Shop Cheap

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

January 28, 2010
Recipes match what's on sale

Fresh from the Shop Cheap Kitchen, researcher Sheila Kern has recipes that match what's on sale this week. If you like the pasta dishes, Raley's has Barilla pasta for 89-cents and boneless skinless chicken breasts for $1,77lb. Safeway has lean ground beef for $3.49lb; Ragu sauce for $1.25 a jar and Golden Grain pasta for 75-cents. Other items mentioned in the recipes include: blueberries and grapes at Save Mart; grapefruit and grapes at Safeway.

Enjoy! And come back next week for super Super Bowl recipes.

Three-Cheese Chicken Penne Pasta Bake


Makes 4 servings


1-1/2 cups multi-grain penne pasta, uncooked

1 pkg. (9 oz.) fresh spinach leaves

1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces

1 tsp. dried basil leaves

1 jar (14-1/2 oz.) spaghetti sauce

1 can (14-1/2 oz.) diced tomatoes, drained

2 oz. (1/4 of 8-oz. pkg.) PHILADELPHIA Neufchatel Cheese, cubed

1 cup KRAFT 2% Milk Shredded Mozzarella Cheese, divided

2 Tbsp. KRAFT Grated Parmesan Cheese


Heat oven to 375ºF.

Cook pasta as directed on package, adding spinach to the boiling water the last minute.

Cook and stir chicken and basil in large nonstick skillet sprayed with cooking spray on medium-high heat 3 min. Stir in spaghetti sauce and tomatoes; bring to boil. Simmer on low heat 3 min. or until chicken is done. Stir in Neufchatel.

Drain pasta mixture; return to pan. Stir in chicken mixture and 1/2 cup mozzarella. Spoon into 2-qt. casserole or 8-inch square baking dish.

Bake 20 min.; top with remaining cheeses. Bake 3 min. or until mozzarella is melted.

Spaghetti and Meatballs


Recipe courtesy Rachael Ray

Show: 30 Minute Meals Episode: Instant Babysitter

Yield: 4 servings


1 pound spaghetti

Salt, for pasta water


1 1/4 pounds ground sirloin

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce, eyeball it

1 egg, beaten

1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs, a couple of handfuls

1/4 cup grated Parmesan, Parmigiano-Reggiano or Romano cheese

2 cloves garlic, chopped

Salt and pepper


2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

4 cloves garlic, crushed or chopped

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 cup beef stock, available on soup aisle in market in small paper boxes

1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes

A handful chopped flat-leaf parsley

10 leaves fresh basil leaves, torn or thinly sliced

Grated cheese, such as Parmigiano-Reggiano or Romano, for passing at table

Crusty bread or garlic bread, for passing at the table


Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Place a large pot of water on to boil for spaghetti. When it boils, add salt and pasta and cook to al dente.

Mix beef and Worcestershire, egg, bread crumbs, cheese, garlic, salt and pepper. Roll meat into 1 1/2 inch medium-sized meatballs and place on nonstick cookie sheet or a cookie sheet greased with extra-virgin olive oil. Bake balls 10 to 12 minutes, until no longer pink.

Heat a deep skillet or medium pot over moderate heat. Add oil, crushed pepper, garlic and finely chopped onion. Saute 5 to 7 minutes, until onion bits are soft. Add beef stock, crushed tomatoes, and herbs. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes.

Toss hot, drained pasta with a few ladles of the sauce and grated cheese. Turn meatballs in remaining sauce. Place pasta on dinner plates and top with meatballs and sauce and extra grated cheese.

Grapefruit Chicken Satay Salad

From EatingWell: January/February 2007

4 servings, about 2 cups each


2 large pink or ruby-red grapefruits

1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/4-inch-thick strips

1 teaspoon dry mustard

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup smooth natural peanut butter

2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce

1 teaspoon sugar

1/4 teaspoon hot sauce, or to taste

8 cups roughly chopped romaine lettuce, (about 2 hearts)

1 cup sliced radishes, (about 8 radishes)


With a sharp knife, remove the peel and white pith from grapefruits and discard.

Cut the grapefruit segments from the surrounding membranes, letting them drop into a small bowl. Working over a large bowl, squeeze the remaining membranes to extract the juice. Set the segments and juice aside separately.

Position rack in upper third of oven; preheat broiler. Line a broiler pan or baking sheet with foil.

Toss chicken, dry mustard, garlic powder, cinnamon, coriander, ginger, pepper and salt in a large bowl until the chicken is well coated. Place on the prepared pan in a single layer.

Broil the chicken until cooked through, about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk peanut butter, soy sauce, sugar and hot sauce into the reserved grapefruit juice until smooth. Add the cooked chicken and lettuce; toss to combine. Serve the salad topped with radishes and the reserved grapefruit segments.

Fluffy Green Grape Salad Recipe

From' target

12-16 servings


2 cans (8 ounces each) crushed pineapple, undrained

1 package (3.4 ounces) instant pistachio pudding mix

1 carton (12 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed

2 cups halved green grapes


In a large bowl, combine the pineapple and pudding mix; mix well. Cover and refrigerate for 10 minutes. Fold in the whipped topping and grapes. Refrigerate until serving.

