Shop Cheap

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

August 31, 2008
The Sunday savings

There's lots of savings in the Sunday paper. Let's start with Safeway.

SAFEWAY: Stop the presses right now!!! Remeber when the price of eggs was off the charts? Good things come to shoppers who wait because now Lucerne large eggs at Safeway are 88 cents a dozen. Bring on the omelets! Other highlights include Minute Maid orange juice for $2 a carton and Safeway Butter Top breads for 99-cents a loaf. If you are back to packing lunches this week, grab some Chips Anoy! for $1.77 and Bartlett Pears for 49-cents a pound. There's a two-page spread of coupons that includes Mission soft taco tortillas for 89-cents; Skippy peanut butter for $1.50 and a 1-pound bag of mini-carrots for 99-cents. If you need to stock up on the staples, Charmin bath tissue is $5.99 for 6-or 12 rolls; Kleenex tissue at $1 a box and Crest toothpaste is $2. There's also another ad from Safeway that focuses on health care products. The prices are good but they get even better when you  combine them with the P&G brand coupon saver that's also in the paper. Some examples: Gillette Mach3 or Venus shavers are $6.99 in the ad. But there are coupons in the P&G Saver for $2 off.  Old Spice deodorant is $3.99 in the ad and there's a $1 off coupon Same for Secret deodorant - $3.99 and a $1 off coupon. And, finally, that soda promotion - buy two 12-packs; get three free.

Over at Longs: Aquafina water is $3.99 a case; Sun Chips are $2 a bag and Planters nuts are BOGO.Back to those lunches again - Capri Sun drinks are $1.88  a pack and Pringles are $1. Sara Lee buns are $2 a package and Bumble Bee tuna or chicken salad is $1 a can. If you're out of Red Vines, the big tub is $6.99.

Walgreens has a bunch of BOGOs: vitamins; Cover Girl products; Kleenex and batteries. On the fun side, there's Life Savers and Whoppers; Werther's and Riesen. They've got the coupons, too. Northern tissue at $5.99; Arrowhead water at $3.99 a case; Pringles for 99-cents and Tuf paper towels for 59-cents. Still lots of back-to-school bargains like a BOGO coupon on filler paper; six folders for $1; and no-coupon BOGOs on Crayola pencils or crayons; Post-it notes; Bic pens and notebooks.

If you live closer to a Rite Aid, get on over for a great cereal offer on Kellogg's Rice Krispies, Rasin Bran and Fruit Loops for $1.99 a box. Olay skin care products are on sale and there's a coupon in the P&G saver for up to $2 on some products. Sharpie markers are BOGO as are vinyl binders.The Old Spice deodorant is $3.50 (remember that coupon).

August 27, 2008
Don't have to labor with these recipes

My recipe confidant Sheila Kern has come up with three delicious - and easy - recipes that use ingredients on sale this week. And they just happen to be perfect for the upcoming Labor Day weekend. Enjoy, and don't work too hard.

Watermelon is plentiful and reasonable. You can pick up a whole seedless melon for $3 at SaveMart; $3.47 at Raley's/BelAir; $3.88 at Safeway; $2.98 at Foods Co.

Watermelon Lemonade


Serves: 4

1½ pounds sliced seedless watermelon, rind removed

Zest of 1 lemon

3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

1/2 cup honey or to taste

1½ cups cold water

1 lemon, sliced thin for garnish


In a food processor, puree the watermelon until very smooth. Set a mesh strainer over a bowl and pour the pureed watermelon through it. Stir the pulp to let as much liquid as possible drain into the bowl. Discard pulp.


Pour the watermelon juice into a large pitcher and add the lemon zest. Set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice and honey until honey dissolves. Stir this mixture into the watermelon juice, then stir in the water.

Cover and refrigerate until very cold. Serve over lots of ice and garnish with lemon slices.

-- Recipe from Rozanne Gold in "The Oprah Magazine Cookbook" (Hyperion)

and from, May 13, 2008


Not all chicken needs to go on the BBQ. Here's a recipe for chicken salad sandwiches that are perfect for a picnic. Boneless, skinless chicken breasts are on sale at Raley's/BelAir ($1.77 a pound); Walmart ($13.98 for a 5lb pack) and SaveMart ($2.49lb).


Apricot Chicken Salad Sandwiches

From: Campbell's Kitchen

Prep: 15 minutes

Serves: 2


2/3 cup chopped cooked chicken breast
1 medium green onion, chopped (about 2 tablespoons)
4 dried apricots, finely chopped
3 tbsp. apricot preserves
2 tbsp. nonfat mayonnaise
2 tsp. chopped fresh parsley (optional)
4 slices whole wheat bread
Lettuce leaves


Stir the chicken, green onions, apricots, preserves, mayonnaise and parsley in a medium bowl.

Divide the lettuce and the chicken salad between the bread slices.

