New Seasons, Fred Meyer and Dave’s Killer Bread. Oh My!

by Katy on April 17, 2012 · 41 comments

I went to a fantabulous Frugal Living NW event last night, and am all freshly inspired to put a better effort into spending less at the grocery store. (Thank you, Angela for inviting me!) Not that I’ve been completely out of control, but we’ve certainly been less than penny pinching. Mind you, it hasn’t resulted in any defaulted loans, but it’s been bugging me nonetheless.

For those out of the loop, Frugal Living NW is a local blog devoted to couponing and all things frugal. I’m not a big couponer at this point in my life, but there’s something at least once a week that’s worthy of pouncing on. Because there’s always lots of featured deals on real, healthy food.

There was a Q & A session at end of the event that was very interesting, and it got me thinking about how and where I shop. Costco for this, Trader Joes for that and Fred Meyer for the other. It may sound like a pain in the tuchus to run around town, but I’ll buy multiples when I shop, so the trips are actually pretty infrequent.

Here’s what I buy and where:


  • Cat food
  • Cat litter
  • Olive oil
  • Baking powder
  • Yeast
  • Yakisoba noodles
  • Individually frozen chicken breasts. I hate that we buy these, but my husband cooks with them and frankly, I’m happy to have occasional nights off from making dinner.
  • Optical services. I did a lot of research when my son started wearing glasses, and Costco was the cheapest!


Trader Joe’s

  • Toilet paper — a 12-pack of 100% recycled content paper is $4.88, (Seventh Generation is almost twice the price)
  • Dishwasher detergent — It’s environmentally responsible stuff without the Seventh Generation sticker shock.
  • Hummus (I have not been able to replicate their hummus at home.)
  • Wine. (Duh.)
  • Pasta
  • Nuts and dries fruit.


Fred Meyer (Kroger)

  • Avocados
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Fruit. (Their sale prices are pretty great)
  • Tillamook cheese. (Their twice a year $3.99 sale on 2-lb loaves provides the opportunity to stock up until the next sale!)
  • Beer.
  • Bulk spices.
  • Shampoo/conditioner/toothpaste, etc.
  • Cereal — usually combining sale prices with coupons.
  • Laundry detergent ingredients. (Washing soda, Borax and Fels Naptha soap.)

New Season’s Market

  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Sale produce.
  • Meat. I buy sausages, as well as occasional grass-fed hamburger. I’ll also buy seafood when it’s on sale. Otherwise it’s insanely expensive.

Dave’s Killer Bread Bakery Outlet

All of our bread. We buy a dozen loaves at a time and throw them in the freezer. This organic grainy bread normally costs between $4.50 – $5.00 a loaf, and buying day-old loaves from the bakery brings the cost down to $1.50 a loaf.

Bob’s Red Mill

I buy bulk items here when I do my Dave’s Killer Bread runs, as they’re across the street from each other.

  • Dried beans.
  • Oatmeal.

Grocery Outlet

  • Fun food for vacations, entertaining or various fun food events.
  • Crumbled bleu cheese.

Fubonn Asian Grocery Store

  • Nori wraps for making sushi
  • Furekaki for sprinkling over rice.


I used to do the majority of my grocery shopping at Safeway. Their $10 off $50 coupon plus the coupon doubling was too good to pass up. But then they razed my Safeway and I established new habits. The new store opened up a couple of weeks ago and I have zero interest in going there. The I-tried-to-park-there-once-but-was-creeped-out parking is mostly underground, (which always feels closed in and dangerous to me) and I absolutely hate how new Safeways are set up. Perhaps it’s having read too much about marketing, but I feel like I’m a target when I shop in these overly thought out stores.

Addendum: I bit the bullet and hit up the new Safeway this afternoon. It was what I expected. Although it’s located on funky Hawthorne Blvd, it looks like it could be in Iowa, Central Oregon or Missouri. There’s no natural light, (like a casino) and the corporate atmosphere is stifling. However . . . there are some opportunities for crazy cheap deals on actual food items. I used coupons for four different items, (which they then doubled) for Red Rose tea, (two of them) C&H sugar and cereal. I bought a number of BOGO items such as pasta and Ziploc bags. (For our toiletries while traveling.) I was in the middle of a million errands, and bought myself a packaged of fresh tuna roll sushi was was rather yummy.

I was able to park on the street, which I think will be key to shopping here.

There are also infrequent items like apples for applesauce (Portland Nursery after the Apple Festival, when they’re selling the leftover apples for cheap, cheap, cheap.)