Oatmeal Buttermilk Blueberry Pancakes


Yield: one dozen pancakes


1/2 cup rolled oats

1/2 cup low-fat milk

1 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 tablespoon sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

1 1/2 cups buttermilk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 tablespoons canola oil

1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries


1. Combine the milk and rolled oats in a bowl, and set aside.

2. Sift together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and salt.

3. In another bowl, whisk the eggs, then add the buttermilk and whisk together. Then whisk in the vanilla extract and the oil.

4. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and quickly whisk together. Do not overbeat; a few lumps are okay. Fold in the oats and milk. Let sit for one hour, or refrigerate overnight.

5. If necessary, spray the hot griddle with pan spray. Drop by 3 to 4 tablespoons onto the hot griddle. Place six or seven blueberries on each pancake. Cook until bubbles begin to break through, two to three minutes. Turn and cook for about 30 seconds to a minute on the other side, or until nicely browned. Remove from the heat, and continue until all of the batter is used up.

6. Serve hot with a small amount of butter and maple syrup.

Advance preparation: You can keep these, well wrapped, in the refrigerator for a few days, or freeze for up to a few months.

January 26, 2010
These shopping deals take the (chocolate) cake

First the important news: Today is Chocolate Cake Day. Here are your quick-fix options: A single layer cake at Safeway - $4.99; German chocolate at Save Mart for $6.99 or BOGO Dessert for Two, which always includes a generous slice of chocolate cake, at Raley's.

Now, for the rest of the story. Raley's has a good coupon thing going this week, including Barilla pasta for 89-cents; Nob Hill gourmet soups for $3.99; BOGO coffee cake and Healthy Balance juice for $1.99. The best coupon of all, good this weekend only - buy one Fresh Express salad blend or kit get 2 free - must be downloaded from other deals we like at Raley's boneless, skinless chicken breasts for $1.77lb; blueberries in the 12oz. container for $3.97; navel oranges for 38-cents a pound; a case of Crystal Geyser spring water for $3.33 and Post cereals - $1.50 a box when you buy 4. Nature's Pride bread is $1.99 a loaf.

In produce, Iceberg lettuce is $1 a head; mini Roma tomatoes are $1.99 each in a 10-oz. package and a bag of apples if $2.47.

If you are planning a Super Bowl gathering - it's just a week from Sunday - you might want to stock up on the Lay's Kettle chips $1.89 a bag; 12 pack of Coke and 2-liter Cokes - buy 2; get 2 free; and Oreos - buy 2 get 2 free.

Save Mart has an "Eat Healthier" deal that gives you $5, $3 and $1 off your next shopping trip when you spend $15 ($5 off); $10 ($3 off) or $5 ($1 off) on items like Hunt's pasta sauce ($1 a can); Healthy Choice dinners ($2.59); Healthy Choice Fresh Mixers (2/$6) and Orville Redenbacher's microwave popcorn (2/$5).

Other stuff we like: BOGO berries from Driscoll's; green seedless grapes 97-cents a pound and beef backribs in the max pak 88-cents a pound. Sunnyside yogurt is 50-cents a carton; Minute Maid OJ is $2.50 and 7-UP, A&W or Sunkist 2-liters are 99 cents. Buy 2 jars of World Classics pasta sauce and get a free pound of spaghetti; Mission Tortilla chips are $2.50 a bag and Jolly Time microwave popcorn is only 99-cents but you don't get the incentive.

It might be a bit too early to start thinking about Super Bowl guac - but medium avocados are $1 each; Roma tomatoes are 97-cents a pound and a 5-lb. bag of yellow onions is $2.49. 

In the deli, a pound of Virginia or honey ham is $5.99; 8-piece fried chicken is $5.99; chicken Caesar salad is $4.99lb and sandwich or dinner rolls are 6/$1.79.

Safeway continues to have the weekend thing going. This week, it's Gatorade for 88-cents; green seedless grapes for 98-cents a pound; Arm & Hammer laundry detergent for $2.99 and Doritos for 99-cents a bag.

Other deals we like: BOGO O Organics baby salad blends; Texas ruby red grapefruit 3/99-cents; 10lb bag of Russet potatoes 99-cents; Post cereals $2 a box and Tropicana OJ 2/$5. Two coupons inside the ad are worth clipping: Lucerne cheese slices for 99-cents and ice cream cups for 49-cents.

Fresh lean ground beef is $3.49lb; Ragu sauce is $1.25 a jar; Golden Grain pasta is 75-cents a box and artisan Focaccia bread is $1.79. For your Super Bowl advance planning, Margaritaville chicken wings are BOGO; a 3lb. pack of Bar-S smoked sausage links is $4.99 and 16-oz Planters peanuts is 2/$5.

Lucerne large eggs - 18 count - are BOGO; Jimmy Dean cooked breakfast sausages are 2/$5 and Eating Right Kids yogurt tubes are $1.99. In produce, pears, oranges, mandarins and tangelos are 99-cents a pound; bulk potatoes are 79-cents a pound and if you want to splurge, organic heirloom tomatoes are $3.99lb.

And lastly, selected Progresso soups, Del Monte fruit and Bumble Bee tuna are all $1 a can; McCormick taco seasoning mixes are 67-cents each; Arrowhead drinking water is $3.99 a case and a 6-pack of bottled Coke is $2.50. The Friday $5 special is whole roasted chicken; Signature Cafe pizzas are $4.99 each and Safeway is now offering a BBQ tri-tip sandwich for $3.99 with coupon.

