Shop Cheap

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

March 27, 2012
Get hoppin' if you want to save on shopping

Planning: That's all it takes to save some serious cash at the grocery store. Take this week, for example. If you shop Safeway and spend $75 or more, you'll get a $10 rewards coupon to use next week when you are shopping for Easter. Or, shop Raley's and order your holiday ham online and save $5. Mix in coupons and BOGOs and you are on your way. Here's how:

To help you earn that $10 off from Safeway, we start with apples for 99-cents a pound; a case of refreshe water for $3.33 and BOGO blackberries. Boneless, skinless chicken breasts are $1.99lb; Foster Farms lunchmeat and Oscar Mayer dogs and lunchmeat are all BOGO.

Dannon single serve Greek yogurt is $1; Open Nature yogurt is $1.99 for 32oz and Kozy Shack pudding is $2.

In produce, blackberries are BOGO; avocados are $1 each; Roma tomatoes are $1.99lb and cucumbers are 79-cents each.

The $5 Friday sale includes the All-American sub sandwich; Tony Roma's ribs; a 3lb container of strawberries; Star olive oil and a 50-count container of cookies.

The Friday-Monday specials include BOGO Sargento shredded cheese; Johnsonville Italian sausage or Bratwurst for $3.49 and Guerrero flour tortillas for $1.99.

If you clip, check out Palmolive dish soap for $1.99; Safeway Select sparkling cider for $1.79; a gallon of Lucerne milk or OJ for $1.99; Florida Natural OJ - the 89oz size - for $3.99; 7-UP or A&W for 88 cents; Bolthouse Farms juices for $2.49 and Safeway buns or brown'n'serve rolls for 99-cents.

Raley's is getting a jump on Easter by offering their fire glazed ham for $5 off when you order at They also have green beans for 99-cents a pound; oranges for 77-cents a pound and BOGO blackberries. They also have Opening Day options with Ball Park franks 2/$5; Dennison's chili for $1 a can and 12-packs of Pepsi or Dr. Pepper for $2.99. And the best deal - especially if you are heading to a game - Giants and A's packaged peanuts for $2 a bag. Buy them at the ballpark and you'll pay at least twice that much.

Pork spareribs or St. Louis style ribs are BOGO.

Coupons we like: Milano's for $1.99; 12-pack of 7-Up for $2.50; Tropicana OJ for $2.49; Sargento shredded cheese for $2.49.

Coffee cakes are buy 2, get 1 free (freeze and think Easter morning); a family pack of dinner rolls are $1.88 and single serve desserts are 4/$10. Haagen-Daz ice cream is $3.33 a pint.

Chicken strips in the deli are $5.99 again this week. In the Wok, you get 1 free entree when you buy 2 others.

Save Mart has a great deal on greens. Green onions, radishes and cilantro are 5/$1. Fresh green beans are 77-cents a pound and Brussell sprouts are 97-cents a pound. Organic Iceberg is 99-cents a head and organic pineapple is $3.97 each. Red bell peppers are 2/$1.

Boneless, skinless chicken breasts are $1.88lb; boneless pork roast is $1.49lb and lean ground turkey is 2/$7.

If you need cereal, General Mills varieties are $1.49 a box when you buy 4. Kellogg's fruit snacks are 99-cents each when you buy 4. Coupons worth clippin' include: Ronzoni pasta for $1; Jif Peanut butter for $1.99; Ramen 10/$1 and Foster Farms chicken strips $1.99 a package.

Michelina's entrees are 88-cents each; Sara Lee pies are $3.99 and Bohemian Hearth bread is $1.98 a loaf.

If you still haven't visited Sprouts, check out the prices on produce. A bunch of celery is 49-cents; spinach, Iceberg or Romaine lettuce is 88-cents a head; green beans or squash is 88-cents a pound; avocados are 88 cents each and tomatoes on the vine are 99-cents a pound.

That's it for this week. Hop by next week for tips on holiday shopping.

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March 20, 2012
Savings are in the bag

Want to save $10 on your next shopping trip? Then get your groceries at Raley's this week because they will give you a coupon for $10 off next time you shop, Just spend $75 this weekend and it's in the bag.

Here's a few tips from Shop Cheap on how to spend that $75 (or more, of course) this week.