It would be very easy to buy everything we need from a single source, but I’m really picky about what I buy. I want high quality food, preferably organic-ish,  and I want to pay as little as possible. I do pay a bit more for cage-free eggs, New Season’s milk, and various organic sale items.

Of course, I break my rules all the time, as dinner is often a last minute affair. But that’s just a life of this working mom. Especially one who’s getting ready to go to Japan at the same time as learning an entirely new computer charting system at her hospital.

I don’t obsessively scour the sale circulars though, as Frugal Living NW compiles all the information for me. That way I have time to lay around on the couch and read library books.

Which is how it should be.

P.S. A big thank you to Angela and her lovely crew for including me in last night’s Frugal Living NW festivities. It was very fun, plus I won two different door prizes!

A photo book voucher from Photo Bin.

A two hour closet detox, plus three hours of personal shopping at the retailer of my choice from the intimidatingly stylish Tara of Savvy Style NW. It’s like What Not to Wear without the $5000 clothing allowance. I was so excited when I won this $250 package, that I make devil horns with my hands and screamed out “We’re going to Goodwill!”

I am not shy.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without”

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{ 41 comments… read them below or add one }

Erin April 17, 2012 at 9:13 am

Curious, when you stock up with the awesome prices on tillamook cheese, what do you do with it? Also, how much do you buy?


Katy April 17, 2012 at 9:39 am

I usually buy 5-6 cheese “loaves” at a time, and then just store them in the fridge. They key is to only open one at a time. As long as they stay packaged, they’re good for 4-5 months.



Megg April 17, 2012 at 9:42 am

I love Dave’s Killer Bread, and that’s a killer price! We get ours at Costco, where it’s $6 for 2 loaves. Not as great as $1.50, but sure beats almost $5 a loaf!


Katy April 17, 2012 at 9:46 am

And if you use a coupon from The Chinook Book the price comes down even more!



Kathy April 17, 2012 at 10:18 am

I agree with stocking up when you get a good price and know how much you will use. This habit has served me far better than couponing ever has and I do use coupons frequently.

Kind of off topic – you must have a cat. I would be interested on a post on frugal cat care.


Laurel April 18, 2012 at 11:22 am

My frugal cat care consists of feeding my 5 boys the best cat food I can afford, both dry and canned. That usually means corn, soy and wheat free food with a meat protein as the first ingredient. Cats are carnivores and, like us, get unhealthily fat on food ingredients like corn or wheat. Fat cats = unhealthy cats = big vet bills. They also get yearly check-ups and shots and are indoor only cats.

Thankfully, my cats aren’t fussy when it comes to litter, so I stock up when the local farm store has their clumping litter on sale, usually $6.50 for 40 pounds.

I used to make my own “litter” from shredded newspapers until my shredder died. It was a lot of work and I never did figure out how much electricity I used. You could be really frugal and tear or cut the paper by hand, though.

And, instead of buying pricey catnip toys, I grow my own catnip (it grows like a weed, which it is considered to be by many people), dry it and make my own catnip “cigars” with denim from old jeans. They also love milk jug rings and curled up pipe cleaners.


Paula in the UP April 17, 2012 at 11:28 am

I use very few coupons and when I do it’s a store coupon not mfg. I tend to shop at mostly one store that overall has the best prices. We don’t have many choices in stores in my area, no Costco or Sam club. We do have a Walmart but do not like shopping there if I can help it. The 2 big grocery stores we do have, are regional chains. I really just try to hit up the sales, stock up on more frequently used items, try to waste as little as possible. We use very few items that I see coupons for.


Tina April 17, 2012 at 12:29 pm

Shredded cheese keeps well in the freezer too. I will shred up the blocks and store them in quart size bags and pull out as I need them 🙂


Katy April 17, 2012 at 1:51 pm

I used to do that, but Safeway’s shredded mozzarella is already pretty at at $5.00 for 2-lbs.



Tina April 17, 2012 at 1:57 pm

Ok, I have read about “fillers” used in the pre-shredded cheese. That is why I try to shred my own. Maybe that is just certain brands?


Elaine in Ark April 18, 2012 at 11:42 am

Check the ingredients label on the cheese package. They add something to prevent clumping, but anything more is probably not good.

Go ahead and shred your own cheese. I do that sometimes, too. Lately I’ve been baking my own bread, mostly because I like doing it, and knowing it doesn’t have any preservatives or other chemicals. I just slice it and keep it in the freezer.