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

January 20, 2010
Check out these rainy day recipes

If the weather's got you down, we have recipes that are designed to cheer you up. The recipes - direct from the Shop Cheap Kitchen and researcher Sheila Kern - use ingredients that are on sale. For example: pork tenderloin and broccoli crowns at Raley's; shrimp and spaghetti at Safeway; oatmeal, yogurt and Brussels sprouts at Save Mart. Enjoy!


Baked Pork Tenderloin Recipe


Yield: 4 servings


1 1/4 pound pork tenderloin

2 tablespoons brown sugar

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger


Heat oven to 450F. Place pork on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Combine remaining ingredients; spread half over the pork. Bake, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Spread with remaining mixture. Bake 15-20 minutes, or until meat thermometer reads 160F.

Grilled Jumbo Shrimp with Lemon and Oregano


Gourmet | June 2006

Yield: Makes 6 servings


3 lb jumbo shrimp in shell (7 or 8 per pound)

4 large garlic cloves

3/4 teaspoon salt

5 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

3/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup finely chopped fresh oregano (from 1 bunch)

3 lemons, each cut into 6 wedges


Snip through shells of shrimp along middle of back using kitchen shears, exposing vein and leaving tail and adjoining segment of shell intact. Devein shrimp, leaving shells in place.

Mince and mash garlic to a paste with salt using a large heavy knife or a mortar and pestle. Transfer to a blender along with lemon juice and pepper and blend until smooth. With motor running, add oil in a slow stream, blending until emulsified. Transfer dressing to a bowl and stir in chopped oregano.

Prepare grill for cooking over direct heat with medium-hot charcoal (moderate heat for gas).

Toss shrimp with 1/4 cup dressing in a large bowl and marinate no more than 15 minutes. (Texture of shrimp will change if marinated too long.)

Lightly brush lemon wedges with some of remaining dressing and grill, turning over once, until grill marks appear, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a large platter.

Grill shrimp on lightly oiled grill rack (covered only if using a gas grill), turning over once, until just cooked through, 7 to 8 minutes total. Transfer to platter with lemons as grilled. Serve with remaining dressing.

Cooks' note: If you aren't able to grill outdoors, preheat a lightly oiled well-seasoned large (2-burner) cast-iron grill pan over moderate heat until hot but not smoking, then cook lemon wedges and shrimp (in batches if necessary) in same manner as above.

Spaghetti and Meatballs


Yield: 4 servings


1 pound spaghetti

Salt, for pasta water


1 1/4 pounds ground sirloin

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce, eyeball it

1 egg, beaten

1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs, a couple of handfuls

1/4 cup grated Parmesan, Parmigiano-Reggiano or Romano cheese

2 cloves garlic, chopped

Salt and pepper


2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

4 cloves garlic, crushed or chopped

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 cup beef stock, available on soup aisle in market in small paper boxes

1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes

A handful chopped flat-leaf parsley

10 leaves fresh basil leaves, torn or thinly sliced

Grated cheese, such as Parmigiano-Reggiano or Romano, for passing at table

Crusty bread or garlic bread, for passing at the table


Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Place a large pot of water on to boil for spaghetti. When it boils, add salt and pasta and cook to al dente.

Mix beef and Worcestershire, egg, bread crumbs, cheese, garlic, salt and pepper. Roll meat into 1 1/2 inch medium-sized meatballs and place on nonstick cookie sheet or a cookie sheet greased with extra-virgin olive oil. Bake balls 10 to 12 minutes, until no longer pink.

Heat a deep skillet or medium pot over moderate heat. Add oil, crushed pepper, garlic and finely chopped onion. Saute 5 to 7 minutes, until onion bits are soft. Add beef stock, crushed tomatoes, and herbs. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes.

Toss hot, drained pasta with a few ladles of the sauce and grated cheese. Turn meatballs in remaining sauce. Place pasta on dinner plates and top with meatballs and sauce and extra grated cheese.

Fruitful Morning Muesli


Yield: 4 servings


2 cups QUAKER Oats (quick or old fashioned, uncooked)

2 cups apple juice or apricot nectar

1-1/2 cups sliced fresh fruit (any combination of banana, peaches, nectarines or strawberries)

One 8-ounce carton vanilla low-fat yogurt

2 tablespoons chopped nuts (optional)


Combine all ingredients except nuts; mix well.

Cover; refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.

Serve cold; sprinkle with nuts, if desired. Refrigerate in airtight container up to 4 days.

Cook's Notes

For extra flavor, toast nuts by spreading them evenly in small shallow baking pan. Bake at 350°F for 5 to 8 minutes or until light golden brown, stirring occasionally. Or, spread nuts on microwaveable plate. Microwave on HIGH 1 minute; stir. Continue microwaving, checking every 30 seconds, until nuts are crunchy.

Maple and Dijon Glazed Brussels Sprouts


Serves 8


2 tablespoons butter

2 lbs Brussels sprouts, trimmed

1/2 cup chicken broth

1/4 cup Dijon mustard

1/4 cup maple syrup

1/4 teaspoon pepper


Melt butter in large skillet on medium-high heat.

