Happy Ad Wednesday!

Last week a reader brought up the shrimp on sale at Fiesta.  It’s true, there was cheap shrimp, and I didn’t report it. Reason?  I’m still on the fence about their fish counter.  It looks like mayhem with added fishy smell.  This week there’s salmon, $3.99/lb for a whole, $5.99 for pieces. Which is cheap, it’s true.  Does anyone out there shop the Fiesta fish counter regularly? Am I being fussy?  Is all that advice about ‘clear bright eyes’ and ‘no fishy smell’ all just what clinically clean people think, and I should thank my lucky stars I live in a world where somehow people can farm salmon and send them to the middle of Texas for cheaper than steak?  

Also this week, the Randalls entry was nearly very different. I considered typing, “There are a lot of pantry staples on sale, but you’ve got to buy six of things, and it’s Randalls, so, screw it.”   Their site is only displaying the mobile version of the flyer, and buying six is pesky. Just put stuff on sale like normal people, Randalls!  Because I care I went ahead and dealt with their nonsense. For you. Because I know you want those green stamps.

On to the sales! This week I’m going to be buying raspberries, whole chickens, potatoes, and limes.  I’ll also be buying a couple dozen boxes of pasta at Randalls, so look forward to a ‘before’ and ‘after’ shot of reorganizing my pantry to accommodate that!

HEB

raspberries, 6oz.                                       97c/ea

Gala apples                                              77c/lb (DD)

Bartlett pears                                            77c/lb

ONLY AT GRACKLE HEBs *

     HCF whole chicken                                                                 77c/lb (limit 2)

     HCF seasoned chicken leg quarters                                      77c/lb

     HEB seasoned boneless skinless chix thighs for fajitas     $1.97/lb

Sprouts

raspberries, 6 oz                                                      98c/ea

tomatoes on the vine                                              88c/lb

organic baby carrots, 1lb                                       98c/ea

green bell peppers                                                 48c/ea (DD)

papaya                                                                   48c/lb (C15)

pork loin roast or chops                                       $1.99/lb

blanched peanuts (bulk)                                       $1.99/lb

organic broth, 32oz.                                               $1.50/ea

Fiesta

pork loin chops, family pack                                          $1.69/lb (Fiesta limit)

Tyson split chicken breast, family pack                          97c/lb (Fiesta limit)

Earl Campbell sausage, 36 oz.                                       $4.99/ea (that’s $2.21/lb)

 Go home, Fiesta! You're drunk.

Fiesta!  You’re drunk.

russet potatoes, 5lb bag                                                 $1.29/ea (DD)

roma tomatoes                                                               44c/lb

limes                                                              15/$1

Randalls

General Mills cereals, selected varieties                          $1.88/ea

Classico sauce, buy 6                                                      99c/ea

Safeway pasta, 12-16oz, buy 6                                       49c/ea

Progresso soups, selected                                              88c/ea

Green Giant frozen vegetables, 7-10 oz.                        88c/ea

Lucerne chunk or shredded cheese, 2lb                        $5 (Friday ONLY)

Weekly Flyer Links

*About the grackle HEBs–here’s the list. Yes, it’s not the sharpest. Apparently HEB doesn’t think anyone out there wants to read this information so it’s in a font size designed to make me feel squinty.

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You can check the flyer in the front of the store, if you’re not sure. The general guideline is, as always, if the HEB is updated, large, and has a full butcher counter, it’s likely a ‘less grackle’ HEB.  If the HEB is small, has a jewelry counter, and feels sketchy as hell, that’s probably a ‘more grackle’ HEB.

A Little Bit Soufflé

Look at this pretty thing! For under $2, this could be a lovely dinner. That’s $2 for the whole thing, which the recipe called a ‘Cornmeal Pie with Cheddar‘. Doesn’t it look like a soufflé though?  


Add a salad and fruit, and you could swing dinner for $5 for five people!  

I mean that, about you. You could. My kids will look at this and wonder why I’m trying to kill them by putting cheese on things that aren’t elbow noodles. 

Happy Ad Wednesday!

I’m squeaking in under the wire to get the post up on Wednesday this week. I blame the equinox and Mercury retrograde. Or binge watching The West Wing. Reader’s choice.  Moving on…

Chicken leg quarters are at close to the lowest I’ve ever seen, which was 19c/lb about a decade ago.  Yes, it’s a huge bag and you’ve got to get them into freezable portions, but 28c/lb is seriously cheap chicken! When I freeze these, I split the leg from the thigh, but at this price I don’t mind spending a bit of time. This post details my thinking on how to cope with 20lbs of chicken legs.  My joke with DH is that it’s weird when chicken legs are often cheaper than the same mass of firewood, and has me thinking about things like how interesting it might be to throw chicken and rosemary in the fireplace and call it a day.

