couponing in the holy land

Frugal food shopping for the Anglo Israeli

Archive for the month “March, 2014”

Pesach mission #2: Lists

One of the best ways to gain control over Pesach is through lists.  I already talked about the shopping list in my previous post, but there are other lists I recommend:

  1. Pre-Pesach preparations:  this is a list of everything that needs to get done- buy matzah, order dog food, get haircuts, get the cars washed, etc.  By having this list you can spread out your purchases over the next month and you can also plan do do certain tasks before the prices go up.  For example, in our neighborhood, the price of a car wash doubles and I cannot use my discount card for the wash.  Let’s not forget the lines!  This week, I washed my car without waiting on a long line and at a price I feel comfortable with.
  2. Cleaning areas: this list helps me gain track of each area I need to clean.  It doesn’t really save you money, but it helps you gain control over your time.
  3. Master calendar: From Shushan Purim on,  I use a master calendar on my refrigerator and list all appointments, Pesach chores, tzaharon hours, etc.  I schedule cleaning tasks as well as list dinner options.  Since I already know what chametz is in the house from the last mission, I can plan out my meals for the next few weeks and prevent the last minute pizza order.  Busting your budget on takeout now is not smart- save it for your Pesach tiyulim.
  4. Pre-Pesach chores: I have an unfinished list of chores that need to be done before Pesach- cleaning cabinets, laundry, making KLP/chametz signs for the cabinets, etc. FOR THE KIDS.  For each chore that a child does, they write their symbol (arrow, check) for each time that they do that chore. Each symbol equals one point.  When Pesach comes, we assign a monetary value to each point and allow the kids to trade them in for cash or activities (e.g. 10 agorot per point,  20 points=ice cream, 50 points=movie).  We have found this to be a great motivator and the kids have fun collecting points.  Of course, the more help you have from family members, the less you spend on cleaning assistants and day care activities.

You can find all of these lists on the “Organizational Tools” page.

Click here for Pesach mission #3: Feed the dogs

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Pesach mission #1: Clean out your pantry NOW!

Today is Shushan Purim- the unofficial start to Pesach preparations.

Your counters are full of mishloach manot, and you know you won’t be able to eat all of it before Pesach.  Your mission today is to empty out ALL of the food from your pantry.  Separate the food and the mishloach manot into 4 boxes:

  1. Chametz gamur- actual chametz
  2. KLP items (with hashgacha)
  3. Food your family doesn’t like or won’t eat
  4. Food that is not KLP and not chametz gamur

Chametz gamur and food your family doesn’t like or won’t eat:

If you are like me, there is an astronomical amount of food in this box.  Take a serious look at that food- will you really eat it within 4 weeks?  Don’t forget the food in your refrigerator and freezer!  If your minhag is not to sell chametz gamur, donate all that food TODAY.    Likewise, don’t save food that you know you won’t use- give it to someone who will.

KLP items with hashgacha:

One of the advantages of living in Israel is that many everyday items already have KLP hashgacha.  I am sure you noticed that almost all of the chips that came out for Purim this year were KLP already (with or without kitniyot). Some of the items I found in my pantry include:

  • Starkist tuna (kitniyot)
  • Yavneh pickles in brine
  • Shufersal pickles in brine
  • Yachin pizza sauce
  • Yachin canned corn (kitniyot)
  • Shufersal crushed tomatoes
  • Mega dates
  • Wili Foods fruit cocktail
  • Wiliger tuna (kitniyot)
  • Pepsi MAX

All of these items can be crossed off your master Pesach shopping list.  You do have a shopping list, right?  This is THE most essential item to save money.  If you do not have one, take out all of your standard Pesach recipes (don’t forget seder items) and create a master shopping list, including amounts needed.  You will adjust the quantities during your Pesach post-mortem.  Keep this list accessible all year round so you can purchase items during the year when there are sales.

Clean out a now-empty cabinet or two for these Pesach items.  Keep watching the sales and fill up these cabinets at your leisure. I will post Pesach sale items when I see them.

Food that is not KLP and not chametz gamur:

Clean out-of-the-way closets and put these items back in.  If you use them before Pesach, great.  If not, they are all ready to be locked away for Pesach.

