South Side Grocery Bargains – Week of September 14-20, 2011

Before we get into this week’s South Side grocery bargains, what if you stopped buying food from grocery stores and restaurants altogether? Imagine cutting out the middleman and buying only non-processed food directly from farmers markets, growing it yourself, or bartering at food co-ops? Think of the savings!

I came across an interesting blog written by a San Francisco area couple who did just that. It’s called A Year Without Groceries. Their experiment, which concludes October 1, was made even more challenging when they stopped buying food altogether for the last three months. There’s a great interview with them from Time magazine here.

Kind of inspires me to start visiting local farmers markets. In the past, I’ve been disappointed with some of the prices at these events, but I’ll let you know if I find any real bargains.

Okay, let’s start saving some money!

Produce bargains include broccoli and cauliflower for only $.68/lb at Food 4 Less; avocados for $.78/ea at Pete’s Fresh Market; Aldi’s has baby carrots for $.49/lb; and Freshline Foods, over at 5355 W. 95th St., in Oak Lawn, has an 8 lb bag of Wisconsin Russet potatoes for $1.69, which is only $.21/lb, a great price.

Freshline also has acorn or butternut squash for $.59/lb. It’s good to see winter squashes coming back online. Lots of recipes coming for those.

Over at Fresh Pick Market, at 87th and Ridgeland, Illinois sweet corn is 5/$1, Illinois green cabbage is $.25/lb, and Illinois green peppers are only $.69/lb. Great deals, plus they get props for buying local!

There are a number of good meat specials this week. Tony’s Finer Foods has bone-in chicken breast for $.79/lb; Ultra Foods has drumsticks or thighs for $.58/lb; and Fresh Pick has boneless skinless chicken breasts for $1.69/lb.

There’s lots of fruit on sale this week for kid’s lunches. Pete’s has nectarines for $.58/lb, large plums for $.68/lb and Bosc pears for $.78/lb. A lot of places have Washington Bartlett pears on sale this week, but the best price I found was $.79/lb at Tony’s, who also has Chiquita bananas for  only $.29/lb. At Cermak Produce, Georgia sweet peaches are $.59/lb.

At Aldi’s, mangoes are only $.49/ea, and at Pete’s, limes are 15 for $.98, or less than $.07/ea.

Dairy deals this week include Prairie Farms milk for $2.25/gallon at Fresh Pick, who also have medium eggs for $.89/dozen. Tony’s has extra large eggs for $.99/dozen.

There are some great deals on grocery items this week. Cermak Produce has all varieties of Campbell’s soups for $1/ea, but Pete’s has Campbell’s tomato or chicken noodle for only $.58/ea. Pete’s also has Violi EVOO for $2.98/liter and select Barilla pastas for $.98/lb, a great price. Freshline Foods has Chicken of the Sea solid white tuna for $1.25/can. Bumble Bee chunk light tuna is $.68/can at Pete’s.

Getting in and out of that parking lot at Pete’s, at 3720 W. 95th St., in Evergreen Park, is a real nightmare, but with prices like these it’s worth the aggravation.

This week’s Bargain of the Week is very appropriate for the season. Aldi’s has a 7-quart slow cooker for only $19.99. Menard’s has a 6-quart version for the same price. Perfect for cooking your football chili!

What bargains have you found this week? Share your thoughts in the comments section. See you at the grocery store!