Shop Cheap

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

June 26, 2012
Get more bang for your buck

It's the week before Fourth of July but if you want to plan the party early, we're here to help. And here's a little secret: the prices you see this week are good through July 4th. No need to wait until next week to do the shopping.

If you want bottled water, get it at Raley's or Save Mart where Crystal Geyser is $2.99 a case.

If you are looking for the best price on corn on the cob, Safeway is 6/$1.

Avocado part of the party plan? Head to Save Mart where they are 2/$1.

Now, we realize you don't have time to shop selectively, so here's what we like this week at each of the major supermarkets.

Save Mart: Besides the avocado, corn on the cob is 5/$1; berries are BOGO; cherries are $2.97 a pound and Iceberg lettuce is free when you spend $15 on groceries. (coupon is on the back of the ad.)

If you are BBQ-ing, spareribs are $1.78lb; whole chickens in the twin pack is 88-cents a pound; tri-tip is $3.99lb and Oscar Mayer hot dogs are BOGO. Fresh ground beef burger patties are $2.99lb; ground turkey patties are $3.99lb. Sunnyside buns are 4/$5. Spend $25 and Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ sauce is free. (coupon on the back of ad).

In the snacks/goodie dept., Lay's chips are BOGO; Doritos and Tostitos are $1.99 and Nabisco crackers are $1.99. Goldfish are BOGO. 12-packs of soda are 4/$11 plus a free pack of pretzels...because "these pretzels are making me thirsty, Jerry"! 7-UP 12 packs are 3/$9 - but no free pretzels. Jugs of 7-UP are 79-cents each.

In the name brands challenge, buy Heinz ketchup; French's mustard or Best Foods mayo and get the same Sunny Select item free. General Mills cereals are $1.49 a box when you buy 4 and Kashi cereal is BOGO.

Fresh baked apple pie is $3.99 and Sunnyside Farms ice cream is $2.88. Smucker's toppings are $1.98. Martinelli's sparkling lemonade is $1.88 a bottle.

And if you'd rather just chill, 8-piece chicken meal deal is $9.99.

Safeway shoppers can score another $10 off coupon (just spend $75) this time. Besides the corn on the cob at 6/$1, cherries are $2.47lb; berries are BOGO and tomatoes are $1.99lb. Large avocados are 4/$5.

If your're grillin', Brats are $3.49; Oscar Mayer franks are $1.49; country-style ribs are $1.99lb. Hillshire Farm sausage, Hebrew National franks and Ball Park dogs are BOGO.

Safeway is probably the best place to get soda. Buy 2-12 packs, get 3 free. Arrowhead and refreshe water are both $3.33 a case.

In the snack aisle, Nabisco crackers are $1.88 a box; Lay's and Mission tortilla chips are BOGO. Post Honey Bunches of Oats are $1.88 a box.

The $5 Friday specials include Signature Cafe pizza and chicken wings; Primo Taglio Black Forrest ham and medium cheddar; 3lbs of strawberries and lemon meringue pie.

The 4-day sale, Fri.-Mon, includes whole seedless watermelon for $3.99; BOGO Kraft slices; Tony Roma's or Plumrose back ribs for $5 and Gold Fish for $1. Tide detergent is $5.99 for 50oz. liquid.

Other stuff: Safeway has a gourmet apple pie for $9.99 that looks pretty good. 8-piece fried chicken is $5.99; an 8-piece meal is $9.99 and it includes 2 sides. Buns are $1.99; deli salads are $3.99; and Nestle Drumsticks are $3 a box.

At Raley's, untrimmed tri-tip is $3.49lb; boneless, skinless thighs are $1.99lb and pork spareribs are BOGO. Johnsonville brats are $3.99 and Ball Park franks are $1.50.

There's coupons for Minute Maid punch or lemonade (89 cents); Tostitos ($1.99); Sweet Baby Ray's sauce ($1.50) and Gatorade (89 cents).

Bush's baked beans are 3/$5. Dennison's chili or Rosarita refries are $1 a can.

In the cereal aisle, Kellogg's, Fruity Pebbles and Honeycomb are $2 a box.