Add sprouts and cook and stir for 5 minutes, or until lightly browned.

Stir in remaining ingredients and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat and cover. Cook 8 minutes, or until sprouts are tender and sauce has reduced to a thick glaze; removing lid after 5 minutes.

Broccoli-Cheese Chowder


Winter 2004, The EatingWell Diabetes Cookbook (2005)

Yield: 6 servings (1 cup each)


1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

1 large carrot, diced

2 stalks celery, diced

1 large potato, peeled and diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 14-ounce cans vegetable broth, or reduced-sodium chicken broth

8 ounces broccoli crowns, cut into 1-inch pieces, stems and florets separated

1 cup shredded reduced-fat Cheddar cheese

1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream

1/8 teaspoon salt


Heat oil in a Dutch oven or large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrot and celery; cook, stirring often, until the onion and celery soften, 5 to 6 minutes. Add potato and garlic; cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Stir in flour, dry mustard and cayenne; cook, stirring often, for 2 minutes.

Add broth and broccoli stems; bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to medium. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Stir in florets; simmer, covered, until the broccoli is tender, about 10 minutes more. Transfer 2 cups of the chowder to a bowl and mash; return to the pan.

Stir in Cheddar and sour cream; cook over medium heat, stirring, until the cheese is melted and the chowder is heated through, about 2 minutes. Season with salt.

Tips & Notes

Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through Step 2. Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 2 months.

January 19, 2010
This week, it's shop 'til you drip

The headline for this week: Don't let it rain on your shopping parade. There's lots of good sales out there - you just have to be willing to get a little wet in the process...and bring a towel to dry off the cart!

Safeway is going the way of the 99-cent store this week with dozens of less than $1 deals. Fresh Express bagged salads, Barilla pasta, S&W and Rosarita beans; Filone breads in the bakery, frozen mixed veggies; and single cake slices. If you're going by the pound, Foster Farms split chicken breasts and pork shoulder blade roast are 99-cents a pound. In produce, red bell peppers, apples, pears and oranges are 99-cents a pound. English cucumbers and baby peeled carrots in a 1lb. bag are 99-cents each.

The weekend draw at Safeway includes Breyers ice cream and Klondike bars for $1.99; A&W and 7-UP for 77-cents; frozen pizzas for $2.99, jumbo raw shrimp (in a 2lb. bag) $4.99lb and Goldfish crackers for 88-cents a package.

Other deals worth mentioning: Mix&Match buy 4, save $4. Items include Life Cereal,Cap'n Crunch, Cheerios, Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Quaker instant oatmeal. BOGOS include Lay's chips; Foster Farms ground turkey breast; Progresso soups; and Nature Made vitamins.

It's a good week for crab lovers: fresh, whole Dungeness is $3.99lb.

The $5 Friday Only special is Signature Cafe 8-piece fried or all-natural roasted chicken. Signature Cafe soups are still $3.99 each and a 6-pack of cinnamon rolls in the bakery is $1.99.

And even though it's cold and rainy outside, grab yourself some Skinny Cow ice cream treats at only $3.99.

Raley's has us clipping (or downloading) coupons again this week. You can download coupons at Of particular interest is the BOGO bread in the bakery Friday, Saturday and Sunday. If you don't want the whole loaf, there's also a coupon for BOGO sandwich rolls. Other coupons worth mentioning include Fritos for 99-cents; 2-Liter Pepsis for 89-cents; Aquafina water - $3.33 a case; 12-pack of 7-UP for $2.99; Fresh Express salads for 89 cents and BOGO sliced cheese.

Boneless pork tenderloin is $2.97lb.; and Black Angus roast is $1.97lb. The best deals in produce are avocado for 77-cents each and broccoli crowns for 97-cents a pound.

If you like fresh salsa, you've got to try the Santa Barbara mango-peach 2/$4. Also in the refrigerated aisle, Stella shredded or wedge parmesan is 2/$5.  And those Michelina's budget gourmet meals are 89-cents each.

Over at Save Mart, they are celebrating 58 years in the grocery business. And their slogan: "We aren't getting older...We're getting better" is one for the ages. In celebration, they are throwing some specials our way like boneless beef chuck roast for $1.78lb; lean ground beef in the Max Pak for $1.58lb and BOGO Driscoll's strawberries. Also, their Bohemian Hearth sliced bread is still $1.99 a loaf.

The Save Mart Mix&Match sale includes most Quaker cereal, oatmeal and granola bars. If you buy 5, it works out to $1.39 a box.

In the Butcher's Block, boneless, skinless chicken breasts or tenders are $1.99lb; fresh Dover sole fillets are $2.99lb and country-style pork ribs are $1.58lb.

Yoplait yogurt is 50-cents a container; Sunnyside Farms large eggs are $2.59 in the 18-pack. Pepsi, Dr. Pepper and Dew are $1 each in the 2-liter bottle.

Over in produce, Fresh Express salads in the bag are 97-cents each; apples are 97-cents a pound; Roma tomatoes and Brussels sprouts are also 97-cents a pound. Baby peeled carrots are $1 a bag; Risset baking potatoes are 3lbs for 99-cents and seedless Clementines are $3.97 bor a 5lb. box.

Come back Thursday for some rainy day recipes.