Now sit back and enjoy the progress you have made- you deserve it!

Click here to read Pesach mission #2- Lists

Food News Roundup

Too small for a full blog post but too large to ignore.  Here are the latest tidbits from various news sources:

1.   As we all know, winter is almost over and we have not had the greatest rainfall this season.  What does that mean?  Farmers will have to purchase water instead of relying on the rainfall leading to increased prices for fruits, vegetables, locally-produced meat, and milk.   Source: NRG

2.   Ayelet Shaked’s bill to increase the punishment for trespassing private agricultural land passed the second and third reading.  Judges will now be able to sentence trespassers up to six months in jail.  For those of you who are not aware, the beef industry has been slowly strangled by Bedouins who trespass and damage farmers’ property in the hopes that they will leave and the Bedouins will then take over the land.  Hashomer Hahadash was formed to defend the farmers’ land and has an overwhelming amount of requests for help.  I highly recommend becoming acquainted with this organization.  You can learn about them from these videos:

If you were wondering what happened to Zionism in Israel, it is here with Hashomer Hahadash.  Source: Facebook

3.   The fighting between Co-op shop and Tnuva continues.  Co-op purchased minimarkets in the “periphery” and claims that Tnuva won’t supply dairy products to them.  Tnuva claims that Co-op won’t pay their bill.  The court ruled that Tnuva has to supply the periphery with dairy products and Co-op has to pay their bill. Next on the agenda- peace in the Middle East.  Source: Ynet

4.   Rumors abound that Tnuva will be sold to the Chinese company Bright Food.  The farmers protest.  Will this lower the price of food?  Not likely.  Source: Ynet

5.   In case you think I am picking on Tnuva, this latest story is about Shufersal.  In December, the Customs Authority increased the amount of items that can be brought in with tax, including apples.  Shufersal has decided to completely eliminate locally-grown apples in their stores since then.  You might think that therefore the prices have gone down, but they have actually gone up significantly:

מחירי תפוחים בשופרסל. 2013: תוצרת הארץ וייבוא נטול מכס. 2014: רק ייבוא נטול מכס
מחיר ממוצע לק”ג/בשקלים ינואר פברואר תחילת מרס
מחירי מוזהב ב-2013 7.99 7.17 7.29
מחירי מוזהב ב-2014 9.90 9.9 9.92
שיעור התייקרות 23% 38% 36%
מחירי גרנד סמית ב-2013 7.99 7.31 7.70
מחירי גרנד סמית ב-2014 9.17 9.90 9.72
שיעור התייקרות 14% 35% 26%
מחירי סטארקינג ב-2013 8.12 7.92 7.31
מחירי סטארקינג ב-2014 9.17 8.86 9.37
שיעור ההתייקרות 12% 11% 18%
מחירי פינק קריפס 2013 8.44 8.99 10.95
מחירי פינק קריפס 2014 13.15 13.19 11.26
שיעור ההתייקרות 56% 46% 3%

In January, prices of apples jumped up between 12% and 56% while Shufersal (like all other supermarkets) are not paying customs duties!  So much for opening the borders to lower prices (do you remember who said that? Hint: it was in a previous blog post).  Source: Ynet

6.   This last item might come as no surprise to everyone- people are not buying as much as they used to in the supermarkets!  Even with “dramatic sales”, the food is not flying off the shelves.

מכירות כספיות מכירות כמותיות
כלל השוק 2.5%- 4.5%-
שופרסל ומגה 5.6%- 7.9%-
רשתות אחרות (כרמי לוי, יינות ביתן, ויקטורי) 1.7%- 4.7%-
מינימרקטים פרטיים 3.1% 4%

Shufersal and Mega have lost the most, while the private minimarket has actually gained.  The charedi supermarket chains have also increased their percentage of the market, possibly because of the lower prices.    Source: Ynet

While I don’t really feel sorry for the supermarket chains, especially after seeing their “dramatic sales” of apples in the previous article, I really don’t feel bad for them because very soon their sales will be sky high within the next few weeks for Pesach.

That’s all for today.  Enjoy!

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