Shop Cheap

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

December 27, 2011
We're calling it a year with a pot of Cioppino

 It's New Year's so let's get messy and have some cioppino. Dungeness crab - which took a while to get here - is plentiful. Prawns, scallops and white fish are easy to find and Raley's Cioppino sauce makes the whole dish delicious.

With that in mind, here's what looks good for the last shopping tips of 2011.

Raley's headline in the Wednesday ad reads, "It's Cioppino Time!" and they have the ingredients to match. Fresh Dungeness crab is $4.99lb (cheaper by 10-cents a pound at Save Mart); raw shrimp is $6.99lb mussles are $2.99lb and clams are $3.99lb. That sauce we mentioned is $4.99 for a large jar. Fresh, crusty baguettes are $1.88 each. If you are toasting, Marinelli's cider is $2 a bottle.

For dessert, check out the Mousse Cake in either Black Forest, Mocha or Triple Chocolate for $7.79.

Other stuff we like: Avocado for $1 each; lemons or limes 5/$1; containers of grape tomatoes for $1 and Kellogg's Special K at $1.99 a box when you buy 4 or more.

Tri-tip roast is $2.99lb (whole and untrimmed).

Arrowhead or Nestle water is $3.99 a case; Powerade is buy 10, get 5 free.

Over at Save Mart - where the crab is $4.88lb - you can also get fresh salmon for $5.88; jumbo white prawns fcor $6.88lb and fresh lobster for $9.88lb. Fresh clams or mussles are $1.99lb. A jar of Dominic's chioppino sauce is $2.99. If you'd rather have beef, standing rib roast is a deal - $4.99lb.

Lots of great items in produce. Avocado is just 47-cents each; blueberries and blackberries are BOGO; cucumbers or bell peppers are 2/$1. Roma tomatoes are 97-cents a pound.

If you're having the gang over, party trays are $5 off with coupon. Other coupons worth clipping are: Classico pasta sauce for $1.69; a jar of fresh oysters for $2.99 and Oscar Mayer bacon for $3.99. To go with the Classico, Barilla pasta is $1 a box.

A dozen large eggs are $2; Sunnyside Farms Greek yogurt is 89-cents a container and Knudsen sour cream is $1.50. Gallo sliced salame is $4.99.

Martinelli's is $2 a bottle; a case of Sunny Select drinking water is $2.88 and 12-packs of Coke, Sprite or Barq's are buy 2, get 2 free.

Our last stop is Safeway. Shop on Friday and you'll get the best bargains with the Friday only $5 specials and the 2-day Friday/Saturday sale. The 2-day sale has Lloyds BBQ ribs for $8.88; BOGO berries and Prego pasta sauce. Lit'l Smokies are 2/$5; waterfront Bistro medium cooked shrimp are $7.99lb and Frosted Flakes and Froot Loops are $1.88 a box. For $5 on Friday you can get a family size cheese pizza; ring in the new year with a Bistro Cake; a 20-pack of Coke and Safeway Select marinated chicken wings.

Rancher's reserve tri-tip is $3.99lb; Guy Fieri sausage is $4.99 a pack.
 In the bakery, French bread is $1.89 a loaf; Dave's Killer Bread from Oregon is killer at $3.99 a loaf and Entenmann's donuts are $2.50 a box.

Golden Grain pasta is $1 a box; Rosarita refries are $1 a can and Nabisco snack crackers are BOGO.

Oroweat whole wheat or Italian bread is BOGO; Crystal Geyser spring water is $3.99 for a 35-pack and if you're really thirsty, Pepsi fridge packs are buy 2, get 2 free ... plus a free bag of Tostitos.

If you're clippin' Tropicana OJ is $3.49 for the 89-oz. jug; Lucerne creamer is $2.69; string cheese is $3.99 and ice cream cups are 59-cents each.

In produce, avocado is $1 each; tomatoes on the vine are $1.99lb and bags of baby carrots are $2.50.

That's it for the week and the year. Enjoy!


December 20, 2011
Short and sweet - happy holidays from Shop Cheap

Greetings holiday shoppers. Got a quick look at the Safeway and Raley's ads before taking off to do my own holiday shopping. Here's what you have to look forward to.

Safeway has specials running each day Wednesday-Saturday.  They have everything from cake and ice cream on Thursday to sausage and eggs on Saturday. Best deal: 99-cents for a dozen eggs on Saturday. Their spiral sliced ham is $1.79lb; Oscar Mayer bacon and Nabisco crackers are BOGO.

Dungeness crab is $5.99lb; lobster tails and Ahi tuna steaks are $8.99lb. The Mix & Match beverage sale is still on. Buy 8 of any combination of SoBe drinks, Lucerne eggnog, Dunkin' donuts coffee, Pepsi, OJ, and Martinelli's sparkling cider and get 50-cents off each.