Tina April 18, 2012 at 2:27 pm

To me sometimes the pre-shredded feels a little dry? I don’t know… that’s why I have been trying to shred a bunch and freeze it to make it easy on myself :0

Erin April 17, 2012 at 12:37 pm

I love Costco!
They have the cheapest organic eggs, organic butter, and yeast hands down in these parts. But their organic milk is more expensive than both Kroger and Trader Joe’s. Go figure.

I second the idea about frugal cat care … I have two. They eat out of thrifted bowls that sit on a thrifted tray and there food is stored in a giant tin I got for free. I buy their litter at Costco, stocking up every couple of months when they have the coupon. I never tried the cat food though … how did you come to choose the Costco food? How much do you spend per month on cat food? That’s a blog post I’d love to read!


Katy April 17, 2012 at 1:49 pm

Hmm . . I’m not sure how much we spend on their food per month, although it would be easy to figure out as they only eat the dry stuff. The Costco brand of cat food is supposedly equal to expensive brands like Iams, and came recommended by the Oregon Human Society.

The big bags last at least 2-3 months.



Darcy April 17, 2012 at 3:40 pm

As someone who is spending a small fortune on a diabetic cat, please please please do your reserach on dry cat food ( is a good start) Cats are natural carnivores and need a protein/meat based diet — not cereal and grain found in dry cat food. The cereal/grain is loaded with sugars and most likely led to my cat’s diabetic condition. He’s now on a canned food only diet. Any canned food will beat the best dry food out there (mine’s on Friskies) for protein content. I wish someone had told me this years ago.


Katy April 17, 2012 at 9:18 pm

I’ve has cats since 1990 without any problems.



Annie April 18, 2012 at 7:43 am

My middle aged cat is extremely picky about wet cat food. I bet I’ve tried a dozen different brands and she might lick it for a bit, then it just sits and gets nasty and is wasted. She is an outdoor cat, so it’s possible that she’s killing and eating who knows what. For now, I’m sticking with Purina dry food.


Katy April 20, 2012 at 8:58 am

I checked the ingredients on the Costco cat food that I buy, and the first ingredient was chicken, as was the second ingredient!



Amy W April 17, 2012 at 1:08 pm

Do you feel like you would save money on personal items like shampoo if you went to a place like rite aid? I tend to hit up F. Meyer but always sort of second guess the choice.


Katy April 17, 2012 at 1:47 pm

Because I always buy the “White Rain” brand at $1 a bottle, I don’t bother chasing deals. I’ve used many different brands though the years and never really noticed a difference. I remember that White Rain is highly rated by both Consumer reports and “Don’t Go to the Hair Care Counter Without Me.”



Samantha April 17, 2012 at 1:39 pm

This is timely. I just joined an organic foods co-op and it inspired me to start a price book of what I buy from where, and how much I’m willing to pay for it. I’m going to make it into a check list so that I don’t forget anything from the grocery store. As an added bonus I can figure out what my grocery bill will be before I get to the check out.


Ashley S :) April 17, 2012 at 2:20 pm

This is pretty much the same way I shop, though living in a much smaller community the stores are a bit different (Fred Meyer, Grocery Outlet, Franz Bakery Outlet and a few local shops in place of Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s or New Season’s). The 2 habits that save me the most are meal planning and using my crockpot on busy days. For about 30 minutes each Sunday I look at what we have going on for the week, and what items we have on hand and what is on sale, then make my meal plan (only dinners, and I usually only have to plan 4-5 a week). Then I make 1 trip a week to get groceries, though when we have the farmer’s market here I always hit that as well. We have a spare fridge and freezer, so when a great sale is found I really stock up. I used to coupon like mad, but honestly most of the food items I was finding were so processed and unhealthy that I stopped putting in the time and energy and focused on just getting better deals on healthy items.


Trish April 17, 2012 at 2:59 pm

you mentioned yakisoba before – do you mean the already made up stuff near the ramen noodles? I haven’t tried it – is it good? It is certainly cheap enough. I ‘ve heard about Dave’s killer bread before. Unfortunately in the midwest we have terrible bread choices.

My only local option is Wal-mart, which I hate. Their saving grace is the 2# bricks of Cabot cheese (from the cabot creamery in Vermont). If they stopped carrying this I would stage a revolt. I am able to buy meat at a couple of local butcher shops, one of which also sells local eggs. I will not buy meat at Wal-mart. Did I mention I hate Walmart?


Katy April 17, 2012 at 9:20 pm

The yakisoba are the plain ones that we then stir fry with veggies and some homemade teriyaki sauce. It’s so delicious and the leftovers are heavenly as well!

And BTW, how do you feel about Wal-Mart 😉



Darlene D April 17, 2012 at 3:47 pm

For those of you who buy Dave’s Killer bread. Cash and Carry has it for $3.55 a loaf.