In produce, watermelon is $3.99; corn is 4/$1 and blueberries are $3.99 for an 18oz. container.

Rather not cook...16-piece chicken is $9.99; chicken strips are $4.99; apple pie is buy 2, get one free and single layer cakes are $4.99 each.

That's it for this week...and next. We'll send a reminder about the Fourth of July sales and offer up some last minute recipes, too.


June 19, 2012
Hello, Summer!

It's the first day of summer and you know what that means....grillin', chillin' and shoppin'! And  we're exactly 2 weeks from July 4th, which is on a Wednesday this year. Some stores, like Safeway, already have specials that continue through the Fourth.

Don't worry about this week, because we've got it covered - especially in the produce department. If you want to stock up on the extras, it might be a good time to do that, too.

Here's what we got: Safeway has a mammoth ad, complete with the $5 Friday specials, plus other savings that go from Friday-Tuesday. There's at least a page of coupons! There's nothing that's too exciting in the meat/poultry dept. so we're skipping over that and heading right to produce where raspberries are buy 1, get 2 free. Vine ripe tomatoes are 99-cents a pound and mini watermelon or Tuscan cantaloupe is $2.99 each. Kiwi is 3/$1. Corn on the cob is 2/$1; bell peppers are 99-cents each; mini-carrots are 99-cents a bag; and avocado is 99-cents (Fri.-Tues only).

Dannon 4-pack yogurt is $1.88; Quaker Life cereal is $2 a box.

Looking for BOGOs? Here's a list: Arm & Hammer laundry detergent; Smithfield sliced bacon; Sabra hummus; pickles; olives; buns; salsa; hot sauce; BBQ sauce; ketchup and mustard.

Clip-worthy coupons: Klondike bars for $2.49; deli salads for $1.99; 7UP or A&W for 88-cents; Ball Park franks for $5; Mission flour tortillas for $1.49 and Coppertone sun care for $5.99.

The Friday $5 specials: stuff for s'mores; deli counter ham and Swiss cheese; Boston cream cakes; strawberries and chicken tenders.

The 5-day sale stuff: BOGO doritos; Honey Nut Cheerios for $1.99; Signature Cafe pizza for $4.99 and Ritz  crackers for $1.99.

Other stuff we like: Classico pasta sauce for $1.79; bagged salads for 99-cents; Pineapple upside down cake for $3.99; fresh herbs for $1.79; and Florida OJ for $4.99.

And, finally, don't forget to use your $10 off coupon if you got one last week!

If you are a Raley's shopper, here's what we like there: BOGO raspberries; roma tomatoes for 99-cents a pound; green beans for 99-cents a pound; corn on the cob 5/$2 and donut peaches for $1.99lb. Coupons worth clipping: Martinelli's sparkling cider for $1.99 and Santa Cruz lemonade for $1.25.

London broil is $2.99lb; boneless pork loin is $1.99; chicken thighs and drumsticks are 99-cents a pound.

8-piece roasted chicken is $4.99; sweet baguettes are $1.88 each and deli salads are 2/$5.

Arrowhead or Nestle water is $3.99 for a case; 7UP is 99-cents for a 2-liter jug. Stagg chili with beans is 3/$5.

Get a jump-start on the Olympics with Kellogg's USA Olympic Team cereal for $1.99 a box; Special K is $1.99 when you buy 4 or more.

And in the bakery, single layer cakes are $5.99 and brownie bites are $3.49.

Save Mart is mixing up the daily specials a little bit. Wednesday is personal size watermelon for $1.49; eggs are 69-cents a dozen on friday and bananas are still 39-cents a pound on Monday.

London broil or pork sirloin chops are BOGO; fresh leg quarters are 68-cents a pound. Master cut turkey breasts and Foster Farms chicken sausage are both BOGO.

Post cereals are $1.77 a box; Bohemian Hearth bread is $1.98 a loaf. Michelina's Zap'ems are 79 cents each; a case of Crystal Geyser water is $2.99 and a dozen jumbo eggs are $1.99.

In produce, peaches are 97-cents a pound; peppers are 4/$1; corn on the cob is 3/99-cents and all berries are BOGO. Green onions, radishes and cilantro are 3/99-cents.

