Happy Ad Wednesday!

Boneless chicken breasts are cheap all over, so if your freezer is low it’s a good week.  They’re not rock-bottom, but every one of the Big 4 has them on sale, so you don’t have to hunt them up.   Also at stock-up prices: cheese at Randalls, red bell peppers at Sprouts, canned tomatoes and tomato sauce at Fiesta, Community Coffee at Randalls, and Fiesta bacon. Pretty much an all-purpose stock-up week.

And before you ask, no, I don’t know what’s up with HEB! This is their worst showing ever.  Given last week they started copying Randalls’ style sales, and now have the occasional limit, I’m setting them to a DEFCON 4 on my Cheepie ConcernMeter, which I just invented right now.  I’ll get a guy on it. Probably this guy.

Screen shot 2016-01-27 at 11.53.17 PM

I’m this much worried. It’s concern, but manageable. He’s got this.

Here’s the roundup:

Fiesta

beef sirloin tip roast                                        $2.77/lb (Fiesta limit)

Fiesta sliced bacon, 24oz                                 $4.99/lb

key limes, 1lb bag                                              50c/ea

Fiesta saltines, 6 oz box                                   99c/ea

Fiesta diced tomatoes, 14.5oz                           50c/ea

Red Gold tomato sauce, 8oz                            20c/ea

 

HEB

large green pears                                             87c/lb

bscb                                                                   $1.79/lb

assorted pork chops                                           $1.97/lb

 

Randalls

whole bone-in pork loin                                     99c/lb

bscb                                                                      $1.77/lb

Lucerne shredded or block cheese, 2lb              $4.99/ea

Community coffee, 12oz, whole or ground        $3.88/ea

DeCecco pasta, 16oz                                           B1G1 (note: look at the prices, get best deal)

Signature Kitchens can vegetable                       67c/ea

 

Sprouts

Halos mandarins, 2lb. bag                                   $1.98/ea

red bell peppers                                                      50c/ea

Fuji or Braeburn apples                                          98c/lb

organic Red or Golden Delicious apples                $1.50/lb

bscb                                                                        $1.69/lb

assorted pork chops                                               $1.99/lb

 

Central Market

PEI fresh black mussels, 2lb bag                            $8.99/ea

 

Wheatsville

R.W. Knudsen Simply Nutritious Juice, 32oz                              $2.50/ea

organic brown flaxseeds, bulk                                                         $1.99/lb

As always, if you find a deal I haven’t listed, or a special at your local store, let me know here on the blog, on Facebook or Twitter. Happy shoppping Cheepsters! 

Weekly Flyer Links

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Science & Shopping

Here’s a secret you don’t know about Cheepie–I love me an infographic. Combine infographic with grocery shopping, and I pretty much want this one in t-shirt form.

It sums up some of the basic stuff about shopping that we all know (milk in the back of the store to make us walk past everything else) with some stuff that’s news to me, like bigger carts cause people to buy more.

The Science of Grocery Shopping
Source: BestMarketingDegrees.org

We’ve all got triggers that will have us buying things we don’t necessarily need. I’m a complete sucker for nearly anything with a 50% off sticker, for example. Knowing your own triggers, along with the science stores use to snag everyone, can help you save. We all like to do that!

Thanks to a BestMarketingDegrees.Org for sharing this infographic.

Cheep Cheep!

Happy Ad Wednesday!

Hope everyone enjoyed the last gasp of winter, and is ready for the start of summer produce deals!  One of my favorite summer meals is a steak from the freezer, accompianied by corn on the cob and watermelon bought on sale.  We go through a lot of berries for smoothies and turn all kinds of fruit into freezy pops at this time of year, also. Well, not yesterday. Yesterday was Winter, and I made a casserole.  Crazy Mother Nature.

I also stock up on things that will freeze well–lots of watermelon for agua frescas, corn off the cob, all the berries, diced mango, and green beans are examples of summery produce I will seal up for the freezer.

This week’s got blackberries and corn, and chicken leg quarters (read here for notes about that) on great deals.  Avocados and potatoes aren’t too shabby either.

Sprouts has ended their amazing weekly cheese sale, but Randalls has their 32oz bricks and bags of shredded cheese for $5.99 (usually $8.99). So there’s that. As always, that’s the card price, though–as always the stupid Randalls prices are the stupid card prices.  The Wheatsville prices are the non-member prices, and there are no coupons involved with any of the prices in the Happy Ad Wednesday post.

Here we go!

