Shop Cheap

Sharing the best prices on groceries and other stuff in the Sacramento region.

August 27, 2009
Cool recipes for hot summer nights

The assignment: Find recipes that will help shoppers use what's on sale this week in new and different recipes.

The result from recipe researcher Sheila Kern: tasty dishes that use chicken (on sale everywhere); cooked turkey breast (the $5 Friday special at Safeway); cucumbers (Safeway and Save Mart) and oranges (Raley's and Save Mart). Enjoy these end-of-summer dishes!

 Adobe Summer Salad

From (National Turkey Federation)

Yield: 6 servings

Turkey Salad

3 Cups cooked white rice, chilled

1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained

2 Cups red and yellow bell pepper, seeded and diced

1 Large red ripe tomato, seeded and chopped

1 Cup diced jicama


3/4 Cup sliced green onions

1/4 Cup fresh cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped

Combine rice, beans, bell peppers, tomato, jicama, turkey, green onions and cilantro in a large bowl. Mix well.

Salsa Dressing

1 Cup thick and chunky salsa

2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice

2 Tablespoons vegetable oil

1/4 Teaspoon salt

Combine salsa, lime juice, oil and salt in a small bowl. Add to salad and toss well.


8 Large romaine lettuce leaves, cleaned and chilled

1 Lime cut in wedges

Cover and chill salad for up to eight hours. Serve salad over lettuce leaves with lime wedges as garnish.

Turkey Waldorf Salad


Yield: 4-6 servings


2 cups shredded leftover turkey meat

2 stalks celery, sliced

1/2 cup celery leaves, coarsely chopped, plus more whole leaves for garnish

1 crisp apple, such as Gala or Macintosh, cored and chopped

1 cup red seedless grapes, halved

1/2 cup pecans, toasted, and coarsely chopped

1/2 cup non-fat yogurt

2 tablespoons mayonnaise

1 teaspoon honey

1/4 teaspoon salt, plus more as needed

1 small celery root, peeled and cut into matchsticks

Freshly ground black pepper


In a large bowl, gently toss the turkey, celery, celery leaves, apple, grapes, and pecans until combined. In a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt, mayonnaise, honey, and 1/4 teaspoon salt until well combined. Put the celery root in a small bowl, add 2 tablespoons of the dressing, and toss to coat completely. Add the remaining dressing to the turkey mixture, season with salt and pepper, and toss gently to evenly dress the salad.

To serve, spread the celery root evenly onto a serving platter, top with the dressed salad, garnish with celery leaves and serve immediately.

Blushing Cranberry & Pear Turkey Salad


Serves 4


1/2 cup Hellmann's or Best Foods Real Mayonnaise

1/2 cup whole berry cranberry sauce or cranberry relish

4 cups torn romaine lettuce leaves

2 cups baby spinach leaves or mixed salad greens

2 cups diced cooked turkey

1 medium pear, cored and thinly sliced

1/4 cup toasted chopped pecans

1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion


In medium bowl, combine the mayonnaise and cranberry sauce; set aside.

In large bowl, combine romaine, spinach and turkey. Just before serving, toss with mayonnaise mixture. Top with pear slices, pecans and onion. Garnish, if desired with dried cranberries.

Note: Recipe can be doubled.

Monterey Turkey Pizza


Serves 6


1/2 cup Hellmann's or Best Foods Real Mayonnaise

1 cup diced cooked turkey

1/2 cup diced tomato

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 can (4.25 oz.) chopped green chilies, undrained

4 green onions, sliced

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

1-1/2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese (about 6 oz.)

1 (12-in.) prebaked pizza crust


Preheat oven to 450°.

In large bowl, mayonnaise, turkey, tomato, Parmesan cheese, chilies, green onions, garlic and 1/2 cup Monterey Jack cheese.

On baking sheet, arrange pizza crust. Evenly top with turkey mixture, then remaining 1 cup Monterey Jack cheese.

Bake 15 minutes or until heated through and cheese is melted.

Chicken Smothered in Peanut Sauce


Serves 4


1 onion, chopped

4 chicken breasts

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon paprika

1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained and juices reserved

3 tablespoons peanut butter

1/4 cup packed fresh cilantro

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

hot cooked brown rice or cooked barley


Coat a large skillet with nonstick spray and warm over med-high heat.

Add the onion and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes, or til softened.

Add the chicken to the skillet and cook 3-4 minutes on each side or til browned.

Meanwhile in a blender combine the reserved tomato juice, salt, paprika, pepper, peanut butter, cilantro, garlic, and red-pepper flakes.

Blend til smooth.

Pour over the chicken and add the tomatoes.

Bring to a boil over high heat.

Reduced heat to low, cover, and simmer for 25 minutes. Serve over rice or barley.

Sweet 'n Sassy Boneless Hot Wings

Adapted from

Serves 1


4 oz. boneless skinless lean chicken, cut into 8 nuggets

2 tbsp. fat-free liquid egg substitute (like Egg Beaters Original)

2 tbsp. whole-wheat flour

2 tbsp. sweet chili sauce

1 tsp. seasoned rice vinegar

1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes

Dash salt

Dash black pepper


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and/or spray with nonstick spray.

Place chicken in a bowl, cover with egg substitute, and toss to coat. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, salt, and black pepper, and mix well. One at a time, transfer chicken nuggets to the flour bowl, giving them a shake first to remove excess egg substitute - coat completely with flour, and then transfer to the baking sheet.

Bake in the oven for about 16 minutes, flipping halfway through, until chicken is fully cooked. Remove from the oven and set aside.

Combine chili sauce, vinegar, and red pepper flakes in a bowl and mix well. Add chicken and toss to coat. Now gobble up!