Nutrition Information

Calories 307, Total Fat 4g, Saturated Fat 1g, Cholesterol 41mg, Sodium 381mg, Total Carbohydrate 51g, Dietary Fiber 5g, Protein 19g, Vitamin A 28%DV, Vitamin C 10%DV, Calcium 7%DV, Iron 13%DV


And, lastly, a fresh corn salad. White or yellow corn is available at just about every supermarket from Raley's/BelAir (4/$1)  to Walmart (3/99-cents) to Vic's on Fulton (5/$2) and SaveMart 3/$1.


Fresh Corn Salad


5 ears of corn, shucked
1/2 cup small-diced red onion (1 small onion)
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
3 tablespoons good olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup julienned fresh basil leaves


In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the corn for 3 minutes until the starchiness is just gone. Drain and immerse it in ice water to stop the cooking and to set the color. When the corn is cool, cut the kernels off the cob, cutting close to the cob.

Toss the kernels in a large bowl with the red onions, vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Just before serving, toss in the fresh basil. Taste for seasonings and serve cold or at room temperature.



The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, copyright 1999




August 26, 2008
Late summer and the savings are easy

It's going to be hard not to find bargains at the grocery store this week as supermarkets are stocking up for the long Labor Day weekend and the traditional end of summer. Fresh fruit is still plentiful as is corn on the cob. It's a good time to fill the pantry and get ready for fall.

Some highlights:

Soda is definitely on sale for the 3-day weekend. At Safeway, it's buy 2-12-packs and get 3 free. At Raley's/BelAir, Pepsi products are buy 4-12 packs and get $5 off. Cases of bottled water (Arrowhead and Aquafina) are $3.99 or less at Safeway, Raley's/Belair, Vic's markets and SaveMart. But the bottled water winner this week is Foods Co. at $2.99 for a case of Crystal Geyser.

If you're planning a backyard BBQ,  boneless chicken breasts are $1.77 a pound at Raley's/Belair; split breasts are 97-cents a pound at SaveMart and 99-cents a pound at Safeway.

Ribs are also a good choice at $1.99lb at Safeway and $1.39lb at SaveMart.

Corn on the cob (remember to rip off the husks at the market) is 4/$1 at Raley's/Belair and 33-cents each at Safeway. At Foods Co., it's 3 for 99-cents and 3/$1 at SaveMart.

And, lastly, the apple pie. At Raley's/Belair you can get 2-8 inch pies for $5. A 9-inch pie at Safeway is $6.99. At Foods Co, 2/$6; $7.99 at SaveMart.

Want more savings? Check out the individual stores.

Safeway: OK, cereal fans, Cheerios and Lucky Charms are $1.49 a box. The produce aisle is brimming with bargains: A 4-pack of tomatoes is 99 cents; cherries are $2.99 a pound; red bell peppers at 99-cents a pound; broccoli at 88-cents a bumch whole watermelon for $3.88 and BOGO on raspberries (2 for $3.99). Garlic bread in the bakery is $1.99 a loaf; most varities of hot dogs are BOGO; hot dog or burger buns are $1 a package and Bush's Baked Beans are 2/$3. StarKist solid white tuna in water is $1 a can. This week's Friday special is chicken (again). But this time it's country fried and includes 2 drumsticks; 2 breasts; 2 thighs and 2 wings. If you need Softsoap liquid, it's $1 each and whipped topping (for the apple pie) is BOGO. If you are headed to a friend's or neighbor's for Labor Day, the floral dept. has bouquets for $5.99 and $7.99.

Raley's/BelAir: Pre-made ground beef patties are $2.77lb and Bush's Baked Beans are 2/$3. Whole watermelon is $3.47 each; Dreyer's fruit bars are 2/$5 (the temperature is going to be 100+ this week) and there's a coupon for Eskimo Pies 2/$4 worth clipping. My favorites - Lundberg Rice Chips are 2/$3 and Clif and Luna bars are $1 each in the Natural Foods section.

SaveMart: Whole Foster Farms chickens are 88 cents a pound; fresh cooked salad shrimp is $4.99lb and fresh ground round is $2.99lb. If you like mini-rice cakes, Quaker varities are 4/$5. The beauty and health aisle has a bunch of BOGOs with L'Oreal hair products, deodorant, toothpaste and sunscreen. In the deli/bakery, there's garlic bread for $1.99; a pound of potato salad for $2.99 and an 8-piece chicken meal for $5.99. Berries are still available at 2 containers for $5 and a jumbo cantaloupe is $2.. Sliced or whole portabella mushrooms are 2 packs for $6.

Foods Co. has a four-page ad with twice the savings. Whole watermelon is $2.99 and peaches are 2lbs. for 98-cents. Large boxes (17-19 oz)of Post cereals are 2/$5 and their 8-piece fried chicken combo meal (4 drumsticks; 4 thighs) is $3.98. Michelina's frozen entres are 88-cents each and Bush's baked beans are the same price (2/$3). Gallon jugs of Crystal Geyser water are 98-cents. In produce, fresh pineapples are $1.98 each; green beans are 98-cents a pound and radishes or cilantro are 33-cents a bunch. In the bakery, Van de Kamp buns are 98-cents and Western Hearth bread is 3/$5.

