Shop Cheap

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

October 25, 2011
Whole Foods opens in Folsom and other scary stuff

If you live in Folsom and subscribe to The Bee, it's your lucky day. Inside Wednesday's paper you will find "The Whole Deal," a foodie booklet filled with coupons, recipes, and great tips all in celebration of Whole Foods' grand opening at 270 Palladio Parkway.

For example: 50-cents off fresh-baked Cibatta bread; $1 off Celestial Seasonings tea; $1 off Imagine broth or butternut squash soup and $1 off earth balance soymilk.

If you're more of a mainstream shopper, there's plenty to scare up this week. Check it out:

Fresh raspberries are buy 1 get 2 free at Safeway; Fuji apples are $1 a pound and bell peppers and medium size 'chokes are $1 each.

General Mills cereals are $1.99 a box and 18 large eggs are $2.49 with coupon.

Dorritos and Ruffles are buy 2, get 2 free. Safeway Kitchens breads are $2 a loaf and English muffins are $1.50 a pack.

And - finally - they took Shop Cheap's advice and combined the special sale days. This week it's back to the $5 Fridays and a 4-day Friday-Monday sale. I'm sure Halloween on Monday doesn't have anything to do with the change!

Here's what we are going to cart away on Friday: $5 bags of candy for the neighborhood goblins; Seattle's best coffee; a 20-pack of Coke and a Claim Jumper pie - all 5 bucks each.

The 4-day sale stuff includes: large avocado for $1; BOGO Cracker Barrel cheese; Dennison's chili for $1; Golden Grain pasta for 89-cents a box; pumpkin pie for $2.99 and maybe a sweet rose bouquet for $5.

If you have cupcake duty, but no time to bake, the cupcakes in the bakery look festive at $6.99 a dozen.

Over at Raley's we'll pick up more berries because they're BOGO. They also have a 4-pack of avocados for $1.99 and pears for 79-cents a pound. A veggie tray is $4.99 and whole pineapple is $2.99.

Raley's weekend sale (Saturday and Sunday) has apples for 49-cents a pound; Prospector's slow cooked ribs are BOGO and Raley's frozen pizza is $3.49. 2-liter Cokes are 99-cents.

Fritos and Cheetos are BOGO and Martinelli's Sparkling cider is $2 a bottle. Golden Grain pasta is $1 a pack and Newman's Own pasta sauce is $2.50 a jar. Fresh baguettes in the bakery are $1.88. In the deli, Volpi Rotola - rolled mozzarella and prosciutto - is BOGO. Sabra Hummus is BOGO, too. If you're looking for a quick meal, 8-piece fried chicken is $4.99 in the deli..

In the bakery, 1/4 sheet cakes that look scary but taste good are $14.99. Single layer holiday cakes are $4.99; cupcakes are $5.99 a dozen.

And, lastly, you might want to save the Raley's tab insert because it's filled with the "Ready to Roast" holiday meals. Choices include turkey, prime rib, butternut squash and glazed ham. Prices range from $59.99 to $109.99 and will be available Thanksgiving and Christmas week.

Save Mart is sticking with the "Indoor Farmer's Market' theme with seedless grapes for 97-cents a pound; BOGO fresh berries; Gala apples for 47-cents a pound and tomatoes on the vine for 87-cents a pound. 5lbs of russett potatoes or yellow onions are $1. Pumpkins are still available for $3.33 each; pears are 97-cents a pound and avocados are $1 each.

Whole, fresh Foster Farms chickens are 99-cents a pound and ground turkey is $3.50 a package.

There's a 10 items for $10 Mix&Match sale with everything from Sunny Select ketchup to Michelina's entrees to Ronzoni pasta. Clip-worthy coupons include Hormel party trays for $8.99; El Monterey burritos for $2.99; Sunny Select canned tomatoes for 50-cents and Hansen's apple juice for $1.50 a jug.

Pepsi, Dew, Dr. Pepper, Coke, Sprite or Barq's 12-packs are buy 2, get 2 free. Newman's pasta sauce is $2 a jar and garlic bread in the bakery is $2.50 a loaf.

Halloween cupcakes in the bakery are $4.99 a dozen

Sunflower Farmers Market has the cheapest price on red seedless grapes at 57-cents a pound. Washington State apples are 99-cents a pound. Radishes, cilantro, green onions, parsley and carrots are 2/$1. Sunflower gives shoppers $5 off a grocery bill of $25 or more. See the coupon on the insert for details.