Cucumber Mint Tea Sandwiches


Gourmet | July 1992

Yield: Makes 12 tea sandwiches


1/4 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves, rinsed, spun dry, and chopped fine

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

2 tablespoons cream cheese

6 slices of whole-wheat bread

a 3-inch length of seedless cucumber, cut into thin slices


In a small bowl combine the mint, the butter, and the cream cheese and stir the mixture until it is combined well. Spread the bread slices with the butter mixture, top 3 of them with the cucumber, distributing the cucumber evenly and seasoning it with salt, and top the cucumber with the remaining bread slices. Cut off and discard the crusts and cut each sandwich diagonally into quarters.

Feta, Cucumber and Spinach Pita Sandwiches


Bon Appétit | February 2000

Yield: 4 servings


1 cup plain nonfat yogurt

1 garlic clove, minced

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 cup coarsely chopped English hothouse cucumber

1/4 cup chopped drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes

2 tablespoons chopped green onion

2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 6-ounce package baby spinach

2/3 cup crumbled feta cheese (about 3 ounces)

4 pita breads, cut crosswise in half


Mix yogurt, garlic and cayenne in small bowl. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover; chill.)

Mix cucumber, sun-dried tomatoes, green onion, mint, vinegar and oil in large bowl. Stir in spinach and feta cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Let stand while preparing pita bread.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Wrap pita breads in foil. Place in oven until heated through, about 10 minutes. Fill pita halves with cucumber mixture. Spoon some of yogurt dressing into each pita half. Serve, passing remaining yogurt dressing separately.

Cucumber Salad


Yield: 4 servings

Show: Healthy Appetite with Ellie Krieger Episode: Down the Line


2 English cucumbers (2 pounds)

1 small red onion

1 1/2 tablespoons salt

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar or sherry vinegar

1 teaspoon sugar

2 teaspoons dried dill or 2 tablespoons fresh


Slice the cucumber lengthwise, remove the seeds, and slice thinly. Thinly slice the onion.

In a colander, toss the cucumber and onion with the salt and let it sit and drain for 20 minutes. Press the liquid out of the vegetables and rinse well with cold water.

In a medium bowl combine the vinegar and sugar and stir well. Add the cucumber mixture and toss to coat. Stir in the dill.

Asian Cucumber Salad


Southern Living, June 2006

Yield: Makes 6 servings (serving size: 1 cup)


1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar

1/4 cup water

1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 tablespoon lite soy sauce

1 teaspoon sesame oil

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

2 large cucumbers, peeled and sliced

2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted


Stir together first 7 ingredients in a large bowl. Add cucumbers, tossing to coat. Cover and chill 1 hour. Add sesame seeds, and toss; serve immediately.

Orange Raisin Muffins


Yields: 12


1 medium navel orange

1/2 cup orange juice

1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted

1 egg

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup raisins


Peel orange; place peel in a blender or food processor. Separate orange into segments; place in blender. Add orange juice; cover and process until well blended. Add butter and egg. In a bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir in orange mixture just until moistened. Fold in raisins. Fill greased or paper-line muffin cup two-thirds full. Bake at 400 degrees F for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack.

August 25, 2009
How about an end of summer sale?

With the month of August almost history, we are officially at the beginning of the end of summer. Next week, it will be September with Labor Day approaching and fall  in the air. Wish the stores would have a "so long to summer sale" but all they can scare up is "great deal on chicken," "Dollar Deals!" and "No Cards, just low prices."

Where's the creativity?

If you go gaga for grapes, head over to Raley's for red, black or green seedless for only 77-cents a pound. Vine ripe tomatoes are 77-cents a pound and Australian navel oranges are 97-cents a pound. Also in produce: Zucchini squash for 79-cents a pound; organic basil $1.99 a bunch; red bell pepper $1.99lb and Raley's romaine hearts for $2 a bag.

Chicken is everywhere this week. Raley's has split breasts, thighs, drumsticks or leg quarters in the club pack for 77-cents a pound. They also have cooked salad shrimpmeat for $3.99lb. But clip the coupon and shop on Saturday and you get the shrimp for 50-percent off. Now that's a deal! 

Raley's has some other stuff going on like a case of Aquarius Spring! water for $2.99; a buy 2, get 2 free offer on 12-packs of Coke and Arizona ice tea for 99-cents a jug. Frozen treats on sale include Dreyer's fruit or smoothie bars for $2.99 and Sunnyside Farms ice cream for $2.69.

In the clip & save dept., there are 30% off "Friday only" coupons for bath tissue, Nob Hill Trading Co. coffee; paper towls and homestyle or chunky soups. If you can wait until Saturday, the coupons get better. They are for 50% off and include the cooked shrimpmeat; Fresh Express salads, Porterhouse steaks; slow cooked ribs and cantaloupe. Raley's also has a whole page of BOGO coupons on the back of their "Health and Beauty Savings Event" ad. The BOGOs include mouthwash, cotton squares and swabs; ibuprofen, toothbrushes and Natural hydrating lotion.

If you like Milton's bread, it's on sale for $2.50 a loaf. French bread in the bakery is $1.59 a loaf and muffins are $3 for a half-dozen.

Over at Safeway, they are having $1 Days. Items for a buck or less include Wish-Bone salad dressing; bakery Filone breads; hot dog or hamburger buns; facial tissue and six-packs of Arrowhead water or a 20 oz. SoBe. For a special treat, artisan cake for one is only 99-cents. But who says you can't share cake for one?

The chicken on sale is fresh leg quarters for 77-cents a pound. If you are going to Q this weekend, lean ground beef is $1.67lb and Ball Park meat franks are BOGO.

The coupon page at Safeway is a good one. If you're looking for a light dinner, check out the flatbread pizza for $3.99 and the Signature Cafe salads at $3.99, too. Already cooked Tony Roma baby back ribs are $7.99; Golden Grain pasta is 69 cents (Classico sauce is BOGO); and frozen Freschetta pizza is $3.49. Other coupons include Mission Tortilla chips for $1.99; Sargento shredded or sliced cheese for $1.49; Pillsbury cookie dough 2/$4 and Safeway Breakfast breads for $1.49. In the non-food category, Caress, Axe or Lever body wash is $2.99; Bright Green cleaners are $2.49 and Downey or Bounce fabric softener is $3.99. Also, Safeway dishwasher detergent is $2.99; Ultra laundry detergent is $5.99 and Northern bath tissue or Brawny towels are $5.99 each.