Life cereal is $1.88 a box; cantaloupe is $2; salmon fillets are $5.99lb and split chicken breasts are 99-cents a pound. Baby potatoes are $2.50 a bag. Coupons: Powerade for 79-cents; Skippy peanut butter for $1.49 and Stouffer's Lean Cuisine for $1.89. A case of Crystal Geyser is $3.49; Lay's chips are BOGO; Crystal Geyser sparkling mineral water is $1 a bottle and a 12-pack box of Clif, Luna or Mojo bars is $10.99

Nabisco saltines are $1.99 a box; Knorr rice or pasta sides are $1 a bag; and Breyer's ice cream is BOGO. Broccoli is 99-cents a pound; mandarins are $3.99 a bag.

In the deli, chicken strips are $5.99 and Raley's packaged lunchmeat is $3.98. In the bakery, foccacia rolls are $2.79 for a package of 4 and baguettes are $1.88.

Safeway has a monster ad this week. Lots of BOGOs but no $10 off coupon. Here's what we like: The 99-cents or less fruits and veggies. Iceberg lettuce is 99-cents a head; organic yellow onions are 99-cents a pound; roma tomatoes are 99-cents a pound and kiwi fruit is 3/$1. Bell peppers - red, green, yellow or orange - are $1 each.

In the BOGO bin, you'll find Thomas' English muffins; Oscar Mayer bacon; Hillshire Farm products; Langers cranberry drinks; Lay's chips; Saag's smoked sausage; Foster Farms grilled chicken strips and Pepperidge Farm baked crackers.

If you're clippin', check out Bertolli or PF Chang's dinner for 2 at $5.99; 89-oz jug of Minute Maid OJ for $3.99; Pillsbury Grands! for 99-cents and Green Giant Steamers for $1.67.

Pepsi 12-packs and 8-packs are buy 2, get 3 free; an 8-pack of Yoplait yogurt is $3.99 and a case of Arrowhead is $3.50.

Safeway has lots of stuff for a buck or less. Here are a few examples: Artisan Filone breads in the bakery; Eating Right cup of soup; Safeway Select pizza dough (which is quite good); Safeway condensed cream soups; and potato salad in the deli.

The Friday $5 sale has Signature Cafe 5-piece fish; whole roasted chicken; Safeway extra virgin olive oil; a pack of cake slices in the bakery and a 20-pack of Coke. The Friday-Monday sale: 3lbs of strawberries for $5; angel food cake for $2.50; chicken tenders in the deli for $5.99; a 50-count carton of  cookies in the bakery for $5 and BOGO Foster Farms ground turkey.

Over at Save Mart, this is the last week for the 7 daily coupons. Our favorites are the dozen eggs on Wednesday for 69-cents; the OJ on Friday for 99-cents; cereal on Saturday for $1.49 and the bananas on Monday for 39-cents a pound.

In produce, this week's sales include baby lemons 10/$1; cilantro, green onions and radishes 3/99-cents; Roma tomatoes for 97-cents a pound and pears for 99-cents a pound. The big deal is Fuji apples for 47-cents a pound and avocado for 50-cents each.

Doritos are BOGO. Kellogg's mini wheats are $1.99 a box when you buy 4; Powerade is 88-cents; Planter's peanut butter is $2.50; and Gallo Salame is $3.45.

Master cut London broil is $2.99lb; premium pork chops are $1.69lb. Pastrami in the deli is $6.99lb. Red Velvet cake in the bakery is $7.99.

Coupons this week include: Chicken of the Sea tuna for 88-cents; Sunny Select apple juice or apple sauce 2/$3; Nissin Big Cup noodles 3/$1 and Hillshire Farm smoked sausage for $1.99.

A case of Sunny Select drinking water is $2.99.

If you are shopping at the new Sprouts in Citrus Heights (or the others in Elk Grove and Roseville), bell peppers and cucumbers are 3/$1; strawberries or blackberries are 4/$5; apples and pears are 99-cents a pound. The cilantro/radish/green onion trio is $1. They have good prices on other items that will keep you coming back for more.

Until next week....



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March 13, 2012
Saving you some green

This week it's all about wearing green, saving some green and cooking good stuff so your guests don't turn green. But first the news.

We have another Sprouts opening and more Sprouts to come because of the announcement last week that our 2 Farmers Market type stores are merging. Sprouts and Sunflower were so similar that it had to happen. In addition to the Sprouts & Sunflower in Roseville, shoppers can check out the opening of the latest market on the corner of Sunrise and Greenback in Citrus Heights.

