couponing in the holy land

Frugal food shopping for the Anglo Israeli

Archive for the month “August, 2011”

Back to School- Shufersal Granola Bar Coupon

Print out this coupon and get Shufersal granola bars for 7.99!

Click here to get the coupon.

The fine print:

  • Not valid online (Shufersal Yashir).
  • Limit 2 packages per coupon.
  • Coupon valid 23.8.2011-5.9.2011.
  • Club card members only (sign up here).
  • One coupon per order.

Grocery Shopping in Israel by Rabbi Edward Davis

I hope you enjoy Rabbi Davis’s unique perspective of grocery shopping in Israel.

This article will take into account politics, kashrut, economics, and a sociological view within a Torah outlook. My wife and I are blessed with 4 children who have made Aliyah; two of them married with four children each. Part of my grandfatherly duties that I have taken upon myself has been going food shopping for the 2 families that live very near each other in the Yishuv of Chashmonaim, where I stay and eat with all of them on Shabbat. So the first decision is to decide where to shop.

Across the road from Chashmonaim is Kiryat Sefer, the Chareidi, ultra-Orthodox community, which offers two large grocery stores, Yesh and Shefa Shuk, both of which are subsidiaries of larger companies, created specifically to cater to the ultra-Orthodox communities in Israel. Yesh is a subsidiary of Super Sol, and Blue Square owns Shefa Shuk. Blue Square also owns AM:PM stores which are open on Shabbat. Therefore a Chareidi Rabbinic group called for a boycott of Shefa Shuk several years ago. So there is some controversy across the road.

Five minutes down the road in the other direction is Rami Levi, a chain grocery store, which was started and still run by Rami Levi himself. he must be a marketing genius or a true Baal Chesed; probably both. When Arab terrorists killed most of the Fogel family in the settlement of Itamar, Rami Levi went to the Shiva house and stocked the home completely with groceries. When asked, he identified himself and pledged to send groceries every week until the youngest orphan, currently two years old, turns eighteen. Rami Levi got my vote.

When the Nof Zion apartment complex in the Talpiot area of Yerushalayim was in trouble financially and it jeopardy of an Arab takeover, Rami Levi put his money in it and saved the neighborhood for Jewish development. Further legend has it that he recently went into one of his stores on a late Friday afternoon and saw large lines of people trying to check out. He closed the cash registers and sent everyone home with their groceries, free, because he did not want to be responsible for any desecration of Shabbat. After the Gaza flotilla incident, Rami Levi stopped trading with Turkey. He also made announcements in his stores for everyone to go outside to better hear the siren on Yom HaZikaron with respect.

So I shop at Rami Levi.

The most international section of the store is the display of cold cereals. Israel produces some of its own. The USA is represented with the Post cereals, Quaker products, and the varieties of Cheerios. Beyond that, how about: Nestle’s Trix-Mexico, Fitness Cereal-France, Kellogg’s Frosties-London, Special K-Germany, Cocoa Rice Crispies-England, Nestle’s Nesquik cereal-Poland, and other countries that Israel does do business with.

Fruits and vegetables. Being Eretz Yisrael, there is the unique Halachah of Teruma and Maaser, the tithing requirement of these items. So you need to check that this is done. (In Yerushalayim, all the tithing fruits and vegetables are handled in a special way. The Biblical Zoo sells all of its animals to a Kohen, thereby permitting all the Terumah produce to be given to the Kohen’s animals. I love it!)

During the Shemmitah year of 2008, Rami Levi sold the produce through the Hetter Mechirah. the Chareidi population preferred either eating Arab produce or a newer system of Otzer Beit Din. Political right wingers, like me, prefer not buying Arab produce. During regular years like now, produce is not identified as to where it came from. Everyone now does eat Arab produce because it is not marked. I heard, for example, that most of the cucumbers are Arab produce.

Minchah, Minchah. Around 3:00 p.m., you can find a Minchah Minyan at Rami Levi. Nice touch.

I still haven’t fully mastered English-Hebrew translations. I asked someone this week how do you say Croutons in Hebrew. Krootonim. Silly me.

