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Bargains abound in Milwaukee grocery stores in March

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There were some incredible food bargains in Milwaukee last week. If you didn’t take advantage of them, keep an eye out for similar offers in the store circulars now and in the coming weeks. Apparently, there is a food war going on in the area, and consumers who shop carefully can profit from it.

Last week, Pick’n Save’s circulars contained a coupon for various Oscar Meyer hot dogs at two packages for $2. This included some of the premium varieties, like Oscar Meyer Selects. The Selects turkey franks are uncured, and contain no artificial preservatives (that means no nitrates, no nitrites, no chemicals). They are hardwood smoked, and fully cooked so all you have to do is warm them in your microwave (the package suggests doing so on a paper towel for about 20 seconds, or until they are heated through).

There are eight of these in a package, which means that if you used the coupon, each one costs twelve and a half cents. Roundy’s hot dog buns were also on sale last week, at a dollar for a package of eight, which means each also costs twelve and a half cents. So you could have one of these franks on a bun for a total of a quarter (and they are food stamp eligible). They’re so tasty you don’t even need to use condiments with them, but if you buy your catsup, mustard, and relish when they are on sale at one of the local grocery stores, or at one of the dollar stores, the cost of your condiments is negligible.

Last week, Balistreri’s Sendik’s stores had fresh strawberries on sale-- huge ones-- for 99¢ a pound. There were about 16 in a one-pound package, so taking four or five strawberries for dessert means an additional 25 cents or so.

This week, Sendik’s has a one-pound bag of Cello carrots on sale for 49¢ and Piggly Wiggly has one-pound bags of Bolthouse Farms carrots for the same price. (There are about seven or so carrots in a one-pound bag, which means they cost about seven cents apiece.) Aldi has a one-pound bag of baby carrots-- the kind that are already peeled-- for that same price. This means that adding a whole carrot that has been peeled cut up into carrot sticks, or a handful of baby carrots, to your lunch will cost you less than a dime.

So if you have access to a microwave (and a fridge-- those uncured hot dogs should be kept refrigerated before use) at work, or if you work from home, you could have a lunch consisting of a quality turkey hot dog on a bun, some carrot sticks, and some strawberries for about sixty cents. If you want, you could add some celery sticks. Last week, Pick'n Save had celery on sale at 88¢ a bunch. Sendik's beats that price this week, with celery at 69¢ a bunch.

The total calorie count on a lunch like this would come to about 250, and it contains fiber, vitamins, calcium, and at least 6 grams of protein. If your workplace provides coffee, or if you bring a teabag from home, you’re eating a fairly healthy lunch for well under a dollar.

This week, there are bargains on Irish-themed foods in honor of St. Patrick’s Day. Cabbages are 99¢ each at Aldi (a head of cabbage usually weights two to three pounds), or 39¢ a pound at Pick’n Save and Sendik’s, and 29¢ a pound at Piggly Wiggly. Packaged corned beef points (for you to cook yourself) are on sale for $1.99 a pound at both Pick’n Save and Piggly Wiggly, and if you bought a ten-pound bag or potatoes on sale at Pick’n Save last week for $1.99, you’re good to go with an Irish dinner. (The packages of corned beef weigh about three pounds, more or less).

Pick’n Save and Piggly Wiggly require their affinity card, which is free, to take advantage of most sale prices. Sendik’s and Aldi do not. Aldi charges you for bags if you don’t bring your own. Sendik’s and Pick’n Save will give you a nickel off your purchase for each bag you use when you bring your own.

Carefully watching the sales means you can eat well-- and healthily-- at great savings in Milwaukee.

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