January 14, 2010
Recipes match what's on sale

 The assignment: Head into the Shop Cheap Kitchen and find recipes that match what's on sale this week. The outcome: Researcher Sheila Kern has provided recipes for Gallo Salame (on sale at Raley's); egg casserole (get the eggs at Safeway); pork ribs (Save Mart); salmon (Safeway) and pears (Raley's). Enjoy!

 Flatbread Pizza featuring Gallo Salame



6 oz. Gallo Salame, thin sliced

12 oz. Pizza Dough, frozen or premade pizza crust

4 Tbsp. All Purpose Flour

5 Tbsp. Olive Oil

1 cup Italian Blend Cheese, shredded

1/4 cup Sun Dried Tomato, julienne

2 cups Broccoli Rabe florets or small broccoli florets

1/4 cup Olives, chopped

Kosher Salt or Table Salt, to taste

Black Pepper, to taste


1.If using frozen dough, let thaw for an hour. Follow steps 2-5. If using prepared crust, begin at step 5.

2.Start by rolling the dough into a 1/4 inch thick round shape.

3.Use the flour to keep the dough from sticking to the work space.

4.Sprinkle the flour onto the work space if the dough starts to stick.

5.When the dough is rolled out, brush the olive oil onto the dough evenly.

6.Next, place the Italian cheese across the pizza dough.

7.Now place the sliced Gallo Salame, sun dried tomato, broccoli florets, olives, salt and pepper evenly onto the pizza as well.

Sausage and Egg Casserole with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Mozzarella


Bon Appetit | April 2002


1 pound Italian sweet sausage, casings removed

1/2 cup chopped shallots

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 cup chopped drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes

4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

5 large eggs

3 large egg yolks

1 cup half and half

1 cup whipping cream

2 cups grated mozzarella cheese

1/2 teaspoon salt


Preheat oven to 375°F. Butter 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish. Sauté sausage in medium nonstick skillet over medium heat until brown and cooked through, breaking up with back of fork into small pieces, about 10 minutes. Add shallots and garlic and sauté 3 minutes. Add sun-dried tomatoes and 2 tablespoons parsley; stir 1 minute. Spread sausage mixture in prepared dish. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

Whisk eggs, egg yolks, half and half, whipping cream, 1 1/2 cups cheese, and salt in large bowl to blend well. Pour egg mixture over sausage mixture in dish. Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup cheese and 2 tablespoons parsley over. Bake until top of casserole is golden brown and knife inserted into center comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Pork Ribs Adobo


Adapted from "Memories of Philippine Kitchens" by Amy Besa and Romy Dorotan (Stewart, Tabori & Chang)

Yield: 4 servings


1 cup apple cider vinegar, preferably organic and unfiltered

1 tablespoon soy sauce

3 small bay leaves

1 large jalapeno chili, stemmed and roughly chopped

1 side baby-back pork ribs (about 2 pounds), cut into individual ribs

2 teaspoons sea salt

6 garlic cloves, peeled

2 teaspoons black peppercorns

cooked rice


In a bowl, combine vinegar, soy sauce, bay leaves and chili and set aside.

Season ribs with 1 teaspoon salt. Using a mortar and pestle or small food processor, grind remaining teaspoon salt, garlic and peppercorns to a rough paste. Rub paste into ribs and transfer to resealable plastic bag. Pour in vinegar mixture, seal and refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight, turning occasionally.

Transfer ribs and marinade to a pot, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered, 1 hour, until meat is tender. Remove ribs to a baking sheet and simmer sauce until thick.

Meanwhile, preheat broiler. Pour 1/4 cup of thickened sauce over ribs, turn to coat, and broil until nicely browned, about 7 minutes, turning once. Serve with remaining sauce and rice.

Salmon Fillet with Soy Glaze


Yield: 6 servings


1/4 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup pure maple syrup

1 (2-lb) piece center-cut salmon fillet with skin (1 1/2 inches thick)


Preheat oven to 450°F. Line bottom of a broiler pan with foil, then oil rack of pan.

Boil soy sauce and maple syrup in a small saucepan over moderate heat until glaze is reduced to 1/3 cup, about 5 minutes.

Arrange salmon, skin side down, on rack of broiler pan and pat dry. Reserve 1 1/2 tablespoons glaze in a small bowl for brushing after broiling. Brush salmon generously with some of remaining glaze. Let stand 5 minutes, then brush with more glaze.

Roast salmon in middle of oven 10 minutes. Turn on broiler and brush salmon with glaze again, then broil 4 to 5 inches from heat until just cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes.

Transfer salmon with 2 wide metal spatulas to a platter, then brush with reserved glaze using a clean brush.

Poached Pears With Orange Juice


Serve these poached pears "as-is" or with a dollop of whipped cream, or spoon them over ice cream or sponge cake.

Serves 6


4 firm ripe pears

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/3 cup fresh squeezed orange juice

1/4 cup water

1 to 2 teaspoons grated orange zest


Peel pears then cut in halves or quarters and cut out cores. In a saucepan, heat the sugar, orange juice, and water over medium heat. Add the pears and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low, cover, and continue simmering for 15 minutes, or until the pears are tender. Remove the pears and add the orange zest. Simmer the syrup for 5 minutes longer, then combine the pears and syrup and chill thoroughly.

