couponing in the holy land

Frugal food shopping for the Anglo Israeli

Coupon for ACE in Port Tel Aviv- expires 31 May 2014

Pesach Mission #9: The children are not the Passover sacrifice!

That is a quote from Rav Aviner that really stuck with me.  What have our kids learned from this past week of vacation?  Is Pesach a fun holiday for them or a burden?  Are their parents spending quality time with them or are they constantly yelling?  I grew up dreading Pesach because of all the back-breaking work involved.  My oldest daughter, however, once told me that Pesach is her favorite holiday.  Why?  Because of all the fun things we do TOGETHER.   That is when I realized that I was able to break the chain of suffering.  I remember a woman wrote into a forum I belonged to saying that she broke her leg a few weeks before Pesach and was having 30 people at her seder.  She was distraught that she won’t be able to get everything done in time.  Several women offered time-saving tips, but one or two wrote in to say that she is not in Egypt anymore- she needs to tell her guests that it either has to be at someone else’s house, pot luck, or catered (with everyone contributing to the bill).  It was the merit of the women in Egypt who didn’t give up on their Judaism that saved the Jewish people.   By continuing the cycle of suffering before Pesach, we are showing our children that Judaism is pain and suffering, not joy and togetherness.  It is time for a change.

What can we do with our children to help them enjoy these last few days of preparation?  Give them tasks that are fun but useful and will make them feel important when they are at the seder table.

1.  Decorations - kids of all ages can make pictures of yetziat mitzrayim, plastelina sculptures of the four sons or the ten plagues, pyramids, etc.  One year we took haroset seriously and used it to build actual pyramids with matzot for walls.  They can make “chametz” and “KLP” signs for the cabinets and around the house.   One year we bought plain napkin holders and decorated them with ribbons, fake flowers, and glitter. Take a half hour in the arts and crafts store near you and you can have several hours of fun activities for them.

2. Cooking – are there foods the kids enjoy making?  I have one who makes jello, one who makes charoset.  One likes to arrange the desserts on a platter.  Find easy foods for them to make and let them help.  Believe me, you will get more oohs and ahhs from your guests when you say your 6 year old arranged the platter than if you did it!

3. Activities-how is your seder run?  Fast/slow?  Commentary/singing/divrei torah?  Don’t be afraid to add a little fun to the seder.  The plague bags on the Organizational Tools page never fails to bring a laugh to the young and old.  This year we are adding games for older children.  Some of our favorites include: Pesach Jeopardy by Rafi and Adina Goldreich as well as Grab Bag, Taboo, and more at Simchat Yechiel.  We are going to try a Pesach Cranium game this year and “Guess the true Pesach story”  by Rabbi Robert Scheinberg.  We have a tradition of dressing in costume for the seder which makes it livelier (and puts less pressure on keeping the outfits clean).  Another (Sephardic) tradition of ours is that we give each child a pillowcase with matzah in it and they go around the table re-enacting yetziat mitzrayim.  Each child goes to one of the adults who asks them “Where are you coming from?” The child answers “Mitzrayim”.  The adult then asks, “Where are you going to?” and the child answers “Yerushalayim.”  The adult then asks, “What are you taking with you?” and the child answers, “Matzah (or unleavened bread).”  This is a good ice breaker for the kids if there are a lot of guests and helps get their nervous energy out.  For more information on Sephardic Pesach  customs, click here.   Have the children prepare the activities listed above for the seder or they can make their own- word search (tifzoret), pitzuchim (A-Z Pesach) and more.  They can make up ice-breaker questions such as “What was the oldest piece of chametz you found?”  Assign one of the children to hide frogs in various places (the washing cup, under napkins, etc.) for a little surprise.

Some of you may feel that these ideas aren’t appropriate for the seder, especially in Israel where we have only one chance to “do it right”.  I personally think that we will have plenty of time in the future to be serious; when the kids are young is the time to laugh and do what it takes to keep them at the table.  If you disagree, however, feel free to play these games during the day, on chol hamoed, or on the last day.  They are still fun.