The "FREE" coupons on the back of the ad are: a 16-oz. chub of Harris Ranch ground beef (with $25 purchase) and Smucker's preserves (with $10) purchase.

Come back next week for the scoop on pre-Fourth of July shopping.

June 12, 2012
Let's shop for Pop

Let's celebrate Dad this weekend. He's easy to shop for; easy to cook for; easy to please. Just wants to be around family, take a nice bike ride and after a good dinner fall asleep in the chair watching House Hunters or one of those remodeling shows. If you know anyone like that give him a hug and say "Happy Father's Day!"

PHOTO GALLERY: Father's Day recipes with beer, bacon

Now about that special dinner. Lots to choose from the "thrill of the grill" to "Father's Day favorites." Here goes:

Raley's has tri tip for $3.49lb; baby back ribs for $3.99lb and country style strips for $2.49lb. Pops needs his fruit and veggies and cantaloupe is BOGO; strawberries are $3.99lb; cherries are $2.99lb; sweet corn is 3/99-cents and tubs of cherry tomatoes are BOGO, too.

If Dad is a cook, buy a Bialetti easy pan for $19.99 and get breakfast for free - a dozen eggs, bacon, OJ and bagels.

Coupons worth clipping include a case of R Everyday water for $2.99; Peet's Coffee for $7.99 and Ruffles for $2.49. Also, buy Kingsford charcoal ($4.99) and get $2 off packaged meat; save $2 when you buy 2 Clorox products and get a jug of bleach free when you buy Clorox stain fighter and All detergent or Snuggle fabric softener.

In the deli, you can get a free loaf of San Joaquin Gold Cheese bread when you buy a pound of Nob Hill ham for $7.99lb.

And for dessert, cheesecake in the bakery is BOGO.

Save Mart has Father's Day grilling possibilities with a steak sale. From New York at $6.99lb to cross-rib at $2.99, there's something for most budgets. Pork spareribs are $1.79lb; Foster Farms fresh chicken breasts are BOGO and BBQ shell-on oysters are 2/$1.

White corn on the cob is 4/$1; berries are BOGO and vine ripe tomatoes are 99-cents a pound. Grapes are $1.99lb; cucumbers and bell peppers are 69-cents each. If you are clippin', Taylor Farms garden salad is free with a $25 purchase. If you'd rather have Powerade, a 6-pack is free with $25 grocery purchase.

The 7-daily deals are back. Beginning Wednesday and continuing until next Tuesday, everything from watermelon to eggs and bananas are on sale.

Lay's chips are BOGO; Arrowhead or Nestle water is $3.33 a case and Minute Maid punch is $2.88 for the 128oz. jug.

If Dad is a chocolate lover, check ou the Double Fudge cake for $7.99 or fudge brownies for $4.99.

And, finally, if you want to have a meal for Dad but have absolutely no time to cook, there's the 8-piece chicken meal with a side and bread for $9.99.

Safeway is promoting a 3-day sale for Dad with Hillshire Farm smoked sausage (3/$7)  BOGO Hormel Pepperoni or lunchmeat; corn on the cob 8/$2 and a coupon for Kingsford charcoal for $6.99.

In the meat dept., Rancher's Reserve boneless top sirloin steak is $3.99lb and cross rib steak is $2.99lb. Signature Cafe baby back ribs are $5.99 in the deli.

Strawberries and raspberries are BOGO. Raisin Bran and Frosted Flakes are $1.99 a box.

The $5 Friday specials include the All-American sub sandwich; 8-piece chicken; Ball Park fully cooked beef patties; Tiramisu cake and 50-bakery cookies.

The Friday-Sunday offerincs include 2-liter sodas for 98-cents; BOGO bagels or English muffins and pasta sauce for 99-cents.

A case of refreshe water is $3.33; Arrowhead is $3.79. Doritos and Lay's chips are buy 2, get 2 free. Pepperidge Farm Milano cookies are BOGO and a 6-pack of Vitamin water is $3.99.

Clip-worthy coupons include Pillsbury Grands! for 99-cents; Sargento cheese for $3.99 and Dreyer's fruit bars for $2.79.

And lastly, spend $75 this weekend and get a $10 reward coupon at checkout.