At the Vic's outlets, Barilla pasta is 99-cents a box; General Mills cereals are 2/$4; Skippy peanut butter is $1.99 a jar and Quaker mini rice cakes are $1 a bag. Gallo sliced salame is $4.99 for a large package.

Also included in the Wednesday ad offerings is a one-day pass to Sam's Club. A one-day visit is a good way to determine if warehouse shopping is right for you.

Be sure to come back Thursday for some money-saving recipes.



August 20, 2008
Big sales and some mail

Online reporter Niesha Lofing hit Macy's over the weekend and reports that "everything seems to be on sale." 

 Here's her report: "Major designers - including Ralph Lauren - were bargains. There were a ton of clothes marked down to just $9.99 and others for $19.99 - and we're talking major brands. I got a Jones New York dress that was originally $89 for $19.99. Not too sure if the sale is still on, but there were tons and tons of clothes left on those racks. Looks like they are making way for fall."

Great tip, Niesha. Unfortunately, for me, I'm on clothes shopping restriction until at least October. But for the rest of you - go for it!


Responding to the comments: Foods Co. is a division of Kroeger stores and has four locations in the Sacramento/Elk Grove area. to get the exact locations go to

And to sacisforsaps; You can shop however you want. I'm just pointing out the best prices in town.



August 20, 2008
Easy recipes using what's on sale

This week my recipe savvy colleague Sheila Kern is offering up some wonderful cooking tips to go along with the fresh fruit and veggies on sale. Last week, I tried the Blueberry crisp and the Green beans with thyme. Both were really good and really easy.

We're using peaches (on sale at Savemart, Raley's/Belair and Vic's). Get cucumbers at Raley's/Belair and zucchini at both Raley's and Safeway. Raspberries are 2/$5 at Savemart.  


Grilled Peaches with Fresh Raspberry Sauce


Bon Appétit / August 2007

Jamie Purviance

Top with scoops of vanilla ice cream and a couple of shortbread cookies if you like.

Servings: Makes 6 servings.


2 ¼ cups (lightly packed) fresh raspberries (about 13 ounces)
3 tablespoons water
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 ½ tablespoons (packed) dark brown sugar
6 medium-size ripe but firm peaches, halved, pitted



Puree 2 ¼ cups fresh raspberries along with 3 tablespoons water in food processor until puree is smooth. Strain raspberry puree through fine-mesh strainer, pressing on solids to release as much liquid as possible; discard solids in strainer. Stir in 3 tablespoons sugar and 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice until blended. DO AHEAD Fresh raspberry sauce can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.

Prepare barbecue (medium heat). Melt butter with brown sugar in heavy small skillet over medium heat. Remove skillet from heat. Brush peach halves all over with melted butter mixture. Grill until tender, about 8 minutes, turning occasionally. Serve with sauce.


Chocolate Zucchini Cake

Bon Appétit / November 1995

Serves 12


2 ¼ cups sifted all purpose flour
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups sugar
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
½ cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup buttermilk
2 cups grated unpeeled zucchini (about 2 1/2 medium)
1 6-ounce package (about 1 cup) semisweet chocolate chips
¾ cup chopped walnuts



Preheat oven to 325°F. Butter and flour 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking pan. Sift flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt into medium bowl. Beat sugar, butter and oil in large bowl until well blended. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla extract. Mix in dry ingredients alternately with buttermilk in 3 additions each. Mix in grated zucchini. Pour batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle chocolate chips and nuts over.

Bake cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Cool cake completely in pan.


Sweet-and-Sour Cucumbers with Fresh Dill


Bon Appétit / July 2004

This dish can be prepared in advance and chilled two hours before serving.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.



2 English hothouse cucumbers (1 1/2  pounds total), unpeeled, very thinly sliced
1 tablespoon coarse kosher salt

½ cup distilled white vinegar
¼ cup finely chopped fresh dill
3 tablespoons sugar
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper




Place cucumber slices in colander. Sprinkle with salt; toss to coat. Let stand 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.


Meanwhile, for dressing, stir vinegar, dill, sugar, and pepper in large bowl until sugar is dissolved.

Drain cucumbers well; pat dry. Add cucumbers to dressing and stir to blend. Refrigerate at least 15 minutes and up to 2 hours; serve cold.


August 19, 2008
You can save on groceries

Inflation is in the news today but we know better. Sure the price of gas remains high, but reasonable grocery prices can be found. Shop Cheap is here to tell you where. Remember our promise when we started: Sliced sandwich bread for less than $2 a loaf, a case of bottled water for $3.99 or less and a box of cereal for $2.50 or cheaper. 

Now that summer is winding down and lots of schools are back in session, sales at supermarkets reflect the late-August lifestyle in the Sacramento area. Here are the highlights:

Want peaches? You can get a pound for $1 or less at SaveMart, Raley's/BelAir and Vic's markets.

How about grapes? At most Safeway stores, they're 99-cents a pound. Foods Co. has them for 77-cents a pound.

