Shop Cheap

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

September 25, 2008
Top recipe searches

I came across some interesting info from the folks at, one of the top 10 social networks.

Here's a list of the top recipe searches for September:

1.       Mom's Zucchini Bread

2.       Southern Peach Cobbler

3.       Zucchini Bread

4.       Awesome Slow Cooker Pot Roast

5.       Good Old-Fashioned Pancakes



And for all the cooks who need more hours in the day, here's a list of quick and easy family meals:

Garlic Chicken

2.       Chicken Marsala

3.       Chicken Enchiladas II

4.       Actually Delicious Turkey Burger

5.       Chicken Fried Chicken



September 24, 2008
Recipes to match what's on sale

If you're looking for recipes to match what's on sale, check out these tasty offerings that are guaranteed to make you one popular cook. My pal Sheila Kern provided this week's recipes.


First, the tri tip. It's on sale at SaveMart for $2.77 a pound.




Southwestern Style Spice Rub for Tri-Tip Roast


Yield: for 1 roast 

Recipe by Chef Mike, host of The Radio Kitchen. A great barbeque recipe for the king of all grill meats, the Tri-tip roast. 




 1 tablespoon salt  

 1 tablespoon ancho chili powder  

 1 tablespoon brown sugar  

 2 teaspoons cumin powder  

 3 cloves garlic, minced  

 3 green onions, minced  



Combine all the ingredients and coat the roast with the mixture.

Allow to marinate for at least an hour or up to 3 hours, under refrigeration.

Grill over indirect heat for 30-40 minutes or until desired doneness is reached. Use a quick read thermometer to check temperature.


120 degrees for rare; 130 degrees for medium rare; 140 degrees for medium; 150 degrees for medium well; 165+ degrees for well.


These are the temperatures that the meat will be when it is still on the grill. When you pull the meat from the fire, put it on a warm plate and cover with a sheet of aluminum foil to keep warm. Let the roast rest for at least 10 minutes before cutting. The internal temperature will rise slightly during this time. This will "even out" the roast's doneness, making the whole roast's temperature consistant. This will make the roast look, slice and taste better.

Here's another tri-tip gem from the Oregon Beef Council


Lime 'N Pepper Tri-Tip


1 ½ to 2 lbs beef tri-tip, trimmed of fat


Approximately ¾ cup juice of 6 limes

¼ cup olive oil

1 tsp. cumin

½ tsp. garlic powder

½ tsp. onion powder


2 tbsp. coarse grind black pepper

1 tbsp. kosher salt


Combine marinade ingredients.  Place meat and marinade in covered glass dish or plastic bag.  Refrigerate 1 1/2 to 2 hours.  Remove meat from marinade, discarding marinade.  Combine rub ingredients and press into all surfaces of meat.  Seasoned meat may be refrigerated for one hour to enhance flavor or grilled immediately.

*Grill roast to desired doneness over medium coals for 30 - 40 minutes, turning occasionally.  Remove from heat and tent with foil for 10 minutes before carving across the grain into thin slices.  Garnish with lime wedges, if desired. Tip:  Before grilling, coat rack with cooking spray or brush with oil to prevent rub from sticking.


Now, for the whole chicken. The price at Safeway for a whole Foster Farms bird is 79-cents a pound.

Adapted from


Roast Chicken in Lemon - Rosemary Marinade


1 whole chicken

1 lemon, halved

4 sprigs fresh rosemary


2/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 tbsp. olive oil

3 tbsp. crushed black peppercorns or coarsely ground pepper

4 tbsp. fresh, chopped rosemary or 2 tbsp. dried


Combine all ingredients for the marinade. Pour over the chicken and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours, or overnight.

Place the lemon halves and rosemary sprigs in the cavity of the chicken if a whole bird is used. Roast chicken in a 425-degree oven for 15 minutes per pound. Do not open oven or baste chicken during roasting. If chicken is to be grilled, grill for approximately 20 minutes, turning once. Legs and thighs should be grilled an additional 5 minutes or until meat is not pink.

Serves 4.



Everyone needs a good guacamole recipe. This one comes from the California Avocado Commission. Avocado is on sale at Safeway for 97-cents each. The price at SaveMart is 4/$5.


Classic Guacamole


Serves 8



4 ripe Fresh California avocados, seeded and peeled

2 Tbsp lemon juice

1 clove garlic, crushed

1 tomato, finely chopped

¼ cup finely chopped onion

¼ tsp ground cumin

3 drops hot pepper sauce



Using a fork, coarsely mash avocado with lemon juice and garlic.

Stir in remaining ingredients to blend.

Garnish as desired and serve with tortilla chips.


And another from the California Avocado Commission


California Avocado and Mushroom Salad


Serves 6



1/8 cup olive oil

¼ cup whole grain mustard

½ cup sherry wine vinegar

½ cup chopped fresh basil leaves

12 oz each diced green and red bell pepper

1 pound fresh white mushrooms

1 whole California avocado

6 leaves of Butterhead lettuce

12 slices Italian bread


In a large bowl, mix oil, mustard, vinegar, basil and bell peppers. Set aside.