If you're looking for great prices on produce, check out Sunflower Farmers  Market - one in Roseville; one in Land Park and one in Modesto. They have cherries for $1.47lb; apricots for $1.77lb and berries 2/$4. Green onions, radishes, cilantro, parsley and carrots are 2/$1 and avocados are 88-cents each. Seedless watermelon is 4lbs/$1.

Enjoy your day, Dads!

June 5, 2012
It's not easy saving green

 Hard to ignore all the changes to the shopping scene - from front page headlines to farmers market mergers, but Shop Cheap is just going to concentrate on getting the most for our money.

There are a couple things going on where you need to make sure you're reading the fine print. Safeway has taken to offering a BOGO alternative - buy 2, get 1 free - and if you don't look closely, you won't see the difference. This week, Raley's is offering the "spend $75, get $10 off your next purchase" promo. It's only available Friday-Sunday and must be redeemed by June 17. Save Mart has 2 coupons worth noting: One is for a 6th package of meat free when you buy 5 and the other is for a free bottle of olive oil. Both require a $25 store purchase.

Here are the other highlights:

Raley's: Blueberries are cheapest here. $5.99 for a 2lb container. Cherry tomatoes are 2/$5 and personal watermelons are 2/$5. Cherries are $3.99lb and corn on the cob is 5/$2.

Boneless, skinless chicken thighs are $1.99lb and fresh Sierra trout is $3.99lb. Chicken strips in the deli are $4.99lb.

Coupons include Gatorade for 89-cents; Pasta or Rice Roni for 78 cents; Minute Maid OJ for $2.49 and Crystal Geyser gallon jugs for 88-cents. Mother's Cookies are $1.99.

Propel waters are 2/$1 and a case of Crystal Geyser is $3.49. Chobani Greek yogurt is $4.99 for a 32oz. container. Clif and MoJo bars are $1 each.

Nob Hill Trading Co. Jalapeno cheese gocaccia is BOGO and you can try it before you buy it this weekend.

Save Mart has a pick 5 for $25 meat, poultry and seafood sale. Items include steak, ribs, chicken breasts and raw prawns. Clip the coupon and get a 6th for free. Other good buys include cherries for $2.67lb and seedless grapes for 97-cents a pound. Kellogg's cereal is buy 3, get 3 free. Works out to $1.88 a box. Breyers ice cream is BOGO.

A 10 items for $10 sale includes Hunt's ketchup, tomatoes and pasta sauce; Rosarita refries and Golden Grain pasta.

EarthGrains bread is $2.50 a loaf; Sunnyside Farms bread is $1.50 a loaf. Nestle or Arrowhead water is $3.33 a case.

In produce, red bell peppers are 3/99-cents; Roma tomatoes are 79-cents a pound and Driscoll's berries are 2/$5.

Over at Safeway, the seedless grapes are 99-cents and jumbo cantaloupes are BOGO. Whole Foster Farms chicken is 99-cents a pound and Nathan's franks are BOGO. But both Golden Grain pasta and Safeway peanut butter are buy 2, get 1 free.

If you got your $10 off reward coupon last week, don't forget to use it. There's also a promo for 2 free movie tickets when you purchase $40 in participating items. They include Kozy Shak pudding (BOGO); Fage Greek yogurt - $1 each; Simply potaotes 2/$4 and Kraft philly cream cheese $1.99.

Arrowhead or Nestle water is $3.50 a case; Caprisun is $1.99 and Ocean Spray cocktail drinks are 2/$4. Yoplait yogurt is 10/$5. If you're clippin' Lucerne large eggs are 99-cents a dozen; Pillsbury cookie dough, cinnamon or crescent rolls are $1.99 and Listerine is $3.99.

Friday $5 specials: Whole roasted chicken, Primo Taglio ham or Muenster cheese and Jennie-O ground turkey.

The 4-day, Friday-Monday specials include Open Nature sliced bread for $2.29; Safeway Select coffee for $5.99; BOGO string cheese and Gatorade 8-packs for $3.99.

Also be sure to check out the June issue of Relish magazine in Wednesday's paper. Lot's of great salad recipes for the warm days ahead.



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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