January 12, 2010
It's clip-and-save time at the grocery store

This week we are borrowing lyrics from an iconic Bobby McFerrin song and giving them a grocery store twist: "Don't worry, be clippy!"

That's right, it's a coupon kind of a week at both Raley's and Safeway. And if you're not into the paper and scissors thing, Safeway allows you to load the coupons onto your Club Card. Also, at you can download coupons of your choice.

Here's the skinny on Safeway coupons: FREE side dish with purchase of deli roasted chicken.

Quaker granola bars - 99 cents

Ore-Ida TATER TOTS (got to love the tots!) - $1.99 with coupon

Lipton tea in 12-pack: $3.99

Hamburger or hot dog buns: 99-cents

Safeway boneless skinless chicken breasts (frozen) - $1.69lb.

Signature Cafe deli sandwich - $3.99

And the Raley's coupons: Johnsonville Italian sausage or bratwurst - $2.99

8-pack Gatorade - $3.99

8-piece Fried Chicken - $4.99

Cottonelle or Scott tissue - $4.99

Kleenex facial tissue - 89-cents a box

Now for the other stuff, we start with Save Mart. If you are craving ribs, pork spare ribs are $1.49lb; beef back ribs (in the max pak) are 77-cents a pound and boneless tri tip is $2.99lb, also in the max pak. If you promised to eat more fish in 2010, fresh Pacific snapper fillets are $3.99lb and fresh steelhead fillets are $5.99lb.

Sunnyside Farms sandwich bread is $1.99 a loaf; Yoplait yogurt is 10/$5 and Special K items are 4/$10 plus get a case of Sunny Select drinking water FREE.

In frozen foods, Michelina's meals are $1 each. La Mexicana Salsa is $1.59; Tia Rosa soft taco tortillas are $1.89 and natural sliced cheese is $1.99.Sunny Select ketchup is 99-cents.

In produce, mangoes are 3/99-cents; avocacos are $1 each; Driscoll's berries are 2/$5 and Earthbound Farm organic salads are BOGO. Sunripe grape tomatoes are $1.50 a carton and green onion/radish/cilantro trio is 50-cents each.

With coupons in hand, we head over to Raley's on Saturday because we are going to download the black Angus beef coupon and get $5 off. (Cross Rib Roast is $1.97lb). Check it out at Or you can use the coupon for Black Angus London Broil at $2.99lb; stew meat at $3.69lb or short ribs for $3.99lb.

Gallo salame is $3.99 in the 8-ounce package; Padrinos tortilla chips are 2/$3; Raley's salsa is $1.99 and Tia Rosa tortilla bread is 2/$5.

Buying in bulk? Quaker Instant Oatmeal is $1.90 when you buy 4; Kellogg's items are $1.75 when you buy 4 and Sunshine crackers, Keebler cookies and fruit snacks are $1.49 when you buy 4. Raley's R-Everyday water is $2.88 a case when you buy 2.

In produce, Cameo, Jazz or Braeburn apples are 88-cents a pound; 3lb. bag of Clementines is $3.99; iceberg lettuce is $1 a head; and pears are 99-cents a pound.

Safeway has Rancher's Reserve New York strip steak for $3.77lb; fresh salmon fillets are $5.99lb and Foster Farms whole chickens are 77-cents a pound. In seafood, Mahi Mahi fillets are $4.99lb; tilapia is $3.99lb. Healthy Ones lunchmeat, Tyson chicken strips and Lucerne 18-coung eggs are BOGO.

Oranges, tangelos and onions are 99-cents a pound.

On Saturday and Sunday only, you can get Jennie-O ground turkey for $2.50 a package; large avocados are $1 each; Froot loops and Rice Krispies are $1.50 a box and Safeway Refreshe water is $2.88 a case.

Thankfully, the holiday turkey/ham overdose is history because Primo Taglio pan-roasted turkey or Black Forest ham is the $5 Friday Only special. Signature Cafe pizza is as low as $4.99 and lemon meringue pie is $3.99 in the bakery.

Come back on Thursday for some jazzy recipes.



January 6, 2010
Start the new year with new recipes

To start the New Year, recipe researcher Sheila Kern headed into the Shop Cheap kitchen with variety at the top of her list. The result: great recipes for salads, a crock pot dish and fish tostadas. Enjoy and Happy New Year.


Poppy Seed Dressing for Grapefruit Avocado Salad


Yields: 2 cups dressing


1/4 c honey

1/4 c white vinegar

2 T fresh lemon juice

1 t dry mustard

1 t grated onion

1/2 t salt

1 t paprika, optional

1 C oil, canola or corn

1 T poppy seeds

1/4 C sugar


In a food processor or with a mixer, combine all the ingredients except the oil and the poppy seeds. Pour in the oil and continue mixing until the dressing is thick. Drizzle the dressing over Grapefruit-Avocado Salad or another fruit salad. Refrigerated, the dressing keeps for a couple of weeks. If it separates, process or mix it again before using.