Wash mushrooms and slice. Add to the dressing mixture and marinade for 10 minutes.

Serve each salad portion on a leaf of lettuce.

Fan sliced California avocado on top and serve with two slices of grilled Italian bread.



 The eggplant recipe comes from Wednesday's Food&Wine section of The Bee. Eggplant is on sale at Raley's/Belair for $1.29 each.


Pasta with roasted eggplant

Prep time: 20 minutes Cook time: 40 minutes Serves 2 to 3

This simple pasta dish can make a one-dish meal, and it's even better when you use vegetables from the farmers market or your own garden. This recipe is based on one from Gourmet magazine


1 small eggplant, cubed

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided use

Salt and pepper to taste

1 cup finely chopped onion

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 medium red bell pepper, sliced thin

1/2 pound plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped (about 4 tomatoes)

2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar, or to taste

1/2 pound rotelle pasta

1/4 cup ricotta cheese

1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves

Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, to taste


Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In a jellyroll pan, toss eggplant with 1 tablespoon of the oil, and salt and pepper to taste, and roast in oven, shaking pan occasionally, until golden and tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in a heavy skillet. Add onion, garlic and bell pepper and cook, tossing occasionally, until the vegetables are softened. Add the tomatoes to the skillet and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes and pepper are tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Add salt
and pepper to taste.

Add the vinegar and the roasted eggplant to the tomato mixture.

Bring a kettle of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until it is al dente and drain well, reserving about 3/4 cup cooking water. In a bowl, toss pasta well with vegetable sauce, ricotta, basil, Parmesan, salt and pepper to taste, and enough
reserved cooking water to reach the desired consistency.






















September 23, 2008
The season for sales

We drifted into fall this week and we are seeing more hearty foods in the weekly grocery inserts. Time for more pizza, soups, apples and Autumn recipes.

The highlights this week include crisp apples at Safeway and Raley's/Belair; juicy tri tip at SaveMart and creamy avocado at both Safeway and SaveMart. Also, whole chickens are a bargain at 79-cents a pound at Safeway and large eggplant at Raley's for $1.29lb.. Come back on Thursday for recipes to match the sale items.

Here's the deals:

Raley's/BelAir has a great lead item on boneless pork loin at $1.97lb plus a recipe for apple pork. You don't have too look far for the apples to go along with the recipe because they are on sale for 88-cents a pound. Other specials include a new kind of French bread that's called Transfat Free Crusty, "with a moist interior and an extra crunchy crust" for 99-cents. Anything that boasts an "extra crunchy crust" will make my shopping cart. Besides the apples, and the eggplant, Raley's has peaches for $1.49lb; bell pepper for $1.49lb and heirloom tomatoes for $2.99lb. In the 10 items for $10 category, there's 7-Up products, Stagg Chili, Betty Crocker cake mix and Del Monte canned fruit and veggies. They also have savings on facial tissue at $1 a box; paper towels for 99-cents a roll and bathroom tissue at 24 rolls for $5.50. As part of the Mix&Match sale, there's Renuzit, Dial soaps and Airwick freshener for $1 each.

Over at Safeway, the $5 Friday special is Signature Cafe pizza - pepperoni or cheese. The 48-hour weekend sale focuses on breakfast with sausage links at 2/$3; 4-pound bag of oranges for $1.49; Minute Maid OJ 2/$4 and a dozen Lucerne eggs for $1.28. Whole Foster Farms chickens are 79-cents a pound and 93% lean ground beef is $3.99lb. If you need water for soccer, football or other high-impact sports, it's 3 cases for $9.99. Here's the good part: you can chose your favorite brand - Refreshe, Dasani, Aquafina or Arrowhead. Looking for BOGOs? Safeway again has the most offerings, including Butter Top breads, Campbell's and Progresso specialty soups, Florida's Natural OJ, Windex; Dreyer's ice cream,and frozen waffles. In produce, check out avocado for 97-cents each; Fuji or Granny Smith apples at 97-cents a pound; red bell papper, also 97-cents a pound and asparagus at $2.49 a pound.

If you are hungry for tri tip, head over to SaveMart where the Master Cut brand is $2.77 a pound. Another outstanding buy - but maybe a little too early in the season - is Master Cut whole frozen turkeys for $10 each. Whole Sunnyside Farms chickens are $1.19 a pound and sliced salami is $4.89 a pound. Other good buys include Sunnyside Farms sandwich bread 3/$5; Sunny Select drinking water $3.50 a case; Kellogg's cereal 3/$5 and Minute Maid drinks $1 a carton. In produce, Cherubs grape tomatoes are 2/$4; artisan lettuce is 2 bags/$4; tomatoes are $1.29 a pound; avocado is 4/$5 and raspberries are 2/$5.

