SWS Presents: A Potent Price Comparison of Recipe Ingredients

Need a quick dinner idea for tonight? We’ve got a simple chicken parmesan recipe for you, along with the prices of three of the major ingredients and where to buy them to get the best deal.

Using www.SaveWithSavvy.com’s Compare Prices feature, we gathered prices on chicken breast (1 lb), pasta sauce (24-26 oz jar) and shredded cheese (8 oz bag), the three ingredients that make this recipe most delicious, and have included the Checkout Totals (the price you’ll actually pay at the register) as well as the Cost of 4 Servings (the cost of the amounts needed to feed only four people) under each of the seven grocery lists pictured below. As you can see, we gathered prices at Ralphs, Costco, Fresh & Easy, Albertsons, Smart & Final, Trader Joes and Vons. So who came out on top?

Where do you usually shop for your grocery staples? Have our comparative Grocery Lists made you think twice about where to pick up your ingredients this week? It took us less than five minutes to figure out that Costco would save us the most on this meal, followed closely by Smart & Final. If you have five minutes to spare, try it yourself! Just go to www.SaveWithSavvy.com and enter your zip code to start comparing prices on ingredients.

Because prices and specials change every week, expect the Checkout Totals and Cost of 4 Servings to change from week to week.

For a complete ingredients list and recipe directions, read on…

Easy Chicken Parmesan

Total Time: 30 minutes

  • 4 boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 large egg
  • Breadcrumbs
  • 1 jar chunky spaghetti sauce
  • 1 large bag mozzarella cheese
  • 2 tbsp. vegetable oil

Directions:  Beat the eggs in a bowl. Dip chicken breasts in egg mixture, then in the bread crumbs. Add vegetable oil to skillet. Cook chicken in skillet 3-4 minutes until browned. Place chicken in 9 x 13 inch baking pan. Cover chicken with spaghetti sauce of your choice. Bake uncovered at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. Remove from oven. Sprinkle on mozzarella cheese and cover with tin foil. Turn oven down to 325 degrees. Continue baking for 15 minutes until done. Serve with salad and garlic bread for a quick meal. Serves 4.

Frugal Festival = Fun!

The Frugal Festival was a winning success for all, especially so for those fearless savers – couponers.

It was lots of fun to see the excitement generated by those getting together to trade savings secrets. There was even a contest for coupon experts (SOSS, we missed you!), who had to match up sale items from the Albertson’s flyer with offers from the Albertson’s in-store coupon booklets. The winner found nine valid savings matches.

The event was sponsored by Albertsons and some other folks you can see on the Frugal Festival web site. We enjoyed lots of delicious free food sponsored by Libertine, The Stand, and Yozen Frogurt.

We ran into a local blogger, SoCal Coupon Gal, who told us how glad she is that SaveWithSavvy is now here and local. She and her friends had been using another grocery pricing site and got frustrated because it did not give a proper local view of sales and accurate pricing. She said she signed up for SaveWithSavvy recently (after seeing the Frugal Festival sponsors). We’ll certainly keep in touch.

We also met The 99 Cent Chef, Billy Vasquez (pictured below). He has such a big following and lots of informational videos on his blog. Such a great set of recipes he has put together for the cost-conscious meal planner. And he’s adding new ones all the time!

In general, it was great to see our core market – the savers – in action. If you attended The Frugal Festival (or a similar event), don’t hesitate to share your experience with us!

Coupon Policies

In the dark when it comes to coupon policies at your local grocery stores? Then check out our chart below, which reflects the current policies of local Los Angeles chains.

Keep in mind that coupon policies tend to vary regionally, so for the most accurate and up-to-date information, you’ll want to speak directly with the store manager at the store(s) where you shop regularly. While there isn’t a “one size fits all” answer to the issue of coupon doubling, most store managers will be happy to fill you in on their coupon policies.

Since we intend to make this chart a comprehensive go-to guide for coupon policies, feel free to contribute any policy details that you have recently dug up, from any chains that we may have missed. Know of a chain in the LA area that regularly doubles up to a dollar, besides Ralphs? Send us an e-mail or leave a comment below!

Announcing LA’s Third Annual Frugal Festival!

Come find us on Saturday June 25th at The Frugal Festival, being held at Canoga Park High School from 11am to 2pm! We’ll be strolling around sampling the food and checking out the sights, as well as handing out some SaveWithSavvy swag.

Learn how to eat well for less at this annual event hosted by Julia Scott, founder of BargainBabe.com and former columnist for the Los Angeles Daily News. Sponsors of the event include Albertsons, Shortcuts.com, The Coupon Wallet, Restaurant.com, Starbucks, Yelp, EasyLunchBoxes, Free Fun LA, 99 Cent Chef, $5 DinnerMom, AllRecipes, Yozen Frogurt, Libertine, Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half, Vegan on the Cheap, Wildly Affordable Organic, Poor Girl Gourmet, and yours truly, SaveWithSavvy.

The event will feature free tastings from local restaurants, $5 recipes, cooking demos, coupon lessons, food swapping and more. Activities for kids include free face painting and an oversized coloring wall. For more information, visit The Frugal Festival blog at http://frugalfestival.wordpress.com/.

General Admission tickets are still available through Goldstar for $5 – $10, and children six and under are free. Can’t wait to see you there!!

Check Out This Deal From CVS…

From time to time, Savvy’s Own Shopping Strategist (we call her our SOSS) will uncover an unbelievable deal. And today she found one at CVS:

Now through Sunday, June 19, get 30% off your entire purchase (excludes sale items).  Combine this offer with manufacturer’s coupons and you’ve got a sweet deal. You must be a CVS Extra Care member for this offer.  The coupon can only be used once.

If you’re not a CVS Extra Care member, you can still get a sweet deal of 20% off your on-line purchases.

To receive the 20% off site-wide discount, enter coupon code GET20SITEWIDE at check out.

Small Print: The 20% sale cannot be combined with another product sale running at the same time; you will receive the larger discount. The 20% sale excludes prescriptions and gift cards. Savings are not transferable. No cash back. Tax charged on pre-coupon price where required. Tax and shipping charges are not applicable towards your order total. This offer is not valid for orders placed on the CVS/pharmacy Online Photo Center. See site for product exclusions. This offer is available online only.

Offers Expire 6/19/11 at 11:59 PM ET.

Breaking Open The Piggy Bank

So we are savvy shoppers who like to save money, but what do you do with all the money you save from coupon cutting, savvy shopping and good advice? What do you finally break open your piggy bank of savings for? My savvy friends might be saving up for college funds or that trip around the world they always wanted to take. Well this savvy shopper would like to save up for her dream home, I can see it now! There are a few (million) coupons that need cutting and deals that need redeeming before it is a reality but that’s what my saving are going towards. What about you? Just saving money to pay off that credit card debt, or is your savings adding up to a big payoff? We would love to hear it! Leave us a comment and let us know what would get you to finally break open that piggy bank?

What’s In Your Cart?

The Savvy worker bees have been stocking our virtual shelves with pricing on the items we have deemed most popular, but it is far from an exact science. Not everyone likes the same kind of pasta sauce or peanut butter, so we want to hear from you. Are there some tortilla chips at Trader Joe’s that you just have to have? How about a staple for your pantry that we have overlooked? Is there a category of items that you always shop from that we are not representing?

We want to provide you with the most complete list of basic items to save on your Savvy shopping list, so we are asking “What’s in Your Cart?” Let us know what we are missing in the comments section below.