In fact, produce is a bargain this week. Here's the breakdown:

SaveMart: Back to making lunches?  Bohemian Hearth sandwich bread is $2 a loaf. Peanut butter is 2/$4; Carnation chunk light tuna in water is 5/$4 and Sunny Select mayo is 2/$4. Eggs are back at $1.99 a dozen. Sunnyside Farms chicken breasts are $1.89 a pound and London broil is $2.99lb. Kraft Mac&Cheese is 5/$4; Marie Callendar's pasta sauce is 2/$4 and Ronzoni pasta is 2/$3. In the Beauty/Health aisle, there are a couple of good BOGO items: Got2b hair styling products and Arm&Hammer or Mentadent toothpaste and the new Crest Spin brush. A gallon of Crystal Geyser drinking water is 89-cents and Langers Juice cocktail is 2/$5. A case of Aquafina drinking water is $3.99, Savemart really shines in the produce department where you can get avocado or mango for $1 each, Grapes are a little more expensive at 2 pounds for $3 but jumbo cantaloupe is 2/$3. Driscoll's berries are 2/$5 and baby lemons are 5/$1. If you are feeling adventurous, go for the Green Broccoflower - a combination of broccoli and cauliflower. If not, stick with leaf lettuce at 79-cents a head or Campari hothouse tomatoes 2/$4.

Raley's/Belair has a 10lbs/$10 sale that's worth mentioning. Here's what you get: Peaches or nectarines, navel oranges, bartlett pears, mini carrots, English cucumbers, green bell peppers and zucchini. Check out the recipe for Sutter sirloin with grilled corn and sweet onion topping. It sounds delicious! The Sutter sirloin is $3.97 a pound and the ad says the recipe can be made for about $10. I wouldn't normally mention bread that's $3 a loaf but the San Luis sliced sourdough is so good - especially toasted. For back-to-school lunch snacks, there's Clif Kid Z-bar and Arrowhead drinking water for $3.99 a case. If you buy lettuce in the bag, Fresh Express in on sale for 97-cents. Blueberries are $3.99 for a 12oz. container and $5.99 for 18 ounces and a 3-pound bag of Gala apples is $3.

Safeway is still having that "grand re-opening sale" in Roseville and on Howe Avenue. This week it means "Super coupons" on Cheetos or Fritos, Classico Pasta Sauce and Lucerne cheese. Also, grapes are 88-cents a pound at the "grand re-opening" stores and 99-cents elsewhere. A shrimp salad sounds good this time of year and all the ingredients are here: cooked shrimp for $4.99 a pound; vine ripe tomatoes for 77-cents a pound; iceberg lettuce for $1 a head and celery for $1 a bunch.  Whole seedless watermelon is $3.99; fresh zucchini is $1 a pound and a 2-pound bag of sugar snap peas is BOGO. The Friday $5 special - whole roasted chicken - is a hot one. The possibilities are endless and like last week - it means no-cook Friday. Gallon jugs of Lucerne milk have dropped from $6.19 to $5.49 for two. String cheese is $3.99 for a 12-ounce pack. Back-to-school coupons include Skippy peanut butter or Welch's grape squeeze 2/$3 (Safeway sliced whole-wheat bread is $1.99 a loaf); Klondike ice cream bars for $1.99 and All Detergent for $2.99. And, lastly, there's a cereal sale - but you have to buy 5 boxes to get the best price. The $2 per box cereal includes Kellogg's, Post and General Mills varities. The $1 per box sale is for Safeway and Eating Right brands.

At the independent stores, Foods Co. has boneless, skinless chicken breasts for $1.87 a pound. Arrowhead water is $3.78 a case; Yoplait yogurt is 10/$5; Ocean Spray juice cocktail is $1.98 for 64oz jug and Keebler cookies are 3/$5.In the bakery/deli Van de Kamp's bread is 3/$5 and jumbo rotisserie cooked chicken is $5.98.

If you shop Vic's in Folsom, be sure to clip the coupons for Arrowhead water ($2.99 a case) and IGA brand large eggs (2 dozen for $3.) The Folsom outlet also has boneless/skinless chicken breasts for $1.87 a pound and seedless grapes for 99-cents a pound. Crystal cottage cheese is $1.99 a pint and zucchini is 99-cents a pound. At Vic's on Fulton, they are having a Columbus deli meats sale. From Black Forest ham to roast beef or salame, it's all $4.99 a pound.  Country-style spareribs are $1.89 a pound and Pacific red snapper fillets are $3.99 a pound. Vic's on South Land Park has grapes for 99-cents a pound; fresh tomatoes for $1.29 a pound and berries at 2/$5.

Come back Thursday for zucchini, cucumber and peach recipes.



August 18, 2008
It was a BOGO weekend

It seems that not everyone is in the know when it comes to BOGO. In shopping parlance, BOGO is the abreviation for Buy One, Get One Free. And if you even scanned the weekend inserts, you know that local pharmacy/drug stores are going BOGO in a big way. Here's a rundown:

RiteAid devoted the entire cover of its Sunday insert to the BOGO. They have everything from vitamins and ibuprofen to cosmetics, bath soap, backpacks and Butterfingers. They also have a center spread on BOGO beauty products. These are all name brands like Olay, Nivea, L'oreal and Almay. RiteAid also has Arrowhead bottled water for $3.99 a case.

