Denver deals: Fruit and potatoes and loss leaders, oh my!

This post is a tip-off to some of the best deals in Denver’s Wednesday ads this week. They are biased by my personal preferences, but may they inspire you to a bargain-hunting frenzy.

Local markets this week are offering several sweet deals. The flyers highlight the importance of price comparison if you want the very best deal!

Case in point: Seedless watermelon. Get ’em this week for $3.50 per melon at King Soopers — I’m guessing about 8 pounds per melon, or $0.43 a pound, but you can sweeten your deal by finding the biggest melon. Safeway has no watermelon sales, and Albertson’s is charging $0.49 a pound. But Sunflower’s sale is $0.25 a pound — and the $1.50 savings would almost make it worth the drive.

Apparently the Sunflower ad in my paper was a one-shot deal, but it tempted me enough last week to draw me to their online ad to see. Sadly, the watermelon is the only spectacular bargain for me this week.

King Soopers has:

  • Raspberries for $1 a basket – a great deal – and they still have organic strawberries for $2.50 a pound. If you’re a berry lover, you can wash and dry the berries (gently pat them with a cloth or paper towel), lay them out on baking sheets and stick them in the freezer. When they’re frozen, bag them up and keep them frozen until you need them.
  • For the packaged food lover in you, Lean Pockets and Hot Pockets are still $1.77 per package of 2, and Lean Cuisine is on sale for $2 a box.
  • If you buy conventional meat, split chicken breasts are $1.79/lb.
  • If you buy three Kellogg’s or Keebler products, you can get a free gallon of milk.
  • Safeway has Kraft Macaroni & Cheese for $1 a box, but you can upgrade to Annie’s Organic at King Soopers for $1.25 a box.

Safeway is very tricky with their loss leaders. These are the good deals to draw you into the store, where they’ll relieve you of the big bucks. For instance, kids’ Yoplait yogurt is “on sale” for $2.49 this week — but we just saw it at King’s for $1.99. Horizon Organic milk is on sale at Safeway for $3 a half-gallon, but it was on sale a couple weeks ago at King Soopers for $4 a gallon (one-third less).

But Safeway’s genuinely good deals are good:

  • Mushrooms for $1 a package (8 ounces) with the coupon from the paper.
  • Another coupon for $3.99 packages of Lucerne cheese — 32-ounce size. This is a great deal at $2 a pound (plus a bulk benefit — almost one-fourth the plastic if you bought four eight-ounce bars).
  • A 5-pound bag of russet potatoes is $1, and 3 pounds of yellow onions is $1.50. Buy several and store them somewhere cool. They both should last for weeks.
  • NatureMade vitamins are buy one, get one free. NatureMade also has a program where you enter the code from the bottle into their Web site in exchange for points. After 500 points, you get a coupon for $7, or if you choose Costco, a check for $7 to use at Costco. It’s surprisingly easy to accumulate points, and a great deal if you use sales and coupons.

These deals run through Tuesday at King Soopers and Safeway, Wednesday at Sunflower.