I hit a sweet, doughy jackpot at the Stroehmann Maiers bread outlet last week.

The bread outlet, at 1850 Loucks Road in West Manchester Township, has always been a source of great bargains for me when I am able to make a trip there. I left with two grocery bags filled with six bags of bread for $5.

Thomas' bagels were three for $3, and the Arnold flat breads were three for $2. And this isn't a special sale. Every time I am there, it's been that way. Typically, each of the items I bought are $3 to $4 a piece at the grocery store. So I saved at least $7, maybe even $13.

I like to use the bread until a few days after the sell-buy date and then freeze it. It works really nicely to pull it out and toast it or pop it in the microwave for a few seconds. I also use frozen bread for croutons and stuffing.

After leaving the bread outlet on a bargain-hunting high, I spent the weekend out of town eating at cute little bakeries and quaint delis in Somerset County with my high school friends. I returned home on Sunday, vowing to eat healthier and save money. So, I immediately sat down with the circulars, looking for ways to save on my weekly grocery bill.

We have been going through a lot of soda at my house lately. Since it's so hot, an easy-to-grab cold can is refreshing. And, when you have people over for dinner, which seems to happen for us much more in the summer, it's nice to direct them to the spare fridge for a self-serve beverage.


I don't know if you have noticed, but soda when it's not on sale is nearly $5 for a 12-pack. However, this week at Nell's Shurfine, Pepsi products are four 12-packs for $10. If you don't buy four, each one is $3. And while you are there, cherries are $1.99 a pound.

A fruit and yogurt parfait is a good summer breakfast treat that can save you money by making it at home. Dannon yogurt is 37 cents per 6-ounce cup at Nells's Shurfine. I like to cut up fruit and sprinkle in some granola. Peaches are 99 cents a pound at Nell's.

As I moved onto the Weis circular, I saw that strawberries and blueberries were buy one get one free. These not only make great ingredients for your yogurt parfaits but also are perfect for sprinkling into your cereal on a summer morning. Weis also has a decent deal on soda, four 12-packs for $11, but you must buy four.

If you want to stay away from the stove, fresh veggies are a great way to go. I like to cut up tomatoes and cucumbers into bite-sized pieces. I sprinkle them with fresh basil and oregano. Then, I drizzle the dish with balsamic vinegar and sprinkle it with some feta cheese. It's a fresh, light dish that is really healthy. Cucumbers, peppers and mangoes are five for $5 at Weis.

And, over at Giant, tomatoes are $1.99 a pound. Large watermelons are $4 each. And even though it isn't really all that healthy, Turkey Hill ice cream is five for $10, which is a great deal for 48-ounce containers. I guess if I buy the frozen yogurt, I could stick it under the healthy category.

As I close this column, I would like to leave you with a recipe that is great for using all of those zucchinis that will be popping up in gardens and roadside stands soon. I know, because my plant is already gargantuan. This recipe is from "The Frugal Foodie Cookbook."

Roasted Summer Veggie Lasagna

2 medium zucchinis, sliced thinly (one yellow, one green)

1 medium tomato, thinly sliced

2 portabello mushrooms, thinly sliced

2 peppers, sliced

1 onion, thinly sliced

1 eggplant, thinly sliced

½ cup olive oil

1/3 cup balsamic vinegar

Salt and pepper to taste

1 box whole wheat lasagna pasta

1/3 cup pesto

2 cups part-skim ricotta cheese

2 ½ cups mozzarella cheese, shredded

½ Parmesan cheese, grated

1 16-ounce jar tomato sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Line baking dish with parchment paper.

Toss vegetables in oil and vinegar; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Spread on baking sheets; roast 30 minutes or until caramelized.

Cook pasta until just barely done.

Mix pesto and ricotta together in bowl. In another bowl, combine mozzarella and Parmesan.

When vegetables are done, turn oven to 325 degrees.

Layer lasagna in a 9-by-13-inch baking pan by adding sauce to bottom, then three noodles, 1/3 of pesto-ricotta mixture, 1/3 of vegetable mixture, then ¼ of mozzarella-Parmesan mixture. Repeat twice, then add remaining mozzarella-Parmesan and any leftover vegetables or sauce to the top.

Bake 40 minutes uncovered. Let sit 10 minutes before serving.

Freeze single portions in plastic containers for up to six months for easy weeknight meals.

Nicki Stiger is a savvy shopper from Glen Rock. Have a shopping tip to share? E-mail them to Nicki at nickilyn5@hotmail.com.