Shop Cheap

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

August 30, 2011
Here's how to be cart smart this week

It's Labor Day weekend. That pretty much means the end of summer fun and the beginning of the school year. Thankfully, it's not the end of bargains. In fact, this week's ads are packed with good deals.

Take the Raley's offer of $20 off your next purchase when you spend $100 or more. Or their soda special: Buy 2-12 packs, get 3 free. White corn is 4/88-cents; pork spareribs are $1.99lb and whole tri tip roast is $2.99lb. Arrowhead or Nestle water is 2 cases for $7 and Lay's chips are BOGO.

Also at Raley's: Whole seedless watermelon for $3.49; tomatoes on the vine for $1.29lb; baskets of berries 2/$5 amd radosjes pr greem pmopms fpr 50-cents a bunch.

Ball Park franks are 2/$4; all natural boneless, skinless chicken breasts and thighs are $2.99lb and gourmet beef burgers are $3.99lb.

A Picnic Pack in the deli - fried chicken, deli salad; cookies, rolls, plates and an insulated bag - is ready for pick up at $19.99. Iced cupcakes are $5.99 a dozen and summer shortcake is $9.99 in the bakery.

If you hitch your cart to Safeway, be prepared for a long weekend of Daily Deals starting with BOGO buns and fresh ground beef for $1.99 a pound on Wednesday and ending with 16-piece chicken for $9.99 and deli salad for $2.99 on Monday. In between, there's towels & tissues; soda & chips; watermelon & ribs and shrimp & asparagus.

Other items worth mentioning include boneless skinless chicken breasts for $1.99lb; Oscar Mayer dogs are buy 1, get 2 free and Gallo salami is $5.99 a package. In the drink dept. 12-packs of soda are buy 2, get 3 free; cases or Arrowhead water are 2/$6 with coupon and 4-12-packs of Coke for $11. Nabisco and Ritz crackers are BOGO.

In produce, cantaloupe is BOGO and ears of corn are 6/$1. Cut watermelon is 59-cents a pound; bell peppers are $1 each and seedless grapes are $1.99lb.

The Friday only $5 specials include Signature Cafe chicken wings; Minute Maid OJ in the 128-oz. jug; Primo Taglio Black Forest ham and Boston Cream Cakes in the bakery.

The 4-day sale at Save Mart has corn on the cob at 7/98-cents; lean ground beef in the Max Pak for $1.99lb and crispy cooked wings for $3.99. Two great coupons offer Kingsford Briquets for $4.99 and Heinz ketchup for 99-cents.

Honey Nut Cheerios are $1.77 a box - when you buy 3 and Lay's chips are BOGO. Save Mart has that same soda offer: buy 2-12 packs and get 3 free. Gallo salame is $4.99 with the coupon on Page 3. For school lunches, Quaker granola bars are $1.77 a box.

Sunny Select beans are 88-cents a can; pudding snacks - good for lunches, too - are $1 a pack and Entenmann's Pop'Ems; Oroweat Italian bread or Thomas' English muffins are BOGO. Fritos and Cheetos are BOGO . Arrowhead or Nestle spring water is $3.50 a case.

In produce, baskets of grape tomatoes are BOGO; green onions, cilantro and radishes are 2/$1 and fresh basil plants are $2.99.

In the bakery, Strawberry Boston's are $6.99; decorated cupcakes are $6.99 and brownie bites are $6.99, too.

If you are headed to a Sprouts Farmers Market, be sure to clip the coupon for $5 off your purchase of $30 or more. Items worth carting away: beefsteak tomatoes for 88-cents a pound; bell pepper at 3/$1 and green onions/cilantro/or radishes at 33-cents each. Whole seedless watermelon is 19-cents a pound and corn on the cob is 19-cents each.

Remember to shop early so you don't have to labor on Labor Day!


August 23, 2011
Stop here before you shop

As we enjoy the last lazy days of August, we are fortunate to still have a bounty of fruit and vegetables at the supermarket. From BOGO melons at Safeway to bunches of bananas at Raley's and  sweet grapes at Save Mart, we are quite lucky.

Here's what Shop Cheap likes this week:

Safeway has the previously mentioned BOGO melons - watermelon, cantaloupe and honeydew. They also ahve tomatoes on the vine for 99-cents; navel oranges for 99-cents and big baskets of blueberries for $3.99. Green onions and radishes are 2/$1.