And Vic's...different stores, different prices. If you shop Fulton Avenue, broccoli is 99 cents a bunch; large tomatoes are 99-cents a pound; paper towels are 69-cents a roll and top sirloin steaks are $3.99 a pound. At the South Land Park store, fresh broccoli is 79-cents a pound; grapes are 99-cents a pound; large tomatoes are 99-cents a pound; Arrowhead water is $3.49 a case and IGA-18 count large eggs are BOGO. Cooked cocktail prawns are $5.99 a pound. The Vic's in Folsom has the same items - again at slightly different prices. The broccoli is 99-cents a pound, the eggs are $2.99 for 18 but Iceberg lettuce is 99-cents a head and white peaches or nectarines are 99-cents a pound. Plus, there's a $2.99 coupon for a case of Arrowhead drinking water. Lemons are 2/$1 and limes are 4/$1. Pork spareribs are $1.97 a pound and the top sirloin steaks are $3.99 a pound. 

Don't forget to check back in the next day or so for new recipes.



September 17, 2008
The Nugget and new recipes

Before we get to this week's recipes, let's take a look at Nugget Markets. My friend Mort who lives in Davis brought me the store's weekly insert and it has some surprising sales to share. The Woodland-based market has 8 stores in our area but the inserts are not included in The Bee. That makes it hard for me to share the good stuff and there's lots of it.

Besides being beautiful stores, Nugget markets have sales worth shopping for. Here's a rundown: General Mills cereal 2/$4; Oroweat English muffins 2/$5 and Harris Ranch flank steaks at $4.99lb. Also, Harris Ranch premium ground beef (90% lean) is $3.99 a pound. They have avocado for 97-cents each; gala apples for 97-cents a pound and fresh green beans for $1.27lb. They don't do BOGO at Nugget; they call their sales "Better than BOGO." Here's an example: Nalley chili with beans for 89-cents a can and Foster Farms chicken or turkey franks for 99-cents. Other highlights include Challenge butter for $2.99; Quaker mini-rice cakes 2/$3; Sobe beverages 99-cents each and Skinny Cow ice cream products for $3.99.

This week's recipes from our recipe maven Sheila Kern have a flavor of fall.

Asparagus is on sale at Raley's/Belair for $1.77 a pound and at Safeway for $1.79 a pound.






Copyright 2005, Ina Garten, All Rights Reserved 

Show: Barefoot Contessa

Episode: Housewarming Party


2 pounds fresh asparagus

Good olive oil
Kosher salt, plus extra for sprinkling
Freshly ground black pepper


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. 

Break off the tough ends of the asparagus and, if they're thick, peel them.

Place the asparagus on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, then toss to coat the asparagus completely. Spread the asparagus in a single layer and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Roast the asparagus for 25 minutes, until tender but still crisp.

Asparagus Omelet

Bon Appétit | May 1999


Servings: Serves 6 as an appetizer.



10 ounces asparagus, cut into 1/3-inch pieces

6 large eggs
1/3 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

4 bacon slices, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

4 green onions (white parts only), thinly sliced



Steam asparagus until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Drain.

Whisk eggs, grated Parmesan cheese, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon

pepper in large bowl to blend well. Sauté bacon pieces in heavy large nonstick

skillet over medium-high heat until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Add sliced

green onions and sauté until onions are translucent, about 3 minutes. Add

cooked asparagus; sauté until heated through. Reduce heat to medium. Spread

asparagus mixture in single layer in skillet. Pour egg mixture over asparagus.

Cook until eggs are very softly set, tilting skillet, gently running rubber spatula

around edges and allowing uncooked egg portion to flow underneath, about 4

minutes. Tilt skillet and slide omelet out onto plate, folding omelet in half. Cut

omelet into wedges and serve.


Strawberries are on sale at Raley's/BelAir for $1.79 a basket; at Safeway buy one pound ($3.99), get one pound free; and SaveMart $3.99 for two pounds.





Submitted by: Katie Mae

Yields: 8 muffins



1/4 cup canola oil

1/2 cup milk

1 egg

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 cup white sugar

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup chopped strawberries



Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) oil an 8 cup muffin tin, or use paper liners

In a small bowl, combine oil, milk, and egg. Beat lightly. In a large bowl, mix flour, salt, baking powder and sugar. Toss in chopped strawberries and stir to coat with flour. Pour in milk mixture and stir together.

Fill muffin cups. Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 25 minutes, or until the tops bounce back from the touch. Cool 10 minutes and remove from pans.




Strawberry Bread

Submitted by: Ellen Rainey

Yields: 24 servings



2 cups fresh strawberries

3 1/8 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups white sugar

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/4 cups vegetable oil

4 eggs, beaten

1 1/4 cups chopped pecans



Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Butter and flour two 9 x 5 inch loaf pans.

Slice strawberries, and place in medium-sized bowl. Sprinkle lightly with sugar, and set aside while preparing bread mixture.

Combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, salt and baking soda in large bowl: mix well. Blend oil and eggs into strawberries. Add strawberry mixture to flour mixture, blending until dry ingredients are just moistened. Stir in pecans. Divide batter into pans.

Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until tester inserted comes out clean. Let cool in pans on wire rack for 10 minutes. Turn loaves out, and cool completely.


Beef for the following two recipes is on sale at Safeway $1.69lb; SaveMart $2.99lb; Foods Co. $2.27lb.; and Rainbow Foods $2.49lb.



