We've got grocery ads and more because this is the week we start planning the holiday meal. Put the gift list away and concentrate on the menu because we have the scoop on the major supermarkets, plus Sam's Club, Longs and Walgreens. Many advertised items will remain at the sale price through Christmas Eve.
It's going to be hard to avoid a holiday ham this season. Just about every store is offering it over turkey and beef. Here are the highlights, store-by-store, including their holiday hours. Enjoy and Happy Holidays.
Raley's: Open until 7 p.m. on Christmas Eve. Closed Christmas Day
This local chain has the most appealing holiday ad and some of the better sales. Their spiral sliced ham is $1.67 a pound and their all-natural turkey is 97-cents a pound (about the same as last month). Fresh green beans are 99 cents a pound and 5-lb. bags of Idaho potatoes are 2/$5. C&W frozen veggies are 2/$3 and chopped spinach is 69-cents. If you're having salad, Raley's or Fresh Express lettuce blends are $2.50 a bag but Dole classic Romaine is 2/$3. Cooked salad shrimp meat is $3.99 a pound and fresh Dungeness crab has climbed a bit to $4.99 a pound. If you are stuffing the turkey, Stove Top mix is 4/$6. Dinner rolls are $1.49 a dozen and sourdough baguettes are $1.79 in the bakery. Raley's also has a nice selection of desserts, including Marionberry streusel pie, upside down Caramel Apple or Cream Pie all $8.99.
Nabisco snack crackers are $1.99 a box; Campbell's creamed soups (is Green Bean casserole on your list?) are 69-cents a can and Knudsen sour cream is 2/$4. If you buy two packs of Johnsonville sausages (2/$6) you get a dozen eggs free. Fresh berries are BOGO.
Lots to report in the beverage aisle. R.W. Knudsen sparkling apple cider is 2/$3; Martinelli's is 2/$4. Two-liter 7-UP is $1; Ocean Spray cranberry juice cocktail is $1.99 a jug and Simply orange, grapefruit or apple juice is 2/$6.
For the non-cooks, Raley's has their prepared dinners - turkey, ham and prime rib - at the same prices as Thanksgiving. They also have an array of prepared platters - veggie, fruit, antipasto and seafood - at prices ranging from $19.99 to $49.99.
And if you are still decorating, holiday items are 50% off.
SAFEWAY: Some stores open 9 a.m.-3 p.m. on Christmas. Check your store to be sure.
Hate to say it, but the Safeway ad is bland. Sales are good but it doesn't shout "come here for your holiday shopping!" They have butcher's cut spiral sliced ham for $1.69 a pound and a tiny mention of turkey at $1.29 a pound for a fresh bird. Beef rib eye roast is $4.99 a pound and semi-boneless (whatever that means) leg of lamb is $3.99 a pound. Yams are 69-cents a pound; extra large russet potatoes are 88-cents a pound and Eating Right bagged salads are BOGO. A 5-pound box of Clementines is $4.99 and grapes are $1.49 a pound.
There are a couple more BOGOs worth mentioning. Jimmy Dean or Hormel bacon and Johnsonville links or Jimmy Dean sausages. Tyson grilled chicken strips; Safeway Select ice cream, Lucerne whipped cream; and Stove Top stuffing.
In the bakery, Safeway brown & serve rolls are $1.50 a dozen and sourdough rounds are $1 each. If you want a fresh fruit tart, get it here for $13.99. Dreyer's grand ice cream is BOGO.
In the beverage department, you can stock up on soda by clipping the coupon on the ad. Buy two 12 packs (Coca-Cola or 7-UP products), get two free, plus a third with the coupon. Two-liter sodas are buy 3, get 3 free; a case of Arrowhead water is $3.99 and Martinelli's sparkling cider is $1.79 a bottle.
I'm disappointed to report that there is no $5 Friday meal deal this week. The 8-piece chicken last week was tasty.
If you are saving your Safeway gas rewards, it's time to use them or lose them. The program expires on Dec. 31. With the price of gas these days, I'm willing to bet it won't be back.
SAVE MART: Some stores open Christmas Day. Check your local outlet to be sure.
And the winner is ... ham, again. Spiral sliced is $1.97 a pound; standing rib roast is $4.99lb. and fresh Dungeness crab is $3.99 a pound. These prices are good through Jan. 1, so you can plan for New Year's too. Turkeys range in price from $1.49 a pound to $2.99. To help with the meal, Swanson broth is 49-cents a can; Stove Top stuffing is 99-cents a box; Hearts of Romaine are $2 a bag; Roma tomatoes are 99-cents a pound and Fresh Express salad blends are $2.49 a bag.
