Thursday, March 29, 2012

Easter Dinner Grocery Deals

In my family, the traditional Easter dinner includes:
  • Ham
  • A Potato Dish
  • An Asparagus Dish or Green Bean Dish
  • A Fruit Salad
  • Bread or Rolls
  • Pie or Cake for dessert
  •  And don't forget extra eggs for decorating!

I'll let you pick your own favorite recipes, but with those in mind, here are the best prices I found on items you might need for your Easter dinner. I'll post again next week with the new deals.

Easter Dinner Items On Sale This Week:

Bread (Italian or French loaf)- $1.00/ea (10/$10) @ Dillons
Butter (quarters)- $1.99/ea @ Aldi
Carrots (baby)- $1.00/bag @ Dillons OR Aldi
Cream cheese- $1.00/ea @ Dillons OR Aldi
Cream of Mushroom soup- $0.59/ea @ Aldi
Duck (whole)- $2.49/lb @ Aldi
Eggs (large)- $1.00/ dozen (10/ $10) @ Dillons - (but you don’t have to buy 10 to get the price!)
Green Beans (canned)- $0.59/ea @ Aldi
Green Beans (fresh)- $0.88/lb @ Checkers
Hams (variety of types)- $1.19lb to $1.69/lb @ Aldi
Pie Crust (graham)- $1.18/ea @ HyVee
Pie Crust (regular)- $2.28 / 2pk @ HyVee
Potatoes - $0.20/lb ($1.99/ 10lb bag) @ Aldi
Red Potatoes (new baby)- $0.88/lb @ HyVee
Roast (boneless round)- $2.99/lb @ Dillons
Rolls (Brown-n-serve)- $1.00/ pk (10/$10) @ Dillons
Sweet Potatoes $0.33/lb ($0.99/ 3lb bag) @ Aldi
Whipped Topping - $0.89/ea @ Aldi


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Grocery Deals Round-up: 3/27 - 4/3

Hi All- some good deals to be had this week. Looks like you can get a good price on frozen vegetables pretty much anywhere. This week I looked at Aldi, Checkers, Dillons, HyVee, Target, and Walmart. Note: many items @ Dillons are 10 for $10. You do not have to buy 10 to get them at $1.00/ea! Just a Dillon’s card.

This week's frugal recipe from Romance on a Dime is Creamy & Crunchy Potato Salad

Later today or tomorrow I will be posting a "Frugal Easter Dinner"- stay tuned!


Produce Deals:
Broccoli Crowns - $0.98/lb @ Checkers
Cantaloupe- $0.99/ ea @ Aldi
Carrots (baby)- $1.00/bag @ Dillons OR Aldi
Garden Salad Mix- $0.49/ 12 oz bag @ Aldi
Grapes (red seedless)- $1.48/lb @ Checkers
Green Beans (fresh)- $0.88/lb @ Checkers
Onions (Texas sweet)- $0.48/lb @ Checkers
Red New Potatoes - $0.88/lb @ HyVee

Strawberries- $0.99/ 16oz @ Aldi
Sweet Potatoes $0.33/lb ($0.99/ 3lb bag) @ Aldi

Other Deals:
Bread (Italian or French loaf)- $1.00/ea (10/$10) @ Dillons
Butter (quarters)- $1.99/ea @ Aldi
Chicken breasts (natural, split)- $0.99/lb @ HyVee
Chicken thighs or drumsticks- $0.88/lb in @ Checkers
Eggs (large)- $1.00/ dozen (10/ $10) @ Dillons
Frozen vegetables- $1.00/bag (10/$10) @ Dillons OR HyVee OR Aldi

Hams (variety of types)- $1.19lb to $1.69/lb @ Aldi
Olive Oil (Palermo extra v.)- $3.49/ 17oz bottle @ Checkers
Roast (boneless round)- $2.99/lb @ Dillons
Split Green Peas (dried)- $0.69/ 16oz @ Aldi
Swai Fillets (whoel)- $3.88/ 1lb bag @ Checkers
Yogurt (Greek)- $0.80/ea (5/$4) @ Dillons


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Grocery Deals Round-Up: 3/21 - 3/27

LOTS of good deals this week! There is a new deal at Aldi- from the ad it seems they will be doing a weekly "Fresh Meat Special Buy Day" on Wednesdays. Today the deal is $0.89/lb split chicken breasts.

