Shop Cheap

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

July 26, 2011
Shop Cheap solves the budget mess

We should be sipping lemonade and humming, "Summertime," but the living isn't so easy when our elected officials can't agree on anything. I'm thinking at this rate, they wouldn't even know the first thing about grocery shopping, BOGOs or clipping coupons to save money. Thankfully, there's Shop Cheap and there's nothing controversial about bargains.

Here's what we like this week: In a word, produce.

Safeway has seedless grapes for 99-cents a pound; plums for 99-cents a pound and bell peppers 2/$1. New potatoes are 99-cents a pound green onions or radishes are 50-cents each.

Shop Friday-Monday and you'll get a pint of blueberries for $1.99. Other 4-day sale offerings include 8-piece Signature Cafe chicken for $5.99; Barilla pasta for 89-cents a box; BOGO Oscar Mayer hot dogs and Carving Board meats. A case of refreshe drinking water is $2.88; Classico pasta sauce is $1.49 and General Mills cereals are $1.88. Cooked salad shrimpmeat is $3.99lb and Ready Pac cut fruit bowls are $4.99.

Other stuff we like: Safeway Kitchen sandwich bread for $2 a loaf; BOGO Chips Ahoy! or Ritz crackers and BOGO Ruffles, too. Gallo Salame is $5.99 and Johnsonville smoked sausage or bratwurst is $2.99. Lucerne natural sliced cheese is $2.49; Eggo frozen waffles are $1.99 and Skinny Cow ice cream treats are $3.49.

The Friday only $5 specials last until Monday this week and they include Signature Cafe pizza; a 12-pack of Dannon Activia yogurt; Safeway select coffee and from the bakery a Raspberry Almond Bistro cake.

Raley's has mangoes for 39-cents each; white peaches or nectarines for $1.49lb; Roma tomatoes for 69-cents a pound; fresh limes are 6/96-cents and the green onion-cilantro-radish trio is 3/99-cents. Bell peppers are 50-cents each and sweet white corn is 5/$2.

Raley's 99-cent sale includes Barilla pasta; (Barilla pasta sauce is $2 a jar); Mission corn tortillas; Powerade and Larabars.

Tri tip roast is $2.99lb. Sunnyside Farms OJ is $2.38 for a half-gallon.

In the bakery, sweet or sourdough baguettes are $1.88; "dessert for 2" is BOGO and an 8-pack of cinnamon rolls is $3.59. In the deli, 8-piece fried chicken is $4.99.

Over at Save Mart, strawberries are BOGO and seedless grapes are 97-cents a pound. Sweet white corn is 4/$1 and peaches are 67-cents a pound. Cherries are $2.97lb; celery is 57-cents and iceberg lettuce is 97-cents a head.

The Save Mart weekend sale - Friday-Sunday - has cooked salad shrimp for $2.88lb; Minute Maid drinks for 88-cents and Nabisco cookies for $1.99.

Whole Foster Farms chickens are 99-cents a pound and Giants Alpine franks or smoked sausage is $3.99.

There's a Mix & Match sale (Kellogg's, Sunshine and Keebler) that's a little too complicated for my simple mind. All I know is you have to buy 6 of something to get the discount.

Coke products are buy 2, get 3 free (12-packs) and Sara Lee bread is BOGO.

Classico pasta sauce is $2 a jar; BEst Foods mayo is $2.59 and Crystal Geyser spring water is $3.33 a case. Sunnyside Farms large eggs are $2.50 for 18 and Minute Maid OJ is $3.99 in the 89-oz. jug.

In the bakery, baguettes are 99-cents each and in the deli, chicken tenders are $5.99 and potato salad is $2.49.

Save Mart continues to partner with Shell so that shoppers can earn discounts on gas.

Got to mention Henry's/Sprouts this week for their produce prices. Red seedless grapes are 88-cents a pound. Also 88-cents a pound are tomatoes, green beans; nectarines and Italian squash. For 88-cents each, you can get a bell pepper, a cantaloupe or a bag of baby carrots.

We also want to give a shout out to the Grocery Outlet. If you haven't been to one, it's the kind of store where you can stop for a couple of things or fill your cart for the week. They sent Shop Cheap samples this week and sample prices: Amy's Organic lentil soup for $1.49 a can; De Cecco Penne Rigate for $1.49 a box; Maranantha Dark Chocolate peanut spread for $2.99; Yorkshire Breakfast Tea for $2.49; Nature's Bakery vanilla fig cookie bar for 50-cents and Burt's Bees Milk and Honey Body Lotion for $2.49. These items can be found at most supermarkets but you'd pay twice as much. Grocery Outlet also carries the Lady Lee brand.


