I can not tell you how many times I have heard this question.  It costs how much?  Of course it doesn’t happen all the time, but it does happen.  Good quality things are not cheap.  We have all been there too many times at the store, looking for the less expensive item.  We buy it, bring it home, and wish we had bought the other one that costs a little more.  No, this doesn’t always happen but it happens more often than not.

I would like to explain why I charge what I charge for my food.  I want to do this because I really don’t want to charge anyone for more than I deserve or for more than my food is worth.

First, everything I make is fresh.  I am a one woman show with a little sprinkle of help from other fabulous people that have the same quality standard.  When I make a salad for a party, the lettuce is washed and cut the day of the party.  The cucumbers and onion are sliced the “day of” as well.  In most restaurants I have been in, I know that they have to cut their vegetables in bulk or cut corners and buy it already cut and in a bag. Some restaurants don’t sell it all that day and it will be used the following day or even the following few days.  Is this going to kill you?  Probably not. Is it going to taste the same? You better believe it won’t.

I know that some places don’t carry extra virgin olive oil.  It is expensive and to cut corners they will buy mixed oils.  Even though you get a healthy salad you may be getting an oil that isn’t very good for you.  I use extra virgin olive oil for every dressing I make.  I am not making a fortune on millions of hamburgers sold at a cheaper price.  I am not even making a fortune- yet- but I think this is the premise- keep the quality of the product, no matter how big you get, or just don’t get big.

I know this eliminates some customers.  But, I would like you to think about food as health insurance for a moment.  What we eat can effect our overall well being.  If we all ate a little better and put a few extra dollars into something that could keep us healthy, why wouldn’t we?  We pay hundreds of dollars each month preparing for the moment that we get sick.  What if you put just $50 towards eating healthier and more likely to not becoming sick?  Seems like a no brainer to me!

I made a side garden salad today.  There were a couple of bad grape tomatoes in the bunch.  If you have ever had a bad grape tomato, you know it is one of the worst things to ever put in your mouth.  I can’t taste every grape tomato but I will throw that bunch away because the possibility of others tasting bad is higher.

I buy organic, sometimes.  I used to read up on what is best for you and what is not.  The problem with a lot of the information that comes up is that it is studied again, and then you are given another statistic that is telling you to do the opposite.  And who is doing the study?  Many of the times, a big paying company wanting you to buy their product.  I use my common sense that I have been given (which isn’t always grandiose), the little bit of knowledge I have (no high IQ here), my eyes (20/20), my taste buds (pretty damn good) and how I feel a couple of hours later (personal preferance).  To me, some organic products taste better (like an organic strawberry or tomato).   Some organic products are more readily available (like organic spinach).  However, some organic products are (in my humble opinion) not worth the money (like organic phyllo dough).

I try to keep the quality of my food exceptional.  I don’t want to sell anything that I wouldn’t want my children to eat or myself.  If I am making a BLT for family or to sell and there are no good looking tomatoes at the local Publix or Kroger, then I will take my happy self to Whole Foods and proudly drop a few extra dollars for some beautiful heirloom tomatoes.  It is worth every penny.  I love Holeman & Finch‘s breads, and I will spend a little extra to buy that too.

That is my dealio.  I hope it helps you to feel a little more comfortable in throwing down that extra dollar! Because I love feeding you and helping you to feel great too!