Longs is also big on BOGO with L'oreal and Maybelline products. They also have good prices on grocery items like 32oz Gatorade for $1; Dryer's Fruit Bars 2/$5; S&W beans for 89-cents a can and lots of cereal for $2.50 a box. In the personal care aisle, check out Aquafresh toothpaste for 99-cents; Q-tips and Suave deodorant, also 99-cents.

Walgreens has dozens of coupon items for 39-cents. Get out the scissors or just bring in the whole insert  - it's that good. General Mills cereals are $1.99 a box; mandarin oranges and sliced mushrooms are 50-cents a can. Bounty paper towels are 3/$5.

All three stores have great deals on back-to-school supplies. You don't have to spend a lot of money for markers, pencils, filler paper or sticky notes.


August 13, 2008
Easy recipes to match what's on sale

The big three -  beans, berries and tomatoes - are in abundant supply and on sale this week. Here are four easy, tasty recipes - courtesy of Bee researcher Sheila Kern -  that feature the  fresh ingredients.

You can find all three on sale at Safeway. Green beans are 99-cents a pound; blueberries are $5.99 for 2.5 pounds; and tomatoes on the vine are $1.77 a pound.

You can find heirloom tomatoes at Raley's/Belair for $2.97 a pound. And SaveMart has tomatoes on the vine for $1.69 a pound and 18 ounces of blueberries for $3.99.

Oven roasted green beans

Recipe courtesy of Emeril Lagasse and The Food Network


1 1/2 pounds green beans

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 tsp. kosher salt

1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

preheat oven to 425

Trim the ends and place the beans in a large bowl

Toss with the olive oil, salt and pepper and spread out evenly on a parchment lined baking sheet.

Roast, stirring once halfway through, until lightly carmelized and crispy tender - 12-15 minutes. Serve.

Green beans with lemon and thyme

Recipe by Jeanne Thiel Kelley, Bon Appetit, June 2007


2 pounds beans

2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter

2 tsp chopped fresh thyme

1 tsp finely grated lemon peel


Cook beans in boiling salted water until crispy tender - 4 to 5 minutes. Drain. Rinse in cold water; pat dry. (You can do this in advance and layer the beans between paper towels and refrigerate).

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add beans, thyme and lemon peel. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss until heated (about 5 minutes) and serve.

Tomatoes and feta cheese with herb and garlic dressing

Recipe by Susan Springob, from Bon Appetit, July 1999


6 tablespoons tarragon vinegar

2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano or 2 tsp dried

1 tablespoon coarse-grained Dijon mustard

1 shallot minced

1 large clove garlic, minced

1 tsp minced peeled fresh ginger

1 cup olive oil

4 large tomatoes, thinly sliced

1/3 cup Kalamata olives or other brine-cured black olives, pitted and chopped

1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese


Combine first six ingredients in a medium bowl; gradually whisk in oil. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper.

Arrange tomatoes on a platter. Sprinkle with olives and cheese. Drizzle with enough dressing to coat. Serve with additional dressing.

Blueberry crisp with oatmeal and almond topping

Recipe from Bon Appetit, August 2001


3 half-pint baskets of  fresh blueberries

2 tablespoons plus 1/4 cup (packed) golden brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 cup quick-cooking oats

2 tablespoons all purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) chilled unsalted butter cut into small pieces

1/4 cup sliced almonds

Nonfat vanilla frozen yogurt


Preheat oven to 350-degrees. Rinse and drain blueberries, allowing some water to cling to the berries. Place berries in a 9-inch glass pie dish. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons brown sugar and cinnamon, stir to blend. Let stand until sugar dissolves and coats berries. Stir oats, flour, salt and remaining 1/4 cup brown sugar in medium bowl. Add butter and rub in with fingertips or fork until moist clumps form. Stir in almonds. Sprinkle oat mixture evenly over blueberries. Bake until berries are bubbling and topping is golden, about 35 minutes. Serve warm and top each serving with a spoonful of the frozen yogurt.





August 13, 2008
Losing Longs

Don't know about you, but I liked having Longs around. I shopped there more when I lived in the Bay Area but I've always been a fan. Wouldn't you know that on the day the story runs in the paper announcing "CVS chain to buy Longs Drugs stores" a full-page add also runs inside the main news section. Once again, there are  good deals to be had. We've been keeping track of egg prices recently, and Longs has a dozen large grade AA for 99-cents! The BOGO offerings are good, too: Mead notebooks, filler paper and Maybelline mascara. Summer items are on sale - with coupons for 40%-50% off flip-flops, picnic products, outdoor furniture and BBQ accessories. Also worth the trip, Longs brand vitamins at 60% off and Sara Lee hot dog or hamburger buns for $1.88 a pack.

There will be more to report when we scan the Sunday ad. After that, who knows?

August 12, 2008
Shop and save

It's State Fair time and a little lull in the grocery action as summer winds down and back-to-school heats up. Here's what's hot at area supermarkets this week:

If you like grapes, you're in luck. They are available everywhere.

Kellogg's cereals are a real deal.

