Shop Cheap

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

January 31, 2012
Shopping's super; game's an excuse to party

Ah, what might have been. We really should be planning red and gold Super Bowl parties. Instead, we'll have to watch and wait until next year. But just because we don't have a Northern California team in the Super Bowl doesn't mean we aren't going to find super savings at the grocery store. It just would have been a lot more fun.

If you're eating healthy, this isn't the ad week for you. Lots of chips, guac, BOGO soda and pizza. There is the veggie tray but that's so not football!

Here's what we like this week.

We're stopping at Safeway first for that 5-day sale (Wed.-Sun) and the $10 reward coupon  when you spend $75 or more. In addition to that incentive, Safeway is advertising daily specials ranging from Tostitos ($1.69) and Pepsi (88-cents) on Wednesday to chicken wings ($6.99), deli salad ($3.99) and 20 cans of Coke for $5 on Sunday.

Boneless, skinless chicken breasts are $1.99lb; lean ground beef is $2.99lb and Nathan's beef franks are BOGO. Oscar Mayer dogs are buy 1, get 2 free!

Avocados are 50-cents each; vine-ripe tomatoes are $1.49lb;  and a 5lb. bag of potatoes is $2.50.

5-day specials include Signature Cafe baby back ribs for $5; 8-piece cooked chicken for $5.99; Ritz crackers for $1.99 and a dozen donuts for $3.99..See what we mean about eating healthy.

Wholly Guacamole is BOGO in the deli; cole slaw is $2.49lb. There's a whole page of coupons, including Skippy peanut butter for $2.99; Kellogg's cereal for $1.99; General Mills cereal for $1.88 and Mission tortillas for $1.49. Fresh Express salad blends are $3.99; Safeway buns are 99-cents  and a big jug of Welch's grape juice is $1.99.

BOGO mix & match items include Hillshire Farm packaged meat; Mt. Olive pickles; Safeway Select salsa; and French's mustard.

Safeway Kitchens whole wheat bread; Guerrero tortillas; brown rice; Safeway apple juice, Nabisco crackers, Quaker instant oatmeal and a 4lb bag of Navel oranges are all buy one, get one free.

A case of Arrowhead water is $3.50.

Save Mart knows what it's doing when it advertises avocado 3/99-cents. Super Bowl Sunday is the biggest day for guac on the planet. They also have fresh crab meet in a 16oz container for $7.77 and Ball Park franks for $1.99.

Roma tomatoes are 37-cents a pound; grape tomatoes and Fresh Express salads are BOGO. Bell peppers, cucumbers, green onions, radishes, cilantro and Italian parsley are all 2/$1. Baby lemons and limes are 5/$1 and a 5lb bag of apples is $3.99. Berries are BOGO, too.

Lay's chips are BOGO, Pepsi 12-packs are buy 2, get 3 free. Coke 12-packs are buy 2, get 2 free. Nabisco and Ritz crackers are $1.99. Fresh baby carrots are $1.99 for a 2lb bag.

A slab of ribs in the deli is $10.99 and fresh potato salad in $2.99lb.

Got the game face on as we head to Raley's. First purchase - Dungeness crab for $5.99lb. Next, a couple of take and bake pizzas 2/$10. Raley's tri-tip is $2.99lb; 8-piece fried chicken is $4.99 (includes a free liter of Pepsi) and a veggie tray for $4.99. A meat and veggie tray is $8.99 If you're making stuffed potato skins, the Russet variety is 49-cents a pound and there's a recipe at

Lots of BOGOs in produce. They include avacados; fresh pico de gallo; Marie's dip and pistachios. Fresh limes are 5/$1; kiwi is 99-cents a pound; blueberries are BOGO and cucumbers are 69-cents each.

In the deli, Sabras Hummus is BOGO and hot soups are $1 off. The bakery has game day cakes for $14.99. If you'd rather socialize than cook, slow-cooked ribs are $7.99 when you buy 2 or more and family pack cookies are guy 2, get 1 free.