July 19, 2011
We're carting off the produce this week

Shop Cheap takes off for a week and returns feeling more like Old Mother Hubbard than a savvy shopper. But the family needs food so off to the market we go...

Starting at Raley's where you can get BOGO berries, cantaloupe, grape tomatoes and Fresh Express or Raley's salad blends. If you want rotisserie chicken without having to cook it, Raley's has them ready to serve at $4.98 each, when you buy 2 or more. If you'd rather cook or "Q" your chicken, Foster Farms split breasts are 99-cents a pound. Kellogg's cereal, Pop Tarts or cereal bars are $1.99 a box when you buy 4 or more and a dozen eggs are $1.98.

Minute Maid lemonade or fruit punch is $1 a carton; V-8 Fusion is $2.50 a jug and Crystal Geyser sparkling mineral water is 89-cents a bottle.A case of Aquafina drinking water is $3.99. Lundberg rice chips are $1.50 a bag; and Calidad tortilla chips are $1.29 a bag.

Corn on the cob is 5/$2;  and a 4-pack of sweet red corn is $2.99.

A 3-pack of Raley's paper towels is $2.99.

Over at Save Mart, a 2-pound container of blueberries is just $4.97; bananas are 37-cents a pound and a family-size seedless watermelon is $4.97. Earthbound Farm organic salad is BOGO as is Taylor Farms salad blends or baby spinach. Green onion, radishes or cilantro are 3/99 cents. Brussels sprouts, green beans or red bell peppers are $1.49lb and broccoli is 97-cents a pound.

London broil is $2.77lb and boneless pork chops are $1.99lb. Foster Farms fresh chicken breasts are BOGO. If you're clippin' 7-UP, A&W or Sunkist 12-packs are buy 2, get 2 free. Sunny D is $1 a jug; Johnsonville ground Italian sausage is $1.99 a pack and Busseto sliced salami is $3.99.

Sunnyside Farms sandwich bread is $1.99 a loaf; buy 10 Powerade drinks for $10 and get 5 free. A dozen large eggs at Save Mart is $1.69 and OJ or grapefruit juice is $2 a jug.

We're shopping Safeway for their coupons, 4-day and Friday only sales. The 4-day offerings include corn on the cob 6/$1; Kraft mac & cheese for 75-cents a box and Italian sausage for $2.99. Coupons worth clipping: SoBe Lifewater for 69-cents; 8-packs of little Cokes for $2.49; Powerade for 69-cents; dog or burger buns for 99-cents and a major jug of Tropicana OJ for $3.49. Other coupons include Oscar Mayer deli meats for $2.49; General Mills cereal for $1.79 and ice cream treats for $2.49.

In produce, hot house tomatoes, green beans and red bell peppers all are 99-cents a pound. Celery is $1 a bunch; cucumbers are $1 each and cantaloupe or honeydew are BOGO.

Refreshe water is $3 a case; 12-packs of soda are buy 2, get 2 free and you get a pack of Oreos, too. Butter and milk are still off the charts. A gallon of Dairy Glen milk is $2.99 when you buy 2 and Lucerne butter is $3.

Safeway has a nice price on fresh Salmon fillets -  $5.99 a pound in the value pack.

Mix & Match items are buy 4, save $4. They include Smuckers jams; Folgers coffee; Crisco and Pillsbury cake mixes.

The $5 Friday only specials include the All-American sub sandwich; 4 pounds of fresh strawberries; and Sugar Bowl petite brownie bites or Madelines.

Worth a note: Henry's and Sprouts farmers markets have merged and their combo ad is now appearing in The Bee. If you live near a Henry's or a Sprouts, it's definitely worth a visit. Their produce is quite reasonable. This week berries are 99-cents a basket; cherries are $1.99lb and California peaches are 88-cents a pound.

Extra large eggs are $1.50 a dozen. Extra lean ground beef is $2.99lb and marinated carne asada is $2.99lb. And those are just the highlights.

If you are going to the State Fair this Thursday (it's Thrifty Day!) be sure at stop at The Bee booth in Building C. Since it's Thrifty Day, Shop Cheap will be there!

July 12, 2011
Shop Cheap hits the road

Shop Cheap is hitting the road this week, looking for good stuff to share next week. Didn't want to leave you without a tip, because grocery shopping-wise, you are on your own this week.

Shop Cheap visited a great fruit stand on Saturday in Loomis. The Nitta Ranch has been growing fruit since 1918 and Shop Cheap was lucky enough to pick up a couple bags of their tree-ripened peaches for just $10. They were amazing.

