couponing in the holy land

Frugal food shopping for the Anglo Israeli

Archive for the category “Supermarkets”

Violent Virus Destroying Israeli Tomatoes- what to do?

We have all been frustrated by the high prices for tomatoes and other vegetables this season.  Tomatoes have been especially hard hit because of a virus in the Negev which is destroying entire tomato greenhouses.  The virus is called tomato mosaic virus (also known as tobacco mosaic virus), and infected fruits look like this:

tomato diseases: tomato mosaic virus

Unfortunately, there is no cure for this extremely hardy disease.  According to the University of Minnesota Extension Service,

Unlike fungicidal chemicals used to control fungal diseases, to date there are no efficient chemical treatments that protect plant parts from virus infection. Additionally, there are no known chemical treatments used under field conditions that eliminate viral infections from plant tissues once they do occur. Practically speaking, plants infected by viruses remain so.  Tobacco mosaic virus is the most persistent plant virus known. It has been known to survive up to 50 years in dried plant parts. Therefore, sanitation is the single most important practice in controlling tobacco mosaic virus.

At this point, I am feeling quite sorry for the tomato farmers in the Negev.  One person, however, is not:

The shortages on the shelves are a disgraceful occurrence,” said MK Eitan Cabel (Zionist Union), the chairman of the committee. Even before the committee convened Cabel put out a statement saying that he viewed the situation very gravely and that he intended investigating the truth of the situation and pointing a finger at those responsible for it. Cabel recalled that the committee had already discussed the matter two months ago and warned about shortages and price rises during the Holidays period but despite his warning not enough had been done to prevent this serious situation. (Globes)

He said this last week, when people already knew about tomato mosaic virus running rampant in the Negev greenhouses.  I am not sure how you can call a virus “a disgraceful occurrence”, but I guess there must be one conspiracy theorist in every Knesset.

Since this disease will not be clearing up any time soon (estimates are that supplies will be back to normal around December), last month the Minister of Agriculture Uri Ariel (Bayit HaYehudi) approved the tax-free import of tomatoes and cucumbers.  He did that to ensure a constant supply of vegetables throughout the holidays, but this move was most certainly not the most helpful for consumers.  Why?  First of all, as we have seen time and time again, the supermarket chains don’t lower their prices when they purchase tax-free food- they keep the prices high and swallow the profits themselves.  Secondly, I personally would like to know if I am buying produce from Israel, Jordan, or some other country.  In other countries it is a law that there must be a sign that states the origin of all produce sold in supermarkets.  This is called COOL- Country of Origin Labeling.

 

Israel, on the other hand, does not have that requirement in their legislation.  Therefore, the consumer can’t tell if the product is an imported, tax-free product which should be priced lower, or an Israeli product.  This again helps the supermarkets hide information that consumers would use to evaluate the price of an item.

If this bothers you as much as it does me, write to The Israel Consumer Council- HaMoetza HaYisraelit L’Tzarchanut. Unfortunately, the complaint form is only in Hebrew.  While you are there, tell them that you support their proposed legislation to limit the markup of fruits and vegetables by supermarket chains:

הצעת חוק פיקוח על רווחי שיווק בתוצרת חקלאית  

Read more about the proposed legislation on their web site.  You might also want to write to other Knesset members expressing your support for the law.

Another place to make yourself heard is by supporting COOL legislation in Israel.  In my next post, Setting the (food) standard in Israel, I will tell you how.

Source: Violent Virus Destroying Israeli Tomatoes – Israel News

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Rami Levy is the cheapest for Pesach shopping throughout Israel

Yediot Achronot published an article this Friday comparing prices for various Pesach items in different supermarkets in various cities.  Unfortunately, I don’t have the full article- just a few photographs from Rami Levy’s Facebook page– but here are the results (from the cheapest to the most expensive):

Greater Gush Dan (48 products):

  1. Rami Levy, Mitcham Ayalon- 476.30 shekels
  2. Osher Ad, Mitcham Ayalon- 599.20 shekels
  3. YOU, Yigal Alon 73, Yad Eliyahu- 611.15 shekels
  4. Victory, Derech Shlomo 44, Tel Aviv- 622 shekels
  5. Shufersal Deal, Azrielli Tel Aviv- 640.01 shekels

Modiin (56 products):

  1. Rami Levy, Yishpru- 665.20 shekels
  2. Yaynot Bitan, Yishpru- 821.30 shekels
  3. Shufersal Deal, Yishpru- 879.01 shekels
  4. YOU, Malibu Center- 912.50 shekels