Not into the game? Sunday will be a perfect day to go to the movies, dine at your favorite restaurant or go somewhere that's normally crowded. It won't be from 2-7, guaranteed.


January 24, 2012
Save Mart celebrates 60 years in the biz

We start this week with a milestone for Save Mart - 60 years in the grocery biz. They opened their first store in Modesto on Jan. 17, 1952. To celebrate, the company is holding an online sweepstakes where one lucky winner will get free groceries for a year. (Works out to 52 $100 store gift cards). To enter, go to

Other prizes include weekly drawings for $500 in free groceries. If you're not planning on winning any contest, here's what we like this week:

At Save Mart: BOGO blueberries; apples for 57-cents a pound; oranges for 57 cents a pound; a 4-pack of avocado for $1.97 and tomatoes for 97-cents a pound. If you've got a craving for eggplant parmesean, the deep purple veg is 2/$3.

Petite sirloin roast is $2.99lb; bags of Gallo salame or pepperoni are 2/$7.

Hansen's Apple juice is $2.28 a jug and Bayview Farms OJ is $3.59 for 128 ounces. But 2 cans of Sunny Select diced tomatoes and get a free package of Sunnyside Farms shredded cheese. The brands challenge this week: buy Nabisco saltines and get a free box of Sunny Select crackers. Also, buy a can of Progresso soup and get a free can of Sunny Select chunky soup.

If you're clippin' Farmer John ham steaks are $1.49; Foster Farms chicken breast strips are $1.99; Johnsonville ground Italian sausage is $2.49 and Sunny Select tomato sauce is 5/$1.

Since we're talking years in the grocery biz, can't not mention Raley's, which has been around for 75 years. That's quite a feat for both companies!

This week, Raley's is advertising deal days - a special coupon for each day of the week. Wednesday: $1.99 for a case of water; 69-cent Cokes on Thursday; $1.49 for a bag of tomatoes on Friday; 99-cents for fresh mushrooms on Saturday; 99-cent salad blends on Sunday; $1.99 for Best Foods mayo on Monday and 99-cents for Nabisco crackers on Tuesday.

Other stuff we like: Nob Hill Trading Co. soups are $3.99 when you buy 2 or more; 12-packs of Coke are buy 2 - get 2 free. Arm & Hammer liquid laundry detergent is BOGO; Viva paper towels are $1.99 with coupon and Angel Soft tissue is $5.99 for 12-double rolls.

In produce, oranges are 79-cents a pound; yellow onions are 69-cents a pound and baby potatoes are 2 bags for $5. Roma tomatoes are 99-cents a pound.

In the bakery, dessert for 2 is BOGO and fresh baguettes are $1.89. If you are planning ahead, Raley's chefs are preparing Valentine's meals for 2. $39.99 for chicken & raviolil; $59.99 for Filet Mignon & crab. Both are $5 off if you order online.

Last stop is Safeway where Oscar Mayer lunchmeat is BOGO. Open Nature sandwich bread is $1.50 a loaf and Chips Ahoy! cookies or Nabisco saltines are BOGO, too.

In produce, apples are 99-cents a pound; salad blends are 2/$4; berries are 2/$5 and oranges are 99-cents a pound.

Those weekend sales continue. The $5 Friday only items include Hillshire Farm Lit'l smokies; deli ham off the bone or Provolone cheese; 2-pounds of strawberries and Safeway paper towels or bath tissue.

The Fri-Sunday sales include deli ham, turkey or American cheese for $4.99; Classico Pasta sauce for $1.79; fresh pineapple for $1.99 and Powerade for 69-cents. On $5 Monday, there's Seattle's Best Coffee and Minute Maid OJ.

Other stuff we like at Safeway: Oroweat English muffins or sandwich thins are BOGO; and cinnamon rolls in the bakery are $1.99 for 6.