It's tomato time with vine ripened and heirloom varities.

And, lastly, ribs are reasonable. You've go to check out The Bee's Gwen Schoen demonstrating the proper way to trim and season ribs on

Here are the highlights:

Raley's/Belair has the deal on seedless grapes at 99-cents a pound. They also have melon on sale for 37-cents a pound. Once you see Gwen's video you won't be able to resist the ribs, which are $1.99 lb. Boneless, skinless chicken breasts are $1.69 lb. Go back and get the recipe for Lemon Basil Chicken that was in the Thursday blog. I tried it on Saturday and it was excellent. Also at Raley's/Belair, tri-tip for $3.97lb. To compliment your meal, grab a fresh baguette from the bakery for 99-cents. On the cereal front, Kellogg's varities are $4 off when you buy four boxes. That's $1.50 each. Michelina's frozen meals are 79-cents each and Barilla Pasta is $1 a bpx. Try the new mini pasta varities. They work in pasta salads. In produce, you'll find heirloom tomatoes for $2.97lb; limes at 5/$1 and zucchini for 99-cents a pound. And if you're shopping Raley's/BelAir, be sure to check out the milk prices. Last Saturday, I got 2 gallons of Bayview Fat Free for $4.29, a dollar cheaper than the previous week.

SaveMart has back-to-school lunch in mind with Chicken of the Sea tuna for $1 a can and red seedless grapes, also 99-cents a pound. Sunnyside farms bread is 3/$5 and Sunny Select bottled water is $3.50 a case. Quaker granola bars are buy 2, get 2 free. Whole watermelon is $3.99; jumbo cantaloupe 2/$3 and berries are still plentiful. Raspberries are $3.99 for 12 oz; blueberries are $3.99 for 18oz. Tomatoes ont he vine ar $1.69 and the radish/green onion/cilantro trio is 49-cents each.Savenart also has ribs on sale for $1.99lb and those Michelina's frozen meals for 79-cents.

Safeway is the only supermarket that continues to BOGO (buy one, get one free). You can find BOGO savings on Foster Farms chicken breasts or chicken tenders; Farmland hickory smoked bacon; Tropicana juices; Ritz crackers or Chips Ahoy!; Trans Ocean imitation crab; Lucerne large eggs (18-count); Safeway Select ice cream and Hefty one zip storage bags. In regular grocery stuff, Safeway has blueberries $5.99 for 2.5lbs; tomatoes on the vine $1.77lb; green beans for 99-cents a pound and red bell pepper 2lbs/$3. Seedless grapes are $1.99 for a 2lb bag and Kellogg's cereals for $1.50 each with coupon. Depending on your choice of sandwich bread, there's Safeway wheat breads for 99-cents a loaf or whole wheat sliced bread for $1.99. Dasani water is $3.99 a case and Refershe water (the Safeway brand) is $1 a gallon. This week's Friday special is Homestyle Meatloaf. I'm still undecided on this one. But for $5, it's still a bargain and it means no cooking on Friday!

If you shop the independents, check out Foods Co. where you can get Mountain Dairy large eggs (18 count)  2/$4; nectarines at 2lbs/98-cents; 2lbs. of straberries for $2.98 and large avocados for 98-cents each. They also have mini seedless watermelon for $1.98 each and fresh oranges 2lbs/98-cents. Foster Farms drumsticks or thighs are $1.18lb; and the store brand whole chickens are 98-cents a pound. Van de Kamp's premium bread is 98-cents a loaf and hot dog or hamburger buns are 98-cents each. If you have a craving for Red Vines, a 4lb tub is $5.98.

Vic's on Fulton Ave. has Foster Farms boneless chicken breasts for $2.29lb. The Vic's on South Land Park and Folsom have New York steaks for $6.99 and $6.97 a pound. Remember, they are indepenently owned. That's why some prices are different.

Rainbow Foods on Florin Road has fresh pork steaks for $1.59lb and fresh shrimp meat for $4.29lb. They also have the seedless grapes for 99-cents a pound; Icebert lettuce for 79-cents a head and zucchini for 79-cents a pound. Prego pasta sauce is 2/$3 and Gallo sliced salame is $4.99 for a 16oz. package. Bisquick shake'n'pour pancake mix is $1.19 for a container. Sure sounds easier than messing with the eggs and the milk! LU cookies (shortbread or tea biscuits) are 2/$4 and Hillshire Farm deli select lunchmeat is 3/$5.

Come back on Thursday for tomato, blueberry and green bean recipes to go along with the sale items.



August 8, 2008
Start clipping those coupons

There's a bounty of great coupons in the Sunday inserts. Take a break from your hectic weekend duties and do a little clipping. It will save you a few dollars the next time you head to the grocery store.

Here are the highlights:

Remember that General Mills cereal coupon inside the Safeway ad on Wednesday? Combine that one (4 boxes for $6) with the $1 off coupon for the same products and you get 4 boxes of cereal for $5. Also, there's a coupon for Nature Valley granola bars (50-cents off two) and Gushers (same deal, 50-cents off two). Use that along with the Safeway coupon (4 for $6) and you get 4 boxes for $5.50.