Weekend sale items worth noting include Signature Cafe family size pizza for $7.99; deli counter meats and cheese for $3.99 and mayo for $2.49.

Fresh Foster Farms whole chickens are 79-cents a pound. Lloyds snack rack ribs - a new item at Safeway - are BOGO. Ball Park franks are BOGO, too.

Safeway Kitchens sandwich breads are $1.99 a loaf when you buy 2. Lots of liquids on sale. Powerade is 49 cents a bottle if you buy 10 or more; refreshe water is $3.33 a case and liters of 7-UP and Pepsi are 99 cents when you buy 4.

Angel food cake in the bakery is $2.50.

The Friday only $5 specials include Signature Cafe chicken tenders; strawberry cheesecake; Ball Park angus beef hot dogs in the 2lb pack and Tide detergent.

Raley's has an interesting twist to advertising. To get their 2-day specials (Saturday and Sunday only) you must sign up at and print out a special coupon. If you do that, you get cantaloupe, Fresh Express salad and a 5lb bag of Sierra gold potatoes for $1 each.

Coupons in the paper - no online printing necessary - include Arrownead water for $3.50 a case; Tropicana OJ for $2.49 and 8-packs of Gatorade for $3.99.

Coke 12-packs are buy 2, get 2 free. Hansen's apple juice is $1.99 a jug.

Foster Farms split chicken breasts are 99-cents a pound; Grab and Go sandwiches in the deli are buy 2, get 1 free; fresh baked cake squares are buy 2, get 1 free.

In produce, we like white peaches or nectarines for $1.49 a pound; Roma tomatoes for 69-cents a pound; bananas for 68-cents a pound and seedless grapes for $1.59lb.

Save Mart is the place to shop on Saturday if you like green, seedless grapes. They're 37 cents a pound. Also on Saturday, fresh salmon fillets for $5.99lb.

Weekly sales include seedless watermelon for $2.97; limes 10/$1 and Bartlett pears for 67-cents a pound. Grape tomatoes are BOGO..

Country-style pork ribs are $1.99lb. Sunnyside Farms bread is $1.69 a loaf. Crystal Geyser spring water is $3.33 a case. Minute Maid lemonade or fruit punch is $1 a carton.

Cinnamon rolls are $2.99 in the bakery and french baguettes are $1.29 each

August 16, 2011
We're carting off the fruits and veggies

Get out the fruit bowl, we're going to load it up with berries, nectarines, cantaloupe and some seedless watermelon.

Here's what Shop Cheap likes this week:

At Safeway, you can get nectarines for 99-cents a pound; cantaloupe for $1 each and BOGO raspberries. Bartlett pears are 99 cents a pound. On the produce side, bell peppers are 2/$1 and if you buy 3 items like Fresh Express salads, baby carrots or baby bella 'rooms, you get $1 off each item instantly.

The 4-day sale is so-so this week. For back to school lunches, there's the Nabisco tray packs of cookies for $3.49; Lucerne butter for $2.99 and Safeway SELECT or Open Nature pizza for $2.99.

Following up on the lunches, butter top breads are BOGO; CapriSun drinks are $1.49 when you buy 3 and Hostess muffins and Home Pride breads are BOGO.

Boneless skinless chicken breasts, thighs or combo pack is $1.99lb; whold roasted chickens are $5.99 and Signature Cafe chicken tenders are $4.99. Got to take out a loan to buy milk. It's $3.09 a gallon (when you buy 2) but soda is buy 2, get 2 free?

Coupons include Del Monte fruit cups for $1.69; Mission tortilla chips for $1.49 and 100 calorie snack packs for $1.75. String cheese is $3.99 and Nestlie cookie dough is $1.99.

Safeway artisan French bread is $1.79 a loaf and fresh Danish is $4.99 for 10. The sandwich meal deal in the deli is pretty good. Regular size sandwich, chips and soda for $5.

The Friday only $5 specials include a really huge sub sandwich; Lucerne chunk cheese and whipped cream cakes in the bakery.

Raley's has a Saturday&Sunday only sale where corn on the cob is 12-cents each; Fresh Express salads are 89-cents each and premium ground beef patties are $1.99 a pound.

An 18-oz. container of blueberries is $3.99; seedless watermelon is $3.99 and cherries are $3.49lb. Organic heirloom tomatoes are $2.99lb.

If you clip, Aquafina water is $3.69 a case; Fritos are $1.50; Oscar Mayer dogs and ham are $2 and Northern bath tissue is $5.99.