In the $1 or less category, there's toothpase and mouthwash; tissue; Safeway soups and French wheat bread in the bakery. For $2 or less: Ultra detergent; OJ; baby peeled carrots and a bag of oranges.

That's about it for this week.



January 17, 2012
Get your game day groceries

Tip No. 1: If you are shopping for goodies for Sunday's NFC Championship game, do so on Friday or Saturday. Do not go to the grocery store before the game on Sunday. That's when all the chips & beer people do their shopping.

Tip No. 2: If you have no interest whatsoever in football, go shopping after 3:30 on Sunday. You will have the store to yourself. There won't be any snack foods, but that's a small price to pay.

Tip No. 3: Read this, save money.:

Safeway and Save Mart both are advertising blueberries - buy 1, get 2 free. Final cost at Safeway is $7.98 for 3- 6oz containers, which isn't a huge bargain. Save Mart has both blueberries and blackberries at the buy 1, get 2 free price. But guess what, you'd be better off get one 18oz container at Raley's for $3.99.

Need cereal? Safeway's mix&match sale is 4 boxes for $10. Oroweat Italian or Safeway Kitchen breads are $2 a loaf; Open Nature English muffins are $2 a pack.

In produce, Fresh Express salads are 99-cents a bag; bell peppers are 99-cents each and oranges are 69-cents a pound. Large avocados are $1.50 each - they're cheaper by 50-cents at Save Mart.

Safeway has coupons - more than a page worth - so we are only going to hit the highlights. Minute Maid OJ in the 89-oz bottle is $3.99; 2-liter Canada Dry ginger ale or 7-Up is 88-cents; Pantene hair care is $3.49; Listerine mouthwash is $3.99 and Ultra detergent is $3.49.

The $5 Friday specials are: 8-piece chicken; a pound of cooked shrimp; a pound of Sara Lee deli meat or cheese; Raspberry-Almond Bistro cake in the bakery; and 24-packs of Pepsi. The 3-day, Friday-Sunday sale has chicken tenders for $5.99; BOGO boxes of jumbo cookies; a case of refreshe water for $2.99 and grape tomatoes for 99-cents.

If you're having a group over, check out the Safeway insert.There you will find even more coupons like sandwich rolls for $1.49; Safeway OJ for  $3.49; Mission flour tortillas for $1.79 and $5 off Deli party trays. Ball Park Franks and Hillshire Farm smoked sausage and Ruffles chips are BOGO.

Heading over to Save Mart, their 3-day weekend sale has extra large raw prawns for $6.97lb; fresh asparagus for 99-cents a pound and 8-piece fried chicken for $5.99. Buy 3 boxes of Kelloggs cereal, bars or crackers for $9 and get a free case of Nestle or Arrowhead water.

If you're making guac on Sunday, get the avocado at Save Mart where they are $1 each. Green onions, cilantro, radishes or parsley are 2/$1 and apples are 97-cents a pound.

Bohemian Hearth bread is $1.99 a loaf; Tropicana OJ is $2.88. Save Mart continues to promote the national brand challenge. Buy a 67-oz bottle of La Victoria salsa and get a 70oz bottle of the Sunny Select brand for free. The same goes for Rosarita refries.

If you're clippin', Barilla pasta sauce is $1.98; Sunny Select apple juice is 2/$3 and cans of chili are 99-cents.

In the bakery, a container of fresh baked chocolate chip cookies is $3.99 and fresh Sourdough is $2.99.

Last stop on our weekly shopping tour is Raley's. If you are planning on some meaty meals, check out their mix&match sale. Select packages of pork, beef, chicken and shrimp are BOGO. Raley's also has an entire supplement on Chinese New Year.

Coupons include Campbell's Select Harvest soup for 99-cents; Marie Callender's or Healthy Choice meals foar $1.89 and Gatorade for 89-cents.