Asparagus- $1.38/lb @ HyVee 
Blackberries- $3/ 2  6oz pkgs @ HyVee OR $2.99/ 12 oz pkg @ Target
Cantaloupe - $0.99/ea @ Aldi
Carrots (baby)- $0.88/lb bag @ Checkers
Celery- $0.58/ stalk @ Checkers
Corn on the Cob- $2 / 5 cobs @ Dillons
Grapes (Green)- $0.89/lb @ Aldi
Green Beans- $0.88/lb @ Checkers
Lettuce (Romaine, red or green leaf)- $0.78/ea @ Checkers 
Oranges (Navel)- $1.48/ 4lb bag ($0.37/lb!) @ Aldi
Pears (Anjou)- $0.99/ 4 ct tray ($0.23/ea!) @ Aldi
Pineapple (whole)- $0.99/ea @ Aldi
Strawberries- $0.99/ 16oz (1lb) pk  @ Aldi

Butter (reg or unsalted)- $1.99/ ea @ Aldi
Chicken Breast (split)- $0.89/lb @ Aldi WEDS ONLY
Chicken Breast (bonless, skinless)- $1.68/lb @ Checkers
Chicken Leg Quarters- $0.79/lb @ HyVee
Cream Cheese or Neufchatel- $0.99/ea @ Aldi
Entrees (W. Watchers or Smart Ones frozen)- $10/ 5 @ HyVee
Flour- $1.48/ 5lb bag @ HyVee
Fish Filets (battered)- $2.49 / 19oz box @ Aldi
Ham (Smoked shank) - $1.19/lb @ Aldi
Ham (Spiral)- $1.69/lb @ Aldi (if you can wait, hams will go on sale after Easter!)
Olive Oil Cooking Spray- $1.49/ ea @ Aldi
Pasta Sauce (Organic!)- $1.99/ea @ Aldi
Pasta (Whole grain! penne or rotini)- $0.99/ 13oz box @ Aldi
Pineapple (canned)- $0.89/ea @ Aldi
Pizza (Margherita, frozen) - $2.99/ea @ Aldi
Pork Roast (Boston butt)- $1.58/lb @ Checkers
Tofu (Melissa’s Organic)- $4/ 2 blocks @ HyVee
Tortilla Chips (Clancys)- $0.99/ 13 oz bag @ Aldi
Salsa (Casa Mamita)- $1.49/ 24 oz jar @ Aldi
Vegetables (Birds Eye frozen)- $5 / 5 bags @ HyVee
Yogurt (non-fat Fit & Active)- $0.39/ea @ Aldi
Easter/ Spring baking stuff- cake mix, frosting, sprinkles on sale @ Aldi

Here are some tasty, easy, healthy recipes I've made lately that will work perfectly with our deals this week! :  Easy Baked Garlic Chicken & Roasted New Potatoes & Asparagus  These link to their direct sources, but I originally found them on Pinterest. Click to Follow me on Pinterest!

Do you know that we have a Facebook Page and a Twitter account? Click the links to check them out, I post a lot of good tips on those pages.


Thursday, March 15, 2012

'Tis the Season! Yard sales, auctions, flea markets are back!

My favorite time of year is here! Spring, which for me means not only warm weather and gardening, but sales! Yard sales, garage sales, auctions, estate sales, flea markets, sidewalk sales, all the best kinds of sales!

Here are some of the ways I stay in the know about second-hand sales, which are not always easy to find. Please share your tips in the comments!

Yard/Garage Sales: My "method" is somewhat haphazard- I usually look at the garage sale listings on Craigslist, write down a few that look promising, and head out relatively early on a Saturday.  I always find more sales along the way to the addresses I've written down, and stop at any that look good. I also don't always make it to all I've written down- either I decide to quit for the day if I've already gone to a bunch, or sometimes I just can't find them, ha.  Garage sale tips: 1. Get there as early as you can (but not before the "starting time" the seller listed!) 2. Always carry cash, in small bills and coins. 3. Have fun, and don't be afraid to talk to people- you never know who you might meet or what you might learn. 4. Always be polite: don't make a mess, say please and thank you, offer correct change if you can, and while some haggling is ok, don't be rude about it.

Flea Markets: Lawrence only has one outdoor flea market, as far as I know. It is held the first Sat. of the month at Tee Pee Junction north of town. They have a facebook they keep updated:  The first market of the season is April 7! The closest thing to an indoor flea market is the Lawrence Antiques Mall on Mass St., which is kind of a mixed bag- some over-priced antiques to be sure, but often good deals can be found as well.

Estate Sales/ Auctions: Possibly my most favorite kind of all the sales! I keep up with these by looking at the LJ World Classifieds and - I actually follow them on Twitter @kansasauctions. I was at first very timid when I went to my first auction, because things can move pretty fast, and I didn't know the vocabulary. I would recommend observing at first, then try your first bid on a low priced item, just to see how it goes. Now I'm addicted and looove auctions!