Got a couple of good of BOGOs this week: Cheesecake in the bakery and Melita coffee filters.

If you have a pet, Raley's is advertising a 4-week sale for Spot. Everything from Iams dog food to Happy Hips treats..

The meal deal in the Raley's deli includes an all-beef hot dog; kettle chips and a soda for $3.99.

Save Mart will get you cookin' with BOGO chicken breasts and whole chickens for 79-cents a pound. Beef back ribs are $1.37 in the max pak. Salmon filets are $6.99 and red snapper is $5.99.

Spend $50 or more and get a free bag of Taylor Farms salad and get a free 18-pack of eggs when you buy 5 boxes of Quaker cereals. (Works out to $1.79 a box).

2 pounds of Driscolls blueberries are $4.97; Roma tomatoes are 97-cents a pound; green beans are 99-cents a pound and fresh squash is 97-cents a pound. Bell peppers and cucumbers are 50-cents each.

Coupons include Minute Maid coolers for $1.77 and Farmer John links for 99-cents.

During dollar days, you can get Golden Grain pasta; Del Monte ketchup and Quaker value packs for $1. For $2, it's Krispy crackers; E.L. Fudge cookies and Arrowhead Water.

Healthy Balance juice drinks are 3/$5; a case of Crystal Geyser spring water is $2.99 and Gatorade is 75-cents.

A dozen eggs is $1.69; Sunnyside Farms yogurt is 10/$5. Michelina's Zap'ems are 88-cents each.

If Sprouts is in your neighborhood, you can load up on fresh fruit and produce. Blueberries are 88-cents a container; bananas are 49-cents a pound. Nectarines and plums are 88-cents a pound. On the veggie side, bell peppers are 49-cents each; broccoli or cauliflower is 88-cents a pound and a pack of mushrooms is 88 cents. Red or green leaf lettuce is 88-cents.

Think that will do it for this week. 


August 9, 2011
Who has time to shop?

Sometimes life even gets in the way of grocery shopping. So much to do at work; so much to do at home. It's a wonder we even find the time. That's why Shop Cheap is going to cut to the chase this week and give you the skinny on the best bargains. Here goes:

We're stopping at Save Mart for cantaloupe at 97-cents each; sirloin roast for $2.47lb; Yoplait yogurt 10/$6 and a 4-day sale on corn on the cob 6/96-cents. Other stuff we like: coupons for S&W beans 2/$1; Sunny Select apple juice 2/$3; Hormel lunchmeat $1.99 and an 8-pack of Gatorade for $3.99. 7-UP and Sunkist liters for 89-cents; Sun Chips for $2.50 and Chips Ahoy for $1.99. Cases of Nestle or Arrowhead spring water are $3.50 and a loaf of Sunnyside Farms sandwich bread is $1.59.

In produce, Fresh Express bagged salads are BOGO; green onions, radishes and cilantro are 3/99-cents; a pint of grape tomatoes are BOGO and berries are $2.97 a pint. If you need household items, Cascade dishwasher tablets are $4.99.

Safeway's 4-day weekend sale includes 18-count Lucerne eggs for $2.50; Doritos for $1.99; a case of refreshe water for $2.88 and a bag of frozen boneless, skinless chicken breasts for $1.99lb.

In produce, seedless watermelon is $3.97 each; white peaches and red plums are 99-cents a pound and kiwi fruit is 3/$1.

A 6-pack of Lucerne yogurt is $2.29; Sara Lee Iron Kids bread is $2 a loaf; mix & match General Mills cereals and save $4.Deli counter salads are $1.99 each - but you must buy 2.

If you're looking to clip and save, check out coupons for multi-pack Dannon yogurt $1.49; lucky Charms and Kix for $1.99; Golden Grain pasta for 88-cents; string cheese for $3.99 and Nutri-Grain bars for $2.22.

The Friday Only $5 specials include whole roasted chicken or sliced lunchmeat; large packs of Skinny Cow ice cream treats and Tiramisu cake in the bakery.

Raley's has corn on the cob 3/99-cents; Bartlett pears for 59-cents a pound; cantaloupe or honeydew for $2 each and tomatoes on the vine for $1.29lb. Boneless, skinless chicken breasts are $1.99lb. Rotisserie turkey breast is $6.99; a case of Crystal Geyser is $3.49 and Dreyer's ice cream is $2.99.

Clip-worthy coupons include a 12-pack of Coke for $2.99 and a variety pack of Frito Lay chips for $4.99. Lundberg rice chips are $1.50 a bag.