In produce, Fuji apples are 99-cents a pound; oranges are 69-cents a pound; asparagus is $1.99lb and bananas are 68-cents a pound. Tomatoes on the vine are $1.98lb and avocados are 4/$5.

That's it for this week. Go Niners!!! 


January 16, 2012
Store closing sale at Grocery Outlet

You probably heard that the Grocery Outlet at the corner of Sierra College and Douglas in Granite Bay/Roseville is closing to make way for a Walmart Grocery store.

The closing is more than a headline now because they are officially holding at "store closing" sale. Everything at the location is 10% to 20% off and by the way shoppers were filling their carts on Sunday, you'd better get there in a hurry if you want to do some bargain shopping.

As of Sunday, they still had plenty of stock - everything from breakfast cereal to bed comforters. Even their vast selection of wines is marked down. Word in the aisles, however, is that the Grocery Outlet plans to relocate somewhere in Roseville. In the meantime, it's a great place to Shop Cheap until the doors close in mid-February.

January 10, 2012
Shop smart and save $20 this weekend

Want to save a nice chunk of change this week? 1. Don't forget to use your $10 rewards coupon that you got at Safeway last week. It's good through Sunday. 2. Shop Raley's this weekend and earn another $10 rewards coupon when you spend $75 or more. That coupon is good until next Sunday, Jan. 22.

Here's what tops the list this week:

Safeway has Foster Farms fresh whole chickens for 89-cents a pound; boneless crossrib roast for $2.49lb.

In produce, an 18-oz basket of blueberries is $3.99; avocados are 88-cents each; Gala or Granny Smith apples are 88-cents a pound and Iceberg lettuce is $1.50 a head. Mann's snack trays are $1 each.

Those crazy weekend sales include: $5 Friday - Signature Cafe chicken wings and pizza; Star olive oil; Hormel pork tenderloin and Bertolli dinner for 2. The 3-day, Friday-Sunday specials include Bing cherries for $1.99lb; BOGO bakery muffins and Foster Farms lean ground turkey; and an 8-pack of Yoplait yogurt for $3.77. The " $5 Monday Madness" includes frozen salmon fillet; Wrights hickory smoked sausage; Signature Cafe soups (2-15oz cups); and a 20-pack of Coke.

If you're clippin', Quaker cereal and chewy granola bars are $1.88; Hormel lunchmeat is $2.49; a 12-pack of Lipton teas are $3.99 and a 24-oz container of soup is $3.49. Kraft Philly cream cheese is BOGO with coupon.

A crazy thing is happening with cereal. Cheerios now come in a whole lot of flavors like chocolate, banana nut and dulce de leche. Cinnamon toast crunch is now frosted and Kellogg's has introduced a cereal called "Krave" that is shredded wheat filled with chocolate. They all are going for $2.99 a box.

To earn that $10 off coupon at Raley's here's a few suggestions. Their 2-day Sat. & Sun. sale has Fresh Express garden salad for 79 cents and a 3lb bag of Clementines for $2.79.

Boneless pork sirloin or chops is $1.99 and a BBQ beef tri tip in the deli is $9.99. Coupons worth clipping include 12-pack of Coke for $3.33; Del Monte canned veggies for 79-cents and Eggo waffles or pancakes for $1.99.

A case of Arrowhead water is $3.99; Nestle water is $3.49 a case when you buy 2.

In produce, apples are 69-cents a pound; green bell peppers are 2/$1; blood oranges are 99-cents a pound and blueberries are BOGO.

Buy 2 stir fry entrees in the Wok and age a third free.

Save Mart has a 3-day sale that includes 49er sausage or fresh bratwurst for $2.99; party wings in the deli for $4.99lb and avocado at 3/99-cents.

Campbell's chicken noodle or tomato soup is BOGO; Prego pasta sauce is $1.88 a jar. Foster Farms chicken breasts are BOGO as is Al Fresco chicken sausage.