Raley's has their spiral sliced ham for $1.67lb; Sutter sirloin roast for $3.99lb and Diestel Ranch free range turkey for $2.49lb. Dinner rolls are buy 2 packs, get 1 free. 9-inch pies are the same.

Lots of good produce on sale. Oranges are 59-cents a pound; green beans are 99-cents a pound; pineapple is $2 and blue or blackberries are BOGO. Lemons or limes are 5/$1. Radishes, green onion or cilantro are 2/$1.

There's still time to order your holiday dinner. Pickup is Dec. 21-24.

Get a dozen eggs free when you purchase Johnsonville sausage 2/$6. Raley's boneless ham is $3.99lb and whole turkey breast is $2.79lb.

Be sure to check the store's hours. Safeway will be open on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day until 5 p.m. Raley's is open Christmas Eve from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. They will be closed on Christmas Day.

Happy Holidays and Happy Shopping



December 13, 2011
Holiday ads: Is that all there is?

Got the list, got the pen, got the menu in mind. Then the ads arrive and POOF! We are seriously underwhelmed by the grocery ads this week. Maybe the Grinch stole the bargains. Maybe they are saving the good stuff until next week. Maybe we'll just shop for presents instead.

Shop Cheap usually doesn't have a problem getting excited over the sales but this just isn't working for a serious shopper like SC...and we're not talking Santa Claus.

Sure there's the spiral ham at Raley's for $1.67lb and BOGO berries, too. There's pineapple for $2 and lemons for 20-cents. But we keep that all there is? It's same old same old.

OK we did find Volpi rotola - mozarella and proscuitto for $4.99 and Sutter sirloin roast for $3.99lb and Martinelli's sparkling cider for $2. Even a case of duraflame logs is less than $20.

2-liter 7-UP is 99-cents and a case of Arrowhead is $3.99. Sunnyside Farms egg nog is $2.99. There's a free container of Cool Whip when you buy 2 or more Sara Lee pies for $3.99 each. Fritos or Cheetos are BOGO and General Mills Cereal is $1.50 a box when you buy 4 or more.

Raley's has all kinds of prepared holiday meals - but you must order ahead. There's the tamale dinner; maple glazed ham; rack of lamb and turkey. Prices range from $59.99 to $109.99. Order online and you get $5 off.

Save Mart has the spiral ham for $1.77lb and a coupon for $3 off a Butterball turkey. Cooked prawns are $4.99lb and Dungeness crabs are $4.99lb. Frozen turkeys are 69-cents a pound and master cut premium turkey breasts are $1.99lb.

Clip the coupons for Martinelli's sparkling cider - $1.88; StarKist albacore tuna - $1; Folgers coffee $1 off.

In produce, bell peppers and cucumbers are 4/$1. Fresh Express salad blends are BOGO and tomatoes on the vine are 97-cents a pound. Sweet pineapple is $2.97; bananas are 79-cents a pound; cherry tomatoes and blackberries are BOGO. Avocados are 79-cents each.

Oroweat sliced bread is BOGO; 7-UP is 79 cents for a 2-liter jug and Sunnyside Farms butter is $2.50.

The big news at Safeway is the Friday-Sunday reward coupon. Spend $75 or more and get $10 off your next visit.  They are also advertising "Holiday Daily Deals." Today, it's ham and pineapple; Thursday is's sugar, chocolate and coffee; Friday, chips and cookies. You get the idea.

Here's a few other items that are worth the list: Sara Lee frozen pies are BOGO; Cool Whip is 99-cents when you buy 3 and Safeway Select or Open Nature ice cream is $2.99.

Drinks are a pretty good deal with a case of refreshe water for $2.99; 7-UP for 79-cents and Tropicana OJ for $2.49. A Mix & Match sale is even better. You'll save 50 cents off each item when you buy any combination of 8: They include: Ocean Spray cranberry drinks; Martinelli's sparkling cider; San Pellegrino; refreshe Flavored Sparkling Water and 2-liter Pepsi products.

Clip-worthy coupons include: Tide or Gain for $5.99; Safeway frozen waffles for $1.99 and Bridgford rolls for $1.99.

In produce, GreenLine green beans are BOGO. Pears are 99-cents a pound and broccoli is 99-cents a pound.

$5 Friday has whole roasted chicken; Hillshire Farm Lit'l Smokies; 20oz pistachios and Holiday bistro cake in the bakery. The 3-day sale (Friday-Sunday) has Dungeness crab for $4.99lb; Post cereals for $1.88 and C&H brown or powdered sugar for $1.50.