Gourmet | November 2005


Boeuf à la Mode

This old-fashioned pot roast recipe was given to food editor Ruth Cousineau by

her late mother-in-law, Mary Cousineau, who learned it from her own French-

Canadian mother-in-law. Ruth has substituted allspice for the more difficult-to-

find quatre épices, which Mary used to flavor the meat. Like any pot roast, this

one tastes even better made ahead and reheated. Drizzle the pan juices over

steamed potatoes or serve the sliced meat over noodles.


Makes 8 servings.



(2-lb) well-marbled boneless beef chuck pot roasts (1 1/2 inches thick)
2 teaspoons ground allspice
1 1/2 lb onions, halved lengthwise, then thinly sliced lengthwise (6 cups)
6 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley


Special equipment: heavy-duty foil



Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 400°F.

Pat meat dry. Stir together allspice, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper in a small bowl and rub all over meat. Spread half of onions and half of garlic in a 13- by 9-inch roasting pan and arrange meat on top. Spread remaining onions and garlic over meat. Tightly cover pan with foil and roast, turning meat over after 1 hour, until meat is very tender, about 2 1/2 hours total. Skim fat from pan juices.

Slice meat across the grain and sprinkle with parsley. Serve with onions and pan juices.

Cooks' note: Beef can be braised 2 days ahead.

Cool meat in juices, uncovered, then slice and chill in juices, covered. Reheat, covered, in a 350°F oven 30-40 minutes.





SLOW cooker pot roast

1 Tbsp. Oil

3-to 3-1/2- lb. boneless beef pot roast (rump, chuck or round)

4 carrots, sliced

4 medium all-purpose potatoes (about 2 lbs.), cut into 1-inch pieces

2 envelopes Lipton® Recipe Secrets® Onion Soup Mix

3/4 cup water

Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and brown roast. Arrange carrots and potatoes in slow cooker. Top with roast and set aside. Combine Lipton® Recipe Secrets® Onion Soup Mix with water in glass measuring cup. Add to skillet, scraping up any brown bits from bottom of pan. Add soup mixture to slow cooker. Cook covered on Low 8 to 10 hours or HIGH 4 to 6 hours. Remove roast and vegetables to serving platter.

Thicken gravy, if desired, by combining additional 1/4 cup water with 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour. Cook on HIGH 15 minutes or until thickened.

Serves 8

Nutrition Information per serving
Calories 360, Calories From Fat 90, Total Fat 10g, Saturated Fat 3.5g, Trans Fat 0g, Cholesterol 80mg, Sodium 700mg, Total Carbohydrate 27g, Dietary Fiber 3g, Sugars 3g, Protein 38g, Vitamin A 100%, Vitamin C 40%, Calcium 6%, Iron 25%





















September 16, 2008
Coupons, weekend sales and more

The only thing better than regular coupons is clipless coupons and that's what Raley's/BelAir has this week. Safeway is continuing its 48-hour weekend sale with great deals and SaveMart has fresh values on produce. Let's cut to the chase:

Raley's/BelAir is introducing a branding campaign that identifies products as "our brands," "ad special," "terrific value," "best seller," "bargain buy" or "new." They are calling it "your ticket to savings." Here's what you get for your "ticket." Ground beef patties for $3.49 a pound; a case of Arrowhead water for $3.99 and Campbell's Soup at Hand at $1 each.

Even better, there's clipless coupons that include Campbell's select soups for 99-cents a can; Sara Lee breads for $1.99 a loaf; Post cereals for $1.99a box; Powerade for 69-cents and Dannon yogurt 10/$5. Other good buys include green or white asparagus for $1.99 a pound; fresh shrimp meat $4.99lb; boneless, skinless chicken breasts (including a recipe for Cold Noodle Salad with Chicken) for $1.77lb; Knorr Lipton sides for $1 each and Luna bars for $1. Fresh green beans are $1.49lb; strawberries or raspberries are 2/$5; grapes are 97-cents a pound and European style bread in the bakery is $2.99 a loaf.

Over at Safeway, the weekend 48-hour sale includes the All-American sub sandwich for $5 (that's the huge loaf-size sub that will feed hungry football fans); gala apples (bought some last week and they're tasty) for 77-cents a pound; 32-oz. Gatorade for 59-cents and Oreo cookies for $1.88. The $5 Friday special  is a pound of Primo Taglio pan-rasted turkey or Black Forest ham (you can get half-pound of each). Safeway also has coupons for Brawny paper towels or Northern bath tissue for $5.49 and Post Honey Bunches of Oats 2/$3.

Other good stuff includes BOGO Tree Top apple juice, Tropicana orange juice; fresh strawberries; Jeannie-O Turkey Sausage; Nathan's beef franks; Tyson sliced bacon; Pop Secret microwave popcorn; Quaker instant oatmeal; Safeway Select ice cream and Eating Right Kids' frozen pancakes or waffles. In produce the BOGO offerings are plentiful, including Del Monte fruit naturals, Mariani dried fruit, Sun-Rype fruit strips, baby peeled carrot snack packs; pistachios and Litehouse caramel dips.

