Maybe it was a nod to the San Francisco Giants signing veteran pitcher Randy Johnson or maybe it was another one of those holiday quirks, but the grocery stores threw us a curve ball by stuffing weekly grocery inserts into the Sunday paper. You had to read the fine print to solve the mystery. Safeway's specials are good through Saturday, Jan. 3; Raley's prices are good until New Year's Eve and Save Mart's prices are effective through New Year's Day.
Our sources tell us that new ads for Raley's, Save Mart, and independents Vic's, Rainbow and Foods Co. will be in the Wednesday Bee.
But if you want to get a jump on New Year's meal planning, here are some highlights from Sunday's inserts.
SAFEWAY: Remember these specials are good through Saturday.
Big food really isn't the focus this week, given all the attention to sparkling wines, and snack foods. Best deal of all is $5 pizza. If you are planning any kind of a kid gathering, the Signature Cafe Pizza is definitely a good deal. Afterall, even kids can heat a pizza! Other items of note: avocado for $1; BOGO Foster Farms chicken strips and spicy wings (in the freezer) Progresso soups, buy 2 get 3 free and fresh Dungeness crab at $4.99 a pound. Nabisco snack crackers are still $2 a box and Safeway premium breads are $2 a loaf. Other BOGOs are Safeway ice cream, Lucerne whipped cream in the spray can, Nestle hot chocolate, Chex Mix snack mix. Red Baron Classic Pizza, Farmer John bacon, 2-lb. bag of lemons and vitamins. If you need chips, Mission tortilla strips are $2.49 a bag; Ruffles are $2.29 a bag and salsa in the deli is $2.49 a tub.
In produce, Fuji apples are $1 a pound; blueberries and blackberries are $2.99; green onions and radishes are 50-cents a bunch. In the bakery, pudding ring cakes are $3.99 and the fresh fruit tarts are still $13.99.
RALEY'S: Prices good through New Year's Eve.
Here you will find the best price on Martinelli's sparkling cider $1.68 a bottle - be sure to clip the coupon. (Holiday tip: add frozen cranberries to your cider for an even more festive drink). Raley's also has avocado for $1 each. Nabisco crackers are 2/$5. Pork spareribs are $1.77 a pound and tri tip roast is $3.47 a pound. Large eggs are $1.50 a dozen and ruby red grapefruit is 2/$1
If you're planning Cioppino for New Year's, Raley's has all the fixin's, including the recipe. To go with the Cioppino, Fresh Express salads are $2 a bag and San Francisco style sourdough is $2.29 for a round loaf.
SAVE MART: Prices good through Jan. 1.
Standing rib roast (the king of beef) is $4.99 a pound at Save Mart. Avocado is 78-cents and Nabisco crackers are $2 a box. They also have all the ingredients for Cioppino, including fresh crab at $3.99 a pound. Sunny Select drinking water is $3.50 a case; Martinelli's sparkling cider is $2 a bottle and 12-packs of Coca Cola or Sprite are 3/$12 (but clip the coupon and it's 3/$10). Olives are 99-cents a can; Best Foods mayo is $2.99 in the "easy out" container and Florida's Natural orange juice is $2.50.
In produce, lemons or limes are 6/$1; green onions, radishes or cilantro 2/$1 and large oranges are 48-cents a pound. Raspberries and blackberries are $3.99 for 12 ounces. To top off the New Year's celebration, Raspberry Ganache cake is $8.99 in the deli.
Over at Longs Drugs, 2-liter jugs of 7-UP, A&W root beer, Canada Dry ginger ale and Sunkist oragne soda are 79-cents (through Wednesday). Martinelli's is $1.79 a bottle and Fritos, Cheetos, Rold Gold and other munchies are $1.88 a bag. Planter's nuts and Tostitos chips are BOGO and in the just-in-case category, Aleve and Bayer products are $1.99. Crystal Geyser spring water is $3.88 a case.
Walgreens has General Mills cereals at 3/$7 and Sun-Maid rasins for $1.99. Lay chips are BOGO. Walgreens has lots of coupons worth clipping: 7-UP, Sunkist and Dr. Pepper sodas for 69-cents each; Dawn or Joy dish liquid for 99-cents; Tuf paper towels for 59-cents; Campbell's soups for 69-cents a can and a fleece throw for $1.99.
Walmart has 7-Up sodas for 88-cents and Campbell's chicken noodle or tomato soup for 60-cents; Simply Orange juice for $2.98 and Swiss Miss hot cocoa mix for $1.
Smart&Final has a $1 off coupon for Martinelli's (3 bottles=$4.99) Crystal Geyser water in the 35-pack is $4; Johnsonville brats are $2.99 a package and Delizza mini cream puffs are $5.99 for a container.
Check back on Wednesday for updates. Happy New Year!