Toys R’ Us and Rami Levy coupon/deal- expires 12-21 April 2014!

This is probably the most poorly worded deal I have seen in a while, but it appears to be that if you spend 150 shekels at Rami Levy, you get a coupon for 50 shekels off at Toys R’ Us.  The coupons for Toys R’ Us expire, however, the 12th and the Rami Levy deal expires the 21st of April.   If anyone gets this deal, please post whether I am correct or not.

Pesach mission #8: Smell the flowers

Last week was Rosh Chodesh Nisan.  It is tradition to say a blessing now on the flowering fruit trees that smell so wonderful.

Take a few minutes from your hectic schedule and go out to an orchard.  Recite the blessing below:

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה’ אֱ-לֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם שֶׁלֹּא חִסֵּר בְּעוֹלָמוֹ כְּלוּם וּבָרָא בוֹ בְּרִיּוֹת טוֹבוֹת וְאִילָנוֹת טוֹבוֹת לֵהָנוֹת בָּהֶם בְּנֵי אָדָם.

Translation: Blessed are You, L‑rd our G‑d, King of the universe, who has made nothing lacking in His world, and created in it goodly creatures and goodly trees to give mankind pleasure.

Source: Chabad.org

It is so important not to forget to stop and breathe during this oh-so-crazy time. Why don’t you make it a picnic while you are there?

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Pesach Mission #7: Anti-Procrastination Day!

We have been going pretty slowly up until now, and now we have no choice but to plunge right in.   Tackle a big room and just do it!

FlyLady’s web site has great detailed cleaning checklists by zone if you need.

NOTE:  If you are NOT doing spring cleaning with your Pesach cleaning, here are two great checklists which will have you finished in a day:

HaRav Aviner’s list

Out of the Ortho Box’s list

Ready for the next mission?  Click here for Pesach Mission #8: Smell the Flowers

Pesach Mission #6: Linen Closet

Since we have all of our cleaning supplies and we know how many guests we will be having, it is time to tackle the linen closet.

NOTE: This mission, as well as future missions, describe an in-depth cleaning and purging. This is more than a cleaning for chametz and should not be construed as necessary preparations for Pesach. Dust is not chametz! Clean according to your comfort level.

Look at your closet- is it overstuffed? Very messy and disorganized?

  • Take everything out and arrange the sheets into sets- sheets, pillowcase, and towel and fold them together. Create as many sets as you will need for the holidays.
  •  If your youngest child is 15, purge those Little Mermaid sheets!
  •  Turn any worn-out towels into rags.
  • We keep all of our coolers and camping equipment here- if you do as well, clean it out and get it ready for Pesach.

Hopefully you have a little extra space now- enjoy!

Click here for Pesach Mission #7: Anti-Procrastination Day!

Pesach Mission #5: Cleaning Supplies

Today we need to pull out our cleaning supplies and assess what we need.

This is my list of essential cleaning supplies:

  • Floor cleaner
  • General spray cleaner
  • Bleach (I hate using it but it is the only thing that cleans the stains in my house)
  • Window cleaner
  • Anti-avnit cleaner- if you can get 50% vinegar, this works wonders.
  • Rags
  • Paper towels
  • Magic erasers
  • Steel wool (for our stainless steel pots we kasher)
  • Cream cleaner
  • Oven cleaner
  • Toilet bowl cleaner
  • Junky comfortable clothes to clean in
  • iPod and upbeat music to motivate you (check out some free downloads here,  here or here)

If you use vinegar and baking soda, you can combine many of these items. There are some good recipes here.

Now that all of your supplies are in order, you can guess what will be in the next mission!

Leumi Card that earns miles on United

I only like to fly United to the US, and was very excited to see this offer from United and Leumi Card.  I won’t be gicing up my shufersal card because of the great discounts, but this is a very attractive alternative to my regular Visa.

For information, click here.

Tirat Zvi deli meat coupon- expires 30 April 2014

Many of there products are KLP with NO kitniyot- check it out.

Mega BaInternet coupon

Must be for a 250 shekel purchase or more.

To start shopping, click here.

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