In produce, English hot house cucumbers are $1 each; yellow squash or zucchini is $1 a pound; extra large hot house tomatoes are 99-cents a pound; gala apples or navel oranges are 99-cents a pound and Fresh Express salads in the bag are $1 each.

Save Mart has the best price on chicken - 79 cents a pound for Foster Farms whole birds. They also have London broil for $2.99lb and pork loin backribs in the butcher's block for $1.99lb.

The Save Mart produce aisle has jumbo cantaloupe for 77-cents each; Bartlett pears for 29-cents a pound; grape tomatoes for 79-cents a basket and those Australian oranges for 99-cents a pound. Ready Pac bistro bowl salads are $2.99; Iceberg lettuce is 99-cents each and English cucumbers are 99-cents each.

Yoplait yogurt is 50 cents a carton; Dreyer's ice cream is $2.79; whole fruit bars are 2/$5 and check out the Buy 4; Get $4 off sale on ice cream treats.Coke products in the 12-pack are buy 2, get 2 free; 2-liter bottles of Pepsi are $1 each; Laura Scudder's and Lay's kettle cooked chips are $1.99 a bag; and Quaker Quakes snacks are $1 each.

The Kellogg's cereal sale is a good one. Buy 4 boxes for $11 and get $6 off - works out to $1.25 a box. San Luis sourdougn bread is $2.49 a loaf; Ball Park buns are $1.99 and Rojo's fresh salsa is $1.69. In the bakery, fresh-baked cookies are $2.99 for 18. In the deli, John Morrell cooked ham is $2.99lb and sourdough baguettes are $1.49 each.

Smart & Final is back again this week. Check out the ad for Foster Farms drumsticks for 99-cents a pound; two pounds of seedless grapes for $1.99; honeydew mellon 4lbs for $1 and Crystal Geyser spring water - buy 2, get one free.

Come back on Thursday for some end of summer recipes.

August 20, 2009
Great recipes - and the ingredients are on sale

Out of ideas for what to cook this week? Not to worry. Recipe researcher Sheila Kern has lots of good stuff from the Shop Cheap Kitchen. Best of all, most of the ingredients are on sale this week. Enjoy!

Zesty Green Chile and Tomato Salad



6 medium or large tomatoes

2 large green chiles, such as Anaheim or Hatch

1 yellow bell pepper

1 cucumber

1/2 small onion, diced

1/4 cup oil

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 tablespoon oregano

pinch of salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

2 tablespoons vinegar

1 tablespoon chopped cilantro leaves

1/4 teaspoon additional salt


Remove the stem area of the tomato. Then cut the tomatoes into quarters, then into eighths. Use a spoon or your fingers to remove the seeds. Set the pieces on a paper towel to drain.

Peel the cucumber and slice into 1/4 inch thick rounds. Lay them on top of paper towels and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon of salt.

Cut the top off of each chile off. Cut it in half lengthwise, and remove seeds and veins. Finely dice the flesh into small pieces.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, lemon juice, cilantro, oregano, salt and pepper.

Place tomatoes, onions, cucumbers and chiles into a salad bowl and drizzle dressing on top. Toss to coat.

Hatch Green Chile Stew

Servings 6-8


2 pounds boneless pork, cubed

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 cup chopped onion

1 garlic clove, minced

1/4 cup flour

2 1/2 cups chopped peeled fresh tomatoes

1 3/4 cups chopped peeled roasted Hatch green chiles

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

1/2 teaspoon sugar

2 potatoes, cut into cubes

2 1/2 to 3 cups chicken broth

Cooking Instructions

Brown the pork lightly in the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic. Saute for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the flour. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the tomatoes, chiles, salt, pepper and sugar and mix well. Stir in the potatoes. Pour in the broth. Reduce the heat. Simmer, covered, for 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until the pork is tender.

Sesame Sirloin Steak


Servings: 2


1/4 cup soy sauce

2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 dash hot pepper sauce

3/4 pound (3/4 inch thick) boneless beef sirloin steak


In a large resealable plastic bag, combine the soy sauce, sesame seeds, garlic, oil, brown sugar, pepper and hot pepper sauce. Pierce steak on both sides with a fork; place in the bag. Seal and turn to coat; refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.

Drain and discard marinade. Grill the steak, covered, over medium heat for 7-9

minutes on each side or until meat reaches desired doneness (for medium-rare, a meat thermometer should read 145 degrees F; medium, 160 degrees F; well-done, 170 degrees F).

Balsamic-Glazed Sirloin Steak


Serves 2


3/4 pound 1/2-inch-thick boneless sirloin steak

2 teaspoons sesame seeds

2 teaspoons vegetable oil

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/8 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes

3 tablespoons medium-dry Sherry

1 tablespoon soy sauce

2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon honey

1 tablespoon cold unsalted butter


Pat steak dry and season lightly with salt and pepper. Spread 1 teaspoon sesame seeds evenly on one side of steak.

In a large heavy skillet heat oil over moderately high heat until it begins to smoke and add steak, sesame-seed-side down. Spread remaining teaspoon sesame seeds on top of steak. Cook steak 1 1/2 minutes on each side for medium-rare meat and transfer with a slotted spatula to a small platter. Keep steak warm.

Pour off almost all fat from skillet and add garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook garlic mixture over moderate heat, stirring, 10 seconds and add Sherry. Boil mixture until almost all liquid is evaporated and remove skillet from heat. Add soy sauce, vinegar, and honey and bring to a simmer, stirring. Add butter and stir over low heat until incorporated. Spoon glaze over steak.