Haifa (57 products):

  1. Rami Levy, Chalutzei HaTaasia 73, Kiryat Haim- 709.70 shekels
  2. Yochannof, HaHaroshet 10, Hutzot HaMifratz- 850.30 shekels
  3. YOU, Priman 8, Mitcham Kastra- 892.10 shekels
  4. Osher Ad, HaNes Mular, Kiryat Bialik- 896.20 shekels
  5. Shufersal Deal, Kenyon HaYesod 20, Kiryat Ata- 914.21 shekels

Jerusalem (36 products):

  1. Rami Levy, Beit HaDfus 13- 423.10 shekels
  2. Osher Ad, Kenyon Hadar- 504.60 shekels
  3. Shufersal Deal, Kanfei Nesharim 24- 539.95 shekels
  4. Zol u’B’gadol, Romema- 578.30 shekels

 

COST supermarket sales- expire 28 Feb 2015

A little while ago I posted about a new supermarket chain called COST, which supposedly sells items at cost.  Here are the sales for the rest of the month- what do you think?  The only items that got my attention were Tivall corn shnitzel for 18.90 shekels and a 1 litre carton of milk for 4.80 shekels.  There is no maximum purchase or other conditions which is something to consider as well.  If it wasn’t right before Pesach, I would run over and get a large supply of shnitzel.

New Mega Ba’Internet customers- 2 months free

If you haven’t tried online shopping at Mega, here is a good opportunity- two months free delivery.  Use coupon code “first”.  To start shopping, click here.

New discount supermarket chain- COST

Have you heard about the new discount supermarket chain COST where everything is sold at cost? There are only three stores right now in Kfar Saba, Petach Tikvah and Afula but hopefully they will open more.

Here are some of the current deals as of 9 February:

  • HaShahar chocolate spread- 1kg- 19.70 shekels
  • Canola oil- 1 litre- 5.50 shekels
  • Bissli up to 70 grams (not including Extra)- 2.90 shekels
  • Pompadour green tea- 8.90 shekels
  • Maadanot potato/cheese bourekas- 800 grams- 13.80 shekels
  • Tara 1% milk- 1 litre carton- 4.50 shekels
  • Toilet Duck gel- 7.70 shekels
  • Sano Pisgah bleach- 4 litres- 7.70 shekels
  • Tomer peeled chestnuts- 100 grams- 3.60 shekels
  • Wilifood Persian rice- 1 kg- 4.20 shekels

For more information, go to their Facebook page.

Sales on Chanukah essentials

Happy Chanukah!!

If you need to replenish your supplies, here are some of the current sales on Chanukah essentials:

Chetzi Chinam

Clik bags- 3 for 10 shekels (limit 2 purchases) (for playing dreidel)

BB pretzels/dakim dakim- 5 shekels

Tomatoes, red/white potatoes, carrots, fennel, beets- 2.90 shekels/kg

Red/yellow/green/Naharia peppers, green spicy peppers, eggplant, sweet potato, kohlrabi- 3.90 shekels/kg

Expires 19 Dec 2014.

Rami Levy

Osem self-rising flour- 5.90 shekels

Shufersal Deal

Sufganiot- 6 for 10 shekels

Mini sufganiot- 8 for 10 shekels

Donuts- 3 for 10 shekels

Fancy sufganiot- 3.90 shekels each.

Expires 28 Dec 2014.

Shufersal Sheli

White potatoes, white cabbage, onion, beets, kohlrabi, carrots and fennel- 2.90 shekels/kg

Expires 19 Dec 2014.

Victory

Canola oil (1 litre)- 3 for 19.90 shekels (expires 19 Dec 2014)

BB pretzels/dakim dakim- 2 for 14.80 shekels (expires 26 Dec 2014)

Yaynot Bitan

Sufganiot- 1 shekel each.  Maximum 10 sufganiot per purchase.

Expires 27 Dec 2014.  To find a store near you, click here.

You

Small sufganiot- 1 shekel each.

A package of latkes/levivot- 10 shekels.

Carmit chocolate coins- 3 for 14 shekels

Carmit Chanukah gift package- 2 for 14 shekels

Mega canola oil (1 litre)- 3 for 18 shekels

Osem self-rising flour- 5 shekels (limit 1)

Onion, white potatoes,and white cabbage- 1.90 shekels/kg (limit 6 kg)

Expires 22 Dec 2014.

(If a store isn’t listed, I didn’t see any Chanukah-specific sales)

Twelve new Rami Levy stores opening!