Also, this week we are adding 3 more Fresh & Easy neighborhood markets - one on Elk Grove Florin & Calvine; one on Blue Ravine in Folsom and the 3rd on E. Joiner Parkway in Lincoln. That's 5 total in a week.

Let the shopping begin!

For today's deals, we're starting with Raley's where the corned beef is $2.99lb; the cabbage is 4lbs for $1 and the red potatoes are 49-cents a pound. But the best St. Patrick's day item that Raley's has to offer is their Irish Soda Bread for $2.49. It's the best outside of the Griffin Family recipe from Shop Cheap's college days. Decorated cupcakes are $5.99 a dozen and shamrock cookies are buy 2, get 1 free.

Other stuff we like: a case of Arrowhead or Nestle water for $3.99;  and coupons for Gatorade - 89 cents; 7-Up - $2.50 for 12; General Mills cereal $1.99.

In produce: Iceberg lettuce for 49-cents; peppers for 99-cents each; avocado for $1 and large cantaloupe 2/$5. Jazz apples are 99-cents a pound.

In the bakery, single layer shamrock cakes are $5.99 and fresh fruit tarts or ladyfinger cakes are $14.99. A family pack of rolls is $1.88.

Over at Save Mart, you can get your corned beef for $2.37lb; your cabbage for 19-cents a pound and your 5lb bag of Sierra potatoes for $2.99. Their decorated cupcakes are $6.99 for a dozen.

Other stuff we like: The daily sales with eggs for 69-cents on Wednesday; OJ for 99-cents on Friday; Kelloggs cereal for $1.49 on Saturday and bananas for 39-cents a pound on Monday.

In seafood, fresh rock cod or Dover sole fillets are $4.99lb; cooked salad shrimp is $4.99lb. Whole Foster Farms chickens are 79-cents a pound.

In produce, berries are BOGO; tomatoes, Iceberg lettuce, broccoli and Brussels sprouts are 97-cents a pound. Cilantro, green onions and radishes are 3/$1 and yellow onions are 29-cents a pound.

BOGO buys include Buitoni filled pasta, sauce or shredded Parmesan. Lean Cuisine one dish entrees are $1.58.

Our last stop is Safeway where their brisket corned beef is $1.99lb. Cabbage or red potatoes are 39-cents a pound. Oroweat rye breads are BOGO. If you're shopping on Friday, pick up a decorated St. Pat's day bistro cake for $5.

Safeway has gone crazy for coupons this week. More than 2 pages of clippin'. Here's what we like: Welch's grape juice for $1.99; Safeway canned tomatoes for 79-cents; Mission tortillas for $1.49; Buitoni filled pasta or sauce for $2.99; Safeway Select pizza dough for 99-cents; Pepsi or 7-UP for 89-cents a jug; Kingsford charcoal for $6.99 and a 6-pack of Lucerne yogurt for $2.59.

They also have the BOGO mix & match meat sale with everything from London broil to boneless, skinless chicken breasts.

In produce, Fuji or Braeburn apples are 99-cents a pound; oranges are 99-cents a pound and celery is 2/$3.

The $5 Friday finds include 8-piece chicken and 5-piece fish; 20-pack of Coke and Gevalia ground coffee.

The 4-day weekend sale includes family size cheese pizza for $6.99; Quaker cereals for $1.88; BOGO berries; Nabisco Saltines for $1.99 and Yuban or Maxwell House coffee for $7.99.

The new markets also have great prices on produce. At Sprouts, you can get grapes for 99-cents a pound; pineapple for 99-cents each and Fujis or Braeburns for 88-cents a pound.

Fresh & Easy is the place to go for quick meals but they also have BOGO strawberries; shredded lettuce for 98 cents and 2 cases of drinking water for $5.

That's it for this week, shoppers.

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March 6, 2012
Fresh & Easy comes to the neighborhood

Keep in mind that Shop Cheap hasn't visited the new store, but from the Fresh & Easy ad in Wednesday's Bee it's going to be worth a trip. If you want to be one of the first in line, the store opens at 10 a.m. at Watt and El Camino. Calling themselves a neighborhood market, here's a flavor of what the store has to offer:

They could also call themselves "Fast & Easy" because the ad promotes "dinner two way in under 30 minutes" and for $4 a person. For example, chicken broccoli alfredo pasta: Fettucine for 99-cents; alfredo sauce for $2.99; fresh broccoli for $1.99 and fresh boneless, skinless chicken breasts for $2.49lb. Or, there's chicken fajitas: Fresh & Easy mix for $2.69; seasoning for 99-cents; tortillas for $1.89.

