couponing in the holy land

Frugal food shopping for the Anglo Israeli

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

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

couponing in the holy land

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…

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Pesach mission #8: Smell the flowers

Pesach mission #8: Smell the flowers

couponing in the holy land

Last Shabbat 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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Ready for the next mission?  Go to Pesach mission #9: The children are not the Passover sacrifice!

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Pesach Mission #7: Anti-Procrastination Day!

updated for 2015

couponing in the holy land

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 a great method for cleaning rooms- each area of the house is divided into five zones.

Click here to learn about FlyLady’s method for decluttering.

Click here for a Detailed Cleaning List for each zone.

Ready for the next mission? Go to Pesach mission #8: Smell the flowers

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Pesach Mission #6: Linen Closet

couponing in the holy land

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…

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Pesach Mission #5: Cleaning Supplies

couponing in the holy land

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!

Ready for the next mission?  Go to

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Pesach Mission #4: Guests

couponing in the holy land

Today we are going to make our holiday guest list.

  • Are you having people stay over for the holiday?
  • Are you going away?
  • How many people will be at your seder?
  • Any dietary restrictions?

This list is essential for the next stages of Pesach prep- don’t procrastinate!

Ready for Pesach Mission #5: Cleaning Supplies? Click here!

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Pesach mission #3: Feed the dogs

couponing in the holy land

If you are a pet owner, you have several choices for Pesach:

  1. Board them for a week
  2. Feed them table food
  3. Feed them KLP food.

Being in Israel, we have many more KLP options for our pets.  Here is a sampling:

  1. Evanger’s canned dog food- 9 shekels a can at inter-pet.co.il 
  2. Bonzo dry dog food- 3kg for 49 shekels at inter-pet.co.il
  3. Premier Club dog food- 3kg for 59 shekels at inter-pet.co.il
  4. Hill’s Science Plan and Prescription Diet food- do not use the American list- Israeli Hill’s is imported from Europe and may have a different formulation.  The list of KLP products in Israel can be found here (updated for 2015)
  5. Le Cat dry cat food- a 9kg package divided into 3- 3kg packages- 139 shekels at inter-pet.co.il
  6. Nutrafin Basix fish food (blood worms)- 39 shekels at inter-pet.co.il

Other places to purchase KLP pet food:

  1. Kef L’chayot– Bonzo
  2. Ten L’Chayot– In previous…

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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

Lublinsky ultimate knife sale 13-14 Nov 2014

Some people really enjoy knives. I am not talking about butchers,shochets, or mass murderers, but ordinary people who get a gleam in their eye when testing how sharp a blade is by slicing the hair on their arm, balancing the weight of the knife in their hands, and waxing on for indescribable periods of time about how their life would be complete if only they could buy a specific type/size knife.  If you or someone you know is a knife addict, check out Lublinsky.  Their perfectly arranged store enhances your viewing pleasure.  Go in this week and you won’t feel guilty loading up your basket because many knives are up to 45% off and sharpeners are up to 25% off.  For more information go to their web site or Facebook page.

Dishwashing liquid Part 2: Behind the scenes

In response to my previous post about dishwashing liquid, I received a message from a reader who was also a a former employee of P&G.  He has graciously shared his insight with us.

“There are a few things that companies may use to trick people a bit when buying dish washing liquid.

First, all the companies here know that many Israelis check the active ingredient concentration level, so there is a desire to keep it as high as possible. But…the regulator only lets you put the active ingredient in multiples of four. So if you are just under 30%, for example, you are only allowed to mark 24%. The last time I checked Fairy a few years ago it was around 28% I think – in any event it was the highest in the market.

Another important factor is what is actually the active ingredient. At one point Shufersal’s own brand was offering a 36% concentration but the active ingredient offered a significantly weaker performance than that in Fairy.

Fairy’s company needs Fairy to be the best performing product on the market – this is the marketing strategy. So then the only question is whether or not it is worth paying a bit more for it. Based on all the R&D tests we did and also my own use, it definitely is – you do not need to use very much of it compared to the other products so it really does last around 150-200% longer than Palmolive and even more than own brand stuff.

I left the company to be a student but despite my limited funds still buy Fairy as I believe it is an economy. I promise that I have no current interest in the product beyond being a big fan!”

What do you think?  Any other Fairy fans out there?

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