Sweet and Spicy London Broil


Yield 3 to 4 servings


1 flank steak (about 1 3/4 pound)

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons sweet paprika

2 tablespoon light brown sugar

1 tablespoons kosher salt

2 teaspoons chili powder

1 lime, zested


Preheat a broiler to high. Bring the steaks to room temperature about 20 minutes before cooking.

Mix the olive oil, paprika, sugar, chili powder, salt, chili powder, and zest in a bowl to make a paste. Rub the spice mixture all over the steak. Broil until just charred and crispy on top, about 6 minutes on 1 side. Flip the steak and cook until beginning to char, about 6 minutes more or until rare and temperature registers 115 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer. Place the steak on a cutting board and let rest, tented with foil for about 10 minutes. Slice across the grain and serve.

Grilled Marinated London Broil


Gourmet | May 1994

Serves 6


For marinade:

4 large garlic cloves, minced

4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

3 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1 1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled

1 teaspoon dried basil, crumbled

1 teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled

1/2 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes

2/3 cup olive oil

a 2- to 2 1/2 pound London broil


Make marinade:

In a bowl whisk together marinade ingredients until combined well.

Put London broil in a large resealable plastic bag and pour marinade over it. Seal bag, pressing out excess air, and set in a shallow dish. Marinate meat, chilled, turning bag once or twice, overnight.

Grill meat, marinade discarded, on an oiled rack set about 4 inches over glowing coals, turning each once, 9 to 10 minutes on each side, or until it registers 135°F. to 140°F., on a meat thermometer for medium-rare meat. (Alternatively, meat may be broiled.) Transfer meat to a cutting board and let stand 10 minutes. Cut meat diagonally across the grain into thin slices.

Asparagus Pasta Salad


Recipe courtesy Rachael Ray

Show: 30 Minute Meals Episode: The Catch is in the Bun

Yield: 4 servings


1 small shallot or 1/2 large shallot, finely chopped

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 pound asparagus, thin spears

2 endive, cored and thinly sliced

1/2 small red bell pepper, chopped

1/2 pound bow tie pasta, farfalle, cooked to al dente and cooled

1/2 cup frozen green peas

1/4 cup chopped flat- leaf parsley, a couple of handfuls

3 tablespoons white wine vinegar

Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Heat shallot and oil in microwave safe covered dish for 30 seconds or in a small pan on the stovetop over medium low heat for 5 minutes. Allow oil to cool back to room temperature.

Hold a spear of asparagus at each end and snap it. The spear breaks where the tender tops meet the tough bottoms. Line the broken spear up with the bundle of cleaned asparagus. Cut the spears using the guideline of the snapped spear. Par boil the asparagus tops in 1 inch simmering water covered for 3 to 5 minutes. Cool under cold running water and drain. Cut asparagus into 1-inch pieces on an angle and add to a bowl. Combine chopped, cooked asparagus with shredded endive, red bell pepper, cooked pasta, green peas and chopped parsley. The peas will defrost as you toss salad. Pour vinegar into a small bowl and whisk in cooled shallot oil. Pour dressing over salad and toss. Season salad with salt and pepper, to your taste and toss again.

Roasted Asparagus Salad with Goat Cheese and Bread Crumbs


Serves 4


1 thick slice crusty bread or 3 thick slices baguette cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1 pound asparagus spears , trimmed

4 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

1 Tbsp. lemon juice

3 ounces fresh goat cheese , crumbled

Zest of 1 lemon , removed in long, thin strips


Preheat oven to 425°. Arrange bread cubes in a single layer on a baking sheet. Toast, tossing halfway through, until golden and crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove, cool, and chop into coarse crumbs; set aside. Wipe sheet clean.

Arrange asparagus on sheet. Drizzle with 2 teaspoons olive oil, and season to taste with sea salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Roast, rolling asparagus over once or twice, until just tender, 12 to 14 minutes; transfer to a large platter.

Sprinkle lemon juice over asparagus, then scatter bread crumbs on top. Drizzle remaining olive oil; top with goat cheese and lemon zest. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

Extra idea: These flavors would also work together harmoniously as a canapé--the goat cheese spread thin on crustless bread, the asparagus steamed and sliced thin, the lemon zest curled on top.

Strawberry, Avocado, and Melon Salad


Makes 4 servings


1/4 cup honey

2 tablespoons sherry vinegar or red-wine vinegar

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Pinch of salt

4 cups baby spinach

1 small avocado (4-5 ounces), peeled, pitted and cut into 16 slices

16 thin slices cantaloupe (about 1/2 small cantaloupe), rind removed

1 1/2 cups hulled strawberries, sliced

2 teaspoons sesame seeds, toasted (see Tip)


Whisk honey, vinegar, mint, pepper and salt in a small bowl.

Divide spinach among 4 salad plates. Arrange alternating slices of avocado and cantaloupe in a fan on top of the spinach. Top each salad with strawberries, drizzle with dressing and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

TIP: Tip: To toast sesame seeds, heat a small dry skillet over low heat. Add sesame seeds and stir constantly until golden and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and let cool.

MAKE AHEAD TIP: The dressing will keep, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 1 day.

Strawberries with Ginger and Pine Nuts


Makes 4 servings

Crystallized ginger and orange juice add zing to fresh strawberries. Serve over grilled angel food cake for a special yet simple summer dessert.


1 1/2 pints strawberries

1 tablespoon pine nuts

2 tablespoons orange juice

1 tablespoon chopped crystallized ginger

2 teaspoons sugar

Hull and quarter strawberries. Coarsely chop the pine nuts and toast in a small dry skillet over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant and lightly browned, 2 to 4 minutes. Let cool slightly and toss with the strawberries, orange juice, ginger and sugar. Let stand 10 minutes.