Arrowhead water is $3.99 a case and Zone or Balance bars are $1 each. Fresh asparagus is $1.79lb and Bartlett pears are 49-cents a pound.

If you're shopping SaveMart this week be sure to check out the boneless roast at $2.99 a pound, the 2-pound container of strawberries for $3.99 and jumbo cantaloupe 2/$3. Other fresh produce items include tomatoes on the vine for $1.49lb; bagged romaine hearts 2/$4; raspberries 2/$5 or 12oz for $3.99; assorted fresh herbs are 2/$4 and broccoli is 99-cents a pound. Fresh shrimp meat is also $4.99lb and 85 percent lean ground beef is $2.99lb. Dannon yogurt is 10/$5 and Challenge spreadable butter is $1.79. Campbell's soups are $1 a can; 7-UP, root beer and RC Cola is $1 for a 2-liter bottle. In the bakery department, SaveMart is advertising all kinds of cakes, including decorated birthday cakes for kids. They also have whole grain or roasted garlic bread for $2.99.

The Vic's markets have Progresso soups for $1.50 a can; General Mills cereals for $2 a box; bell peppers for $1.29 a pound and a special on pork at the Fulton Avenue store.

Foods Co. continues to have some of the best deals on groceries. This week is no exception with fresh white corn 3/99-cents; seedles grapes at 87-cents a pound; fresh chicken breasts at 97-cents a pound and Western Hearth bread at 2/$3. They also have a 28-pack of Arrowhead water for $3.98 and six rolls of Kroger paper towels for $3.98. In produce, cilantro and green onions are 4 bunches for $1 and fresh broccoli is 98-cents a pound.

Rainbow Foods has boneless chuck steak or roast for $2.49 a pound, fresh shrimp meat for $3.99 a pound and Fajita or Pork stew meat for $2.59lb. Produce values include bell pepper 2 pounds for $1; fresh corn 4/$1 and Bartlett pears for 79-cents a pound. Newman's Own products are on sale with salsa, pasta sauce and marinade at 2/$5. Newman's salad dressing is 2/$6. If you need facial tissue, the Puffs brand is 99-cents a box and Crystal Geyser water is $3.29 for a case.

Don't forget to check back tomorrow for recipes to go with the beef roast, asparagus and strawberries.



September 12, 2008
Here's the deal

Stopped off at Raley's last night to pick up a few items and to check out the 10 for $20 sale. I didn't realize how good the deal was until I got home and went over my cash register receipt. At the check out, you an additional $5 off.

You can choose General Mills cereals, Betty Crocker products like cake, cookie or brownie mixes; Bisquick, Progresso soups, Old El Paso taco shells or salsa and Green Giant vegetables. For snackers, there's Fruit Roll-ups and Gushers, Chex Mix and Yoplait Go-Gurt. Now, if you're like me, the only problem is counting to make sure you have 10 items!

Happy shopping. 

September 10, 2008
Recipes for what's on sale

It's that time of the week when we offer up a few recipes to match some of the sale items at local grocery stores. This week recipe's come from Bee researcher Sheila Kern. She really knows her stuff when it comes to finding tasty and easy recipes. First up broccoli, which is on sale at Vic's and Raley's/BelAir.


Broccoli with Ginger

Gourmet | March 2007


Active time: 30 min

Start to finish: 30 min

Servings: Makes 4 to 6 servings



2 lb broccoli
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt



Cut florets into 2-inch-wide pieces. Trim stems and peel with a knife, then slice crosswise 1/4 inch thick. Cook broccoli in a large pot of boiling salted water, uncovered, until crisp-tender, 3 to 4 minutes, then drain.

Heat oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then sauté ginger, stirring, until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Add broccoli and salt and sauté, stirring, until just tender, 2 to 3 minutes.


And since we are approaching Mexican Independence Day, a salsa recipe seems appropriate. Here's one that's traditional and one that includes raspberries, which are part of the Safeway 48-hour sale this weekend.



Tomato, Corn and Avocado Salsa




1 (11 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained

1 (4 ounce) can sliced black olives, drained

1 1/2 cups diced roma tomatoes

3/4 cup diced red onion

1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced

1 1/2 teaspoons minced jalapeno pepper

1 avocados - peeled, pitted and diced

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1 teaspoon salt



Mix together corn, olives, tomatoes, onion, red pepper, and jalapeno pepper in a large bowl. Gently fold in diced avocado, olive oil, lime juice, and salt.



Raspberry Salsa




2 cups fresh raspberries

1/4 cup chopped sweet onion

3 teaspoons finely chopped jalapeno chile peppers

1 clove minced garlic

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1/2 teaspoon white sugar

3 tablespoons fresh lime juice



In a medium bowl, mix together raspberries, sweet onion, jalapeno chile peppers, garlic, cilantro, white sugar and lime juice. Cover and chill in the refrigerator at least 1 hour before serving.


And, lastly, a good chicken recipe. Chicken, which always seems to be reasonable is featured this week at Safeway, Vic's, Foods Co. and SaveMart.