Ta Da! You already recouped the price of The Sunday Bee.

Other notable coupons inside that same flier: Yoplait yogurt (save 40-cents on 6) and Old El Paso (save $1 on two products).

Subway has a $1 off coupon and a $5 meal deal. Also inside that flier: Smart Balance ($1 off two buttery spreads) and 50-cents off any one product. There's an ad for $1 off CentrumKids vitamins and $1 off Centrum for adults.

Inside the Smart Source packet, there's coupon for $1 off Minute Maid juices. And $1 off coupons for Bic markers, pencils and pens.

If you shop at Rite Aid, be sure to go over the 109 coupon offers, which are too numerous for me to list!!! 

Check out the price of milk at Raley's/BelAir. Two gallons of Bayview Fat-Free dropped by $1. If you come across cheaper milk prices, let me know.


August 8, 2008
Free tickets and O Organics
My colleague Sean McMahon, the product manager at has some free tickets to give away this weekend to the Sacramento Music and Film Festival. If you are interested, go to the site and click to win.


Another interesting item comes from Emily Bryson York writing in Advertising Age. Bryson York reports from Chicago that Safeway is going to roll out its organic line of foods - O Organics - and the healthier brand - Eating Right - to other grocery chains. To quote James White, Safeway's senior VP-consumer brands, Bryson York writes that "There is a significant consumer market for organics" that is not being impacted by the downturn in the economy. The article went on to say that O Organics targets mothers looking for healthier food for their children.

August 6, 2008
Healthy, helpful recipes

With all that fruit and chicken advertised at local supermarkets, we thought you might be want a few new recipes to go along with what's on sale this week. Special thanks to Sheila Kern for selecting these yummy offerings.

Chicken with lemon-basil sauce


3 tablespoons olive oil

*4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

4 garlic cloves, chopped

1 teaspoon (packed) grated lemon peel

1 cup canned low-salt chicken broth

1/2 cup chopped fresh basil or 1 tablespoon dried


Heat olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Add chicken to skillet and saute until brown and cooked through (at least 5 minutes per side.) Transfer cooked chicken to platter and tent with foil.

Add lemon juice, garlic and lemon peel to the same skillet and stir over medium-high heat until fragrant (about 30 seconds) Add chicken broth; boil until reduced to sauce consistency (about 8 minutes). Mix basil into sauce and season with salt and pepper. Spoon sauce over chicken and serve.

*Chicken breasts are on sale at Raley's/BelAir and SaveMart.

The chicken recipe is from Epicurious and provided by Daveena Limonick of Los Angeles, CA

Spinach and strawberry salad (serves four)

1/2 shallot minced (about 1 tablespoon)

2 tablespoons raspberry vinegar

1/4 cup olive oil

6 ounces baby spinach leaves

*5 fresh strawberries

1/3 cup sliced toasted almonds

2 ounces goat cheese

Combine the minced shallot and raspberry vinegar in a small bowl. Slowly add the olive oil to the mixture while whisking. Place the mixture in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Chop or tear the baby spinach int large strips. Add to a large salad bowl. Prep the remaining ingredients of the salad, but keep separated. Slice the strawberries into thin, round slices. Crumble the goat cheese into medium-sized chunks.

When you are ready to serve the salad, add the strawberries, almonds and goat cheese and lightly mix together. Add the dressing slowly (you may not want to use all of it). Gently mix together and serve immediately.

*Strawberries are on sale at SaveMart

This recipe is from Whole Foods Market.


Blueberry buttermilk pancakes

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup sugar

2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 eggs

2 cups buttermilk

1/4 cup melted unsalted butter (plus some for cooking)

*1 cup blueberries, fresh (in Summer) or frozen

In a large bowl sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt

Beat the eggs with the buttermilk and melted butter. Combine the dry and wet ingredients into a lumpy batter. Don't overmix because you'll get flat, heavy pancakes.

Heat some butter in a skillet over medium heat. Spoon 1/3 of the batter into the skillet and sprinkle the top with some of the blueberries. Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side.

Top with whipped cream or maple syrup.

*Blueberries are on sale at Raley's/Belair and SaveMart.

This recipe is courtesy of "The Cookworks" from the Food Network.

Get grilling

Also, be sure to check out Bee Food & Wine writer Gwen Schoen's tips for grilling corn on the cob. Here's a link to her story:

 Corn on the cob is on sale at SaveMart 3/$1.




August 5, 2008
Stock up on fruit and BOGOs

It's that time of year when summer collides with back-to-school. And the sales at our local markets reflect that phenomenon. There's delicious fresh fruit on sale (or as Safeway says in the ad "absurdly fresh fruits and vegetables") and plenty of pencils, backpacks and peanut butter, too.

Here are the highlights:

We'll start with the "absurdly fresh fruits" at Safeway. Cantaloupe is $1 each (except at Howe Ave. and Sierra College Blvd. where it's 88-cents); nectarines are $1 a pound; watermelon is $3.99 each; organic grapes are $1.77lb and whole pineapple is $2.99 each.

