Plant Some Happy

Flowers for 50c. I can afford enough to survive my terrible gardening skills!

At HEB until Tuesday–get some and make it look like you know how to grow things.  It makes you feel good, and seem like a responsible person and not like someone that ate Cheetos dipped in hot sauce for lunch (No? Just me? Moving on then).


Screen shot 2016-03-23 at 11.36.27 AM

Look how cheery! You can be cheery!


Happy Ad Wednesday!

Berries! Daffodils!  Yes, it was Summer for a couple of days last week, but we’re back to Spring, which is my favorite season. Bluebonnets, everything turning green, & BBQ meat sales–all great Spring things!

This week asparagus, sausage, strawberries and mangos are all cheap.  Ham is cheap all over because it’s Easter, which is all about Jesus and ham.  Cheap citrus is gone, but a couple stores still have sacks of grapefruit if you want more.  

Also some big news:


So celery is less than a buck at Sprouts! Get out and celebrate National Celery Month!


asparagus                                                              97c/ea

kiwi fruit                                                                25c/ea

HEB chicken for fajitas, value pack             $1.97/ea

Eckrich smoked sausage, 30-42oz               $5/ea

ground chuck, 80%, club pack                        $2.97/lb

HEB fresh sausage                                              $2.97/lb




Hormel spiral sliced ham                                  $1.59/lb

Smithfield shank ham                                        $1.39/lb

bscb                                                                         $1.77/lb

Land O Lakes Butter, 1lb                                      $1.88/ea (must buy 2)

Lucerne brick or shredded cheese, 2lb            $5.99/ea



green seedless grapes                                           99c/lb

strawberries, 1lb                                                    $1.50/ea

spiral sliced ham                                                   $1.59/lb

cucumbers                                                                 50c/ea

red bell peppers                                                       50c/ea

celery                                                                          88c/ea

Sprouts organic broth, 32oz                                $1.50/ea

Sprouts salsa, select varieties, 16oz                  $2/ea

Sprouts frozen vegetables, selected, 16oz       $1.25/ea



Roma tomatoes                                                               67c/lb

cantaloupes                                                                     $1.50/ea

beef brisket, whole                                                        $2.77/lb (Fiesta limit)

Smithfield ham, butt or shank, bone-in                $1.47/lb (Fiesta limit)

boneless chicken breast or thighs, value pack     $1.29/lb (Fiesta limit)

chicken leg quarters, jumbo bag                                49c/lb (usually about 10lbs)

Blue Bell half gallon                                                     $4.49/ea (limit 2)



Central Market

extra large Hass avocados                                     97c/ea



R.W. Knudsen juice, 32oz, selected                   $2.39/ea

organic carrots, 2lb bag                                         $1.99/ea


Trader Joe’s

TJ’s proscuitto, 4oz                                                 $3.99/ea

daffodils, 10 stems                                                   $1.49/ea


Whole Foods

Ataulfo mangos                                                          50c/ea

conventional-organic strawberries, 1lb              $1.50-$3.33/ea (yes, the ad is confusing)

Screen shot 2016-03-23 at 11.19.58 AM

See? Confusing. They say it’s a GREAT DEAL, though.




Weekly Flyer Links

Cook-off, Curry-Style

I’m a member of the Austin Food Blogger Alliance, and we are hosting a cook off! It’s FREE to enter, so if you’ve been wanting to show off your way around a delicious curry, we’ve got you covered.

If you’d just like to eat, buy tickets now for $15, which is $5 off the door price.  An afternoon of food and fun!


Tuna Recall!

Tuna has been on sale often in recent weeks. I know I’ve got about 20 cans in the pantry.  Both Bumble Bee and Chicken of the Sea have had recalls issued, so I wanted to let you Cheepsters know, just in case you didn’t see it elsewhere.  

Here are the codes and links to more info:

Screen shot 2016-03-22 at 12.45.43 PM




Happy Ad Wednesday!

