20 ways to save money this winter
The advent of winter brings with it a laundry list of purchases, changes, and new responsibilities. Motzash from Mekor Rishon is here to help you get through the winter peacefully and frugally.
- Tires: Winter brings rain, and wet roads causes cars to slide. Make sure your tires are in good shape before you have an accident. If you need new tires, go to “Tzmigei Anton” on Yefet Street in Yafo. You will find people waiting in double and triple lines to get tires at the best prices around with room to bargain even more.
- Carpets: Stone floors can be unbearable in the winter, so now is the time to cover them with a nice carpet. In Nachalat Benyamin in Tel Aviv, you can find cloth stores such as “Herzl”, “Designers” and “Yaakov Sedekit”. If you put on the right face, you can pick any cloth that strikes your fancy and they will turn it into a carpet. It isn’t perfect, but it is comfortable. If you insist on a ready-made carpet, we found the best quality and lowest priced carpets at- you won’t believe it- Ikea. While you can pay 3000 shekels for a carpet in a real store, the highest price you will pay in Ikea is 1495 shekels, but most of them are around 500 shekels. The one we picked out which had a Turkish pattern cost 345 shekels, so we had 5 shekels left to buy a hot dog. [Agreed- we have a great carpet from Ikea for a great price.]
- Clothes dryer: Forget labels, forget specific brands: the most important thing about a clothes dryer are the tears that fall when you receive your monthly electricity bill. To reduce the tear count, get a dryer that saves energy- A-C, but preferably A. They are more expensive, but the price will balance out over time. Get a simple dryer with as few as possible buttons. Don’t bargain on the price- bargain on the service contract. The dryers are cheap enough but the repairs are costly. Pick a model that costs approximately 1500 shekels, go to an industrial area and go from shop to shop with a written price quote and see if you can get it knocked down. Stores to try: Shekem Electronika, Machsanei Hashmal and Avi Super.
- Cooking: We eat all year round, but in the winter cooking takes on additional comfort- from the warmth to the smells. For a great blog that helps you cook within your budget, go to bishulbezol.blogspot.co.il . [Agreed!]
- Air conditioners: Most people say that it is cheaper to buy an air conditioner in the winter. It seems logical- in the summer people are desperate to pay any price to keep themselves from sweating. Buying an air conditioner in the winter is like buying ice cubes in Antarctica. However, since many people are using their air conditioners to heat as well as to cool, the prices aren’t dropping as expected. The best time to buy, therefore, is the spring or fall, when the weather is nice and you don’t feel the need to bundle up or cool down. What’s more, the technician will have more time to install the air conditioner since it is a quiet time for him/her as well.
- Books: Everyone has a pile of books gathering dust that you meant to read this summer but was so busy enjoying the nice weather you didn’t get a chance to. The cold weather makes you want to go under the blanket and snuggle with a good book, preferably a classic. If you are in the need of a classic, go to “Sefarim bakfar” on Moshav Bnai Zion, where you can find new books at great prices and slightly damaged ones for even better prices. In addition, during Chanukah you can stop by the Yediot Sefarim clearance sale in Holon. For more details, go to ybook.co.il .
- Coats: There are a lot of clothing items that you can sacrifice quality on- socks, underwear, shirts, and even shoes. Those are items you change often. A warm coat is something you keep for very long time. You can find great coats at aliexpress.com , a Chinese online store for 20-30 dollars and most items have free shipping. Another store is dinodirect.com, a virtual mall where you can find good quality coats for 30-60 dollars, most with free shipping. If you like to try on before buying, go to “Machsanei Hayivoan” at 61 HaYarkon Street in Bnai Brak. You will find (mostly men’s) clothing from names like Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, Nautica and Calvin Klein at unbelievable prices.
- Down blankets: Honestly, winter isn’t that bad here. You can get away with a nice wool blanket for most of the winter. But there are a few days in January which are so terrible that all you want to do is jump under the covers of nice warm down blanket and drown out the sounds of pouring rain. To do that, get yourself over to the Freed Factory Outlet in the Barkan industrial area. Or if you have strength, you can go to the “Yad Gittel” gamach on 30 Shaulzon Street in Har Nof, which sells quality down blankets at great prices. For more information call 052-3882751.
- Winter wraps: With the inventing of fleece in the past ten years, there came a similar invention- the fleece throw, which goes well with a chick flick, hot cocoa and marshmallows. For some reason, however, these pieces of cloth cost around 60-70 shekels and can go up to 150 shekels. Since we re talking about a piece of cloth, the simplest solution is to go to your nearest cloth store, pick a color, pay a few shekels per meter and that’s it- you just need to put the popcorn in the microwave. If you are already there, cut an additional 30 centimeters and you have yourself nice scarf. Where are the cloth stores? Try Yitzchak Kairi on 23 Nahalat Binyamin in Tel Aviv or “House of Leftovers- Cloth Mall” on 2 King George Street in Jerusalem.
- Children’s clothing: The winter weather forces us to get another layer for our little ones, unless you are the type to allow them out in belly shirts and 3/4 capris. Instead of trudging from store to store, maybe finding what you want and maybe not, try shopping online. This is not so developed yet in Israel, but there are stores in chutz l’aretz which ship to Israel for free: next from England and aliexpress from China. These stores have everything you need for your children from top to bottom. The prices are not as good as the Strauss bazaar, but the quality is impeccable (boys jeans for 40-60 shekels, fancy dresses for 120 shekels). The clothing from aliexpress is not as good as next, but if your ganenet doesnt care, neither should you. [I have a friend that buys exclusively from these stores and is thrilled with the quality and prices. She hasn’t paid meches or shipping ever.]