At Sprouts, shoppers are required to spend $30 to get the $5 off. There red seedless grapes are 88-cents a pound; cucumbers and celery are 49-cents each and bell peppers are 88 cents each. Apples are 88-cents a pound as are tomatoes on the vine. I'd probably grab a pack of boneless, skinless chicken breasts at $1.97 a pound .... but unfortunately my kitchen is still out of commission.

Happy Haunting....

October 18, 2011
Need an outlet? Here's one for all you shoppers

We can't ignore it any longer. Halloween is 2 weeks away and after that it's all downhill to the holidays. That said, Shop Cheap got her first taste of the holiday season this week with a basket from the Grocery Outlet. Think you can't find special stuff at the Grocery Outlet, think again. And think cheap.

Our basket came with a Nonni's Biscotti gift mug stuffed with cookies ($4.99); a 4-pack of Burt's Bees lip balm ($3.99), a box of Stash Tea ($1.99) and German Spice Cookies ($1.99). They make it easy to put together a holiday basket for a friend or gathering at those prices!

Back to reality and the weekly sales. Again, Shop Cheap is way confused by the Safeway sales. There's $5 Friday; the Weekend Sale (Friday-Sunday) and $5 Mondays, too. It's just too much for the old gal. Note to Safeway: Need to simplify. We want all the deals but not on different days!

Whew, that's better. Since we're already at Safeway, here's what they are advertising this week. Red seedless grapes are 99-cents a pound; Roma tomatoes are 49-cents a pound and celery is 2/$3. Large avocados are 4/$5.

A case of refreshe water is $2.99; Coke 12-packs are buy 2, get 2 free and get a free package of Chips Ahoy! cookies, too. Safeway Kitchens breads are $2 a loaf. The BOGO brands this week include Rancher's Reserve boneless beef roast; Hillshire Farm smoked sausage or bratwurst; Annie's mac & cheese. Buy 4 jars of Ragu for $5, get 2 free packs of Eating Right whole grain pasta.

The coupons worth clipping:  89 oz. Minute Maid OJ for $3.99; Milton's crackers for $1,88; Nature Valley granola bars for $1.77; Mission tortillas for $1.49 and General Mills cereals for $1.97.

And for the daily offerings: The Friday-Sunday specials include BOGO pumpkins; Tostitos and Rold Gold pretzels for $1.88; Safeway salsa for $3 and cooked shrimpmeat for $2.99. Rancher's Reserve top sirloin steak is $3.99lb.

The best $5 Friday only specials are a 6lb. bag of oranges; Safeway bath tissue or paper towels; a pound of deli roast beef and strawberry cheesecake in the bakery.

The $5 Monday specials: Signature Cafe chicken wings and mini-cinnamon rolls.

Over at Raley's we are grabbing the BOGO berries; Cameo or Braeburn apples for 89-cents a pound; large pumpkins for $3 and asparagus for $1.99.

You can get a $5 Raley's gift card if you buy 3 or more club pack offerings like Take & Bake pizza for $9.98; Kettle soup for $9.98 or 128oz Minute Maid OJ for $5.99.

Chicken strips in the deli are $5.99lb; fresh cooked shrimpmeat is $3.99lb and sesame chicken skewers or pot stickers are buy 2, get 1 free in the Wok.

Get a free bag of Doritos when you buy a 12-pack of Dr. Pepper or Pepsi for $3.99.

Save Mart has great variety in their "indoor" farmer's market. Medium artichokes are 3/99-cents; asparagus is $1.47lb and Roma tomatoes are 39-cents a pound. Pomegranates are 97-cents each. Pumpkins are 3/$9.99 and a 10lb. bag of potatoes is $2.97.

Foster Farms frozen party wings are BOGO; Jennie-O smoked turkey sausage is $2.99lb.

Coupons worth clipping: Foster Farms lunchmeat for $1.99; Ramen 8/$1; Hormel chili 99-cents a can.

Save Mart is having a 99-cent sale on Saturday. From noon to 4 p.m. you can purchase Sunny Select items - including cereal, snack mix and oatmeal - for 99-cents with their in-store coupon.

Classico pasta sauce is $1.88 a jar; Sara Lee and EarthGrains breads are BOGO; Kellogg's Rice Krispie treats and Keebler granola fudge bars are $1.99 a box.

And one more Monday special - 8-piece chicken in the deli for $4.99.

If you crave tropical fruit, head to Sprouts where pineapple is 88-cents each and bananas are 3lbs for $1. Apples are 88-cents a pound; bell peppers are 49-cents each and avocados are 88-cents each. They also have raw almonds for $3.99lb.