If you're preparing cioppino, Save Mart has the ingredients, including the sauce at $3.99 a jar. The fish is $3.99 for white shrimp; $1.99 a pound for clams; $3.99 a pound for pollock or Tilapia and $9.99 for scallops.
Sunnyside Farms brown & serve rolls are $1.50 a dozen; Pillsbury dinner rolls are $2.50 a bag; Ore-Ida steam n' mash potatoes are $3.49 a bag; Daisy sour cream is $1.50 a carton and Philadelphia cream cheese is $1.67 each. For dessert, fruit or pumpkin pies are 2/$10.
In the beverage aisle, Martinelli's sparkling cider is $2 a bottle; gallon jugs of Crystal Geyser water are 99-cents; a case of Sunny Select water is $3.50 and you can save $2 on 12-packs of Coke, Sprite or Pibb by clipping the coupon on Page 5.
FOODS CO. - Closed Christmas Day.
Farmer John sprial sliced ham is $1.27 a pound and fresh pineapple is $1.98 each. (Don't you just love pineapple slices with your ham.) Zacky Farms fresh turkeys are 98-cents a pound and Russet potatoes are $2.48 for 10-pounds. Yams are 2 for 98-cents and fresh greens are 58-cents a bunch. Avocados are 98-cents each.
Knudsen sour cream is $1.98; Swanson broth is 50-cents a can; Pillsbury Grands are 3/$5 and Private Selection Premium or Breyers ice cream is $2.88.
Lots of good stuff in the bakery with fresh dinner rolls at 2 dozen for $2.50; Lofthouse Christmas cookies 2/$5; pumpkin, sweet potato or apple pies 2/$5 and pudding cake at $4.98.
In beverages, Marinelli's is $1.98 a bottle; Spring natural water is $3.50 a case and 24-packs of soda $5.98.
VIC'S in Folsom: Closed Christmas Day. Open until 7 p.m. on Christmas Eve
The Hillshire Farm spiral sliced ham is $1.99 a pound; fresh Norbest turkey is $1.49 a pound and standing rib roast is $5.99 a pound. Fresh green beans are $1.49 a pound and fresh asparagus is $1.99 a pound.
RAINBOW FOODS: Closed Christmas Day
Cook's smoked picnic ham is $1.79 a pound; prime rib roast is $5.99lb and pork roast for tamales is $1.29lb. Salad shrimp meat is $4.99 a pound. For something different, Armanino ravioli or tortellini is 2 bags for $5 and their meatballs are 3 pounds for $9.99. Stove Top stuffing is 4/$5; Daisy sour cream is 2/$3; Pillsbury Grands biscuits 3/$5 and Cool Whip is 99-cents.
In produce, fresh yams are 3lbs/$1; green beans are 2lbs/$3 and 10 pounds of Russet potatoes $2.79. Beverage specials include Martinelli's for $2 a bottle and Crystal Geyser gallon jugs for 89-cents and $3.99 a case. In the bakery, there's lemon meringue pie for $4.99; apple or pumpkin pies 2/$7 and banana cream pie $5.99.
The Sam's Club ad does not include a free pass but it does offer a $10 gift card when you join as a new member.The spiral-sliced ham at Sam's is $1.88 a pound. Whole beef tenderloin is $8.88 a pound.
WALGREENS: Many stores open until midnight starting Friday. Sale prices good through Saturday.
In addition to the usual stuff, Walgreens has a 3 for the price of 1 sale on candles, greeting cards, tissue paper, disposable cameras and reading glasses. Coupons worth clipping include Bounty paper towels 2/$3; Lipton tea $1.99 a box; BOGO Kleenex; gift tags for 69-cents and Christmas gift bags 6/$1. In the food aisle, grab General Mills cereals for $1.99 a box.
LONGS is also having a 4-day sale.
Items of note include BOGO coupons on holiday wrap and greeting cards. Martinelli's cider is $1.88 a bottle and Stove Top stuffing and Duncan Hines cake mix is 99-cents. If you really need a lot of soda, Longs has 5-12 packs for $14 (be sure to clip the coupon on page 4).
Whew! That's it for today. Come back tomorrow for recipes - maybe for all that ham!