- Shoes: Even if you aren’t a child, winter is the time to switch to warmer shoes. If you are looking for brand names, try the outlet center in Holon, where you can find Nike, Lady Comfort, and Nine West. In the surplus store of Reebok, for example, you can get discounts on sneakers of 30-70%. If you are in Jerusalem, go to one of the branches of “Sport Li v’Lach” in the city center where you can find Blundstone boots for 400 shekels. Another place to check out is ש.א.ל. in the Israel Aerospace Industries Center, which is only open to people who work there. There you can find brands such as Nimrod, Elefanten, Nike, New Balance, Timberland, Sketchers and more for 30% off or more.
- Babies: Winter is a busy time for births, and in general we like to say that “we spare nothing for the baby”; however there are places you can save here as well. New and old mothers will delight in the Shilav outlet store in Airport City where you can find discounts of 50-70% off the store prices. Another worthwhile place is “Baby Sale”in Bnai Brak, which sells import surplus and display items at great prices. For the Northerners reading this post, in Kfar Yircha, go to the store “My Baby” which is considered the high point of all journeys in this department. The store is 1000 square meters and has a wide range of baby items at very attractive prices.
- Outlets: Like other American trends, outlet shopping has also made aliyah to Israel and you can find them in the city and country. For now we will focus on two of them: the Polgat outlet in Kenyon Sirkin in Petach Tikva and the FOX outlet in Ligad Center in Modiin. Kenyon Sirkin has become a mecca for outlet shoppers, but the Polgat store has everything you will need for the warm weather for much cheaper than other stores. The FOX store in Modiin sells their clothing for 1/3 the regular store price.
- Chulent: What can we do, this paragraph is only valid one day a week- Thursday night. If you are looking for a warm hot meal that won’t break the bank, go to the cities-that-never-sleep- Bnai Brak and Charedi Jerusalem- and get piping hot chulent for cheap. There are tens of places like this, mostly without a specific address, which is part of the fun, but for this project we picked four- two from each city. In Bnai Brak, try “HaMisada HaYehudit” on Jabotinsky Street near Machon Mor and “Shteisel” near beit haknesset/tefillah factory Itzkovitz. In Jerusalem try “Haimeshe Essen” (flour mill on Ramban street) and “Aliz” in the Beit Yisrael neighborhood- between the Nechama bakery and the kerosene burner store.
- Eilat: Really, it seems so obvious. The weather is nice and there are just as many attractions in the winter as in the summer. You can walk the boardwalk without feeling like you entered a 1500-degree oven. In the past few years the dati leumi crowd has discovered Eilat for Chanukah- so much so that even Mishkefet which gives tours of Yesha is offering a 3-day trip to Eilat during Chanukah.
- New York: OK, travel to chutz l’aretz isn’t cheap, and especially a transatlantic journey. But if your heart is set on New York, the winter is the time to go. Flight prices go down in the winter, however since there aren’t low cost or charter flights such as EasyJet directly from Israel to New York, try flights with a connection. The cheapest airlines are Turkish Airlines and Aeroflot. It is also worth it to check in with El Al, who can surprise you sometimes with direct flights for up to 1000 dollars for a round trip ticket.
- Sufganiot: Once upon a time, sufganiot were recognizable. Today, however, they have transformed to something that requires a doctorate to understand exactly what you are eating. If you are looking for a bit of nostalgia, go to “Shuva Smachot” in Bnai Brak for 2 shekel sufganiot or the supermarket chain “Yaynot Bitan” where you can get lots of flavors and fillings for only 1 shekel each.
- Gym membership: Everybody gains weight in the winter. What can you do when the cold increases your appetite and the driving rain forces you to heat up some carbohydrates? Especially when you know you can hide a few calories under a coat. This is exactly the time to take advantage of the deals on gym memberships- a year membership is a year membership, whether it starts in December or June. For example, Studio C has a 9-month and 12-month deal and if you sign up for a 12- month membership at “Country Dekel” in Tel Aviv you get an extra 4 months for free.
- Winter Wedding: Everyone wants to get married in the spring or summer, but unfortunately there isn’t spring all year round. But don’t put off that wedding- winter is a great time to get married as well. Why? Because everything is cheaper in the winter. For example “Eretz Kedem” costs 60 shekels less per person in the winter than in the summer. Not only the hall is cheaper, but also the photographer, the band, and the decorations. There are other advantages to a winter wedding- having the rain come down while you and your loved ones are inside creates an intimacy you can’t get in the summer. The lighting is also gentler in the winter and you can get special winter foods served as well.
- Other things to put off until the winter: Some things have their season, and with it comes summer prices and winter prices. Renting an apartment, for example, is cheaper in the winter because most people move in July-August so there are less choices- less competition- lower prices. Moving costs are also cheaper in the winter- a four room apartment will cost 2000-2500 shekels to move in the summer and 1500 shekels in the winter. Another item that has lower prices in the winter is the price to renew your passport online. From March-October the price is 245 shekels but from November-February it costs 190 shekels.
Source: Motzash from Mekor Rishon, Edition 136, 22/11/2013