Randalls 

32oz chunk or shredded cheese                  $5.99/ea

bscb                                                                 $1.99/lb

Sprouts

Hass avocados                                            33c/ea (C15)

green beans                                                 98c/lb

bscb and thighs                                           $1.99/lb

raw almonds                                                 $4.99/lb

organic carrots,5lb sack                               $2.98/lb

Fri-Sun only:

sweet cherry tomatoes, 1 pint                        98c/ea (DD)

Fiesta

chicken leg quarters, jumbo bag                49c/lb (Fiesta Limit)

medium whole live crawfish                         $1.69/sack $1.99/lb 

pork blade steak, family pack                       $1.49/lb (Fiesta Limit)

beef short ribs                                                  $2.99/lb (Fiesta Limit)

red seedless grapes                                        $1.49/lb (DD)

limes                                                                    10/$1

russet potatoes, 10lbs                                      $2.49/lb (DD)

HEB

NOTE: This week, I’ve tried to accommodate the two different flyers HEB has for their stores. I’m adding the links to the different flyers here–if your HEB is modern, clean, and only moderately grackled, this is likely your flyer. If it’s small, older, and fully gracklefied, this is likely your flyer. Apologies if you looked for and couldn’t find something.  I’d stopped checking because they’d been the same for weeks, but now they’re different again.

canteloupe                                                         97c/ea (older only) (C15)

blackberries, 6 oz.                                             77c/ea

corn on the cob                                                 20c/ea (C15)

Ataulfo mangos                                                 25c/ea (C15)

organic Fuji or Red Delicious apples            $1.77/lb (older) OR $1.47/lb (newer) (DD)

HCF chicken thighs or drumsticks                 $1/lb

Campari tomatoes. 1lb pack                             $1.50/ea (older)

green beans                                                          98c/lb

largeHass avocados                                           97c/ea (newer) (C15)

organic blackberries,6oz                                   $2.47/ea (newer)

Central Market

PEI black mussels,2lb sack                              $8.99/ea

Trader Joe’s

TJ’s extra virgin olive oil,1L                              $6.99/ea

Wheatsville

organic cucumbers                                           79c/lb (DD)

Central Market is having a Greek-fest, with many interesting looking Greek specials on wine, meat, meals, dips, cheese and more. I cannot deal with their blue and white ad, though, because the Central Market ad should be green and white, which might be my own personal OCD trappings kicking in. I need my grocery ads to stay the same, and the new Fiesta ad was enough for me to cope with for one week. Generally, these CM pushes come with lots of free tastings, so if you’re hungry and out of pocket, swing by.

Cheep Cheep!

Central Market: Trial By Tri-Tip

  

Central Market and I have grown up together.  I remember walking around the North Lamar store with The Silver Palate cookbook in my cart, buying a cartload of groceries for one meal.  I remember touring the Westgate store with a group when it was still just a gutted mall, because people were that excited about a grocery store.

Nowadays, I’m more likely darting in for a Bota Box and wondering why people can’t meander a little faster.  But I’m still irrationally fond of the place, and while I’m not shopping there regularly I do appreciate it being there.

So when the tri-tip incident happened, it was a grocery betrayal.  DH was mad, but I was sad, because I am that kind of person.

Tri-tip is a cut of beef we often cook, and it’s not cheap because DH always goes to CM to buy it, where it’s $10.99/lb.  Since he’s the one shopping and cooking, he gets to pay what he wants (Costco and TJ’s have it cheaper)(Cheepie tries not to look at his receipts). On the day in question, he came home with three tri-tips, because we were having company.  

When he went to put them in the marinade, he realized that there was a huge layer of fat on them, which is not usual. They’d been fat side down in the case, so looked like the usual cut until he got them home and unwrapped the paper.  Not a little fat–a brisket-level layer a half-inch thick that I had to dissect away from the meat because our grilling method doesn’t allow for a giant layer of melting fat.  All told it was 1.6 lbs of fat (of course I weighed it, am I some kind of heathen? I wanted numbers!).  

Dinner was lovely, the meat was delicious. But I’m Cheepie, and the disappointment stuck with me. I might not be tossing the dinner parties, or even shopping at all the way I did when I was in my 20s, but I didn’t want to have to break up with Central Market!  We’d made crackers! I’d spoken to fishmongers! I’d been given a jillion pounds of bruised tomatoes once to make me go away!

So I went to their website and sent an email detailing what happened, and let them know that I thought that if they were going to change the way they cut something, letting buyers know when they purchased it would be polite. I sent it off figuring it would go into a black hole of internet complaints, but feeling better that I’d at least gotten it off my chest.

Three weeks later I got an email.  The customer service rep was very understanding, and wrote that she’d shared my email with the meat department and they’d gotten it cleared up.  She also told me they’d refund the amount we’d spent on the meat, and would like to also give me a $20 gift card.  