Barley in Biblical Hebrew is Se’orah, but in the grocery store, barley is Grissin. maybe the change is warranted. Consider: Our Sages stated that barley is food for animals; wheat is food for humans. the Sotah/Suspected Adulteress brought a barley sacrifice. She committed an act of an animal and therefore she offered a sacrifice of animal food. Today, in our times, many people do not view barley as an animal food. Therefore maybe a different word should be used, even if the word currently used is not a modern word. It does suit my Jewish way of thinking.

My American taste buds are not fully satisfied with Israeli fare. The Diet Coke definitely has a slightly different taste than what I am used to. The deli is sub par. Cream cheese is poor when you can find it, and lox…well you get the picture. In the local Makolet (small grocery) in Chashmonaim, more American products are offered, but $11.50 for a box of eight fozen Entenmann’s chocolate donuts is a bit much.

Yet, I don’t need to add that most vegetables in Israel taste better, so I don’t complain.

Identifying the reliability of the various rabbinic supervisions can be complicated. For example, Tenuva offers many chicken products, and I found 4 different rabbinic Hashgachot among the Tenuva chicken products. The meat and deli: Mehadrin, not Mehadrin. Some of the issues are kashrut issues and some are rabbinical politics.

Grocery shopping in Israel is not easy, even for the veteran shopper, but I highly recommend it even if you are here only for 2 weeks. It is informative, and it can be entertaining, especially if you come with plenty of money and patience.

Rabbi Edward Davis received smicha from Yeshiva University (YU) in New York City, where he studied under Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik z”l. Rabbi Davis graduated with a BA in Mathematics and an MS in Jewish History from YU, and studied Operations Research in the Masters program at New York University. He also pursued post graduate education at the Netzach Israel Rabbinical Seminary in Jerusalem, Israel.

Currently serving as the morah d’atrah of the Young Israel of Hollywood/Fort Lauderdale, Florida since 1981, Rabbi Davis previously served as the Rabbi of Keneseth Beth Israel in Richmond, Virginia. A lecturer par excellence, Rabbi Davis first taught Bible and Talmud in Lincoln Square Synagogue’s adult education program,the Joseph Shapiro Academy, in New York City. At the Virginia Commonwealth University and the University of Virginia, he taught subjects including Biblical Hebrew, Advanced Biblical Literature, Rabbinic Judaism, History & Theology of Modern Jewish Denominations, Holocaust: Theological Responses, and American Jewish History. He continues to give lecture series throughout South Florida and beyond.

A leader in the area of kashrut, Rabbi Davis worked with the Orthodox Union and founded the ORB (Orthodox Rabbinical Board) of Broward and Palm Beach counties. The ORB is one of the largest local vaads in the country, with over 100 places under its hashgacha.

Rabbi Davis, together with his beloved wife, Meira, have proudly raised nine children, three of whom now reside in Israel. Grandparents to a constantly growing number of grandchildren, Rabbi Davis and Meira are extremely grateful to Hashem for their wonderful and close family.

Source: Young Israel of Hollywood-Fort Lauderdale


Huge Kimat Chinam Meat Sale and More! 25.8-31.8

Eggplant, Onion, White Cabbage, Butternut Squash- 1.89/kg

Carrots, White Potatoes, Red Potatoes, Pumpkin- 2.89/kg

Red, Yellow, Green Pepper-3.89/kg

Red Grapes, Bananas, Corn- 4.89/kg

Fleisch chicken wings- 9.99/kg (max 4 kg)

Fleisch frozen whole chicken- 17.99/kg (max 4 kg)

Flesich chicken hindquarters or thighs-18.99/kg (max 4 kg)

Fleisch “Beit Yosef” frozen ground (beef?  it doesn’t say)- 2 for 49.99 (max 4 kg)

Rav Mahpud frozen entrecote, goulash meat- 800 grams- 2 for 49.99 (max 4 kg)

Rav Mahpud/Rav Rubin whole chicken- 17.99/kg (max 4 kg)

Rav Mahpud chicken hindquarters or thighs-19.99/kg (max 4 kg)

Rav Mahpud frozen spicy merguez hot dogs- 2 for 19.99 (max 4 kg)