Central Market Garlic Fest continues. As far as I can tell, this means they’ve got a wider variety of garlic for sale than usual, and the faint tang of burnt garlic hangs over everything (at least on Saturday at the south location, maybe they were training a new garlic guy).

Sprouts has got apples and peaches for 48c/lb, which is a price that will have me making applesauce and freezing peaches. 

There are also some pantry staples worth stocking up on this week:

Del Monte canned tomato sauce is 79c/24oz. Yes, it’s a can of sauce, but since I’m going to add stuff to it anyway I’ve found it useful to have some around. They’re at Fiesta, along with the 99c bags of rice and cheap peanut butter.  Tuna and canned vegetables are super cheap at Randalls, but only from Fri-Sun. 

Finally, with Fall come the  Apple Wars. I’ll be listing the cheapest conventional and organic options, as well as good deals on some of the varieties that are popular.  Also with fall? Pomegranates! They’ll be 99c soon, but for now WF and Fiesta have them for $1.49. Yay Fall!

Randalls

split chicken breasts                                                    88c/lb

Honeycrisp apples                                                     $1.77/lb (DD)

Blue Bell half gallons, selected varieties                $4.88/ea

Gatorade, 32oz, selected varieties                            79c/ea

3 day sale: Fri-Sun ONLY

Del Monte canned vegetables, selected varieties     49c/ea

StarKist chunk light tuna, 5oz                                          50c/ea

HEB

black seedless grapes                                                            87c/lb (DD)

EZ Peel xl raw frozen white shrimp, 2lb bag                        $5.97/lb (farm raised)

Sprouts

yellow peaches                                                               48c/lb (DD)

Gala apples                                                                     48c/lb (DD)

organic red, green or black seedless grapes             $1.98/lb (DD)

organic kale bunch                                                         98c/ea (DD)

organic carrots, 5lb bag                                              $2.98/ea

Luna bars, select varieties                                              88c/ea

L&A juice, select varieties                                                $2/ea

pomegranate_red_broken_up

Fiesta

green bell peppers                                                       33c/ea (DD)

large avocados                                                              69c/ea (C15)

large pomegranates                                                      $1.49/ea 

pork blade steak                                                           99c/lb (Fiesta limit)

chicken leg quarters, large bag                                    28c/lb (Fiesta limit)

El Molino white corn tortillas, 4lbs                                 $1.49/ea

Del Monte pasta sauce, 24oz can                                  79c/ea

Fiesta peanut butter, 16.3oz                                           $1/ea

Goya Canilla rice, long grain or parboiled, 3lb bag         99c/ea (limit 2)

Whole Foods

red or green seedless grapes                                           98c/lb (DD)

organic Gala apples                                                       $1.99/lb (DD)

organic pomegranates                                                    $1.49/ea 

Wheatsville

organic Fuji apples                                                             $2.29 (DD)

Weekly Flyer Links

Shoes, a Thing Kids Need

If you’ve got kids, it’s worth a swing  by Costco this weekend. They’ve got  kids’ Sketchers on sale for just $9!

Kids have feet. Feet have needs. Costco wants to help. 

  

Instacart HEB Review

Cheepie isn’t an early adopter. I had an iPhone until last year. Just an iPhone, no number after it. Because it was the first one. It had two fingerprint sized balloons of dead pixels, a quarter of the screen was packing tape covered cracks and the  app store just laughed if I tried to connect.  It still sent texts so I kept using it, despite the fact that it could only hold a charge for 20 minutes.

This is my phone. There are many like it, but this one is mine.

      In 2014 this was my phone.Yes, I             charged it for this post. 

Eventually a friend took pity on me, or tired of me always needing to sit near an outlet when we went out, and updated me from her ‘junk’ drawer.  I’m friends with some generous people! So with my fancy ‘new’ phone I’ve been able to tell you about on-the-spot deals I find, and tweet about how pumpkins can be worrisome.

When HEB/Instacart made their announcement a bit ago about a partnership, marriage, or conscious coupling, I realized something important. I blog about Grocery Shopping. Covering advances in this area is clearly content my readers would have some interest in. I realize this doesn’t make me an early Instacart adopter, but short of this I’d have likely waited until some thoughtful person took my license away because I was 95 and blind. For me, this is early.

So, one day, when we were out of milk and it was raining, I went ahead and placed an Instacart order. For my audience. Not at all because I was in pjs, and it was raining, and the first order? Free delivery.

I ordered milk, bread, and eight other things just before 1pm. My first delivery window was 5-6pm, which was fine since I’d let the kids finish off a half-gallon of Bluebell and they were set for a while.