Secondhand Stores/ Thrift Stores: Of course these are not seasonal, but during yard sale season it seems like more things come in to these places. Check out my list of Lawrence thrift & bargain stores here.

I've got a list of items I keep that I'm "looking for" and try not to buy much that is not on my list. It also helps to set a budget and stick with it, especially at auctions where it is easy to get carried away. That being said, I have gotten amazing deals on a lot of things at yard sales, flea markets, and auctions. Happy hunting!


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Grocery Deals Round-Up: 3/14- 3/20

It's a good week for groceries, folks. Wondering what to do with these frugal foods? Try Romance On A Dime's Frugal Recipe: Brussels Sprouts with Bacon

Broccoli Crowns: $0.78/lb @ Checkers
Brussel Sprouts: $0.98/lb @ Checkers
Cabbage: $0.49/ea @ Aldi
Cantaloupe: $1.39 /ea @ Aldi

Carrots: $1.98/ 5lb bag @ Checkers
Green Beans: $0.88/lb @ Checkers
Pears: $0.99/ tray of 4 @ Aldi
Pineapple: $0.99/ea @ Aldi
Potatoes (Red!): $0.99/ 5lb bag @ Aldi
Strawberries: $1.69/lb @ Checkers OR Aldi
Tomatoes (Roma): $0.59/lb @ Checkers

Other Items:

Applesauce: $0.99/ 24 oz @ HyVee
Canned Green Beans or Corn: $0.39/ can @ HyVee
Canned Fruit (variety): $0.99/ can @ HyVee
Cheese (block): 2/$3 ($1.50ea) / 8oz @ HyVee
Cheese (shredded): 3/$4 ($1.33ea)/ 8oz @ HyVee
Chicker (Fryer): $0.69/lb @ HyVee
Frozen Vegetables (variety): $0.99/bag @ HyVee OR Aldi
Frozen Meals (Hungry Man or Smart Ones) $1.49/ea when you buy 10 @ Dillons
Goat Cheese: $2.99/ 6oz @ Aldi
Greek Yogurt (Kroger): 5/$4 ($0.80/ea) @ Dillons
Pasta (various): $0.99/ box @ HyVee OR Aldi
Salsa- $1.49/24 oz @ Aldi
Tofu (Melissa’s Organic)- 2/$4 @ HyVee
Tortilla Chips- $0.99/13 oz @ Aldi 

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Grocery Deals Round-Up: 3/7 to 3/13

Wondering what the criteria is for my weekly grocery deals? Unless otherwise noted, they are:
  1. Limited time sale prices, not everyday regular prices.
  2. The sale price is low compared to food prices in general (meaning, I tend to list the cheapest foods. Notice that few things are more than a dollar or two per unit.)
  3. Sale price is considerably lower than regular price, or compared to prices at other stores.
  4. Basic, whole foods rather than processed/packaged foods. Whole foods are often healthier and cheaper! The idea being you could make many different things from these basic ingredients. (Occasionally I will add packaged foods when they are a really good deal, though, or if they are something that is hard to make yourself.)
  5. I bold items that are especially good deals that I am excited about!
That being said, here are the deals for this week!

Produce Items:
Asparagus- $1.18/lb @ Checkers
Avocados (Hass)- $0.88/ea @ Checkers
Broccoli- $0.88/lb @ Checkers
Carrots- $0.99/ 2lb bag @ HyVee
Grapefruit- $0.29/ea @ Aldi
Grapes (Green)- $1.00/lb @ HyVee
Green Beans- $0.88/lb @ Checkers
Kiwi Fruit- $0.99/ 16oz @ Aldi
Lettuce (Romain, Red, Green) - $0.78/bunch @ Checkers
Mangoes- $0.78/ea @ Checkers
Oranges-  $1.48/bag ($0.37/lb) @ Aldi
Peaces/Plums/Nectarines- $0.20/ea @ Aldi
Potatoes (Russet)- $1.18/ 5lb bag @ Checkers
Strawberries- $1.29/16oz @ Aldi
Yellow Squash or Zuchinni- $0.58/lb @ Checkers

Other Items:
Chicken (thighs or drumsticks)- $0.98/lb @ Checkers OR Dillons
Breakfast items: cereals, meats, pancake mixes, frozen meals, etc- on sale @ Aldi
Steel Cut Oats- $2.49/ 28oz @ Aldi
Tortillas- var. sizes- 2/$3.00 @ HyVee
Pet Food- many varities on sale @ HyVee

photo from:

In our continuing weekly series, here is the coordinating recipe from Romance on a Dime: Fruit Smoothies!  There are such good deals on fruit right now, what a great way to use it up! 

Friday, March 2, 2012

The value of a freezer- more than just ice.

