Shop Cheap

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

December 15, 2009
The elves will be hungry

We've got to get down to business today because the sales you see in the Wednesday ads aren't likely to change before Christmas. But holiday store hours will.

For example:

Raley's will be open until midnight through Dec. 23. They close at 7 p.m. on Christmas Eve and will remain closed on Christmas Day.

At Safeway and Save Mart, the individual stores will set their own hours. Select stores will be open on Christmas Day - you'll just have to check where you shop.

Now, about those sales! A few highlights: Save Mart has a Master Cut premium turkey (16-24 pounds) for only $9.99. Raley's has fresh pineapple for $1.97 each and Safeway has its hickory smoked whole ham for 97-cents a pound.

Even Walmart is getting into the act with an insert that features "Christmas dinner for a family of 8 for under $30. More on that later.

Here's the rundown, starting with Save Mart: In addition to that Master Cut bird, they have Foster Farms All Natural Turkey for $1.39lb. The Diestel Ranch free range birds are $1.99lb. Cook's smoked ham portions (heat and serve) are 69-cents a pound and standing rib roast is $4.77lb. Fresh Dungeness crab is $3.99lb and Master Catch white shrimp are $3.99lb.

In produce, fresh green beans are 67-cents a pound; extra large avocados are 2/$3 and celery is 79-cents each. Navel oranges are 39-cents a pound; berries are 2/$5 and a bag of Clementines is $3.97.

Pepsi products are 5/$5 for a 2-liter jug (must buy 5); Martinelli's sparkling cider is $2 a bottle and Crystal Geyser sparkling mineral water is $1 a bottle. A case of Aquafina drinking water is $3.99 and a 12-pack of Lipton Iced Tea is $4.99.

Nabisco Crackers are $1.88 a box; Fritos or Cheetos are $1.99 and General Mills cereals are $1.49 a box (when you buy three).

Here's a deal: Buy any four of the following and get a free dozen eggs: Betty Crocker Brownie, cookie or muffin mix; Gold Medal flour or Betty Crocker Frosting.

In the cold case, Daisy sour cream is 2/$3; Sunnyside Farms butter is 2/$4; Pillsbury Grands!, Crescent rolls or Cinnamon rolls are $1.69 and ready to bake cookies are 2/$5.

And if you like to stuff the stockings with Gallo salame chubs, they are 2/$7!

Heading over to Raley's, you can pick up a spiral sliced ham for $1.47lb to go with that fresh pineapple at $1.97 each. Raley's Sutter sirloin roast is $2.97lb; their fresh turkey is $1.29lb and pork loin roast is $2.97lb.

In produce, berries are BOGO; green beans are 97-cents a pound; large fujis are $1.27lb and a 5-pound bag of potatoes is $1.97. Navel oranges are 57-cents a pound; Brussels sprouts are 99-cents a pound; sliced mushrooms are 2/$4 and sweet onions are 79-cents a pound.

R.W. Knudsen sparkling cider is $1.50 a bottle; Martinelli's is $1.99; 2-liter jugs of Pepsi or 7-UP are 99-cents each and Crystal Geyser sparkling minderal water is 99-cents.

If you need quick snacks, Michelina's meals are $1 each; a box of Jose Ole taquitos, quesadillas or mini tacos are $3.99; and Nabisco crackers are $1.79 when you buy 4 boxes.

Raley's bakery items are always yummy. For the holidays, they are offering a Triple Delight Cake for $9.99; and $5 off the Nob Hill Trading Co. Ultimate Cake. Fresh Fruit Tarts are $12.99; cheesecakes are $9.99 and holiday pies are $3.97 each when you buy 4.

There's still time to order your entire holiday meal from Raley's. The offerings include a Nob Hill Trading Co. fire glazed spiral sliced ham for $39.99; Holiday Rack of Lamb dinner for $79.99; Butternut squash ravioli dinner for $59.99 and the traditional turkey dinner for $99.99.

Safeway has a few tricks in the shopping cart, including the "Free item each day" coupon promotion. Only downside to the free stuff is the fine print: Minimum $20 purchase required for coupon. That means to get 12 items for free, you will spend $240. Think I'm going to be a little selective on this one.

But they do have lots of deals worth mentioning. If you're doing beef for the holiday, Rancher's Reserve ribeye roast is $4.88lb; whole tri-tip roast is $2.77lb  and cross rib roast is $2.99lb. Fresh turkey is $1.29lb; spiral sliced ham is $1.67lb and whole pork shoulder blade roast is 87-cents a pound.

In produce, fresh pineapple is $1.99; O Organics baby salad blends are BOGO as are GreenLine green beans. Pears and apples are 99-cents a pound; mangos are $1 each; berries are 2/$6 and jumbo pomegranates are 2/$5.

12-packs of soda are $2.48 each; a case of Safeway Refreshe water is $2.99; Tropicana OJ is $2.49 (when you buy 2); Martinelli's Sparkling Cider is $1.99 a bottle and Ocean Spray cranberry juice cocktail is $1.98.

Froot Loops and Apple Jacks are $1.49 a box (when you buy 4); Kellogg's Corn Flakes are 99 cents (must buy 4); and Dole Pineapple Chunks are $1 a can. The BOGOs are plentiful...Oscar Mayer bacon or Jimmy Dean sausage rolls; Tyson breaded chicken; Johnsonville smokes sausage; Lays potato chips; Ken's salad dressing; Oroweat breads and Thomas' bagels or English muffins; Stove Top stuffing; and Lucerne Whipped Cream (aerosol).

In the bakery, a cheesecake platter is $9.99; New York style cheesecake is $7.99 and the infamous holiday fruitcake is $4.49.

If you're doing something different on Christmas but have a craving for turkey, the $5 Friday special is Oven Roasted Turkey Breast.

Now, for that Walmart offfering. The $30 dinner includes spiral cut half ham; Del Monte green beans and corn (67-cents a can);  dinner rolls (75-cents); Russet potatoes ($2 a bag) and a 10-inch pumpkin pie for $5. Other items worth mentioning include Paula Deen pies for $7.50; frozen shrimp ring with cocktail sauce for $5 and frozen bone-in turkey breast for $1.42 a pound.

Come back on Thursday when we share the best office potluck 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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