Rav Mahpud frozen chicken/spicy hot dogs- 400 grams- 3 for 19.99 (max 4 kg)

Rav Mahpud (should say frozen) kebab, hamburger, ground chicken, turkey- 2 for 24.99 (max 4 kg)

Rav Mahpud frozen ground beef- 1 kg- 2 for 49.99 (max 4 kg)

Rav Mahpud frozen asado 100% beef, cow foot, tendons, shoulder roast product, eye steak- 800 grams-29.99/kg

Frozen kashered glatt beef numbers 3,7,8,10-19.99/kg

Fresh whole chicken breast , drumsticks, chicken liver- 3kg for 54.99 (max 6 kg, not valid in Binyamin yishuvim)

Fresh chicken thighs- 3kg for 44.99 (max 6 kg, not valid in Binyamin yishuvim)

Fresh aged beef for cooking- numbers 2,3,8,10- 2kg for 54.99 (max 6 kg, not valid in Binyamin yishuvim)

Fresh aged entrecote steak- 59.99/kg  (max 6 kg, not valid in Binyamin yishuvim)

Sales of the week:

Rich whip products- 1+1

Penina Rosenblum liquid soap, shampoo, shower gel, body wash- 1+1

Yad Mordechai olive oil- 750ml- 24.99 each when you buy 2 (code 104729003)

Huggies Pull Ups- 3 for 99.99

Zoglobek or Tirat Tzvi hot dogs- 1kg- 16.99

Solet (cream of wheat)- 1kg (4 units) or self rising flour/whole wheat (2 units)- 9.99

Perfect laundry detergent- 8kg- 34.99

Pepsi, Pepsi Maxx, 7Up, Diet 7Up, Mirinda 6-pack- 1.5 liter each-19.99

Sugat Indian basmati rice (2 units), risotto/thai rice (3 units), or “orzil” rice (4 units) for 14.99

Pepsi, Pepsi Maxx, 7Up, Mirinda-8 units of 500ml bottles/300ml cans- 19.99

The following sales are only for club card members (sign up here for free):

Elite Columbian, Brazilian, or African coffee-200 grams-22.49

Telma mayonnaise, K-mayonnaise-500 grams- 3 for 24.99

Telma cornflakes- 750 grams- 12.99  each when you buy two

Mama Of chicken stars, chicken ktzitzot, and shnitzel for children- 2 for 39.99

Sunflower oil-880 ml- 5.99 each when you buy 4

Schwepps flavored water, Kinley flavored soda, Jump Tea- 1.5 liters, Prigat- 1 liter- 3 for 9.99

Katit M’uleh olive oil- 2-pack- 630 ml, 750 ml- 34.99

Elite chocolate spread- 850 grams-12.999 each when you buy 2

Nestle, Strauss ice cream packages- get the second package for 4.99

XL energy drink- cranberry, lemon- 24 pack for 39.99 (includes pikadon)

XL energy drink regular (blue)- 24 pack- 49.99 (includes pikadon)

The fine print:

  • Club card members get 2% off their purchase of 300 shekels or more in cash.
  • The fruit and vegetable sales in the Nahariya store will be advertised in the store.
  • The sales of the week in the Yavne store will be advertised in the store.
  • To qualify for the sales of the week and the club member sales, you must spend 50 shekels or more on store items.
  • Limit one item/multiple per person unless otherwise stated.
  • All of the sales apply when purchasing the exact same item.
  • The fruit and vegetable sales are not conditional the price at purchase (מבצעי הפירות וירקות ללא התניית מחיר בקניה) (I am not sure of the translation here).

Kimat Chinam Sale 1+1 on Dairy Products 28.8-30.8.2011

The 1+1 dairy sale is good from 28.8-30.8.2011 (Sunday -Tuesday):

Tara cream cheese- 200 grams

Tara 3-pack of shoko

Tara 1 liter of Rivyion (buttermilk)

Tnuva Yoplait white

Vicol “butter” spread- 150 grams

Yoplait Shtuzim- 4 pack

Gad Tzfatit cheese- 200 grams, code 554532

Meshek Tzuriel Goat Milk- 1 liter

Willi Foods Danablue cheese- 100 grams

Neto Bulgrait cheese made from sheep milk- 300 grams, code 230011

Neto Fetaki cheese made from sheep milk- 300 grams, code 230012

Different varieties of Tom and Jerry puddings/yogurts- 125 grams

Grocery shopping in Israel: updates from the blogosphere

What’s out there from other bloggers:

Hannah Katsman from GroceryManager wrote a guest blog on Kosher on a Budget.  Check it out here.

