South Side Grocery Bargains — Week of Oct. 26 – Nov.1, 2011

Before we get into this week’s shopping values, alarming reports that the fish you are paying for may not be the fish you are actually getting.

Both Consumer Reports and the Boston Globe said this week that some restaurants and grocery stores purposely mis-label seafood — swapping inexpensive fish, such as tilapia and swai, for more expensive cuts, such as snapper or sole.

Consumer Reports said one in five fish they tested were falsely labeled, while the Globe said their investigators found almost half the fish they inspected were not the real deal.

This bait-and-switch is scary not only because it means some businesses are okay with ripping off their customers (surprise!), but because of the potential health risks, such as accidental allergic reactions. The Globe said some restaurants were offering snapper but serving escolar, a cheaper fish chefs call the “Ex Lax” fish because its high oil content can cause, shall we say, gastro-intestinal distress in some people.

As always, let the buyer beware. Now, let’s start saving some money!

In the produce department, both Pete’s Fresh Market and Cermak Produce are having ten cent sales. At Pete’s, it’s plums, lemons, zucchini, Jonathan and red delicious apples, and Bosc pears. At Cermak, it’s bananas, plum tomatoes, garlic, russet potatoes, banana peppers and loose carrots.

Tony’s Finer Foods, at 8630 S. Harlem Ave., in Bridgeview, has red grapefruit and tangerines for only $.59/lb, and tomatillas or jalapenos — perfect for making slow cooked pork and tomatillo stew — for the same price. Food 4 Less has Hass avocados for $.78, if you have a craving for guacamole.

Pete’s also has broccoli for $.48/lb. Freshline Foods, at 5355 W. 95th St., in Oak Lawn, has iceberg lettuce for $.69/head.

In the meat department, Tony’s has chicken leg quarters for $.59/lb and pork butt roast for $1.69/lb. Pete’s has whole chicken for $.88/lb and ground turkey for $1.48/lb, a good price these days. Ultra Foods has split chicken breasts for $.98/lb, and full slabs of cooked BBQ baby back pork ribs for $3.99/ea.

In the grocery aisle, F4L has Skippy peanut butter — smooth and crunchy — for $1.48/jar and Maruchan instant lunch cups for $.29/ea. Now that’s a cheap lunch.

Pete’s has Prince pastas for $.99/lb, a decent price for a name brand. Ultra Foods has Campbell’s chicken noodle and tomato soup for only $.59/can. Tony’s has 15.5 oz cans of chickpeas for $.50/ea, perfect for making hummus.

In the baking aisle, Tony’s has a 5 lb sack of Pillsbury all-purpose flour for $1.69, and Jewel has 4 lb sacks of sugar for $2.38/ea. Pete’s has 12 oz cans of Carnation evaporated milk for $.99. It’s time to stock up for holiday baking!

In the deli, one of my favorites, Scott Petersen liver sausauge, is on sale at Tony’s for $1.98/lb. Freshline has Scott Petersen jumbo franks for $.89/lb. Cermak has Carolina regular or smoked turkey for $2.49/lb.

In the dairy section, F4L has Kroger yogurt for $.50/ea. Has anybody found any milk deals out there? I found milk high everywhere this week.

For this week’s Bargain of the Week, we return to Freshline, where 28 oz cans of Red Gold tomatoes — whole, diced or stewed — are only $.29/ea w/ in-store coupon. Now that’s a loss leader!

If you see great deals, please share them in the comments section below. It’s important to look out for each other during these hard economic times. See you at the grocery store!


7 thoughts on “South Side Grocery Bargains — Week of Oct. 26 – Nov.1, 2011

  1. In the bar business, that fish stunt is called Cutting – mixing cheap liquor with high end in the high end bottle.
    How much time do you spend browsing the different markets for these deals? Seems like it could be its own full time job…

    • I can honestly say I’ve never subbed out a cheaper fish for an expensive one. Maybe these tough economic times have forced restauranteurs to cut corners they never would have cut before?

      • I’ve never played with my food that way either, and, after the first restaurant I worked in where they did cut the liquor, I never again worked for a place where I knew those kinds of hijinks were going on.
        I don’t think there is any excuse for that.

  2. Good column today Dan. Scary about the fish. I’ll definitely be going to Freshline for those tomatoes… the coupon in the store?

    • It’s an in-store coupon. Somebody else had them at the same price — Pete’s maybe? — but the coupon was in the circular and I didn’t think everyone reading the blog would have the circular, so I went with the Freshline.

  3. Pingback: Broiled Tilapia with Meuniere Sauce | Budget Cooking Blog

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