Baked Chicken Dijon




1/4 cup Dijon mustard

1/4 cup NESTLÉ® CARNATION® Evaporated Milk

1/4 cup plain, dry bread crumbs

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
4 (4-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breast halves



Preheat oven to 475° F. Spray 13 x 9-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.  Combine mustard and evaporated milk in shallow bowl. Combine bread crumbs and cheese in separate shallow bowl. Dip chicken into mustard mixture, coating both sides, then into bread crumb mixture. Place in prepared dish.  Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until chicken is golden brown and no longer pink in center. 


Makes 4 servings






September 9, 2008
Let the savings begin

The big supermarkets have a couple of big draws this week. Safeway is once again carting out its 48-hour weekend sale and Raley's  is promoting General Mills products at 10 items for $20. That sounds like a lot but the selection is varied enough that you'd probably be buying 10 items anyway.

Here's the deal over at Safeway. To get you into the store on Saturday and Sunday, how about a case of Refeshe drinking water for $2.88  (limit 3). Raspberries are 99-cents a carton (limit 2) and just in time for Sunday football a large size DiGiorno pizza is $3.88 and Tyson Hot&Spicy cooked chicken wings are $2.99 a pound.

The General Mills deal at Raley's/BelAir includes any 10 of the following for $20: Lucky Charms, Total, Trix, whole grain or fruity Cheerios; Betty Crocker Fruit snacks, cookie mix, brownie and cake mix; frosting, potatoes, Hamburger Chicken or Tuna Helper, Suddenly Salad and  Bizquick. There's also Progresso soup, Old El Paso taco shells or salsa, Chex Mix; Toaster Strudel, Green Giant veggies and Yoplait Go-Gurt. 

SaveMart is celebrating Mexico's Independence Day with sale prices on Guerrero corn tortillas for $1.99; El Pato tomato sauce 2/$1; Sunny Select refries $1 a can; Embasa whole jalapenos for $1.49 and Ortega diced green chiles $1 a can.

And the best of the rest:

Safeway: The BOGO is back on Breyers Ice cream; Lay's potato chips; Ritz crackers or Chips Ahoy!; Lucerne large eggs (18-count); Lucerne ice cream treats; Safeway popcorn and Ken's Salad dressing. Produce is still fresh and reasonable with green bell peppers (get that recipe from last week), tomatoes, grapes and peaches all 99-cents a pound. The Gala apples are still on sale for 88-cents a pound (they're $1.47 a pound at Raley's). Meatloaf is the Friday $5 special this week. I'm passing because it didn't go over the last time. But there's a new size of the Safeway Signature Cafe soups and the new 15-ounce version is on sale for 2/$6.  Grab an Artisan baguette ($1.99) and you have a meal. If you haven't noticed, milk prices have dropped and 2 gallons of Lucerne are $5.39. If your house is beginning to smell like your teenager, grab the Renuzit adjustable air freshener at $1 each.

Raley's/BelAir has a good price on seafood with fresh shrimp at $5.99 a pound and fresh salmon fillets for $6.99lb. R Everyday split chicken breasts at $1.69 a pound. The Raley's bakery is introducing a smaller size loaf of  parmesan or ciabatta bread called Pain Pour Deux for $1.29. They also have broccoli crowns for 99-cents a pound; organic heirloom tomatoes at $2.99 a pound and tomatoes on the vine $1.57 a pound. Peaches and nectarines are 97-cents a pound. They also have tasty take-home specials like 12-inch pizza for $5.99 or 16-inch Pepperoni or combo pies for $7.99. Nob Hill soups are $4.99 and sourdough bread for soup bowls is 2/$2.50.

SaveMart's in the BOGO business with Earthbound farm organic salads. Other items worth mentioning include Crystal Geyser spring water for $3.98 a case; Sunnyside large eggs (18-count) $3; Old Orchard frozen juice blends for $1; Bohemian Hearth bread for $1.99 a loaf and Chjcken of the Sea white albacore tuna for $1 a can. In the produce department, green beans and Brussel sprouts are 99-cents a pound; Roma tomatoes are 99-cents a pound and green onions, radishes or cilantro are 2/$1.

Foods Co. is also celebrating Mexican Independence Day with Tapatio hot sauce for $1.88; Calidad flour tortillas (30-count) 2/$5; Cacique Ranchero Queso Freso or Crema Salvadorena for $2.78; Las Palmas enchilada sauce 2/$3 and Jarritos soda 2/$1. Natural Spring water is $3.50 a case; boneless, skinless chicken breasts are $1.87lb and Kellogg's cereals are $2 a box.

The three Vic's Markets are independently owned and charge different prices for sale items. That makes it hard to focus on the best prices when they are different at every store. But if you shop Vic's check out the broccoli crowns for less than $1 a pound and the Foster Farms chicken breasts, cube steaks and pork chops.