How to be Israeli tells what you need to know when you start shopping in Israeli supermarkets.  Check it out here.

The Big Felafel also went online shopping.  Here is her opinon of the various web sites.

Haaretz presents their view on a romance that developed at the checkout line at Rami Levy.

WanderJew goes grocery shopping in Israel:

Erin in Israel has some great pictures with her blog about Friday shopping in Jerusalem.

Margot also has her tips for grocery shopping in Israel.


On a funny note, I leave you with a Kimat Chinam ad which spoofs video surveillance from the Dubai asassination:


A nifty web site called “Ha Super”

For those online shoppers who want the best deal, forget going to each supermarket’s web site and checking out their prices or sitting with all of the circular ads around you.  At Ha Super, you can compare prices at 5 supermarkets with one click.

Simply put, you click on what item you would like to buy.  You can see what it costs in Shufersal Yashir, Mega ba internet, Rami Levy, Super Baba, and Mister Zol.  On the side you have a running lict of what your grocery order would cost in each of these supermarkets.  The web site even offers you similar items to those you picked at lower prices.  When you are finished, you just pick the supermarket you want to purchase the items from, and voila! cheap online shopping.

The only problem that I see is that most of the stores do not service my area.  Super Baba only delivers to Tel Aviv, Mister Zol to Jerusalem, Rami Levy to North Tel Aviv and Ramat HaSharon, and Mega to…wherever Mega delivers to.  Hopefully the stores will expand their delivery zones so more of us can take advatage of this service.

Here is the link to Ha Super’s web site.

Shufersal Sale 16-18.8.2011 for credit card holders only

For those of you who don’t get their mail on time (or need another reason to get a Shufersal credit card), here is a list of the sales coming up August 16-18.

These items are 25% off:

Nestle breakfast cereals

Knorr products

Pepsi/Pepsi Maxx/Mirinda/Seven Up/Diet

Osem Cakes

Elite Pesek Zman and Bafle’ot

Lahmi products

Elita Cafe Aroma, worldwide instant coffees

Wissotsky products

Maadanot pizzas

Nestle and Nestle Joyva ice cream

Of Tov frozen products

Yad Mordechai Olive Oil

Achla Salads

Neviot products

Nikol products

Sod/Persil/Somat products

Fairy/Tide/Ariel/Linor products

Wella/Pantene products

Elvive/Garnier products

Pampers/Tampax/Alldays/Allways products

Oral B/Parodentax/Sansodyne/Crest products

Gliss/Hawaii/Fa/Syoss products

These products are 70% off:

Cherokee summer 2011 collection

Pillows for sitting or futon

towels of different sizes

Pots and Frying Pans

There are also discounts on TVs, a laptop, Tami 4 Family Bar, A/C units, a washing machine, and a refrigerator.

At Yellow, they are selling cans of Coke/Diet Coke/Coke Zero for 2.99 shekels each.  Limit 3 cans.

Chetzi Chinam + Visa CAL = Great Deal

Visa CAL is offering a great deal to shop at Chetzi Chinam this month- 3.5% off on all purchases made with the CAL card.

Fine Print:

  • There is no need to sign up- the discount comes off automatically.
  • Offer ends 27/9/2011.
  • Valid in the following stores: Holon, Rishon L’Zion, Petach-Tikva, and Hod HaSharon.
  • Includes double sales.
  • Doesn’t include double discounts.
  • Not valid for YOU members.
  • Chetzi Chinam can change or cancel the deal at any time.

The cheapest vegetables in the supermarket

One of the blogs I follow, Bishul B’Zol (Cooking Cheaply), has a very good post on how to choose fruits and vegetables.  Here is a loose translation.