August 18, 2009
Time to start clipping and saving

Hi Shoppers. If you're like me, you've noticed that grocery ads aren't just for Wednesdays anymore. Now, they're popping up in the Sunday paper, too. So before you separate the Sunday Bee into the news and ad piles, be sure to look for inserts from Raley's and Safeway. Last Sunday, both stores had specials that got me in the store.

This week, the highlights include the 72-hour specials at Safeway (asparagus for $1.49lb) and something not in the ad - the Friday only $5 special, which is Rotisserie chicken. I'm thinking they forgot to advertise in the paper because I saw the flyer at the check out on Tuesday! Raley's will also have you clipping with coupons for Sara Lee bread $1.59 and Fresh Express salads for 99 cents. Save Mart has seedless grapes for 67-cents a pound  and bags of romaine hearts for 99-cents.  Also, check out the Smart & Final in some Wednesday editons.

Here's the store-by-store breakdown:

SAFEWAY: First up, London broil for $1.79lb; whole Foster Farms chickens at 99-cents a pound and plenty of BOGOs: Nathan's beef franks; Healthy Ones lunchmeat and Hormel fully cooked entrees.

In addition to the asparagus, the 72-hour sale includes pan roasted turkey breast in the deli for $5.99lb; Safeway variety breads for $1.49lb; fresh King salmon fillets for $5.99lb and Lay's chips for $1.88 a bag.

If you're into clippin' (or loading the savings onto your Club Card), Honey Comb cereal is 99-cents; 18 large eggs are $1.49; Starkist solid white Albacore tuna is 88-cents; English muffins are 99-cents; Iceberg lettuce is 49-cents a head and a 10-lb bag of potatoes goes for $1.49. In the Home & Health coupon category, bath tissue or paper towels are $5.99; Electrasol dishwasher  detergent is $3.49 and Pledge spray is $2.99.

In produce, nectarines are 69-cents a pound; seedless red grapes are 89-cents a pound and broccoli is 99-cents a pound. Red bell pepper is $1.99lb and cantaloupe is $1.49 each.

Lastly, a case of Nestle drinking water is $3.49; 2-liter 7-UP or A&W is buy 3, get 3 free; Pepperidge Farm cookies are 2/$4 and cans of Del Monte tomatoes are $1.

Heading over to RALEY'S, the cart-worthy specials include Sutter sirloin steak for $2.59lb; BOGO berrries and personal size watermelon and Breyers ice cream for $2.49. If you're in a hurry or need freezer food for the kids, DiGiorno pizza is $4.99. Kettle chips are BOGO and Dennison chili is 4/$5.

In the coupon category, 2-liter Cokes are 77-cents; a 24-pack of cans is $5.99. Sara Lee loaf bread is $1.59 and California Pizza Kitchen pizza for one is $1.99. Calidad tortilla chips are 99-cents a bag and Hefty storage or sandwich bags are 99-cents each. Nathan's beef franks are 2/$6; Fresh Express garden salad in the bag is 99-cents; Raley's fresh deli cheese is 2lbs for $4.99 and American singles slices are 2/$4. If you need back-to-school treats, a dozen cupcakes in the bakery is $3.99.

In produce, New Mexico Hatch peppers are 97-cents a pound; hot house tomatoes are $1.49lb; green onions, radishes or cilantro is 2/$1 and white nectarines are $1.49.

What SAVE MART lacks in coupons it makes up for in good prices. Seedless red grapes are 67-cents a pound; romaine hearts are 99-cents a bag and large artichokes are 2/$1. Nectarines are 97-cents a pound; berries are 2/$4 and Earthbound Farm organic salads are 2/$5. Bakery-fresh chocolate chip cookies are 2 bags for $5.

Premium pork country ribs are 97-cents a pound in the Max Pak; boneless chuck steaks are $1.88lb and boneless pork loin chops are $1.99lb. Fresh ground beef patties are $1.99lb and fresh cooked shrimp meat is $3.99lb. Michelina's gourmet frozen entrees are 88-cents each; Bayview Farms ice cream is 2/$4; Marie Callendar's dinners are $2.29 and Sunnyside Farms cottage cheese is $1.99. In the deli, Butterball turkey breast is $5.99lb and the chicken meal deal - which includes 8 pieces, a loaf of french bread and a side salad - is only $7.99.

If you're a Smart & Final shopper, you'll want to check out this week's ad. Foster Farms boneless, skinless chicken breasts are $2.99lb; 2-liter Cokes are $1; 32-half liter bottles of Arrowhead 2/$9; a 5-quart container of ice cream is $4.99 and a package of Gardenburgers is $7.99. A 4-pack of avocado is $2.99; fresh Italian sausage is $2.99 a package and Sara Lee Hearty breads are $2.50 a loaf.

 Come back on Thursday for recipes from the Shop Cheap kitchen.


August 13, 2009
School lunch is in the (reusable) bag

It's back-to-school time and outside of what to wear, what's for lunch is the most important part of having a good day. More and more kids will be bringing their lunch to school this year so Shop Cheap researcher Sheila Kern came up with tips on putting together a good meal and a few surprises you can add. She also provides for some out of the ordinary lunches that are healthy and easy.


Variety is the Spice of Lunch


1. Include enough range to keep your kids from getting bored, but don't be surprised if they settle on a few favorites and request them week after week. Kids like to have a few familiar, comforting things nearby when they are away from home.

2. Give them some choices from each food group, and allow them to mix and match for a nutritionally balanced lunch.

3. Beyond sliced bread, try crackers, pita bread, naan, corn bread, English muffins, tortillas, baked tortilla chips, mini bagels, or lettuce wraps.

3. For protein, there's good ol' peanut butter, but the kids might also enjoy hummus, bean dip, sliced cheese, yogurt, cold cuts, tuna salad, pasta salad, egg salad, or a thermos full of chili.

4. When serving tuna, egg, chicken, or pasta salad, mix in shredded carrots, apples, zucchini, bell peppers, raisins, nuts--anything to add nutrition and fiber without adding lots of empty calories.