I hate gum! Surely I didn't buy that?

I hate gum! Surely I didn’t buy that? Kids are sneaky.

My impression of the whole ordering experience was that it was simple. Simple to find what I wanted, simple to register, simple to pick HEB, all super easy. And don’t forget, the first order? Free delivery.

Then, ten minutes early, a friendly guy showed up with four bags of groceries. I handed him a cash tip, because I’m old and that’s how I tip.  I asked him how he liked delivering for Instacart.  He said that he was enjoying it, and that he was just a driver. The shoppers stationed in the store bring the orders out to him.  Reading more about the ‘partnership’ it seems HEB has had Instacart for a while now, and the new thing is this stationing of shoppers that are in the store.

The grapes were perfect, everything arrived, with no missing items. I wasn’t even charged for the HEB bags, an aspect of this system that I didn’t think of until I was unloading my order. Your shopper doesn’t come and pick up your reusable bags, after all.

Yes, while shopping I did check on pricing, because that’s what I do. I was also shopping from my desk while hungry, which explains the chips, salsa and queso. In my defense I did buy the snack I felt had the most minimal markup. Overall, the pricing seemed varied. Some items were $1 over what I’d expect on the shelf, others only 10c or so.  If you’re a price-conscious shopper, you’d need a serious price book or photographic memory to be sure you weren’t over your price point for an item.

I know what you’re thinking. ‘Cheepie! As a Grocery Maven, I rely on your help to tell me where to shop. What do I do now?’  

Answer: I think Instacart is worth checking out.  We all have overwhelming weeks where adding one more trip to the list is pushing our sanity to the limit. Sometime, when you’re not in dire straits, head over and just look at the pricing and see if what you normally might order (bread, milk, tp, Bota Boxes)(no? just me? moving on) has got a markup that hits your own price point limit.

The site is easy to use, the emails I received about my order were accurate and timely, delivery was polite. I don’t have a single bad thing to say about my experience.  

Delivering the first order for free is smart, as always, because now I know it’s there. I likely wouldn’t have done this if they were charging me the delivery fee–I wanted to see how it worked first. 

For me, living in the middle of five different grocery stores, I need a good reason to pay the markup, fee and tip. I can see people getting addicted easily, though, especially parents that have little ones to strap in/argue with/placate/change/feed/mentally abandon to get through a big shopping trip.

For my particular order, the milk is the only thing I found well over what I’d pay in the store. I pay $2.78/gal for Randalls Pantry Essentials, so it was a big jump.  Because everything else was pretty much in line, I felt okay about it. With the free first-time shopper bonus, I really felt like I’d made a purchase that would help Cheepsters.

Or keep me from having to find real pants. One of those.

Happy Ad Wednesday!

I cannot contain my excitement. I read a LOT as a kid. Tons. All kinds of stuff. I loved the older books, Cheaper by the Dozen, Nancy Drew, the intrepid Boxcar Children. You know what kids in those books often had? Green Stamps. Booklets, and stamps, and the store was involved, and you saved for stuff. Sisters fought with brothers over roller skates vs. microscopes.  I remember wishing that somehow my grocery store would give me a microscope for collecting things.  

Got a kid? This book is a riot.

Got a kid? This book is a riot.

It’s possible the stamps were part of the war effort and my horrendous history education is confusing fiction with the era of women drawing lines on the back of  their calves to emulate stockings. It’s possible romance novels have played too large a part in my history education.  I’m still happy.

Screen shot 2015-09-16 at 12.55.39 AMRandalls is bringing back green stamps!  For knives and stuff. I can’t believe I spent $80 there today and the damn thing starts tomorrow. More on that later. There was a reason, I swear.  If you’re also now very excited, every $10 gets you a stamp. Stamps get you stuff. That’s all I know at this point because I’m a tiny blogger and Randalls isn’t sending me press releases (though they should, since I’m one of the few that hate them in a mocking way, rather that just hate them).

Yes, I know it’s not a solid investment, But as someone that spends dollars at Randalls, between this and the gas rewards I’m amused by the weird way grocery pricing works.

Here are the deals. Nothing too striking, just a few swipes at the Apple Wars to come.  I hope you’ve stocked up on meat, since we’ve got a dry spell heading into the poultry bonanza of November. Cheep Cheep!