They are continuing with their brands challenge. If you buy a national brand item, Save Mart will give you one of their brands free. Buy La Victoria salsa and get Sunny Select salsa free. Buy a can of Rosarita refries, get a can of Sunny Select refries free. Buy 3 jugs of Pepsi or Dew and get a bag of Doritos free.

In produce, berries are BOGO; leaf lettuce is 69-cents a head; bell peppers are 3/99-cents and Roma tomatoes are 97-cents a pound. Fuji apples are 97-cents a pound and bagged spinach is 2/$3.




January 3, 2012
2012 - time to simplify the shopping

I know grocery gurus mean well, but how about just one sale that lasts all week? Can't handle the Friday Only this and the Saturday-Sunday that. The only day that doesn't have a special sale designation is Tuesday. Time to simplify the savings, please.

Safeway is the store with a special just about every day. There's the Wednesday ad; the 3-day (Friday-Sunday) specials; the $5 Friday only specials; the Monday Madness specials and the Wednesday-Sunday $10 reward coupon for shopping. How is a busy shopper suppose to keep it all straight? Here goes:

For the weekly specials we like the Mix & Match meat sale. Buy 1 item, get another free...the classic BOGO. Choices are London broil; bonelss skinless chicken parts; boneless pork chops and 93% lean ground beef. In the regular BOGO buys, there are blueberries and blackberries; Fresh Express salads; Open Nature breads; Safeway apple juice; brown rice; Post Honey Bunches of Oats; 3lb bags of apples and Safeway Kitchens whole wheat bread.

The $5 Friday specials include Whole Roasted Chicken; Boston Cream Cake in the bakery; 24-pack of Pepsi and a box of California Clementines. Add to that the Friday-Sunday specials and you can pick up Progresso soups - buy 2, get 3 free; Yuban or Maxwell House coffee for $7.99; sliced turkey or cheese in the deli for $5.99lb; Lucerne butter for $2.50 and BOGO Quaker Oats. When $5 Monday comes around, there's a 20-pack of Coke; Signature Cafe pizza; Snapple and Jumbo Diapers!

There are plenty of coupons, but no outstanding bargains.

Over at Save Mart, there's a Mix and Match 5 for $25 meat sale. Items include Foster Farms boneless breast fillets; ground turkey and skinless chicken breasts. Also, lean ground beef; boneless New York steaks; boneless pork chops and ribs. Sounds like a pretty good deal.

Other stuff we like at Save Mart: BOGO strawberries and single serve salads. Bell peppers and cucumbers are 3/99-cents; tangerines are 69-cents a pound and baby lemons or limes are 6/96-cents. 5 pound bags of apples are $3.97. Tomatoes on the vine are $1.99 for a 14oz package.

Sunnyside Farm yogurt is 10/$5; Oroweat sandwich thins are BOGO and Nabisco saltines are 3/$5.

Save Mart has an interesting BOGO offer, which challenges shoppers to purchase a name brand item and get the same item in their brand for free. Choices include a Colgate toothbrush; Quaker instant oatmeal and Quaker Oats.

Bohemian Hearth bread is back under $2 a loaf. On Mondays, you can get chicken tenders in the deli for $3.99lb.

Raley's 2-day weekend sale includes cherries for $2.49lb; Fresh Express salads for 50% off and Russet potatoes 4lbs for $1.

Weekly specials that we like: boneless skinless chicken breasts for $1.88lb and boneless pork chops for $2.99lb. Progresso soups are $1 a can; Nob Hill gourmet soups are $4 in the deli.

An 18oz container of blueberries is $4.99 and large oranges are 79-cents a pound.

Skinny Cow ice cream treats are $3.99 a box. Coupons worth clipping include Jif peanut butter for $2; Lean Cuisine for $1.88 and Lunchables for $1.69.

That's the skinny on this week's ads. Hopefully, it won't be so complicated next week.

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