Lunch Tips

1. About food safety: lightweight, freezable cold packs or frozen juice boxes enable you to send the kids to school with perishables such as pasta salad, egg salad, meat sandwiches, yogurt, tuna, etc.

2. Get your kids into the habit of washing their hands before eating. Include antibacterial hand wipes if that's what it takes.

3. Make lunches the night before to ease the morning rush out the door.

4. Reusable lunchboxes are earth-friendly and save the expense of brown bags, but be sure to wash them out frequently.

5. You've heard this one before, but a little note from you tucked into a lunch once in a while is a comfort. Keep notes small enough so kids don't have to haul out a long, loving letter from home in front of the rest of the lunchroom.

6. When you pack nutritious lunches you know your kids will love, you might even feel okay about slipping a cookie or a brownie into the bag!

Now for some super lunch ideas...

Pita Pockets


Sprouts and cubed cheese are a perfect filling for pita bread, especially when your kids have had the fun of growing their own sprouts (pick up a sprouting package and follow the simple directions).

To make an apple pie pita, season cubed apples with cinnamon, sugar and lemon juice and stuff them into a warm, buttered pita.

For a carrot salad pita, mix shredded carrots with raisins and chopped walnuts and season with a splash of vinegar, oil, salt and pepper.

For a cheese melt, spread a pita with mustard or mild salsa and fill it with shredded American, Cheddar or mozzarella cheese. Melt in the oven or microwave and wrap in foil.

Spiral Sandwiches


Serves: 2-4


1/2 cup cream cheese, at room temperature

4 chives, 1 sprig of dill, and/or 3 basil leaves (optional)

2 eight- to 10-inch flour tortilla

1 tomato, seeded and sliced into thin rounds

6 spinach leaves


1. Place the cream cheese in a small bowl. For herb cream cheese, use scissors to snip the herbs into tiny pieces, then mash them into the cream cheese with the back of a spoon.

2. Spread a little cream cheese on each of the spinach leaves, then spread the remainder in a thin layer onto the tortillas. Place three tomato slices in a row down the middle. Top with the spinach leaves, cream cheese facing up.

3. Roll up each tortilla tightly into a log. Pinch the seams shut. Use a serrated knife to slowly slice each log crosswise into 5 or 6 pinwheel sandwiches.

Garden Turkey Sandwich with Lemon mayo



1 teaspoon(s) grated lemon peel

1 tablespoon(s) low-fat mayonnaise

2 slice(s) whole-grain bread

1 cup(s) loosely packed baby spinach leaves

2 ounce(s) turkey breast, sliced

1 small tomato, sliced


Stir grated lemon peel with mayonnaise; spread on both slices bread.

On 1 slice bread, alternately layer spinach leaves, turkey, and tomato, starting and ending with spinach. Top with second bread slice.

Peanut Butter and Banana Wraps


Makes 4 servings


1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

4 whole wheat or regular flour tortillas (8 to 10 inches in diameter)

1/4 cup honey

2 small bananas, sliced

1/4 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips, if desired


1. Spread 2 tablespoons of the peanut butter evenly over each tortilla. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of the honey over each tortilla. Top with banana slices and chocolate chips.

2. Roll up tortillas. Secure with toothpicks.

To keep sliced bananas from turning brown, just dip into lemon or orange juice before assembling wraps.

Not a chocolate chip fan? Use 1/4 cup chopped walnuts instead.

Quick Kebobs


Makes 1 serving


1/2 ounce cubed roasted deli turkey

1/2 ounce cubed Cheddar cheese

1/4 cup grapes

6 dried apricots


Thread turkey, cheese, grapes and apricots onto a wooden skewer.

Sticks and Stones


Makes about 7 cups

This crunchy, lunch-box-friendly snack mix is sweetened with fruit juice and brown sugar.


4 tablespoons butter

1/4 cup frozen orange or apple juice concentrate

1/4 cup brown sugar

2 teaspoons cinnamon

3 cups oatmeal cereal squares (we used Quaker Oatmeal Squares)

2 cups pretzel sticks

1 1/2 cups whole almonds

1 cup raisins or dried cranberries


Heat the oven to 300°. Place the butter, juice concentrate, and sugar in a large, microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high for 45 seconds to melt the butter. Stir in the cinnamon.

Spread the oatmeal squares, pretzels, and almonds in a single layer on a baking sheet. Toss the pieces with the melted-butter mixture to coat. Bake the mix, stirring the pieces every 10 minutes, until the mixture is dry to the touch and the nuts are lightly toasted, about 30 minutes.

Remove the pan from the oven, then stir in the dried fruit. Let the mix cool completely before storing it in an airtight container.

Apple Yogurt Dip


Makes 1 serving


1/2 cup plain yogurt

1/4 tsp. Cinnamon

1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

1 medium apple


Combine the yogurt, cinnamon and vanilla extract in a small bowl. Core and slice apple to dip into mixture.

August 11, 2009
Hi Ho Hi Ho, it's off to school they go!

It's time to start packing lunches again. On Thursday, we will offer up some great tips and ideas for keeping the kids happy and healthy as they return to reading and writing. But today Shop Cheap is going to focus on those items that you'll need to pack those lunches.

Safeway has the solution in a word: Coupons. Not all of their offerings qualify as lunch-bag worthy but they do have Gushers for $1 a box and Frito Lay variety pack chips for $5.49. And breakfast comes before lunch, so you'll want to take advantage of the General Mills coupon that includes Nature Valley granola bars, Cheerios and Trix. Milk prices remain stabilized at 2 gallons for $4.28; Ritz Crackers are BOGO and a pack of English muffins is $1.49. Lucerne yogurt is buy 3, get 3 free; and Hunts Snack Pudding is $1 for a four-pack.

Johnsonville smoked sausage and Hebrew National franks are both 2/$6; Jennie-O ground turkey is BOGO; and Bar-S extra lean premium ham is $3.99 for two pounds. In seafood, Tilapia (yes, Mom, Tilapia again) is $4.99lb. Season, cook and serve with warm tortillas, tomato, creamy salsa and lettuce.

