but putting it in your salad will cost you an extra $0.99, and so will the other Chop’t grain options. Skip the extra carbs and put an extra dollar in your pocket.

Plus, every Chop’t salad already comes with a side of their Grilled Honey Wheat Flatbread, and we all know free bread is better than quinoa anyways.