In the bakery, summer shortcake is $10.99 and a loaf of French bread is $1.88.

If you really want a deal on corn on the cob, check out Sprouts. They are selling white corn 12/$2; tomatoes for 88-cents a pound; peaches and nectarines for 88-cents a pound and green bell pepers 3/$1. Cantaloupe and seedless watermelon is 5lbs for $1.

That's all we have time for this week. Got to run! 

August 2, 2011
Shopping for bargains starts here

Shop Cheap is feeling feisty this week. Don't know why.

There are lots of inserts in Wednesday's paper. You won't find a selection like this anywhere: Sam's Club, Target, the Grocery Outlet, Sprouts, Food Source, Smart & Final and the IGA markets in the area. And we still have the Big Three - Raley's, Safeway and Save Mart. Shop Cheap is sharing what she likes from the Big Three. If you have other suggestions, feel free to join the comments.

Raley's is featuring a Mix & Match sale that's a BOGO, too. That includes ribs, steaks and chops - buy one package and get the other pack free. Not a bad deal. They also have fresh Atlantic salmon fillets for $6.99lb. Fresh cooked shrimpmeat is $3.99lb. Whole Foster Farms chickens are 99-cents a pound.

In produce, they are bringing out the heirloom tomatoes for $2.99lb; blueberries for $3.99 in an 18-oz container and Bartlett pears for 59-cents a pound. White corn on the cob is 5/$2 and cantaloupe is 2/$4.

Raley's has a good Gatorade coupon - 78-cents each (limit 4) Also, Tillamook shredded cheese is $1.99.

An 18-pack of eggs is $2.78 and a 12-pack of Dr. Pepper is buy 2, get 2 free. If you like Quaker Quakes, buy 5 or more and they are $1 each; Buy $30 or more in Procter & Gamble products (Tide, Charmin, Bounty, Cascade) and get a $10 off coupon for you next visit.

In the deli, chicken strips are $5.99lb and potstickers are BOGO in the wok.

At Save Mart, large, red cherries are $1.67lb; white corn on the cob is 3/99-cents and peaches are 97-cents a pound. Grapes are $1.67lb and tomatoes are 97-cents a pound.

Pork spareribs are $1.77lb; tri-tip or sirloin roasts are $2.97lb and boneless, skinless chicken breasts are $1.99 a pound in the max pack. Atlantic salmon fillets are $6.99.

Save Mart is advertising a Mix & Match back to school special,. Only problem is you have to purchase 6 items to get the discount. If you like to buy in bulk, it includes Kellogg's cereal and crackers, Sunshine crackers and Keebler cookies.

Minute Maid OJ is $1.88 a jug and Sunnyside Farms bread is $1.99 a loaf.

Buy a rotisserie chicken in the deli and get a free salad.

Over at Safeway, they are getting you in the store with corn on the cob 6/$1, nectarines and pears for 99-cents a pound.

During the 4-day weekend sale, spend $75 or more at the checkout and get a coupon worth $10 off groceries. The 4-day sale includes Nabisco snack crackers for $1.99; Mayo for $1.99 and BOGO Oscar Mayer lunchmeat or hot dogs.

Boneless whole porkloin is $1.99lb; boneless, skinless chicken breasts, thighs or combo pack is $1.99lb and Hillshire Farm smoked sausage is $2.99.

Safeway Kitchen butter top breads are 2/$3; Lay's chips are BOGO and milk is still a high-priced item at $3.09 a gallon - when you buy 2.

Speaking of beverages, their Safeway's mix & match sale gives you 50-cents off each item when you buy 10 or more. Brands include Aquafina and refreshe water; Propel and Gatorade; 2-liter Pepsi and a 20-pack of Coke.

Coupons include Welch's juice cocktail for $1.99; Almond Breeze milk for $2.49 and Kraft string cheese for $3.99.

You'll save $5 instantly when you buy $15 worth of frozen foods like Breyer's ice cream, Eggo waffles, DiGiorno pizza and Drumsticks.

The $5 Friday only specials this week include: Signature Cafe 8-piece chicken; a twin pack of Cheerios; Safeway Select marinated meats and 2-pounds of fresh blueberries.

If you're looking to give Sprouts (formerly Henry's) a try, check out their produce. Cherries are $1.77lb; asparagus is $1.77lb; pears are 4 pounds for $1 and green onions, radishes or cilantro are 4/$1..


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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