couponing in the holy land

Frugal food shopping for the Anglo Israeli

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Pesach Mission #10: The after party

Yes, Pesach is over, but our work is not done.  Now is the time to sit with our lists and adjust for next year.

  • Did you run out of KLP cereal in the middle of the week?  Write down to buy more next year.
  • How many eggs and how much matzah did you really use?  Mark it down.
  • Did your food processor finally break down?  Make a note to buy one during the year- not at the last minute when you are stressed.
  • If you don’t have a master shopping list, type up the one you used this year and put it in a file to print out next year (or use the list on the Organizational Tools page).
  • If a new recipe was a keeper, write that on the recipe.  If a recipe didn’t make the grade, throw it out now.  There is nothing more frustrating than having four chocolate chip cookie recipes and not knowing which one tasted great and which one bombed.
  • If you save foods from year to year, don’t forget to write on your master shopping list not to buy them next year!

Don’t procrastinate- this is essential for proper planning and to help save money next year!

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

NEW PAGE: Organizational Tools

For those who were interested, there is a new page with all of the Pesach lists.  I will add more during the year.

Feel free to send me any of your tools- I would be happy to post them as well.

Now, back to mishloach manot.

Plague bags

For the little kids, these bags are a lot of fun, both in the making and in the using during the meal.  There are lots of ideas for what to use- these are our favorites.  Each child makes their own (older kids) or make them yourselves for the younger ones.  Have them look in the bag for each item as it relates to the plague you call out.


  1.  דםplastic mini wine bottle, 1/2 water, few drops red food coloring, 1/2 clear mineral oil
  2.  צפרדע– green Bristol paper, directions for origami jumping frogs
  3.  כינים- hair clips, paper to draw lice, markers, tape
  4.  דבר– cows-sick (plastelina, drawn, stuffed)
  5.  ערוב-wild animals (masks, puppets)
  6.  שחין– boils-stickers
  7.  ברד-ping pong balls, silver or gold pens to color
  8.  ארבה-locusts- bugs
  9.  חושך– black cloth to cover eyes, sunglasses
  10. מכת בכורות- baby people

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