Randalls is upping their ‘certain days’ game, continuing their effort to be the most complicated store to get a deal at. The card is a pain, but it’s there and I’m used to it now. The app is just plain irritating–making me use my poor old phone to get 50c off salad dressing doesn’t make me happy to be where I am!  A few months back they added limits, last week adding lower AND upper limits. Now, not only to they have Friday-only, but 3-day-only deals.  Even people like me, who live close and use them for convenience on certain products are going to wear out on this soon!

We’ve got stone fruit showing up cheap this week, with eggs, mangos and grapes making a decent showing.  In the meat department, pork and chicken are at normal lows,with nothing at a stock-the-freezer price. Asparagus is here, which means all the great spring deals are just getting started!

Note: Grapes are cheaper at Randalls. Organic apples are super cheap at Sprouts. Mangos are cheapest at Fiesta (though still cheap at HEB). Don’t buy these things elsewhere this week.


            cutting through the chaos, for the Cheepsters!


red or black plums                                               97c/lb

Ataulfo mangos                                                     58c/ea

bscb                                                                         $1.99/lb

ground chuck, 80%, club pack                        $2.97/lb

HCF beef for fajitas                                             $2.97/lb



strawberries, 1lb                                                      $1.67/ea

Roma tomatoes                                                         67c/lb

Ataulfo mangos, large                                              50c/ea

boneless chicken tenders                                        $1.67/lb (Fiesta limit)

pork country ribs, blade steak                                $1.29/lb (Fiesta limit)

Old Orchard apple juice, 64oz                                 99c/ea (limit 2)                   

Fiesta chunk cheese, 16oz                                       $2.99/lb

El Molino corn tortillas, 4lb pkg                            $2/ea



medium Hass avocados                                              50c

red or green seedless grapes                                   $1.49/lb

boneless pork loin                                                      $1.79/lb

chicken of the Sea chunk light tuna, 5oz             49c/ea (limit 9)

Skinner pasta, 8-12oz                                                49c/ea (limit 9)

blue Bell ide cream, 1/2 gal                                       $4.88/ea (must buy 2 or more)

Signature Care supplements, selected                  B1G1

10 stem daffodils                                                           $1.99/ea


Lucerne eggs, dozen                                               $1.50/ea (limit 4)


Lucerne cheese, 32oz. shredded or block           $5 (remember, cheese freezes!)

Thomas English muffins                                          $1.25/ea

Thibodeaux crawfish tail meat, 12oz frozen        $5/ea


asparagus                                                                                 98c/lb

zucchini                                                                                    50c/lb

yellow nectarines                                                                   98c/lb

organic Pinata apples, 3lb bag                                           $2.50/ea

quick, rolled or steel cut oats                                              50c/lb


Happy shopping Cheepsters!  Let me know if you find other deals out there!

Weekly Flyer Links

Happy Ad Thursday!

Here it is! It got away from me last week, but here I am with the ad round up.

Boneless chicken is listed twice, because they’re both good prices and I know some people don’t get to Fiesta. You know who you are. Just go already though, because it’s seriously fun. And because you need clothes for the rodeo.


You know you’re in Texas when the grocery store sells “fantastic quality” kids cowboy boots.  I also approve of Fiesta’s ongoing commitment to the misuse of quotation marks.

Highlights this week are .  Shop on, Cheepsters!



strawberries, 1 lb                                          $1.50/ea

navel oranges                                                    33c/lb

honey mangos                                                50c/ea

Pink Lady apples                                            88c/lb

spare ribs                                                         $1.99/lb

boneless skinless breasts or thighs       $1.77/lb

mild cheddar cheese                                   $2.99/lb



green grapes                                                               $1.98/lb

kiwi fruit                                                                       25c/ea