Raley's/BelAir is the place for boneless, skinless chicken breasts at $1.97lb and strawberries 2lbs/$3. Blueberries in a 12oz. container are 2/$6 and grapes are $1.99lb.

SaveMart has tri tip for $2.99 lb; large cantaloupe at 2/$3; bing cherries are $2.99lb; corn on the cob 3/$1; seedless grapes $1.49lb. And in the veggie department, green beans are $1.29lb and Italian squash is 79-cents a pound.

The best of the rest:

Back to Safeway where they are still having that "Grand re-opening" sale at two stores - as noted above. We'll focus here on items available at all locations. The Friday only special this week is in the deli where a pound  of Primo Taglio pan roasted turkey or Black Forest ham is $5. In addition to sandwiches, the turkey or ham make great toppings for salad or inside a wraps. Another  great buy for summer BBQ fans: Whole Foster Farms chicken at 79-cents a pound; BOGO items include Keebler cookies and Cheez-Its; BallPark franks; Breyers ice cream; Lucerne large AA eggs 18 count; O Organics or Nature Made vitamins and orange juice. Sliced or whole mushrooms are 2 packs/$4 and Iceberg lettuce is $1 a head. CapriSun drinks are $1.99 (think back to school lunches); Honey bunches of oats are $1.99 a box;and there's also a coupon  for General Mills cereal 4/$6. If you're starting to think about lunches, Safeway sliced bread is $1.99 a loaf Jif peanut butter is 2/$5 and Planters trail mix is 2/$3.

Raley's/BelAir: In addition to the items mentioned above, check out the London broil at $2.97lb; large tomatoes for $1.27lb and garlic or Dutch crust bread in the bakery for 99-cents a loaf. Raley's brand of bottled water is $3.77 a case; 7*Up liters are buy two, get two free; and 3-litre bottles of Arrowhead water are $1 each. In the bakery, muffins are $2.99 for a pack of six; and fresh bagels are 6/$3. If you like Balance bars, Clif or Luna bars, they are $1 each.  Kid's Clif bars are 5/$3. Other back to school items include, Chicken of the Sea Albacore tuna $1 a can; Skippy peanout butter 2/$5 and Ziploc sandwich bags 2/$5. Raley's also has specials on school stuff like notebooks 2/$1; binders 2/$5; pencils or markers 2/$5 and a good supply of backpacks.

SaveMart: Lots of bargains here, including a case of Arrowhead water for $3.98; large eggs 18-count 2/$5 and Sunnyside Farms cracked wheat bread 3/$5. They're big on BOGOs this week, too. General Mills cereal; Chef Boyardee pasta; and Pasta Prima Fancy Pasta. Fresh cooked shrimp is $4.99lb; Sunnyside Farms cottage cheese is $1.99 for 16oz; Sargento sliced cheese is 2/$6; Oroweat sliced bread is $2.99 and Pringles potato snacks are $1 each. A gallon of Sunny Select drinking water is 88-cents and Puffs facial tissue is $1 a box.

Heading over to the independent markets, Foods Co. has boneless skinless chicken breasts for $1.77lb. and the fresh drumstick and thigh picnic pack is 98-cents a pound. Seedless red grapes are 77-cents a pound; cantaloupe is 5lbs/$1 and limes are 8/96-cents. Natural spring water is $2.98 a case; Western Hearth sliced bread is 3/$5 and Powerade is 58-cents a bottle. Pringles are 98-cents; Take&Bake pizza is $5.98 for a 14-inch pie; homestyle French bread is 88-cents a loaf  and Post cereals are 2/$4.

The neighborhood Vic's Markets have pint packages of blueberries for $2.49 and Roma tomatoes for 99-cents a pound. Foster Farms chicken breasts are $1.49lb in the value pack; Crystal Geyser water is $3.99 a case; solid white tuna is $1.29 a can and Pillsbury Grands! biscuits are $1.69.

Check back on Thursday for recipes that use ingredients from the items that are on sale.




August 3, 2008
Clip coupons and save BIG

You know that you've done well when the checker says "WOW" as he reads the savings tally on the register tape. That'w what happened at Safeway after clipping the coupons from the insert in Sunday's paper. I didn't buy anything we didn't need and I saved 52% - thanks to the club card and the coupons. Here's the skinny: a dozen Lucerne large eggs for 99-cents; Minute Maid orange juice 2/$4; General Mills cereals 4/$6; Gatorade 4/$2; Mott's apple juice 99-cents; Brawny paper towels 8 rolls for $5.49 and Aleve pain reliever $3.99. I bought a couple other items - all on sale: cantaloupe $1 each; case of Refreshe water for $2.99 (with coupon); a loaf of Milton's bread $3; pork tenderloin $4.99; bell pepper 2lbs/$3 and yellow onions at 88-cents a pound. Grand total $47.09! The only downside...I failed to hit $50 for my 10-cent per gallon fuel discount. Next time I'll add a couple packs of gum!

Speaking of gasoline: I hear something very frightening when I was filling up on Saturday. The driver of a large pick up truck buying gas: "I'll take $120 on Number 4, please."


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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