Mediterranean Tuna Antipasto Salad for Two


From EatingWell: July/August 2009, EatingWell

Yields: 2 servings


1/2 15- to 19-ounce can beans, such as chickpeas, black-eyed peas or kidney beans, rinsed, or 1 7-ounce can

1 5- to 6-ounce can water-packed chunk light tuna, drained and flaked (see Note)

1/2 large red bell pepper, finely diced

1/4 cup finely chopped red onion

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, divided

2 teaspoons capers, rinsed

3/4 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary

4 tablespoons lemon juice, divided

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

Freshly ground pepper, to taste

1/8 teaspoon salt

4 cups mixed salad greens


Combine beans, tuna, bell pepper, onion, parsley, capers, rosemary, 2 tablespoons lemon juice and 1 tablespoon oil in a medium bowl. Season with pepper. Combine the remaining 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 tablespoon oil and salt in a large bowl. Add salad greens; toss to coat. Divide the greens between 2 plates. Top each with the tuna salad.

Tips & Notes

Note: Chunk light tuna, which comes from the smaller skipjack or yellowfin, has less mercury than canned white albacore tuna. FDA/EPA advice recommends no more than 6 ounces of albacore a week; up to 12 ounces canned light tuna is considered safe.

Classic Tuna Noodle Casserole



1 can (10 3/4 ounces) Campbell's Condensed Cream of Celery Soup (Regular or 98% Fat Free)

1/2 cup milk

1 cup cooked peas

2 tablespoons chopped pimientos

2 cans (about 6 ounces each) tuna, drained and flaked

2 cups hot cooked medium egg noodles

2 tablespoons dry bread crumbs

1 tablespoon butter, melted


Heat the oven to 400°F. Stir the soup, milk, peas, pimiento, tuna and noodles in a 1 1/2-quart baking dish. Stir the bread crumbs and butter in a small bowl.

Bake for 20 minutes or until the tuna mixture is hot and bubbling. Stir the tuna mixture. Sprinkle with the bread crumb mixture.

Bake for 5 minutes or until the bread crumbs are golden brown.

Serving Suggestion: Serve with your favorite vegetable combination. For dessert serve ice cream.

Substitute Campbell's Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup for the Cream of Celery.

To melt the butter, remove the wrapper and place the butter into a microwavable cup. Cover and microwave on HIGH for 30 seconds.

Super Simple Cranberry Roast (beef or pork) Slow Cooker Recipe


Serves 4


2-3 pounds beef or pork roast or stew chunks

1 tablespoon dried onion flakes, or 1 medium yellow onion, diced

2 tablespoons soy sauce (La Choy and Tamari wheat-free are gluten free)

1 (16-ounce) whole berry cranberry sauce (or 2 cups homemade!)


Use a 4-quart slow cooker. Plop in the meat (frozen is fine), and add the onion and soy sauce. Pour in the entire can of cranberry sauce over the top. Do not add water. Cover and cook on low for 7-9 hours, or on high for 5-6. If you are cooking on high, you may need to "help" the meat break apart by taking it out an hour or so before serving by cutting it into chunks, then returning to the sauce. I like it when the meat is tender and the juice has fully soaked in.

Traditional Yankee Pot Roast


Yield: 10 servings (serving size: 3 ounces beef and about 1/2 cup vegetables)


2 teaspoons olive oil

1 (4-pound) boneless chuck roast, trimmed

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon cracked black pepper

2 cups coarsely chopped onion

2 cups low-salt beef broth

1/4 cup ketchup

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1 cup chopped plum tomato

1 1/4 pounds small red potatoes

1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Chopped fresh parsley (optional)


Preheat oven to 300°.

Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Sprinkle roast with salt and pepper. Add roast to pan, browning on all sides (about 8 minutes). Remove from pan. Add onion to pan; sauté 8 minutes or until browned. Return roast to pan. Combine broth, ketchup, and Worcestershire; pour over roast. Add tomato; bring to a simmer.

Cover and bake at 300° for 2 1/2 hours or until tender. Add potatoes and carrots; cover and bake an additional 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Stir in lemon juice. Garnish with parsley, if desired.

Old-Fashioned Peanut Butter Cookies


Bon Appetit | January 1998

Yield: Makes about 4 dozen


3 cups all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup creamy or chunky peanut butter (do not use old-fashioned style or freshly ground)

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup (packed) golden brown sugar

1 cup sugar

2 large eggs


Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Mix flour, baking powder and salt in medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat butter, peanut butter and vanilla in large bowl until well blended. Beat in both sugars. Scrape down sides of bowl. Stir half of dry ingredients into mixture. Add eggs 1 at a time, stirring well after each addition. Mix in remaining dry ingredients.

For each cookie, roll 1 heaping tablespoonful of dough into 1 3/4-inch-diameter ball. Arrange dough balls 2 1/2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Using back of fork, flatten dough balls and form crosshatch design on tops. Bake cookies until dry on top and golden brown on bottom, about 14 minutes. Cool cookies on baking sheets 5 minutes. Using metal spatula, transfer cookies to racks and cool completely. (Can be prepared up to 3 days ahead. Store in airtight container at room temperature.)

Tilapia Tostadas


Makes 12 tostadas


1 tablespoon canola oil

4 tilapia fillets, about 1 1/3 pounds total

Sea salt and ground pepper to taste

1 (15-ounce) can refried beans, warmed

12 corn tostada shells

1 bunch green onions, white and light green parts, sliced

1 head romaine lettuce, shredded

1 avocado, peeled and sliced

1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped

3 limes, cut into wedges

Sour cream (optional)

Salsa of your choice (optional)


Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Season tilapia with salt and pepper on both sides. Cook the fish, in batches if needed, turning once, until lightly browned and cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes. The fish is ready when it flakes easily with a fork. Transfer to a plate. When cool enough to handle, flake fish into pieces with a fork.