HCF seasoned chicken leg quarters                      77c/lb

HCF smoked sausage, 30-42 oz.                            $5/ea

pork tenderloin, whole in bag                                 $2.97/ea

Texas grapefruit, 15lb bag                                         $3.98/ea



cucumbers                                                                                33c/ea

russet potatoes, 5lb                                                               $1.49/ea

boneless skinless breasts or thighs                                 $1.49/lb

selected General Mills cereal, 10-13oz.                          $2/ea  (free milk with 3)

Bumble Bee tuna, 5 oz can                                                   50c/ea (limit 2)

Blue Bell ice cream, 1/2 gal                                                 $4.99/ea



cantaloupe                                                                             $1.50/ea

whole fryer chickens                                                          B1G1  (Reg: $1.49)

Syracruse ground pork                                                     $2.49/lb

dozen eggs                                                                            99c/ea    (limit 4, at least 2)

Starkist chunk light tuna, 5oz can, 2.6 oz pouch       49c/ea

Cap ‘N Crunch cereal                                                          $1.49/ea (must buy 2 or more)

Quaker granola bars                                                           $1.49/ea (must buy 2 or more)

Friday only:

Thibodeaux’s crawfish tail meat, 12 oz, frozen         $5

hot house cucumbers                                                          $1/ea


Weekly Flyer Links

Cider Scene, Growing

Screen shot 2016-03-01 at 8.35.12 PM

It’s been a year since I checked in on cider here in Austin. This is my annual diverging from all things cheap to crow about other food topics I care about!

You can read my sum up of Austin’s cider folks for a baseline check-in and some background. Given the growth of pretty much everything, it’s not surprising to find that the cider scene has grown as well. Updating for the AFBA City Guide, here’s all your Cider News.

Argus Cidery is still exciting.  Their site now actually splits you off into two parts–the Cidery and the Fermentables. Their Ginger Perry, from the fermentable side, is a happy summation of ginger and pear and brightness that is well worth a visit.  The Ciderkin is a wild-fermented dry cider that takes the traditional cider we all remember to a new height.

Texas Keeper has expanded their range with their Cider Noir, a stout cider, which is a great addition to their line.  They’re also about to keg their cider–so we’ll be seeing them on tap soon!  The cidery is having an opening day party on the 12th, act fast and get your tickets here. Music, tastings, and kids get in free; it’s hard to imagine a better way to spend $10 and a Saturday afternoon.

Screen shot 2016-03-02 at 12.08.02 AM

Best cider label ever, right?

Newcomer to the review is Austin Wine & Cider.  On St. Elmo, with South Austin Brewing and Music Lab nearby, they’re a natural fit. Hard cider and wine are in the works, but according to his site, the ‘wine’ is a nomenclature issue due to TABC classifications (someone should make an infographic).He’s been working on getting up and running for a while, and now with the grand opening scheduled I can’t wait to see what’s on tap! 

Tours will start at Austin Eastciders this summer. As it is the ubiquitous cider of Austin, I think that’s exciting.  Their cans are everywhere lately, and I’m glad to see more people enjoying cider, and hope that they get out to visit.

If you haven’t had cider in ages, you need to give it a try. There are people making great cider, experimenting with fermentation and fruit, and waiting to hear what you think.  Giving cider a second look is well worth your while.



Happy Hour & A Playground. Family Fun!

Exploring Austin’s food scene with kids brings interesting hurdles. Happily, places all over town are thoughtful and accommodating, with everything from playgrounds to healthy kid meals becoming more and more common. 

One of my favorite things on a weekend is to meet up with friends at a restaurant, order a tableful of snacks, and sip a margarita while the kids run to the playground to spin, slide and run. I get to catch up with my friends, the kids play with theirs, and we all get to enjoy the sunshine.

My contribution to this years AFBA City Guide is some of the places to do just that, without breaking the bank. So read on, and let me know your favorite in the comments!