That's it for this week. .


October 11, 2011
Kitchen or not, we still have to shop

Nothing like a grease fire in the kitchen to put the kibosh cooking. You haven't lived until your refrigerator is moved to the garage, your morning coffee is in the laundry room and your kitchen resembles a scene from the TV show Dexter where everything is wrapped in plastic.

That's been Shop Cheap's world for the past 8 weeks, not counting the vacation in Southern California. So please forgive me for taking a two-week break. Still looking to Shop Cheap, but there's no cooking going on at my house.

Got to snap out of it, get back in the cart and go for the BOGO.

Here goes: Since we've been out of the loop, Sunflower Farmers Market has been added to the weekly Wednesday inserts. Now, you can compare Sprouts and Sunflower. The stores are so similar in what they carry, that price is about the only tipping point. This week Sunflower has the deal on corn on the cob - 8 for $1; celery - 88 cents each; and avocado 2/$1. Bananas are 88-cents a pound at both stores and seedless grapes are a steal at Sprouts at 69-cents a pound. At Sprouts you get $5 off with any purchase of $30 or more.

Over at Raley's, their 2-day sale Saturday and Sunday only, has avocado for 77-cents each; tomatoes on the vine for 77-cents a pound ad strawberries 2/$3. A case of Crystal Geyser spring water is $3.49 and there's a coupon for pizza - $3.99

A large eggs are $1.98 a dozen; Kellogg's cereal is $2 a box and Del Monte canned veggies and fruit are just 69-cents each. Buy 10 or more and get $3 off your next shopping trip. Sunnyside farms yogurt is 10/$5. An 89-oz. jug of Minute Maid OJ is $3.99; Swanson chicken broth is 5/$3.

Buy 3 or more produce items like Fresh Express salad; Mann's veggie medley, English cucumbers, Marie's salad dressing, baby potatoes or mushrooms and you pay only $1.49 each. If you want a treat from Apple Hill without making the trip, Barsotti Cider is $2.98.

I'll be in the deli, however, picking up the 8-piece chicken for $4.99 or at the Wok where you get one entree free when you buy 2.

Safeway is having a meat sale, but it does no good when your kitchen is out of commission so we are going to go for the BOGO Oscar Mayer lunchmeat. If we were cooking, we would snag the Eating Right boneless skinless chicken breasts for $1.99lb and the New York strip steak for $4.99lb.

The washing machine still functions so the 50-oz Tide for $5.99 is a pretty good deal. Brawny towels and Charmin tissue are $5.99 with coupon as are paper plates and bowls. Safeway cleaners are $1.99.

Safeway has all those "day of the week" sales. This Friday, the $5 deals include the All-American sub sandwich; Foster Farms boneless, skinless breasts, Primo Taglio chicken breast and Nabisco Chips Ahoy! value pack.

The 3-day weekend sale has avacado for 88-cents each; lean ground beef for $2.99lb.; Pepsi and 7-UP are buy 2, get 2 free; Star Olive Oil is BOGO and Penguin Bistro Cake is $5.99 in the bakery.

Safeway also has a coupon for a complete meal for $9.99. It includes 1 skillet meal or family size meal; one appetizer or garlic bread and a pint of ice cream. Sounds good...if you have a stove available for cooking.

Safeway's own brand of coffee is $7.99 for a 34-oz container; Open Nature french bread is $1.69 a loaf and Safeway peanut butter is $2 a jar. Powerade is just 59-cents a bottle; Pepperide Farm cookies are BOGO. Classico pasta sauce is BOGO, too.

In produce, raspberries are BOGO, broccoli is 79-cents a pound and Scarlotta grapes are $1.99lb.

Save Mart, which advertises itself as an "indoor Farmers Market," has avocado for 50-cents each; Icebert lettuce for 47-cents a head; yellow peaches for 97-cents a pound and Earthbound Farm organic salads are BOGO. Limes are 10/$1; cantaloupe is 2/$5 and Gala apples are 97-cents a pound.

A pound of Golden Grain pasta is free when you buy 2 jars of Ragu at 2/$3. In the coupon corner, Foster Farms chicken strips are $1.99; stuffed chicken breasts are $2.99 and a 5lb bag of Hinode rice is $2.99.

On Monday only, chicken tenders are $3.99 in the deli

Save Mart is still offering the 5-cents per gallon fuel discount and this week you get bonus points if you buy Bertolli pasta sauce or spaghetti and Sunnyside Farms grated parmesean.

 Shop Cheap will return next week with an update on the kitchen project and how much take-out we had for dinner.


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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