couponing in the holy land

Frugal food shopping for the Anglo Israeli

Archive for the tag “bamba”

What the rest of us do when the missiles are flying

If you live in one of those areas which Pikud HaOref classifies as “normal” but still have red alerts, you are caught between staying home and going stir crazy or attempting to salvage the summer vacation somehow…somewhere…without blowing the entire budget for a tzimmer in the Galil.  Here are some ideas for indoor activities for you and/or the kids.  Confirm each facility’s availability, make sure you know where the merchav mugan is and read any additional instructions when you get there.  For example, the “Kesem BaSafari” night safari web site notifies the public that the site is open but that (1) there is NO murchav mugan and (2) it is absolutely forbidden to leave your car in the African area! (unless you want to be eaten by lions)  They do allow you to exchange your tickets for another date.

(1) Ikea sale– Going on now until 20 July 2014.  With three stores in Netanya, Rishon L’zion, and Kiryat Ata, you can stay in the mercaz or go North.  You don’t need to go to buy something, although I am sure you can find an essential knickknack or two.  You can let the kids run in the building, go to the ball pit, or participate in the activities scheduled for kids.  Pick up a cheap and tasty meal and your day is complete.

(2) Tnuva visitor center in Alon Tavor– The famous visitor center has opened its door for no cost to residents from Gush Dan and further south!  Must show proof of residence.  Order your free tickets on their Facebook page.  Children 5 years old and older are welcome.  For more information about the visitor center go to Tnuva’s web site.

(3) Restaurants– Restaurants know that if they want to attract the parents over the summer, they have to attract the kids as well.  Max Brenner has traditional kids meals such as shnitzel as well as with pasta with chocolate sauce (!), magic powder and jungle bananas, all served with crayons and a coloring box about Max the Chocolate King.  Cafe Greg has both a meat and vegan menu for kids and also gives out a placemat to color on with crayons.  Placemats and crayons are also available at Mandarin, Fresh Kitchen, and Cafe Landwer.  The Cafe Greg restaurants in the Givatayim Mall, (kosher lemehadrin), Haifa Mall, Orot Mall in Or Akiva and Mercaz Big in Karmiel (all not kosher) have a large area built especially for kids to run around in and play while the parents enjoy their meal.


BBB- Burgus Burger Bar (not kosher) has a special kids meal as well as lots of games and activities on the electronic system at each table.

Source: Yisrael HaYom

Restaurants can be very expensive, however, so look for discount coupons in places like Leumi Card, Visa CAL, GROUPON, and eLuna.  For example, right now there is a 10% off coupon for Fresh Kitchen Jerusalem on eLuna and you can get a free Cafe Greg ice cafe for 195 point from American Express Rewards.  Deals come and go fast so it pays to look frequently.

(4) Cinema City– If you are already eating, you might as well see a movie as well.  If you spend 49 shekels on a meal Friday, you get a free movie ticket (participating movies only).  There are other free live shows to check out.  Call 1-700-70-22-55 for more information and check out my previous post for deep discounts on Cinema City movie tickets.

(5) Museums– air conditioning, educational and inside- what more could you want? OK, less crowds.  Some museum deals include:  Lifestyle members can purchase combo tickets to the Museum Eretz Yisrael in Tel Aviv for 39 shekels (child) or 49 shekels (adult).  The ticket includes entrance to the museum, the kite show and the planetarium!  Valid only 24 July 2014.  On 26 Aug 2014, Lifestyle members can go to the kite festival and “Song of the Bamboo” at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem for 42 shekels (adult)- kids are free!  To order tickets, click here.  With the “Kids Love Israel” card, you can get discounts on the Bloomfield Science Museum in Jerusalem and MadaTech in Haifa.  Kinderland has a coupon for the new science museum in Beersheva.  For the most comprehensive English list of every museum in Israel, click here.

(6) Bowling– Since it is generally on the ground floor and deep within a building, a bowling alley can serve as a merchav mugan if needed.  If you have a Leumi card, you can get 1+1 bowling tickets from their web site.  Bowling Chutzot HaMifratz in Haifa has coupons on their web site.

(7) Factory tours– Michal Negrin factory- a treat for all fashionistas.  You can get a  1+1 coupon on Kinderland.  For more information, go to the Michal Negrin web site.  The Coca Cola “center for the senses”  is only  20 shekels and you can arrange a tour in English.  For more information go to their web site.  The Bamba visitor center is considered to be one of Israel’s best- and free!  To make an appointment, go to their web site.

(8) Animix– The annual animation festival, trade show and workshops will be held in Tel Aviv 6-9 August 2014.  Isracard members get 1+1 tickets on their web site.  For more information about the festival, click here or go to the Cinemateque web site.

(9) Gymboree/arcade– You can find some coupons for arcades on the Kinderland web site.  On the Ligdol web site you can find coupons for gymborees (here and here for example)

(10) Bank of Israel– One of Israel’s best kept secrets, the Bank of Israel offers a free tour of their center where you learn the basics of economics, see a display of ancient Israeli coins, and play computer games where the economic fate of the world is in your hands! You get a free bag of shredded money as a gift.  Tours can be arranged in English.  To make an appointment, go to their web site.  The tour is appropriate for children ages 8 and older but the games are more appropriate for middle and high school children.

I hope this brief list has got your creative juices flowing.  If you are looking to go somewhere specific and need a coupon, let me know I will do my best to find one for you!



Elite shushim coupon- expires 30 July 2012

Aliyah tip #6- Eat more meat- it’s cheaper!