In my previous post I discussed purchasing seasonal fruits and vegetables, which are lower in price than out-of-season fruits and vegetables.  But have you noticed that some vegetables are cheaper all the time, even than the “seasonal” vegetables?  What I want to emphasize is KNOWLEDGE- look around in the supermarket, learn the prices of what you purchase and you will discover what is really worthwhile.

These are the vegetables that I have found have the lowest and most stable prices:

  • Cucumbers
  • Carrots
  • Tomatoes
  • Eggplant
  • Potatoes
  • Cabbage
  • Onion
With this list, you can create a whole host of exciting foods- salads, stir fries, soups, etc.
Is this list restricting?  Yes, I think so.  I don’t think I could survive on these 7 vegetables alone.  Therefore I present a list of slightly higher-priced and slightly less-stable prices, but which are still a good deal:
  • Green Squash
  • Lettuce
  • Beets
  • Sweet Potato
  • Butternut Squash
  • Basic Herbs (parsley, nana, coriander, dill…)
  • Peppers (try not to get attached to one color)
  • Apples (not the specialized types such as Pink Lady- the basic types)
  • Oranges
I do not say that this these are the only vegetables you can buy if you are looking to save money.  Not by far.  However, I must remind you that our greatest expenses in the supermarket are not in the fruit and vegetable department, but in other sections such as snacks, meat, and frozen foods.  Ah, the frozen food section, where one package of Tivol costs the same as a weeks worth of fruits and vegetables…
I would like you to take two things with you from this post:
  1. You can eat from the first list and survive.
  2. You can use this information to make an educated decision when planning recipes.  Do you need to make a pashtida (quiche)?  An squash pashtida will cost less to make than a broccoli pashtida.  Cabbage salad will be less expensive than corn salad.
By the way, have you noticed that vegetables prices are cheaper than they have been several months ago?  To me, sweet potatoes, squashes, and peppers have all gone down in price.  Why?  Is it summer?  Are less people buying because they don’t have kitchens in their tents?  There was an article in Globes about prices recently, and what was sad to note was that although there were some small price decreases, most of the food they checked increased in price.  Cottage cheese, for example, did lower in price, but all the other dairy products actually increased!  It seems we still have a lot to learn about how to boycott effectively.
I hope you enjoyed a native Israeli’s view of supermarket shopping.

Mister Zol, Pashut Zol, and Etzel Maman 7 shekel sale July 31-August 6

Co-Op Group, which comprises of these three stores, is celebrating “70” with a 7 shekel sale.  You must purchase at least 70 shekels of non-sale items to qualify for this sale.

All of the items cost 7 shekels each unless otheriwse noted.

Yoplait Shtuzim Muktzaf (Whipped)- 320 grams

Yotvata Shoko- 1 liter

Osem Ketchup- 750 grams

Kochav HaBayit  French Fries- 800 grams

Koshav HaBayit Peas- 800 grams

Nishnushim- 300 grams

Tirat Tzvi Hot Dogs- 400 grams

Canola Oil (no brand listed)- 1 liter

Angel Rye/Dark/Seeded/Homestyle Bread

Kochav HaBayit Aluminum Foil 2 pack

Aqua Nova 6 pack- 2 liters each

Colgate Red/Gel- 100 grams

Persil Laundry Detergent- 1 kg

Hawaii Shampoo/Conditioner- 700 ml

Kochav HaBayit Liquid Soap- 1 liter

Kochav HaBayit Paper Towels 6 pack

Koshav HaBayit Pasta- 500 grams- 3 for 7 shekels

Tara/Strauss Bag of Milk- 2 for 7 shekels

Strauss 5% or 9% Cottage Cheese- 250 grams- 2 for 7 shekels

Kochav HaBayit Tuna in Canola Oil- 160 grams- 2 for 7 shekels

Canned Cut Mushrooms (no brand listed)- 4900 grams- 2 for 7 shekels

Yachin Tomato Paste- 100 grams- 7 for 7 shekels

Spring- 1.5 liters- 2 for 7 shekels

XL Energy Drink- 250 ml- 4 for 7 shekels

Jump- 1.5 liter- 2 for 7 shekels



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