Their fresh pizzas are $4.99 and bagged salads are $2.79. In produce, their packaged items are 98 cents, including baby carrots, apples or pears, yellow onions or mushrooms. A 2lb container of grapes is $3.99.

In their bakery, kalamata olive bread is $2.99 and packs of scones, turnovers or strudel bites are $3.99. Pantry items are comparable, too. 12-packs of Pepsi are $3.50; soups are $1.50 a can and beans are 98-cents a can.

A gallon of OJ is $4.99; lunchmeat is $3 and sliced cheese is $2.50. Household items worth noting are 100oz jug of Tide for $11.99; a 3-pack of Brawny towels for $3.49 and Angel Soft bath tissue for $5.99.

But the biggest incentive of all to visit the store is the $5 off coupon (when you spend $20).

Now, what's the competition got this week?

Well, Safeway is going BOGO. There's all kinds of cheese; Bertolli or Classico pasta sauce; Open Nature sandwich bread, muffins, buns or rolls; Ruffles chips; Tyson grilled chicken strips; Bear Creek soup mix; Cheeze-It crackers and grape tomatoes.

Then there's the coupons. 89-oz jug of Minute Maid OJ for $3.99; Dennison's chili for 99-cents; General Mills and Kellogg's cereal for $1.99 and Kleenex for 79-cents.

Weekly specials include: Barilla pasta for $1; Bertolli dinner for 2 $5.99 and steamfresh veggies for $1.99. A case of Crystal Geyser water is $3.99; Powerade is 79-cents and Pepsi or Dew 12-packs are buy 2, get 2 free, plus a bag of Doritos.

In produce, a 2lb container of strawberries is $3.99.

The $5 friday items are Primo Taglio ham off the bone or Provolone cheese; 5-piece fish; 20-pack of Coke; 3lbs of grapes or Jennie-O lean ground turkey.

The Friday-Monday sale includes asparagus for 99-cents a pound; 8-piece chicken for $4.99; Lucerne Greek yogurt for 69-cents; a case of refreshe water for $2.99 and BOGO Oscar Mayer bacon or franks.

Over at Save Mart, the 7-days to save specials include a dozen eggs for 69 cents (Wednesday); Bayview Farms OJ for 99-cents (Friday) Kelloggs corn flakes or General Mills Frosted Toast Crunch for $1.49 (Saturday) and bananas for 39-cents a pound (Monday).

In produce, grapes tomatoes are 2 pints for $1; cabbage is 25-cents a pound; blackberies are BOGO; avocados are $1 each and baby lemons or limes are 10/$1. Oranges are 99-cents a pound; apples are 99-cents a pound, too.

Shenson corned beef brisket is $2.37lb; round is $2.99lb. Murphy's brand is only $1.69lb. Packs of Foster Farms chicken breasts are BOGO.

In grocery, Crystal Geyser is $3.33 a case; Powerade is 88 cents and Lay's Kettle chips or Doritos are $2 a bag.

If you're clippin', Ramen is 10/$1; Skippy peanut butter is $1.79; Gallo salame twin pack is $7.99 and Kellogg's Crunchy Nut cereal is $1.99.

Raley's will be our last stop to stock up on meat with their BOGO sale, which includes beef, pork, chicken and shrimp. Also at Raley's corned beef is $2.99lb for either beef rounds or brisket flats.

Muffins in the bakery are buy 2, get 1 free; Entenmann's Pop'ems or Oroweat breads are $1.99; Chobani yogurt is $1 a cup and Minute Maid OJ is $2.50.

In produce, tomatoes on the vine are $1.49lb; avocados are 79-cents each; bagged salads are 99-cents each; D'Anjou pears are 79-cents a pound and Barsotti carrot juice is $2.99  for a 69oz jug.

Coupons worth clippin' are a 24-pack of R Everyday water for $2.99; 2-liter Cokes for 99-cents; Tostitos for $1.99 and Oreos for $1.99.

That's it for this week. At 7 a.m. next Wednesday, a new Sprouts store opens in Citrus Heights at Greenback and Sunrise. That store joins one in Elk Grove and one in Roseville. On Opening Day, they are giving away coupon booklets for 10 free sandwiches to the first 300 customers who make a purchase and reusable bags while supplies last..

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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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