couponing in the holy land

Frugal food shopping for the Anglo Israeli

Archive for the tag “planning”

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!

The final countdown

No, I am not talking about Syria, although I will get to that later.  Tishrei is right around the corner, and we need to be prepared.  Tonight is the night to plan the next few days so you don’t get caught unawares and out of time.


If you have school-aged children, know that there are only three days this week- Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.   Right now- make sure you have three sets of school outfits washed and ready, three sets of meals for school, and three water bottles if you can. (We fill the bottle about 1/4 – 1/3 full with water and put it in the freezer.  In the morning we add cold water and the water stays cold all day.)  Make sure they don’t need to bring anything special to school for the holiday- if so, put it on the calendar and get it now.  Now hopefully you can “forget” about school for now.


Do you have any last-minute haircut appointments, doctor appointments etc. to schedule?  Be efficient- call tonight and leave a message or book on the internet.  I was just surprised to call a hair salon which has a full messaging service at 11:00 at night!

Rosh Hashana

First things first- make a list of what still needs to be done.  Break it down into the following categories:

  1. Guests– if you have, confirm if they have allergies.   Get the guest rooms and bathrooms ready.  What time are they coming?  Do you have to pick them up?  If so, from where?  If you are a guest, find out what you can bring/make/do to help your host.  If you really want to make the hostess happy, offer to bring some already-seeded rimon 🙂
  2. Going away?– if you are, make sure your neighbor has your key in case of emergency, timers are set, pet/plant sitters arranged.
  3. Laundry– make sure your tablecloths, towels, linens and holiday clothes are washed.   If you have a European machine, you know how how long it takes so plan your time accordingly.
  4. Table– do you have enough tables and chairs?  if not, arrange to borrow from a gamach or a friend now.  Do you have enough tablecloths, silverware, plates, serving dishes, napkins, bowls and cups?  If not, figure out how many disposable items you will need to purchase and get it soon. We found very nice biodegradable plasticware that looks just like the Solo brand and wasn’t too expensive.  Don’t forget candles, matches and long-lasting candles.
  5. Food– Make an inventory of your freezer and start planning meals if you haven’t already.  We all need to purchase fruits and vegetables this week- don’t forget apples, rimon, dates and a new fruit.  Most stores are open Saturday night and have extended hours this week to get your last minute shopping done, but don’t go tonight or Sunday for chicken- wait for Monday or later.  You might be tempted to shop for groceries online, but just remember that you are one of many so expect many items to be out of stock.  You don’t want your order to come Tuesday night missing half the items and you have to run out Wednesday morning for them.
  6. Clothing–  do you have enough for a three day holiday?  I know my son already outgrew the last set of clothing we bought him and we have so far been unsuccessful in dragging him in to purchase another -gasp- three outfits.
  7. Kids– make a list of everything they can do and have them do it.  If it makes your life easier, bribe them.  We have offered 10 agorot- 1 shekel per chore (depending on their ages; can be done multiple times) or three levels of rewards- ice cream, pizza, movie depending on how many they do and whether they work together or not.   I will post some recipes/activities to keep them busy Wednesday while you finish your last minute chores.
  8. Beit knesset– if you go, do you have your seat/membership paid for?  If you can, find out where your seat is beforehand so it will be easier to find it during services.  Do you have enough machzorim?  Do you know where they are?  If you are not going, do you know who can blow the shofar for you?   If your beit knesset has a tzedaka campaign during the holidays (selling honors or having someone come in from another agency), budget now what you are willing/able to spend.   Discuss it with your husband/wife so there are no surprises.
  9. Syria– I said I would get back to that topic.  Although everything is still up in the air, nobody was ever harmed by being prepared.  Stock food/water/medicine in your protective room.  Make sure you have the necessary supplies in case of emergency.  Read the Emergency Situation Preparation Guide by Pikud HaOref.  Check out the Pikud HaOref web site for more information.  If for some reason you do not have your protective masks, click here for a list of distribution centers.  If you do have, make sure they are the right sizes for your family members.

That’s it for now- if you have that all written out, you deserve a break!


Yes, I said Pesach!

I know it is January, but believe it or not, Peach will be here in 9 weeks!

That means it is time to do some long-term planning.

Go into your freezers, your pantries, and your drawers.  Don’t forget your safe room.  If you are like me you might be surprised to find 6 or 7 bags of pasta plus other assorted chametz.

That means that you need to start planning meals if you don’t already.  How many pasta dishes could your family tolerate in a week?  Spread them out.  Start thinking about your Purim seudah (5 weeks away)- maybe make that special orzo salad.  Don’t forget Shabbat-this is the perfect time to serve Grandma’s noodle kugel.

If you freeze food in bulk, make an inventory of what you have and estimate how long it will last.  Start clearing space to put in already KLP items that you see on sale, like fresh meat.

Be wary of buying any more chametz- expecially when the stores mark everything down to reduce their inventory.  Look out for KLP items and stock up now.  I just found Tnuva butter has a KLP stamp already.  If you find other items, please post!

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