Screen shot 2016-03-01 at 8.35.12 PM.png

Central Market

  • 4001 N Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78756
  • Kid meals: $5. Reg menu:  $8-12

It’s a grocery store with a music venue! It’s a playground where you can fill a growler! It’s a park with the occasional movie night!  Central Market at XXX and Lamar is all of those things.  You can grab a meal at the cafe and let the kids run on the playground in the park that’s just off the dog-friendly deck.  There is a kid menu with the basics–spaghetti & meatball, chicken strips, cheese pizza, with the full menu having the basic sandwiches/salads/dinner plates.

Protip: There’s a kid table at the front of the store with fruit for a 25 cent donation, and the service counter will give you a balloon for the asking.


Doc’s Backyard

  • 5207 Brodie Lane Sunset ValleyTX 78745
  • Kid meals: $5. Reg menu: $4-15

A bit south, in Sunset Valley, Doc’s Backyard is a great way to let the kids run off the last of a day’s worth of energy.  Loads of picnic tables, with misters and umbrellas for the hot days, overlook a playground with equipment for toddlers to big kids.  The menu covers all the fried bar basics, with burgers, tacos, sandwiches and plates.  Kid food is standard fare,  there are televisions both inside and out, and happy hours daily.

Protip:  The newspaper Community Impact nearly always has a coupon for a free kid meal with dinner purchase.

photo 2.JPG

Misters up by the firepit have you covered for all weather!

photo 1.JPG


Waterloo Icehouse  

  • 9600 S IH 35 Frontage Rd
  • 6203 N. Capital of Texas Highway
  • 9600 Escarpment Blvd
  • Kid meals: $6. Reg menu: $4-$14

Once upon a time, Austin was called Waterloo and the icehouse is where folks went to grab a cold one because it was the only cold place in town. 

Now, Waterloo Icehouse remains a good place to grab a cold one.  There’s a good selection of beer along with a full bar, and all the burgers, fries, and snacks you’d expect.  The kid menu features a mini corndog basket that young ones will love.  The playground has picnic tables nearby for keeping an eye on the kids, and so they can run back and forth between lemonade refills.


El Mercado

  • 1301 S. 1st Austin, TX 78701
  • Kid meals: $4.50. Reg menu: $6-15

There are three El Mercados in town, but only the one on South 1st has a tropical back porch with a playscape for the younger set.  It’s a bit tame for all but the under-5s, but the palm trees, picnic tables and chips with fresh salsa can help keep everyone else cool and happy.

The menu is Tex-Mex, with a list of burgers for those not inclined towards tacos and enchiladas.  There is a full bar, and if you get a large margarita be warned, they’re not kidding.

photo 2.JPG

Add a steel drum band and it’s a mini-vacation!


Phil’s Icehouse/Amy’s Ice Cream


  • 5620/5624 Burnet Rd Austin, TX 78756
  • 2901/ S. Lamar Ave Austin, TX 78704
  • Kid meals: $5-6.  Reg menu: $8-9.50  ice cream: $3.25 & up.

Sometimes people come up with the best ideas.  Slapping a burger joint right up against an ice cream shop and putting a cow in the yard for the youngun’s to climb on might not have seemed like a leap of genius when they started, but Phil & Amy are laughing ’till the cows come home (that hurt to type, but one of the kids thought it was hysterical).

Phil’s got a burger for everyone in your gang, and Amy will happily sling a cup or cone with your favorite crush’in with style.  On weekends it’s a pile-up of families, so avoid peak mealtimes if you’re not a crowd family, and enjoy one of Austin’s great one-stop-shops!

That wraps up my favorite playground/restaurants with kids.  Below I’ve linked some other great bloggers’ kid-friendly Austin lists–check them out for more ideas!


50 Places to Eat Out With Kids, from Free Fun in Austin.

20 Great Kid Friendly Restaurants, from Austin Eater.

Top 11 Family Friendly Restaurants, from Do512Family

Guide to Kid Friendly Austin Restaurants, from Full and Content.  This one has a breakdown by type of food AND part of town, and is from a fellow AFBA blogger!