I have always suspected this while shopping here, which goes against everything I am accustomed to believe.

Rule 1: Meat, especially kosher meat, is very expensive.

Rule 2: Cheese and candy are cheap.

Israel, however, breaks all the rules.

For example, A package of Tnuva Emek light costs 100 shekel/kg, while Tnuva fresh chicken breast costs 29.99 shekels/kg.  Tnuva feta cheese: 106 shekels/kg versus TevaOf premium chicken breast- 54.90 shekels/kg.  The scariest comparison- Bamba costs 119.60 shekels/kg compared to Shufersal fresh boneless beef ribs at 79.99 shekels/kg.

The moral of this story? When shopping, throw away your chutz l’aretz rules.

Source: The Marker

Sufganiot- how high will you go? (The ultimate sufganiot guide)

In my last post listing the sales of the week, you might notice that NOBODY has sufganiot on sale.  Why not?  Because we are all so desperate to get our hands on that scrumptious ball of fried dough that we will pay any price to get it.

Some of the prices, however, are as outrageous as the flavors. (Bamba?!?!Pistachio?!?!?)

Before you go and spend your hard-earned money in the bakery, read today’s ultimate frugal food shopper’s guide to sufganiot.

Cafe Hillel:

The best thing about these sufganiot is their price- 5 sufganiot for 20 shekels.  They are the same size as the other gourmet sufganiot.  Although the kids liked them, the adults found them to be overly fried and the cream (katzefet) had a chemical taste.  Kosher rabbanut.

Conclusion- unless you are a health freak (and if you are, you shouldn’t be eating doughnuts), these are only a good option for the kids.

English Cake:

English Cake sells three types of sufganiot- large sufgania (6 shekels), small sufgania (4.50 shekels), and “doughnut” (8 shekels), which is the hole-in-the-middle shaped doughnut.  We got there just as the store opened and enjoyed a very soft, warm, traditional sufgania.  The “doughnut” looked good, but was relatively pareve tasting.  Kosher l’mehadrin.

Conclusion- if you are a true Zionist, get your sufganiot here.


This very famous bakery in Tel Aviv prices their sufganiot according to how they are cooked- baked doughnuts cost 7 shekels and fried sufganiot cost 6 shekels.  If you buy 5 you get 1 free.  The “coffee and ma’afah” also applies to sufganiot and costs 16 shekels.  Their sufganiot are soft and filled with all sorts of dairy goodness. Kosher rabbanut.

Recommedation- if you need a sugar and caffeine boost, this is a mighty fine place to get it.  If you need to save your money, hold out for their oznei haman…

Ma’afeh Ne’emaan:

This Jerusalem-based chain is one of the few big ones that is Kosher l’mehadrin.

Maybe it is me, but their chocolate looks very anemic to me.  Their gourmet sufganiot are 7 shekels and their regular sufganiot are 4 shekels.  This store has hands-down the best names for their sufganiot- names such as “Tutit” (Strawberry Shortcake) and “Yeladudes” (Kids), as well as the wackiest flavors- Bamba, marshmallow, and almond.

The chocolate I thought anemic was not bad, but there was one major flaw in their gourmet sufganiot- NO FILLING!

Conclusion- If you aren’t mehadrin, there are much better deals out there.

Mr. Donut:

These are Israel’s version of Dunkin Donuts.  They come in pareve and dairy.  Kosher rabbanut.

We rated them very good (if you like Dunkin Donuts).  Price- 3 for 20 shekels.

They don’t have a store of their own, but you can find them in these stores.



High class doughnuts, dairy and very rich.  They come in flavors such as halva, belgian chocolate, pistachio, whipped cream, white chocolate with a berry chaser (a syringe filled with fruit syrup), and “Vodka Double Espresso”- chocolate with an espresso chaser.  What we like the most about these sufganiot is that they are filled with lots of filling, which is not standard for Israeli sufganiot.

Something I have never seen elsewhere in Israel is a list of how many calories each sufgania has, ranging from 170 (jelly) to 317 (chocolate ganache with a chaser).  I am not sure if I like knowing how many calories are in my sufgania or not.  After comparing, however, the amount of calories in Dunkin Donuts doughnuts (260-550 calories) or Krispy Kreme doughnuts (200-450 calories), I think Roladin has given me yet another reason to stay in Israel.

Price: 8 shekels for the “standard” gourmet sufganiot, 9 for the chasers, 4.50 for traditional jelly and 5.50 for traditional ribat chalav (caramel).  Kosher rabbanut.

Conclusion- if you want to splurge, this is THE place to go.  They are by far the best sufganiot on the market.

Yes, you can compare doughnuts on Zap!  On their web site, Shufersal Yashir’s’ sufganiot cost 4.99 each and Mega B’Internet sells them for 3.99.   As you can see, they are the standard sufgania.

The cheapest alternative of them all:

You know what I am about to say, right?  Make it yourself!

This blog is by definition not a recipe site, but I welcome everyone to post their favorite sufganiot recipe.  I personally have very little success with yeast recipes, so I use one with leben.  And if anyone has a TNT method for getting that filling in without (a) destroying the doughnut (b) squirting it out the other side, or (c) having it shoot back in your face, I would be ecstatic to hear.

Finally, these prices are based on the Modiin-Tel Aviv area.  If the prices in your area are better or worse, let me know!  If you found a great sufganiot bargain, please pass it on to the other readers!

I will now go run around the universe to start burning off all those sufganiot calories…;

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