Fiesta

large avocados                                                            69c/ea (C15)

Fiesta long grain rice, 4lb sack                                  $1.50/ea

chicken drumsticks, large bag                                  39c/lb (Fiesta limit)

center cut pork chops, bone in, value pack           $1.79/lb (Fiesta limit)

Randalls

pork chops, assorted, bone-in, value pack                   $1.79/lb

Pantry Essentials milk, gallon                                            $1.99/ea 

Campbell’s condensed soup, selected varieties           50c/ea

HEB

red seedless grapes                                                  87c/lb (DD)

Gala, Fuji or Pink Lady apples                                  77c/lb (DD)

organic Gala apples                                                $1.97/lb (DD)

whole pork butt or country style ribs                       $1.27/lb

Sprouts

seedless grapes                                                      88c/lb (DD)

cantaloupes                                                               88c/ea (C15)

organic Gala apples                                                  98c/lb (DD)

bulk oats                                                                     69c/lb

frozen organic fruit/veg, selected, 12-16oz             $2/ea

Weekly Flyer Links

Happy Ad Wednesday!

This week I’ve perked up the Facebook and Twitter end of Cheepie. Follow up is adding some more info to the actual blog–clearance rack locations, the Actual HEB Names list, and a start on my price point list for certain items.  

If there’s something you’d like to see here let me know, and if I think you’re a reasonable person I’ll consider it. If I think you’re one of the people that sent 200 comments that landed in my spamcatcher, I will simply pity you from afar. If you’re thinking sweet talk like, ” But how good is one to two pillow cases of standard size, fitted sheet, and flat sheet. It is suitable under leaf layers can result in many fungal diseases for your lawn;”** is going to get some play with Cheepie, you’ve got another thing coming.

Nothing is super striking this week. It’s likely the last of decent peaches for under a buck, those are everywhere. Red bell peppers are 50c, and if you like color in your food you can buy a bunch, eat some,and freeze others for later.

The weekend sale at Fiesta lends itself well to a party. If you’ve been thinking you should

This was a sad, sad day.

This was a sad, sad day.

have 30 people over on a Sunday afternoon, but worried about spending too much on food, go shop on Saturday. For $40 you can likely feed them all–pork shoulder, watermelon, pineapple (grill it!), and tortillas is the basics, and fill in as you see fit. They’ve also got the cheapest BlueBell I’ve seen since the re-issue.

Pork shoulder, 78c/lb at Fiesta. 1.99/lb at Randalls. Make of that what you will.

Also, gummi bears are $1.99 in bulk at Sprouts. Just making a note of that for you. You know I like to help you. With candy.

Sprouts 

yellow or white peaches                                                   98c/lb (DD)

cucumbers                                                                            50c/ea (DD)

pineapples                                                                            98c/ea (C15)

red or green bell peppers                                                50c/ea (DD)

Earthbound Farms organic salads, 4-7oz                         B1G1

boneless chicken, any size                                               50% off

Fiesta

Key Limes, 2lb sack                                                         97c/ea

large peaches                                                                    99c/lb (DD)

lemons                                                                                20c/ea

Blue Ribbon long grain rice, 3 lb.                             $1.49/lb

Bluebell                                                                             $4.99/ea

Sat/Sun ONLY

  seedless watermelons                                                $1.99/ea

  Gala apples, 3lb sack                                                 $1.99/ea (DD)

  pineapples                                                                       99c/ea (C15)

  beef back ribs, family pack                                         99c/lb (Fiesta limit)

  mixed pork chops, family pack                                   99c/lb (Fiesta limit)  

  pork shoulder, 4-8lbs                                                      78c/lb (Fiesta limit)

HEB

white seedless grapes                                                         87c/lb (DD)

tomatoes on the vine                                                           67c/lb

organic Gala apples, 2lb sack                                          $2.98/ea (DD)

HCF split chicken breasts, value pack                              $1/lb

All More Grackle Only:

  boneless pork loin, sold whole in bag                                $1.97/lb

  ground pork                                                                           $1.97/lb

  HEB boneless skinless chicken thighs for fajitas                $1.97/lb

Randalls

half pork loin, whole in bag                                               $1.79/lb

bscb or boneless thighs                                                      $1.99/lb

Wheatsville

Smart chicken drums and thighs                                      $1.99/lb

organic Russet potatoes                                                        $1.29/lb (DD)

Don’t forget Double Ad Wednesday at Sprouts–a great chance to score deals and meet like-minded food shoppers!  

As usual, Central Market and Whole Foods are holding their ad until late, so I’m not including either today. CM had been earlier recently, so I’d been able to check, but not this week.

Shop strong, Cheepsters.  And stay tuned, I’ve got a fun giveaway coming up!

Cheep Cheep!

Weekly Flyer Links

**An actual quote from email in my spam filter. I’m not sure how these things originate or propagate, but I think this is how the dialog for Two Broke Girls is developed.***

***Footnotes! On Cheepie. This is a happy day, people. Go forth and rejoice.