Got to hit the bakery this week because I'm thinking about that chocolate Angel food cake. At $2.50 each, it's going to be cart-worthy. Also in the bakery, artisan French breads for $1.79 and 6 fresh-baked croissants for $1.99.

Barilla pasta is 99-cents a box and Ragu sauce is 2/$4 (see french bread listing above) for dinner under $10. Safeway squeeze ketchup is BOGO.

Other lunch treats include O Organics boxed raisins 2/$4; Eating Right kids' chewy bars $1.79 a box; and Yoplait Go-Gurt $2.49 for an 8-pack.

In produce, a 2.5lb container of blueberries is $4.99; tomatoes are 77-cents a pound and complete salad kits are BOGO. Cherries are still $2.99lb; Eating Right baby peeled carrots are BOGO and green bell peppers are $1.49lb.

The Friday Only $5 special is Signature Cafe BBQ pork loin. In the deli Primo Taglio pepper jack is $4.99lb.

What did we do before boneless, skinless chicken breasts? The Raley's brand is $1.97lb this week. Fresh cooked salad shrimpmeat is $2.99lb and fresh steelhead trout fillets are $5.99lb.

Back to packing the lunch bag, Cheez-It, Keebler Wheatables or Kellogg's crackers are $1.49 each when you buy 4; Kellogg's fruit snacks are also $1.49 when you buy 4 and Kraft American singles are $2.50 a package. Sunnyside Farms Yogurt is 10/$5; Frito-Lay variety pack chips are $5.49 for 20 packs. EarthGrains 100% Natural bread is $2.50 a loaf; Oscar Mayer deli shaved lunchmeat is 2/$7; Kraft sliced natural cheese is 2/$6 and Raley's string cheese is 2 packs/$6.

The best buy in produce and one that will sweeten lunches is peaches and nectarines for 77-cents a pound. Iceberg lettuce is 57-cents a head and Australian navel oranges are $ Heirloom tomatoes are $2.99lb; cherries are $1.99lb and whole seedless watermelon is 27-cents a pound.

If you're in a hurry, fresh chicken strips are $4.99lb; Marie Calendar's frozen dinners are $2.29 each; Michelina's entrees are 99-cents each and a case of Aquafina water is $3.79.

And lastly, because you can have cereal for any meal, Kellogg's varieties are $1.49 a box when you buy four.

Save Mart makes packing a lunch a little easier with bananas and peaches for 49-cents a pound; Bohemian hearth breads for $1.89 a loaf and Sunny Select drinking water for $2.50 a case. John Morrell "off the bone" lunchmeat is 2/$6; Sunnyside Farms yogurt is 48-cents a cup;  Hunt's Snack pudding is 99-cents a pack; Nabisco classics cookies are $1.49 a package and seedless grapes are $1.39lb.

Other stuff worth note: Master cut untrimmed tri-tip roast is $2.47lb in the max pak; Foster Farms ground turker breast is BOGO; and boneless, skinless chickens breasts are $2.49 in the butcher's block. Gallo salame is $4.99 a package and Kraft natural cheese is 2/$5.

In the bakery/deli, you will find fresh strawberry Boston Cake for $6.99 - but sale priced at $5.99 on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Chicken tenders are $3.99lb and a full slab of St. Louis ribs is $9.99.

In produce, check out the berries at 2/$4; small seedless watermelon for $2.99; large bell pepper or cucumber at 2/$1; Iceberg lettuce for 33-cents a head and fresh broccoli for 99-cents a pound.

Be sure to come back on Thursday for back-to-school lunch tips and recipes from the Shop Cheap kitchen.


August 6, 2009
Check out recipes from the Shop Cheap kitchen

Shop Cheap sent recipe researcher Sheila Kern into the kitchen and she came out with slaw, roasted chicken with grapes, slopppy Joes and fish tacos. All have ingredients that are on sale this week. Enjoy!


Cool Zucchini Slaw


Makes 6 servings


1 1/2 pounds zucchini (3 medium), grated

1 medium sweet onion, such as Vidalia or Walla Walla, very thinly sliced

1 1/2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt

1 small red bell pepper, diced

1/4 cup cider vinegar

3 tablespoons frozen apple juice concentrate

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

Salt & freshly ground pepper to taste


Place zucchini and onion in a colander set over a bowl. Add salt and toss to coat. Let drain at room temperature for 30 minutes. Rinse vegetables and squeeze to remove as much moisture as possible.

Transfer vegetables to a medium bowl. Add bell pepper, vinegar, apple juice concentrate and basil; toss well. Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

Broccoli Grape Salad


Serves 10


3 lbs fresh broccoli

1 red onion, chopped

1 lb bacon, cooked and chopped

1/4 cup sunflower seeds

1/2 cup raisins

1/2 lb green grape, sliced in half

1/2 lb red grapes, sliced in half

Dressing mix

1 cup mayonnaise

1/2 cup sugar

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar


Mix together broccoli, red onion, green and red grapes and raisins and set aside.

Mix together in a separate bowl mayonnaise, sugar and apple cider vinegar.

Add bacon and sunflower seeds just before serving.

Than add the dressing mix and stir to coat salad well.

Slow Cooker Sloppy Joes


Servings: 8


1-1/2 pounds ground beef

1 cup chopped celery

1/2 cup chopped onion

1 bottle (12 ounces) chili sauce

2 tablespoons brown sugar

2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

8 hamburger buns, split


In a large skillet, cook the beef, celery and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Transfer to a 3-qt. slow cooker.

Stir in the chili sauce, brown sugar, pickle relish, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Cover and cook on low for 3-4 hours or until flavors are combined. Spoon 1/2 cup beef mixture onto each bun.