To serve, spread some warm refried beans over the tostada shells. Top with fish, green onions, lettuce, avocado and cilantro. Serve with lime wedges, sour cream and salsa on the side.


January 5, 2010
It's 2010, time to get cart smart

Hello, 2010. That's Twenty Ten. And no matter what is being said about the recession coming to an end, we all still want/need to Shop Cheap, right? Seems like I'm the only one having a hard time getting up the energy to go to the grocery store after the holidays.

But the family needs to eat and the sales don't stop. Only thing, they are trying to get us to change our ways. There are lots of clip-worthy coupons in The Bee ads, but Safeway and Raley's are really wanting us to go online and click away. Example: Safeway wants us to go to and load coupons to the Club Card. At Raley's you'll pay $9.99 for an ice cream cake (regular price, $16.99) but you must go online to get your coupon.

Save Mart, where I purchased two, fresh Dungeness crabs for $8.85 at New Year's, is still Old School. What you see in the ad is what you get! So, let's start there and let's start with salad. Iceberg lettuce is 47-cents a head and Roma tomatoes are 47-cents a pound. Bumble Bee tuna is $1 a can and Bohemian Hearth bread is $1.99 a loaf.

Lean Cuisine one-dish meals are $1.79 and entrees are $1.99. For $1 you can get Del Monte pasta sauce, diced or stewed tomatoes and 2-8oz. cans of tomato sauce. Sunny Select mac&cheese is 50-cents a box; beans are 89-cents a can and veggies are 69-cents a can.

Fresh Foster Farms chickens are 99-cents a pound; boneless, skinless breasts (in the butcher block) are $1.99lb; and Master Catch raw shrimp are $3.99lb.

Sun Chips, baked Lay's and Ruffles are $2.50 a bag; Good Earth tea is $2 a box and Aquafina drinking water is $3.99 a case.

Produce has oranges for 69-cents a pound; red grapefruit for 50-cents each and blueberries 2/$5. Green bell peppers are 3/99 cents; grape tomatoes are $1.50 a carton and Fresh Express salads are $1.50  a bag.

If you want to take the weekend off from cooking, head over to Save Mart for their rotisserie chicken 2/$10 Friday-Sunday. Strudel bars are $1.99 and Skinny Cow ice cream treats are $3.99 a carton.

You'll be hearing a lot about Raley's in 2010 because they are celebrating their 75th Anniversary in Northern California and Nevada. There will be lots of fun contests and free gift cards. More on that when we get the info.

As for the groceries this week, they have some pretty cool coupons: California Pizza Kitchen servings for one at $1.99; Deryer's fruit bars at $2.49; Gatorade for 88-cents and 2-liter Cokes for 89-cents. To clean up after the mess, Clorox wipes are $1.99.

On Saturday and Sunday only, get 50% off Full Circle fish fillets or steaks (when you spend $25 on groceries). Boneless, skinless chicken breasts are $1.97lb; a 3lb. bag of apples is $1.97 and Romaine hearts are BOGO. Rice-a-Roni is 99-cents a box; Dannon yogurt is on sale  at 10/$4 and Luna, Odwalla, Clif, Mojo and Larabars are $1 each.

Good Earth tea is $2.50 a box; Snack Wells, Oreos or South Beach cookies are $2.99 a box; Weight Watchers candies are BOGO.

Raley's brands are on sale big time, everything from soups to American singles to chunk light tuna in water for 69-cents a can.If you like their Nob Hill Trading Co. soups in the deli, it's but 2, get one free. That's $9 for 72 ounces of soup!

In produce, the blood oranges sure look good at $1.29lb; avocados are still $1 each and tasty Meyer lemons are 69-cents each.

Safeway has a roast sale cooking with cross rib at $1.79lb; pot roast at $1.89lb and bottom round at $1.99lb. Fresh Eating Right boneless, skinless chicken breasts, thighs or combo pack are $1.87lb and Saturday and Sunday only fresh ground beef is $1.49lb.

Fresh Express salads are BOGO; Bing cherries are $2.99lb and large bell peppers are $1.49lb.

Quaker Instant Oatmeal is but 2, get 3 free. Campbell's Select Harvest soups; Hormel Natural Choice lunchmeat and Doritos tortilla chips are BOGO.

This weekend only, a 5lb bag of Tilapia filllets is $5.99 and jumbo cooked shrimp are $6.99 a lb (must buy 2lbs.) Coupons worth clippin' include Signature Cafe garden salad for $3.99; Skippy peanut butter and Welch's jelly for $1.49; Pop-tarts 3/$3; Coffee-mate creamer $1.99 and single service ice cream cups for 49-cents.

The $5 Friday Only special is Signature Cafe whole roasted chicken. Grab a chicken, add a soup from the deli at $3.99 and a loaf of French bread for $1.79 and you have dinner for $10.78. (Thanks, jayman29!).

That should be enough to keep them happy this week. Come back Thursday for recipes from the Shop Cheap Kitchen.



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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