Shop Cheap

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

November 16, 2010
Don't be a turkey, read this before you shop

Dear Shoppers,

How about a little advice from Shop Cheap?: Don't stress over Thanksgiving! Everything will be fine. The food will be delicious and everyone will be thankful for being able to spend time together.

Since she is the Queen Bee when it comes to groceries, here are a few tips.

1. The prices you see in your Wednesday ads are in effect through Thanksgiving Day.

2. To make things easier, just shop at one store. The one that you know best.

3. In case of an emergency, the stores will be OPEN on Thanksgiving Day.

4. If you are looking for a different recipe, check Shop Cheap first. With a week to go we will have posted recipes for everything you need for a perfect holiday meal.

5. Relax and enjoy your family.

This week we are giving you the highlights from 4 stores: Raley's, Save Mart, Safetway and the new Henry's Farmer's Market. As you know there are many other choices out there. This isn't the time to change your routine. It's going to be busy. Get in. Get out.

First up, Raley's.(open from 6 a.m to 3 p.m. on Thanksgiving) If you shop here, you definitely have choices. Want everything done for you, order the whole meal for less than $50 for a Butterball bird; less than $100 for the Diestel all-natural turkey. If you want to save $5, order your cook-and-serve meal online. Easier yet, buy two rotisserie turkey breast - already cooked - $8.99 for two because it's a BOGO.

If you are cooking, it's hard to beat 87-cents a pound for Raley's fresh natural turkey. If you want the Diestel Ranch variety, be prepared to pay $2.29 a pound. If you are no-frills cook, frozen basted turkeys range in price from $7.87-$9.87.

But we all know there's more to Thanksgiving that just the bird. Fresh green beans are 2 bags/$5; frozen 2/$3. Yams are 67-cents a pound; asparagus is $1.97lb; and a 5lb. bag of Idaho potatoes is $2.50.

Fresh dinner rolls in the bakery are $1.99 a dozen; Pillsbury Grands! are 2/$3. 

Sara Lee pies are $3.49 frozen and buy 2, get 1 free in the bakery. Individual pies are $5.99.Fresh fruit tarts or Ladyfinger cakes are $12.99. Cool Whip is 99-cents.

Martinelli's sparkling cider is $1.99; a case of Crystal Geyser Spring water is $3.28 and an 89-oz jug of Tropicana OJ is $3.99.

If you are a Save Mart shopper (check your store for holiday hours), here's what you need to know. Master Cut premium turkeys are $6.88, $7.88 and $9.97. To get those prices you must spend $20 or more in groceries. The turkeys are frozen. If you want to order the entire meal, it's $49.99, which includes everything but salad. It's a heat and serve deal and you must order in advance.

Want to treat the family on T-day? Dugeness crab season has arrived and it's $3.99lb.

To round out the menu, fresh green beans are 67-cents a pound; celery is 37-cents a bunch; and bags of fresh cranberries are $2.50 each. Fresh pineapple is $2.97; and oranges are 79-cents a pound. Avocado is still $1 each; grape tomatoes on the container are BOGO.

Dinner rolls in the bakery are $1.99 a dozen; brown and serve rolls are 99-cents. Pumpkin or apple pies are $2.97. Frozen Sara Lee pies are $2.99. Cool Whip is 99 cents.

In the beverage aisle, Martinelli's sparkling cider is $2 a bottle. 7-UP, A&W or Sunkist is 79-cents for 2-liters. (must buy 5 to get that price). Pepsi or Dew in the 12-can refrigerator carton is 4/$12, but you must buy 4. 

If Safeway is your store of choice (most stores will be open until 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving), you can score a frozen bird for $7. If you want to upgrade to a Honeysuckle turkey, it will cost you $8 for a 16-pounder. Want a larger turkey for the leftovers, you'll pay $9 or $10. Got to spend at least $20 to get those prices. If you'd rather go fresh, Safeway SELECT brand birds are 87-cents a pound.

For the sides, how about BOGO green beans, radishes or green onions for 50-cents each and yams for 79-cents a pound. Stove Top stuffing is BOGO; brown and serve rolls are $1.79 and Wish Bone salad dressing is buy one, get 2 free.

In the bakery, pumpkin pie is $3.99; cream pies are $4.99 and fruit pies are $5.99. Frozen Sara Lee pies are BOGO.

And lastly, Henry's - the new kid on the block. If you shop this newbie, they will be open on Thanksgiving - from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Here's what to expect: Fresh, all-natural turkey for $1.49lb; squash or yams 2lbs/$1; a 10-pound bag of potatoes for 97-cents and green beans for 97-cents a pound. Dinner rolls in the bakery are $1.99 a dozen; apple or pumpkin pies are $2.99 each. Pre-made cranberry sauce is $4.99; mashed potatoes are $2.49lb. If that all just too much, the entire meal is $89.99, which serves 10 or more. Just need to order in advance. As added incentive, there's a $5 off coupon - if you spend $50 or more. 

Come back on Thursday for before and after - salads and desserts to compliment the meal. .


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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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