Shop Cheap

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

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.


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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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