That’s how you do customer service!  I’m still amazed. It’s easily the best customer service I’ve ever gotten.  Acknowledgement of the problem, and more than making up for it.  Central Market and I will be going steady for the foreseeable future.

 

Happy Ad Wednesday!

There are a lot of pork chops out there this week. I think the Sprouts deal, with roasts and loin chops is the best deal–they’re the most versatile and freeze very well.  The other specials are bone in or sirloin. There is also pork butt for $1/lb Screen shot 2015-03-25 at 12.32.12 AMat HEB. Thats the lowest I’ve seen in a while, and if you’ve got freezer space it’s worth stocking up.  Here at Chez Cheepie we smoke them, but they’re also super simple to do in a crock pot or oven, just don’t let your bbq fanatic friends know.

Fiesta has the big sacks of chicken legs on sale again, with the Fiesta Limit in place.  Remember these aren’t quite as pretty or as large as ones not bought in giant sacks, and may need some knife skills to be presentable. Given they’re 69c/lb, you’ll have room to practice.  Don’t know what to do with all that chicken? Try this post from a while back.

Buy strawberries at Sprouts this week, the other places are more than twice as much.If you want organic, Wheatsville has them.

Apples are insanely cheap–conventional at 50c/lb at HEB, and organic for 48c/lb at Sprouts.

HEB’s got a product I haven’t noticed before that they’re calling Stoplight Peppers. It’s three colors of peppers in a package (get it, like a stop light? except in HEBland stoplights don’t have green. which pretty much fits with Austin traffic) for about 77c/pepper. Check them, though, since this is a classic produce manager way to try to get rid of stuff that might be bruised/dented/otherwise not perfect.

CORN! Yay! I know, I may be irrationally happy about this, but I love corn. Corn pudding, creamed corn, corn right off the cob–it’s all good.  And this week from Fri-Sun they’re 8/$1 at Sprouts.  So belly up to the big cardboard box and wedge yourself in between the other picky corn people and start peeling some husks back to make sure you don’t get a buggy one, then take ’em home to enjoy.

Here’s the specials. Happy Shopping!

HEB

cantaloupe                                                             87c/ea (C15)

Cameo or Braeburn apples                                 50c/lb (DD)

Stoplight bell peppers, 3/pkg                             $2.27/ea   (DD)

Boston butt pork roast, whole, bone-in              $1/lb

HCF drumsticks or thighs                                    $1/lb

Randalls

pork loin chops, bone-in                                     $1.69/lb

Hillshire Farm smoked sausage, 32oz               $5   Friday ONLY

Sprouts

strawberries, 1lb.                                                           88c/ea  (DD)

apple pears                                                                    33c/ea

mangos                                                                           25c/ea (C15)Screen shot 2015-03-25 at 12.36.55 AM

red bell peppers                                                            50c/ea (DD)

organic red, orange or yellow bell peppers              $1.50/ea (DD)

Hass avocados                                                                50c/ea (C15)

organic red delicious apples                                        48c/lb (DD)

organic kale                                                                    $1.50/bunch (DD)

bscb                                                                                $1.69/lb

pork loin roast or chops                                               $1.99/lb

bulk roasted cashew pieces                                        $4.99/lb

Monterey Jack cheese                                                  $3.99/lb

Fri-Sun only

corn                                                                                  8/$1

Halo mandarins, 2lb sack                                         $1.98/ea

cage free eggs, dozen                                                $2.50/ea

Sprouts frozen vegetables, 16oz.                             99c/ea

walnuts, bulk                                                              $4.99/lb

Fiesta

live Louisiana crawfish                                             $1.89/lb

pork sirloin chops, bone-in                                     $1.49/lb

red or green seedless grapes                                $1.88/lb (DD)

chicken leg quarters, large bag                             69c/lb (Fiesta Limit)

large avocados                                                         97c/ea (C15)

Fiesta shredded cheese, 8oz.                                $1.50/ea

Wheatsville

organic strawberries, 1lb.                                       $2.99/ea (DD)

organic mini peppers                                             $2.49/pk   (usually $3.79) (DD)

Happy Ad Wednesday!

Another week, another dollar!  Soon we’ll be seeing corn at 6/$1, then 12/$1! I love those days.  For now, we make do with…

Blue Bell for $4.50 at Fiesta! Grapes cheap as heck at Sprouts!

Don’t forget Sprouts still has last week’s ad active for Wednesday ONLY.

Randalls

Not a damn thing. Even the $5 Friday doesn’t have anything I’d stop for.

