Best seafood deals in town

February 22, 2012 4:11:33 PM PST
It's Ash Wednesday and for many Christians in our area, that means it's the season of fasting, a time when they give something up.

One common tradition is to give up meat on Fridays. So we compared seafood prices to find the best bargains everyone can enjoy.

The seafood department at H-E-B was busy with many Catholics stocking up on seafood.

"Tonight we are going to have to halibut," shopper Cindy Dempsey said.

"I am getting catfish to fry for my family. I don't eat fried food, so I'm getting shrimp for me and grill it," shopper Charlene O'Shea said.

While some shoppers already have an idea of what they want, the Hendersons are shopping the advertised sales.

"I was looking at the ads today and they're all about the same," shopper Rosalie Henderson said.

"We go through the ads on the three major stores and compare," shopper Oren Henderson said.

We also decided to price compare some seafood deals at H-E-B, Kroger and Fiesta. At H-E-B, the special of the week is the H-E-B meal deal. For $13, you'll get 4 pounds of tilapia plus coleslaw, frozen vegetables, tartar sauce, and fish fry mix.

"The meal deal that we have going on right now will last today until next Tuesday, then we will have more specials for everyone next week," said Shane McDonald with H-E-B. "We also have a special on our Atlantic salmon, which is usually $8.98. Right now, we have it for $6.98."

But over at Kroger we found fresh Atlantic salmon priced at $4.99 a pound, two dollars per pound cheaper than H-E-B's. But Kroger's tilapia was more expensive than H-E-B's. At Kroger, we found it for $9.99 for a 2.5 pound pack, versus H-E-B's 4 pound pack for $13 and you get several free items.

"We shop around," Oren Henderson said.

Over at Fiesta Mart, the store is known for its massive selection of seafood options. Clarence Alfred says he takes advantage of the deal.

"This is during this time where they have a lot of sales so I just come in and just stock up," Alfred said.

So one of the best ways to save money is to buy the fish whole -- for example here at Fiesta the salmon fillets are $6.99 a pound, but if you buy a whole fish by the pound it's actually cheaper, at $3.99 a pound.

Also at Fiesta, whole tilapia is much cheaper by the pound. We found the best price here for $1.99 a pound.

As far as the price of shrimp, prices were very competitive between all three stores. Expect to pay less for any seafood that has previously been frozen.

The USDA requires all fish to carry a label stating whether it's wild-caught or farm-raised, and identifying its country of origin.

To really score a deal, consider buying canned fish, perfect for salads or sandwiches and rich in Omega-3's.