If you like making your own pizza, pick up a couple Safeway Select dough balls. They make great crust.

And if for no other reason, head over to Sprouts for their chocolate chip cookies. Got to leave something for Santa!. While you're there, pick up a dozen large eggs for $1.50 and a whole pineapple for 99-cents.

December 6, 2011
You've got to run before you can shop

Nothing like a good run at 7 a.m. on a cold Sunday morning to get the blood flowing and heart pounding. As part of The Bee Marathon Relay team, Shop Cheap crossed the starting line with the masses then handed off to the Mad Men (Knott, Luchini and Paquette from advertising). We finished at a respectable 3:52, 188th overall.

What's a girl to do once she's done? Got to re-stock the shelves and get ready for the holidays because the stores are ready and waiting. Here's what we like this week.

Safeway has a keeper in the paper today. It's their special ad that runs now through Christmas. You will find everything from party trays, to seafood platters and a spirial ham dinner. There's cheesecake and cookies; finger foods and flowers. Be sure to tuck it away until you are ready.

Safeway's $5 Friday specials are pretty awesome. You can pick up an 8-piece chicken dinner; 20 ounces of roasted pistachios; marinated meats and a Tiramisu bar cake. Also in the $5 Friday ad, all Laundry Detergent and Safeway fabric softerner.

Lots of BOGOS: London Broil; Fress Express salad kits; Doritos; Duracell batteries and vitamins.

Last week, we had to wait until Sunday, but we finally got the Dungeness crab. It was fresh and delicious. This week, the crab at Safeway is $5.99lb.

The Weekend Sale (Friday-Sunday) has frozen turkey for 59-cents a pound; New York strip steak for $3.97lb; Eating Right frozen meals are 6/$10; Quaker cereals are $1.88 and blackberries are $1 a basket. Lucerne Butter - which has been in the $3.50 range - is $2.99.

In produce, Roma tomatoes, mangos, bell peppers, apples and potatoes are either $1 each or $1 a pound.

And don't forget to use your $10 off coupon if you earned one last week.

Over at Raley's, we are going to shop the Saturday/Sunday sale for avocado (59-cents each); oranges (2lbs for $1) Progresso soups ($1 each) Sunnyside Farms yogurt (10/$5) and 2-liter Coke for $1.

Other specials at Raley's: Fresh Dungeness crab for $3.49lb; Nob Hill Trading Co. gourmet soups 3/$12; Tropicana OJ 2/$5 and a coupon for Weight Watchers Smart Ones - $1.88 for and entree or dessert.

If you are a Greek yogurt fan, Chobani in the 32oz container is $4.99. Swiss Miss hot chocolate is $1.99 for a 10-pack box; a 6-pack of Classic Coke is $1.99 and Powerade is $1 each.

If you like peanut butter, stock up this week because Raley's brand is only $1.79

In produce, apples are 99-cents a pound; pomegranates are 2/$3; Holiday seedless grapes are $1.99lb and English cucumbers are $1 each.

Holiday cupcakes in the bakery are $6.99 a dozen and single serve desserts are 4/$10.

Save Mart has lean ground beef in the Max Pak for $1.99lb and Foster Farms fresh chicken breasts are BOGO.

Avocados are 67-cents each; a 5lb box of tangerines is $3.99. Blackberries and organic salads are BOGO; apples are 97-cents a pound and pineapple is $2.97 each. A 3-pack of Romaine Hearts is $1.99

In the coupon category, be sure to clip the one for Jif at $1.79; Sunny Select chicken broth 2/$1; Dole canned fruit 2/$1; Knott's jam or preserves $1.79 and StarKist chunk light tuna for 79-cents.

Buy 2 jars of Ragu (2/$3) and get a free package of Golden Grain pasta. A loaf of Bohemian Hearth bread is free when you buy a jar of Nutella for $5.99. Nabisco crackers are $1.99.

Del Monte tomatoes are $1 a can; Sunny Select olives, cranberry sauce, pineapple and Mandarin oranges are all $1 a can, too.

If you're planning a trip to Sprouts this week, be sure to clip the coupon for $5 off any purchase of $30 or more. Sprouts has avocado for 69-cents each and tomatoes for 69-cents a pound. Bell peppers, cucumbers, radishes, green onion and cilantro are all 3/$1. Grapefruit is 3/$1, too.

Sprouts butter is $2.99; Fage Greek yogurt is $1 for a small container.

Over at Sunflower, the other Farmers Market-type store, Texas grapefruit is 6/$1; limes and lemons are 10/$1 and Fresh Express salads are $1 a bag. Asparagus is $1.77lb. Small seedless watermelon and pineapples are 2/$4.

That's it for this week. Got to run!!

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

October 2013

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
    1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31