Sprouts

blackberries, 5.6 oz                                                          88c/ea

mangos                                                                             50c/ea (C15)

avocados                                                                           50c/ea (C15)Image result for free green grapes stock photo

green seedless grapes                                                     88c/lb (DD)

pineapples                                                                       $1.98/ea (C15)

organic Braeburn or Red Delicious apples                     $1.50/lb (DD)

organic kale, various bunches                                         $1.50/ea (DD)

Fiesta

Bluebell                                                                        $4.50/ea

chicken drumsticks, jumbo bag                                   69c/lb  (FL)

porkcountry style ribs                                                    $1.49/lb (FL)

2lb blocks of cheese                                                     $7.39/ea

HEB

plums                                                                               97c/lb

organic Fuji apples                                                         $1.77/lb (DD)

white seedless grapes                                                     $1.97/lb (DD)

organic strawberries, 1lb.                                                $2.98/ea (DD)

County Post drumsticks or thighs                                    $1/lb

seasoned chicken leg quarters                                          77c/lb

Normally I cover the ‘Other’ -Whole Foods, Central Market, Trader Joe’s and Wheatsville.  I’m skipping that this week, in an editorial decision that I expect is a one-time thing.  Given Whole Foods is all in the news for lowering prices on staples, I really think they’ll be in the usual rotation soon, but this week’s list is what it is.

Go forth and stock up on those deals, Cheepsters!

Happy Ad Wednesday

Cheepie is going to admit a huge bias here. 

I know Fiesta has a ton of really low fish prices.  This is increasingly evident as Lent rolls on, with a few fish less than $2/lb. I don’t list them on the Happy Ad Wednesday post because the fish department at my Fiesta is very, very fishy smelling.

I know, it’s jammed full of fish and so it smells like fish. But everything my grocery training tells me I should buy fish in a place that smells like ice, with bright-eyed dead fish. Not in a fishy smelling place with cloudy-eyed fish I’ve never heard of (Hilsa fish? That’s not a thing. I’m not even going to google to see what this imaginary fish is). 

So, where do you buy fish? Am I being a fish snob? That’s entirely possible. I am still tempted by the smelts, if only because I know if they go all wrong I can feed them to the chickens.  My frugal side and my grocery girl side often war about the fish at Fiesta, so if you have thoughts please share!

That said, here’s the week.  I’m going to be stocking up on Blue Bell and pork loin ( I didn’t get to Randalls last week to get it).

Fiesta

pork blade steak, family pack                 1.49/lb (Fiesta Limit)

medium live crawfish                               1.89/lb

bscb,family pack                                     1.79/lb (Fiesta Limit)

Blue Bell                                                   4.50/ea

shredded cheese, 8oz.                              1.33/ea

assorted pork chops, family pack              1.99/lb

chicken drumsticks, family pack                   99c/lb

organic potatoes                                         1.29/lb (DD)

HEB

large avocados                                      1.50/ea (C15)

blackberries, 6oz                                   1.25/ea

strawberries, 1 lb.                                  1.25/ea (DD)

red plums                                               88c/lb

organic strawberries, 1 lb                    2.98/ea (DD)

mini carrots, 1 lb                                   98c/ea

yellow or orange bell peppers              97c/ea (DD)

Rio Grande Valley grapefruit, 15lbs.    3.98/ea  (C15)

pork loin                                               1.97/lb

HCR drumsticks or thighs                    1.00/lb

bone-in pork chops                              1.97/lb

Randalls

pork shoulder country style ribs             1.79/lb

Large Image

Friday only:

12-stem alstroemeria bunch  $5

(Enough to put little vases throughout the house, to help spring get here sooner!)

Sprouts

red or green seedless grapes                        88c/lb  (DD)

Halos mandarins, 5lb box                             3.98/ea

various apples                                                98c/lb  (DD)

organic red, yellow or orange peppers        1.50/ea  (DD)

organic kale                                                  1.50/ea  (DD)

boneless skinless chicken thighs                 1.99/lb

bulk brown rice                                              69c/lb

Almond Breeze almond milk                          B1G1

Wheatsville

Lara Bars                                    1.00/ea

organic rolled oats                      1.19/lb

Whole Foods

red, yellow or orange bell peppers         98c/ea  (DD)

I’m using the new 2015 EWG guide for the Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen rankings.  If you’d like to read more you can here.  As always, I make choices on organic v. not based on how much of it we eat and how much of a hit it is on our budget.  You should make your choices based on what you’ve prioritized for your shopping.

If you’ve prioritized smelts, though, for heaven’s sake let me know what you did with them!

Follow Cheepie on twitter, like Cheepie on Facebook, and let your friends know I’m here wrapping up the ads for Austin shoppers!