Katy April 17, 2012 at 9:18 pm

Good to know, thanks!



Nancy April 17, 2012 at 4:29 pm

I’m suprised you buy dishwasher detergent when you make your own laundry detergent. Check online for some recipes. We’ve been using a homemade version of 1 cup baking soda/1 cup borax + a couple of tablespoons of regular, cheap wal-mart brand dw detergent (or oxi-clean if you have it on hand) and I can’t tell a difference. Borax costs about the same as the wal-mart dw detergent (which is what we used to use) but the baking soda is way cheaper, so it cuts down on the overall cost. It only takes 1 tablespoon per load.


Katy April 17, 2012 at 9:17 pm

I don’t want to scratch up my dishes, so I’ve been hesitant about making my own dishes.



Kate April 17, 2012 at 4:43 pm

My mouth dropped open at that tillamook loaf price!!! WOWZERS.

Are you learning Meditech? We learned that about 6 months ago and I think everyone wanted to kill themselves.

LOVE your reaction to winning that door prize, very classic.


Katy April 17, 2012 at 9:16 pm

Nope. It’s “Epic.”



Shannon April 17, 2012 at 6:13 pm

Where is the Daves killer bread store? I gotta know.


Katy April 17, 2012 at 9:16 pm

It’s across the street from the Bob’s Red Mill store in Clackamas/Milwaukie.



Melissa April 17, 2012 at 7:42 pm

Can’t wait to hear about the closet detox and shopping experience…see no need to worry about new content…it came to you!


Laura's Last Ditch--Adventures in Thrift Land April 17, 2012 at 7:50 pm

Oh, I’d SO go to Goodwill with the personal shopper, too. Have fun! I wonder if that will be a new one for Tara? Who knows? She might like it!


Jenne April 17, 2012 at 8:07 pm

Don’t forget prescription drugs at Costco—no one can beat them. They can be as much as $40-50 less for non-generics.


Megyn @MinimalistMommi April 17, 2012 at 9:35 pm

Why must TJ’s have non-replicable hummus?! I shell out dough for that stuff…it’s SO worth it!

I know someone mentioned wanting to know more about frugal cat care above…my best advice is to have indoor/outdoor cats assuming you live in a safe place for that (and this coming from a staunch animal rights advocate & cat researcher lol). We tried the Costco litter for awhile, but it was too dusty. We now use the corn/wheat based ones as the dust/perfume is WAY low. However, I don’t recommend switching if your cat has inappropriate elimination issues (i.e. peeing outside of the box).


Hilary (Mod Apron) April 17, 2012 at 9:43 pm

Man I love Trader Joe’s. I buy most of our groceries there. Their Next To Godliness products are outstanding, as is their hummus selection. Sadly, at least where I live (San Francisco) a lot of their produce is from Mexico. Wish they’d change that or offer other options..because the prices are awesome!


Seafood Online April 18, 2012 at 12:58 am

How can i get Daves killer bread store?


Kelli April 18, 2012 at 4:21 am

I’m looking forward to hearing about your shopping experience with a personal shopper at Goodwill. Thanks to your blog, I “discovered” shopping for clothes at our thrift stores…..I can’t see myself EVER going back to retail.


Amber April 18, 2012 at 4:41 am

I live in central MN. We tend used to buy lots of things at Sam’s club because they had the best prices on stuff. Then Aldi came to town. Their prices are hard to beat on a lot of stuff. Last night we bought strawberries for $1.19 lb and green peppers for $1.69 for 3. At my local grocery store strawberries were $3lb and peppers are usually $1 each. With Aldi you do need to check their produce because sometimes it is less than subpar but for the most part it isn’t too bad. I would love to shop at my local co-op more and buy local and organic produce but financially it is not in our budget right now. I have started shopping in a buying club ( Their prices even with shipping hands down beat any local store or co-op on their selection of grains, beans, and oils in my area. The also sell cleaning products and have a great price compared to local stores. The catch with that is it is only once a month so you need to plan ahead.


Nina Nelson April 22, 2012 at 6:25 pm

I’m in central Oregon and usually split my shopping among Trader Joes, Costco, Fred Meyer and Cash & Carry. I usually hit those once or twice a month since it’s an hour drive to Bend. I live a few blocks from Safeway and try to only go there for occasional produce, but I’ve been horrible about planning lately and am there all too much.

I spent a few days with Dusti after she had her baby and she took me to New Seasons. WOW. I actually took a picture of the meat case. It’s a good thing it’s too far to drive to shop there. 🙂


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