September 5, 2008
Coupons in a Jiffy
Anyone need an oil change or other car stuff this weekend? Shop Cheap got a note from Jiffy Lube offering free, printable coupons to share. Here's the link:
I know it's not Shopping Cheap. But if the car's not working properly, it won't make it to the grocery store.
September 3, 2008
Recipes highlight what's on sale

My recipe guru Sheila Kern knew gala apples were on sale this week (88-cents a pound at Safeway), so she came up with two quick and tasty recipes. Also on the menu, stuffed bell peppers ($1.69 a pound (red) at Safeway and green bells 2/$1 at SaveMart) and Raspberry Sour Cream Tart (raspberries are still reasonable at $2.49 a carton at Safeway and 2/$6 at Raley's/Belair. Enjoy!

 Bon Appetit |  September 2008 by The Bon Appétit Test Kitchen


Frisee and apple salad with dried cherries and walnuts

Prep: 15 minutes; Total: 15 minutes

Servings: Makes 4 servings


3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons minced shallot
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 cup (generous) dried tart cherries (one 3-ounce package)
1 large head of frisée, torn into bite-size pieces (about 6 cups)
1 medium Gala apple, cored, thinly sliced
1/2 cup coarsely chopped toasted walnuts


Whisk first 4 ingredients in small bowl to blend. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in dried cherries. Toss frisée and apple slices in large bowl. Add cherry dressing and toss to coat. Divide among 4 plates; sprinkle with walnuts and freshly ground black pepper and serve.

Test-kitchen tip: The recipe says to season the dressing to taste, but how do you know when you've added enough salt and pepper? It's easy: Just dip a small piece of lettuce (in this case, frisée) into the dressing and try it out.

Nutritional Information

Nutritional analysis per serving: Calories (kcal) 284.77; %Calorie from Fat 62.5; Fat (g) 19.78; Saturated Fat (g) 2.01; Cholesterol (mg) 0; Carbohydrates (g) 24.75; Dietary Fiber (g) 6.09; Total Sugars (g) 14.37; Net Carbs (g) 18.66; Protein (g) 4.51




1 lb. ground chuck
1 c. chopped onion
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
8 oz. tomato soup
8 oz. tomato sauce
8 lg. bell peppers, cut in halves and seeded
1 1/2 c. cooked rice
1 tsp. sugar

Cook meat, onion and garlic until done. Drain. Add seasonings, tomato soup and tomato sauce. Simmer covered for 10 minutes. Stir in rice. Cool. Cook peppers in boiling, salted water and 1 tsp. sugar until they are tender. Drain, stuff and bake just until bubbly in 350 degree oven. These are great to freeze. Just drain, stuff and freeze; then bake when needed. Can add drained corn to mixture and top with grated cheese before baking.


Here's a good, healthy recipe for the kids' back-to-school lunches


Carrot-Apple Salad



1 cup shredded carrots
3 medium Golden Delicious or Gala apples, unpared and diced
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 cup raisins
1/3 cup cholesterol free, reduced calorie mayonnaise
Salad greens

Combine all ingredients except salad greens. Chill thoroughly. Serve on salad greens. Makes 6 (2/3 cup) servings.

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving: Calories, 126; Fat, 4 g; Cholesterol, 3 mg; Fiber, 2 g; Sodium, 89 mg; Percent calories from fat, 30%.



Raspberry sour cream tart   Bon Appetit |  July 2001

The graham cracker crust provides a crunchy base for the rich, creamy filling.

Servings: Makes 8 servings.


For crust
8 whole graham crackers, coarsely broken
1/4 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted

For filling and topping
6 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 1/2-pint baskets raspberries
1/4 cup seedless raspberry jam


Make crust:
Preheat oven to 375°F. Grind crackers and sugar in processor until coarse crumbs form. Add butter and process until crumbs are evenly moistened. Press crumb mixture firmly onto bottom and up sides of 9-inch-diameter tart pan with removable bottom. Bake until crust is firm to touch, about 8 minutes. Cool crust on rack.

Make filling and topping:
Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar in medium bowl until smooth. Beat in sour cream, lemon juice and vanilla. Spread filling in cooled crust. Chill until firm, at least 4 hours. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover; keep chilled.)

Arrange berries over filling. Whisk jam in small bowl to loose consistency. Drizzle over berries. Serve immediately or chill up to 3 hours.





September 2, 2008
Falling prices

The temperature outside and the calendar still says summer but it really does feel more like Fall. Most of the kids back at school, Apple Hill outings are being planned and  supermarket ads are featuring apples, frozen foods and "Game Day" sales.

This week beef is back on the menu, along with Gala apples, Johnsonville Brats and foods you eat while watching football. Here are the store-by-store highlights:

Safeway: If you live near the Sierra College Boulevard Safeway in Roseville, the deals are a little sweeter that at the other stores. For example: A case of Refreshe drinking water is $2.99; Bartlett pears are 33-cents a pound (49-cents elsewhere) and Doritos Tortilla chips are $1.77 a bag. Safeway does have a 48-hour weekend sale - at all its stores - that features seedless green grapes for 79-cents a pound; Johnsonville Brats 2/$5 and Mission Tortilla chips for 97-cents a bag. Gala apples (a sure sign Fall is approaching) are 88-cents a pound. Ranchers Reserve Tri-Tip roast is either $2.99 a pound (Roseville) or 50% off at the other Safeway outlets. The Friday special this week is poultry (but thankfully not chicken!). It's the oven roasted turkey breast for $5. Serve it hot or buy a pack of Artisan Sandwich rolls (6 for $1.99) and pile on the lettuce and tomato for a delicious cold sandwich. The BOGOs are plentiful, with whole or sliced mushrooms; Safeway Select ice cream; butter top breads; Keebler cookies and crackers; Welch's Juice cocktail; Safeway Select vitamins; Eating Right frozen waffles and boxed candy like Mike and Ike. If you didn't stock up on cereal last week, there's still time to buy 5 boxes of Kellogg's for $1.49 each. In produce, watermelon is still $3.99 for a whole one; raspberries are $2.49 a carton; zucchini is 99-cents a pound and red bell peppers are $1.69 a pound. If you like limes, get 6 for 96-cents.

Raley's/BelAir: Black Angus beef London broil is $2.87 a pound and Raley's cooks have offered up an interesting recipe for Sesame Beef Noodle Salad. It sounds quick and easy. If you in the mood for boneless pork chops, they're $2.97 a pound and would go nicely with zucchini (99-cents a pound) or Brussel sprouts ($1.49 a pound). Need treats for a school function? Chewy bakery cookies - 30 per carton - are $3.99. Sara Lee breads (2 for $6); gourmet buns and Kaiser rolls (2/$5) are  on sale. Snacks are a big part of weekend TV viewing and all kinds of chips, pretzels, crackers and nuts are on sale. The frozen foods sale includes Smart Ones meals 5/$10; Freschetta pizzas 2/$11; C&W veggies 4/$7; Eggo waffles, pancakes or French toast sticks 3/$6 and Sara Lee frozen pies $2.99. Raley's own brand of R Everyday drinking water is $3.77 a case. In produce, cantaloupe is 37-cents a pound; Bartlett pears are 67-cents a pound and personal size watermelons are 99-cents a pound.

SaveMart: The "More you shop, the more you get free" promotion goes like this: Spend $25 and get a bag of baby carrots; spend $50 and add Kellogg's fruit snacks; $75 gets you a pack of Biddig lunch meat and for $100 you get all of the above plus CapriSun juice coolers. To get to reach those spending goals, you can stock up on Keebler cookies or crackers 2/$4; Sunnyside Farms bread 3/$5; Crystal Geyser drinking water $3.98 a case; London Broil $2.99 a pound; Moran's ground beef (96% lean) or patties $3.99 a pound; Foster farms boneless, skinless breasts (regular or seasoned) $4.99 a pound and cooked shrimp meat $4.99 a pound. In the eat healthy category, Sunnyside Farms cottage cheese is $1.99 for a container; Yoplait yogurt is 10/$6; DelMonte natural fruit cups are $1 each; seedless grapes are 2lbs/$3; berries are 2/$5 and green bell peppers are 2/$1.In the "but it tastes so good" category, mini cream puffs and eclairs are BOGO; Pillsbury Grands biscuits are $1 each and Colombo sliced French bread is $2.50 a loaf.

Over at the independents, Foods Co. has seedless grapes for 77-cents a pound; General Mills cereals 4/$6 with the coupon in the top left corner of the ad; boneless beef chuck steaks are $2.37 a pound and large nectarines are 2lbs/98-cents. Campbell's items (which provide labels for education) are on sale. Chicken noodle or tomato soups are 58-cents each; select and chunky soups are 2/$3; Prego spaghetti sauce is $1.78 a jar and V-8 Splash juices are 2/$4. Looking for a quick snack for kids or college students? Nissin cup noodles are 10/$3; skippy peanut butter is 2/$4; and LaLa yogurt is 10/$5. Colgate toothpase with a free toothbrush is $1.98; Mennen or Lady Speed stick deodorant is 2/$4 and Orbit or Eclipse gum is 50-cents a pack.

Rainbow Foods has pork spareribs for $1.99 a pound; fresh shrimp meat for $4.29 a pound and Mexican shrimp, also $4.29 a pound. In produce, whole watermelons are 3lbs/$1; fresh corn on the cob is 4/$1; green onions, radishes and cilantro are all 3/$1. DaVinci pasta or sauce is 2/$3; Nestle hot chocolate is $1.49 a box; Yoplait yogurt is 10/$5; and General Mills cereal is $1.99 a box. CapriSun drinks are 2/$4; V8 Splash Juice Blends are $2.99 a jug and Western Family flavored water is 3/$2. And to clean up the kitchen mess, Sparkle paper towels are $2.99 for a pack of three.

Vic's on South Land Park Drive has some impressive prices. Fresh Express garden salad is 99-cents a bag; avocados are 99-cents each; Crystal Geyser water is $3.49 a case; fresh blueberries are $2.99 a pound; zucchini is 79-cents a pound and the radish, cilantro, green onion trio is 3/$1. London Broil steak is $2.99 a pound Tilapia fillets are $4.99 a pound and boneless pork chops are $1.99 a pound. Crystal yogurt is 50-cents a cup and our favorites - Michelina's Budget gourmet entrees - are 99-cents each.

Come back Thursday for three new recipes.

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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