The sales on Haier freezers at HyVee and Dillons this week have me thinking about freezers. We just got our freezer about 3 months ago (for Christmas from my Dad, a rather frugal guy), and it is about a 4 cubic foot size. Generally, I would highly recommend anyone get a stand alone freezer, even if you are a household of 1! We are a household of 2.25 (the .25 being our small dog, haha.) and I use the heck out of ours.

Here are some highlights of what I've used/saved in the brief time we've had ours:

-Frozen meals- Lean Cuisines (I take these to work for lunch when I'm too lazy to pack something good). I caught a deal at Checkers when they were 6 for $10 (that is $1.66/ea). They are regularly priced between $0.50 and $1.00 more than that. I bought 12, and thus saved $6.00 to $12.00 compared to what I normally would have paid for them. (Saved  ~$8.00)

-Hams- Oh, the hams! I bought so much ham on sale after Christmas. I got a mega great deal on these at Aldi, and I bought 3 hams (about 6 lbs each) for $0.50/lb. I've seen hams range from $2.99/lb to $3.99/lb, so total I spent $9.00 on ham when at regular price I would have spent more than $50! I made so much good ham & bean soup, split pea soup, and baked ham with these. Mr. Townie could attest to that.  (Saved ~$40)

-Chicken- I've bought whole chickens and chicken thighs when they were on sale for $0.88/lb. That saved me about $1.00/lb, and I bought probably 10 lbs. I've also stocked up when boneless/skinless chicken breast was on sale- I bought about 8lb for something like $10, and it would have regularly been more like $14. (Saved ~$14)

-Frozen vegetables- There was a good deal on Target brand frozen vegetables with some coupon stacking, where I got bags of corn, peas, mixed vegs, carrots, onions for something like $0.59/bag. They are regularly $1.09/bag (maybe more?), so I saved $0.50/bag, and bought 10 bags. (Saved ~$5)

-Ground beef- Checkers recently had a deal on 85% lean ground beef for $1.89/lb, if you bought 10 lbs. So, feeling very pleased with myself, I went on down and bought 10lbs (that is a huge, gross looking tube of meat, by the way). Brought it home (Mr. Townie looked at me like I was crazy), divided it up into 1 lb portions, wrapped in them in plastic wrap, and put them in 2 big zip-top bags, put them in the freezer. We don't eat much beef, so that should last us several months! Usually costs about $1 more than that a pound. (Saved ~$10)

-Various fresh produce (Red peppers, strawberries, corn on the cob, tomatoes, etc)-  I'm not going to have numbers on these, but there have been many times I've bought produce when it was on sale (or had it given to me by friends, family, etc.) that I couldn't use up before it went bad. So, I chop it up, cook it, or whatever and then freeze it to use later! Not sure what the monetary savings have been, but we have certainly wasted a lot less food.

-Bread, buns, etc.- The monetary savings here is negligible, but the convenience is a big bonus. When I buy bread (almost always at Aldi, they have such good multi-grain bread for like $1.69!) I buy an extra loaf or two and put them in the freezer. That way we always have some on hand for emergency grilled cheese sandwiches or what have you. Also, when I find hamburger buns on sale (have gotten them for $0.50/bag at Aldi and Dillons) I can grab some of those and put them in the freezer as well- then they are there when we want to have turkey burgers.

Obviously I don't have the exact prices and savings on all of these, but even with my conservative estimates, that is a lot of money (AT LEAST $77!) I didn't have to spend over the last 3 months! Secondly, as dopey as this may sound, it gives me peace of mind to know that we have a freezer with at least a couple of week's worth of food in it, should a zombie apocalypse or bank collapse occur. :)

And while I said an extra freezer is about more than just ice-, it IS nice to have a place to stash an extra bag of ice for parties..

So if you are thinking about buying a freezer, go for it. If you bought one for $159, and you shop like I do, it should "pay for itself" by the 6 month mark, and after that it's all gravy!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

March: Month-by-Month Guide to Sales

Here's your monthly reminder: stores are cycling into their March deals, be on the lookout!

Frozen Food Month: Ice Cream, Frozen Vegetables (Boxed, Bag, or Steam), Frozen Meals, Foster Farms Chicken, Waffles, Pizza
Seasonal Produce: Artichoke, Asparagus, Haas Avocado, Broccoli, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery, Chard, Collards, Fennel, Kale, Leek, Lemon, Lime, Mushrooms, Spring Onions, Orange, Peas, Radish, Rhubarb, Spinach, Strawberries, Tangerine
Thanks to Grocery Sale Cycles- When Do Things Go on Sale? from Living Richly on a Budget for this info! Check out their blog for lots of great frugal tips.