Wednesday, July 25, 2012

This Week's Hot Grocery Deals (IMHO)

We have new sales starting today at our Boulder Sprouts and Sunflower (increasingly Sprouts/Sunflower as they continue their merger), while the current sale at Whole Foods continues through the 31st (click for that prior report).  Here's what's particularly appealing to me in the new sales.

Sprouts and Sunflower seem to continue their sharing of meat and seafood specials, while organic produce specials diverge, although with some confluence as well (and a disturbing new development, see below).  In the major protein category, the big news for both stores is fresh, wild caught Alaskan sockeye salmon fillets for $7.77 a pound, although as we approach August (!), I have to wonder if the season isn't winding down.  Boneless center-cut pork loin chops (also roast) are $2.99 a pound.  Lovers of baby back ribs might be interested in them at $2.77 a pound, and boneless ribeyes are $10.99 a pound, but otherwise, I'm finding the meat/seafood sales this week a bit "meh," a most apt term introduced to me by my friend, Ms. A.

For Sprouts through August 1st, the other big news is the return of their vitamin and body extravaganza, with everything in that department 25% off.  In organic produce, celery is 99 cents a bunch and one pound containers of strawberries are a very good $2.99 each, both prices also the same at Sunflower.  Organic red or green seedless grapes are $2.49 a pound, and Sunflower again offers the same on both, plus organic black grapes there at the same price.  Sprouts does differ in one pound bags of organic baby carrots for $1.25 ($1.50 at Sunflower), kale $1.29 a bunch, five pound bags of red potatoes $3.99 each, and red plums $1.49 a pound (plus others - I only focus on what I'm interested in buying myself).  I'm also enthused about Chobani Greek yogurts for $1 each (same at Sunflower) and three types of BelGioiosa fresh mozzarella at $3 for eight ounces, although in the past, the mozz has been out of stock when I've sought it.

At Sunflower through August 1st, in addition to the shared organic produce specials mentioned above (celery, strawberries, seedless grapes, at a minimum), I'm particularly enthused about organic broccoli at 99 cents a pound.  Organic yams are 99 cents a pound, and organic red or green leaf lettuce or romaine are $1.50 a head.  But this week I'm seeing a very disturbing newcomer on Sunflower's organic produce front; I've always vastly preferred buying my organic produce at Sunflower rather than Sprouts because Sunflower has generally offered it in bulk bins from which you can choose your selection, while Sprouts has favored organic produce that is pre-packaged in some instances.  This week, Sunflower is advertising organic produce as packages that previously would have been by the pound:  six-packs of romas for $2.50 and three-packs of zucchini or yellow squash, also $2.50.  I'm not rushing to judgment, but I like to buy the amount of produce I want.  What if my dish calls for one zucchini and one yellow squash?  This could possibly drive me to buying more organic produce at Whole Foods, although there's often a punishment in the prices there.  We'll see how this develops, but it makes sense that if their distribution systems are coming under one roof as Sunflower becomes Sprouts, this pre-packaged approach in organic produce is what we'll see.  Not good news, to my mind.

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