Tilapia Fish Tacos


Makes 8 tacos


5 tilapia fillets

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 lime, juice of

1 tablespoon cumin

2 tablespoons southwest seasoning


8 corn tortillas or flour tortillas (small size)

cooking spray

Toppings (optional)

sour cream
minced onion
shredded cheese
fresh salsa
lime slice


In a nonstick pan, heat over medium high heat the oil and then add the tilapia.

Season with half the lime juice, salt, cumin and southwest seasoning.

Once that side is cooked, flip and season, cooking till golden.

Heat a small pan over medium heat and then spray with cooking spray. Add tortilla, cooking and heating both sides.

Fill tortilla with a portion of fish and then top with desired toppings.

August 4, 2009
First scan the ads, then Shop Cheap

NEWS FLASH: Preliminary results from a study commissioned by the Newspaper Association of America says six in 10 consumers still rely more on newspaper ads when they are planning shopping and making purchase decisions. Shop Cheap says, got that right!

Question: In these tough economic times, how else are we going to compare prices on a weekly basis? Answer: First scan the ads, then Shop Cheap. This week is a great example: Green seedless grapes are 69-cents a pound at Save Mart but green, red or black seedless are 87-cents a pound at Raley's. Rancher's Reserve New York strip steak is $3.77 a pound at Safeway while whole New York strip steak is $3.97 at Raley's. Safeway has sweet corn on the cob 6/$1; at Raley's, it's 5/$2. Shop and compare. It's part of life.

Let's start with Save Mart this week. They still are promoting the Kellogg's deal (it ends Aug. 11) where you purchase 10 products for $20, mail in the proof of purchase, and get a $10 check in  the mail. Save Mart is definitely the place to go for produce this week, too. In addition to the grapes, they have mangoes 3/99-cents; jumbo cantaloupe at 88-cents each; BOGO strawberries and blueberries; tomatoes on the vine for $1.29lb and Bartlett pears for 99-cents a pound. In the veggie aisle, celery is 49 cents; Italian or yellow squash is 99-cents a pound; Fresh Express bagged salads are BOGO and avocado is 4/$5.

Oroweat bread is $1.99 a loaf; lean ground beef in the max pak is $1.49lb; max pak Foster Farms chicken breasts are 99-cents a pound; large eggs are 99-cents a dozen and cooked shrimp meat is $3.99lb.

Sunny Select drinking water is $2.99 a case; San Luis sliced sourdough is $2.79 a loaf and Sunny Select pastas are 99-cents a package. In the bakery, chocolate chip cookies are $2.99 a box; and for $5.99 you can get a cute watermelon cake or cupcakes. In the deli, Foster Farms sliced turkey is $3.99lb and picnic salads are $1.99lb.

And be sure to check out the recipe on the back page for Vegetable Pasta Salad.

Moving on over to Raley's, red or black seedless grapes for 87-cents a pound is definitely a sweet deal. Also in produce, tomatoes on the vine at $1.27lb; zucchini or yellow squash for 99-cents a pound; Full Circle Romaine hearts 2/$5 and Bartlett pears for 99-cents a pound.

Raley's brand R Everyday water is $3.33 a case; Pepsi 2-liters are 99-cents each; 7-UP 2-liters are 88 cents when you buy four; Simply lemonade and Minute Maid pomegranate tea is $1.99 a jug.

Tilapia, a tasty white fish that's good in fish tacos, is $4.99lb; fresh ground sirloin patties are $3.99lb and whole boneless pork loin is $1.77lb. Deals on frozen items include Smart Ones meals for $1.99; Stouffer's family-size lasagne or chicken enchiladas for $9.99; Sunnyside Farms ice cream is $2.69 and Skinny Cow ice cream treats for $3.99.

If you're out of dish soap, Dawn is $1.99 in the large size; a big jug of Tide is $9.99 and mega packs of Charmin or Bounty is $6.99.

Safeway has a full page of coupons that you can either clip or load onto your club card. This is in addition to the pullout that was in the Sunday paper. The coupon highlights are: 18 large eggs for $1.49; Lucerne butter for $1.49 and Breyers ice cream for $1.99. Barilla pasta is 69-cents a box; O Organics Spring Mix or Baby Spinach is $2.99 and a 5lb. box of Clementine mandarins is $3.99. Most items are limited to one per visit.

The produce buys are hard to beat with ears of corn 6/$1; large cantaloupe 77-cents each; jumbo peaches 69-cents a pound and Wall Walla onions for 88-cents a pound. Organic heirloom tomatoes are $2.99lb and cherries are $2.99lb.

The 72-hour sale  includes Gatorade Michael Jordan (this is new, right?) for 79-cents; Florida's Natural or Safeway OJ for $2 and Pasta or Rice-a-Roni for 88 cents.

Here's a crazy deal: Buy TWO Pepsi 12-packs and get THREE more free, plus a free bag of Tostitos. There's an Oscar Mayer promotion where you buy 5 items and get $5 off instantly. The items include Deli Shaved lunchmeat; bacon; Lunchables and beef franks. You can take that lunchmeat and make a sandwich on Oroweat or Francisco breads for $1.99 a loaf. That's half price!

Ball Park franks are BOGO; Safeway bratwurst or Italian sausage is $2.99. The Friday only $5 special is the 8-piece Chef's Recipe chicken. .

An added attraction this week is an ad from Smart & Final. Haven't seen one of these in a long time. It might be worth a trip for the Foster Farms whole chicken at 79-cents a pound; a dozen eggs for 99 cents; 5-quart ice cream tub for $4.99; a 12 pack of Cup Noodles for $2.99; and a 48-count box of Nutri-Grain bars for $10.99.

Come back on Thursday for some tasty recipes.


About Shop Cheap

Pam Dinsmore is The Bee's Community Affairs Director. When she's not working, she's shopping. The goal of this blog is to help you save time and money at the grocery store. She's pretty good at it but she can't do it alone. That's where you come in, sharing your tips and secret methods for saving money. You can either respond to the blog or email her at

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