 The ranch is on 3778 Delmar Ave and their website is

Nitta Ranch is open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. - 7 days a week. You can bring the family, tour the farm and have a picnic lunch on their tables among the trees.

You can even pick your own peaches.

July 5, 2011
Let them eat fruit or fruit tarts

 We're really red, white and blue this week because that wonderful Fourth of July weekend is in the past and everyone is hungry all over again. To that we say, "Let them eat fruit!" There's a bounty of summer produce at the stores and we are ready to cart it all away.

Here's what we like this week.

Save Mart has a fresh crop of cherries for $1.47lb; berries for $2.50 a container and peaches for $1.99lb. Veggies aren't bad either. Corn is 4/$1; Roma tomatoes are 79-cents a pound and bell peppers and cucumbers are 3/99-cents. Medium artichokes are 2/$1 and onions re 69-cents a pound.

In the meat department, boneless pork sirloin roast is $1.99lb; petite sirloin steaks or roast are $2.99lb and Jennie-O ground turkey breast is BOGO. Chicken leg quarters are 59-cents a pound.

If you're still thirsty from the heat, 7-UP, A&W or Sunkist 12-packs are $2.99; Coke and Pepsi products are buy 2, get 1 free; and Powerade sports drinks are 88-cents each. Santa Cruz organic lemonade is BOGO.

Dennison's chili and Rosarita refries are $1 a can. If you buy two bags of Sunny Select pasta, you'll get a jar of sauce free.

Raley's has BOGO cantaloupe and strawberries. Kiwi fruit is 97-cents a pound and yellow peaches are $1.27lb. Pears are 97-cents a pound and corn on the cob is 4/$1. Hot house tomatoes are $1.47lb and Walla-Walla onions are 97-cents a pound. A 2lb bag of mini carrots is $1.58 and a serving of fresh fruit is $2.78.

Boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs are $1.99lb; pork loin baby back ribs are BOGO and Jennie-0 Italian or taco ground turkey is $3.99 a package.

Quaker cereals or granola bars are $2 a box; Welch's juice cocktail is $2 and a case of Arrowhead or Nestle water is $3.77. An 89-oz jug of Minute Maid OJ is $3.99 and Dole juices are $2 each.

Ronzoni pasta is $1 a box and Newman's Own pasta sauce is $2.50 a jar. Raley's has some of Shop Cheap's favorite hot weather items on sale, like Skinny Cow treats for $3.99; Dreyer's fruit bars for $3 Dreyer's and bananas for 68-cents a pound.

Looks like that picnic that Raley's advertised over the Fourth is continuing. The Family Picnic Pack feeds 8 and includes, chicken; potato or macaroni salad; cookies; rolls; utensils and the insulated bag all for $19.99. At that price, you can picnic in your backyard.

In the deli, chicken strips are $5.99 a pound and in the wok, potstickers are BOGO.

Safeway is advertising a 4-day sale (Friday-Monday). If you want a real treat, pick up their Fresh Fruit Tart for $8.88. Other 4-day deals include 2-liters of Pepsi or 7-UP for 77-cents Signature Cafe chicken wings for $6.99; Safeway bacon for $2.99lb and Arizona teas for $1.99 a gallon. Chicken of the Sea tuna is 88-cents a can; Sun Chips or Ruffles are $1.99 and Lucerne shredded or chunk cheese is $1.99.

Eating Right boneless skinless chicken breasts, thighs or combo pack are $1.99lb; Jennie-O ground turkey breast is BOGO and extra lean ground beef is $2.99lb.

All cases or multi-packs of spring water are 20% off.

Get a free box of pasta when you by 2 jars of Ragu sauce (2/$3). Fritos or Cheetos are BOGO. Smucker's preserves are BOGO; Jiff peanut butter is $1.99 with coupon. Other coupon contenders include Charmin tissue or Bounty towels for $6.49; large eggs for $2.49 (an 18-pack) and Dole juices for $1.99.

In produce, corn is 6/$2; black seedless grapes are $1.99lb and celery is 99-cents.

The $5 Friday only deals include Signature Cafe roasted chicken; Bertolli dinner for two; and a 2lb container of organic strawberries.

If you like Milton's bread, this is the week to stock up. It's $2.50 a loaf in the bakery. Safeway dog or burger buns are $2.

Shop Cheap has been watching the price of milk rise from $2.50 a gallon to more than $3..even if you buy 2. At Safeway, Dairy Glen milk is $3.19 a gallon and it's about the same at Raley's. What gives?




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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