Sounds a little funny, right? But it's not. This is a serious issue and it's taken me a long time to realize just how detrimental expensive salads have been to my psyche and the toll they've taken on my young, fragile, and financially-insecure life.
Here's my thought: everything that is found in a salad (save eggs, various meat products, croutons, and some other assorted accoutrement) come from the earth (and technically, even those exceptions originate there at some point - take a look at that food chain). This ultimately means that you could theoretically grow all salad ingredients in your backyard, on your farm, or in your window planter. And this is precisely why I cannot understand why salads can cost so much. I could grow all of this shit in my backyard, wash it, cut it up, throw it together, spritz it with some dressing (I just love those Wishbone Salad Spritzers), and bring it to work for lunch instead of dragging my ass downstairs to pay $12 plus for a wonky salad with wilted brown lettuce and ingredients that have been sitting out unrefrigerated for hours on end.
And this nonsense about charging PER ingredient? No, no, no, no, no - completely unacceptable. I could buy an entire avocado for the $3.50 they charge me for the spoonful of browning mush they have the nerve to call guacamole. And if you're going to charge for croutons, at least have the decency to go with the high-end toasted garlic croutons, not those bullshit croutons used to make gloppy Thanksgiving Day stuffing.
Of course, I could probably never actually bring myself to go through the laborious process of growing my own veggies (hating dirt and not having even a window box are probably both serious initial setbacks), but I'm just saying, it's totally possible. I guess that's what these salad places are banking on.