Tomorrow Netivot residents will be able to enjoy a brand new Rami Levy opening in their neighborhood.  In 2015, eleven other Rami Levy supermarkets are scheduled to open in the following cities:

  1. Holon
  2. Ashkelon
  3. Carmiel
  4. Kfar Saba
  5. Atarot
  6. Kiryat Shmona
  7. Ariel
  8. Netanya
  9. Yavneh
  10. Rehovot
  11. Another store in Mevasseret Zion

In contrast to the 156 million shekel loss reported by Shufersal last quarter, Rami Levy reported a net gain of 20.5 million shekels.

Source: Mazon Plus

Five shekels groceries brought to you by Cofix

Not satisfied with creating a coffee revolution, Cofix founder Avi Katz will now be taking on supermarkets and food waste.  Starting in Tel Aviv in April, he plans to open 40-50 small (150-400 square meter) stores where every product will cost 5 shekels- meat, vegetables, canned foods, cleaning products, and even housewares.  It is not meant to be a full service supermarket but will have the basic items and is in negotiations with food manufacturers to produce a product that will be appropriate for his stores.  These products may be in smaller sizes which is something he feels is to be desired.  Too many people are tricked by promotions to buy large sizes and in bulk to save money but end up throwing the food out or it rots before they use it.  If people buy less up front and in sizes that are appropriate for them at that time, there is less waste and that means more money saved.   Israel leads all of the OECD countries in the amount of food waste that we produce- 350 shekels worth each month.

With Shufersal reporting losses and their increased marketing of the Shufersal brand as well as the supercofix announcement, it seems that businesses are starting to get the message that consumers are fed up with price gouging.  Let’s hope that all of the supermarkets will feel the need to compete with supercofix and bring lower prices for everyone.

Sources: Globes,Globes, and Yisrael HaYom

Jerusalem price wars: Rami Levy vs. Osher Ad

Yediot Yerushalayim compared prices of basic grocery items in the Rav Hen Rami Levy to the Kanyon Hadar Osher Ad.  Rami Levy came out significantly cheaper for every product:

IMG_3224.JPGSo despite that fact that this Osher Ad just opened, it doesn’t appear to be attracting customers with loss leaders.  Let the buyer beware.

 

Exotic delicacies in an unexpected place

I happened to be at a gas station in Modiin recently when I was approached by a man to come see his new halvah store.  I followed him to a small store that was packed with all sorts of foods that I never expected to see in one place.  Of course , there was halvah- lots and lots of halvah.

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Some of the halvah is dairy and some is pareve.  Once you taste a sliver, you will be hooked.  I succeeded in only purchasing two flavors- Italian chocolate and espresso.  For the diet-conscious, there is halvah with no sugar- only artificial sweetener.

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A new item for me was the fruit/vegetable “halvah” which is made with figs, carrots, or dates.

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They also had one of my favorite indulgences: layered chocolate/nougat.

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For those who support businesses in the Shomron, you can also purchase Meshek Achia olive oil and olives.

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A treat I rarely see outside of the shuk, sultan and lokum or Turkish Delight can be found here as well in a myriad of flavors and colors.

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There are also lots of cookies, chocolate covered nuts/jellies, and marzipan.

I am not sure why he decided to carry prune juice and cranberry juice, but I was happy to pick up a bottle as well.

This product was completely mystifying to me.  Chickpeas with a candy coating.  The store owner’s Hebrew wasn’t good enough to explain what was done to these chickpeas that made them edible and there weren’t samples, so I passed on this product for now.

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Dulce de leche is my daughter’s favorite sweet.  Grab a bottle and you can make amazing sufganiyot.

I can’t imagine how sucralose fits in with the halvah theme, but the price can’t be beat- 20 shekels for 100 packets in a bag or 26 shekels for a box.

This product was the biggest surprise of all. I have one child (and husband) who fondly remember these crackers.  The price was better than the American stores and when I bought a pack of 8, he only charged me 30 shekels instead of 40.

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The store is labeled as kosher.  As you can see, many of the products are not in their original packaging.  The owner will show you the kashrut certificates for each product if you ask.  One halvah has a rabbanut hashgacha and one has Chatam Sofer- I don’t remember the other products.

The store is located in Yishpru Center in Modiin.  Go into the Paz gas station and it is next to the Yellow store.

Hours: Sunday-Thursday from 9:00 am-8:00 pm and Friday from 8:30 am- 3:00 pm.

For more information, call 052-326-3269 or go to the store’s Facebook page or web site.

(I did not receive any compensation for this post)

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