couponing in the holy land

Frugal food shopping for the Anglo Israeli

Archive for the tag “shopping”

Random Klita tips from Bat Aliyah save you money

I stumbled upon this post by Bat Aliyah and would like to share it with you.   You can read the full post and comments here: I only copied the section related to food and shopping.


Rivkah’s Random Klita Tips

Now that we’ve been here a year, I find myself dispensing tidbits of information to even newer olim.  So I started to think, what if I were to write down all my tips, or as many as I can recall, and let others add to the list?  These are things I had to learn, either the hard way, or from people who have been here longer than we have.  As Ruti Mizrachi always says, “Don’t thank me. I’m a giver.” But please do use the comments section to add your helpful tips.

Mostly, these appear in no particular order, though I’ve divided the tips into those that are generally true in Israel (especially in the Jerusalem area) and those that are specific to my community of Ma’ale Adumim.

General Tips in Israel (mostly in the Jerusalem area)
The thickest grocery brand of napkins is sano sushi.  After a number of disappointing purchases of Nikol brand, we now always buy sano sushi white napkins in the double pack.Unlike table napkins, every brand of Shabbat toilet paper we’ve ever bought is pretty much the same quality, so it’s fine to buy the cheapest one.We always buy Molett brand toilet paper and facial tissues.  We find them the closest to what we are used to.  Ironically, although economy size packaging hasn’t really caught on in Israel, toilet paper is sold in giant packs.  The one we always buy has 48 rolls.

Sale price signs on grocery store shelves generally list the last four numbers of the UPC code for the products that are actually included in the sale price.

It took me months to figure out the trash bag situation.  Trash cans are marked in liters and bags are marked in cm, so there’s no natural match.  Our 50 liter trash can is slightly smaller than a standard 13 gallon kitchen trash can in the US.  The correct size bags are 75x90cm.  We buy Nikol brand orange liners (though different brands may vary by a few cm).  They are much thinner than what we were used to, but they do the job.

If you’re looking for an American grocery item, the most likely places in the Jerusalem area are CheaperKol on Kanfei Nesharim in Givat Shaul, SuperDeal in Talpiot (which also has excellent prices), Chofetz Chaim on Aggripas (butcher shop with American-style deli plus some grocery items) or the local makolet in a neighborhood where a lot of former Americans live.  Meatland in Ra’anana is also a good source.

Grocery stores in Israel deliver.  Some will deliver for free if your order is large enough.  But even if you have to pay, the delivery charges range from 10 to about 25 NIS.  Some stores charge more for deliveries closer to Shabbat and less for deliveries earlier in the week.

Grocery stores have limited selections of spices.  But the Machane Yehuda shuk has a few really excellent spice shops and you can buy more exotic or hard-to-find spices there.

It is possible to buy Philadelphia brand cream cheese here but it’s very expensive.  Tnuva Napoleon is the most like whipped American cream cheese.  It comes in a few varieties in a 225 gram tub.  The plain variety has a daisy on the package.

Dairy products generally list the percentage of fat on the label.

Meat is sold by numbers and not by cuts.  For example, brisket is #3.  There is a diagram of a cow divided into numbers, but unless you happen to know which part of the cow your favorite cut comes from and if
this description doesn’t help you, you’ll have to ask a neighbor or a butcher for help.

For cholent meat, ask for basar chamim which comes boneless and pre-cut into chunks.

Chop meat is much cheaper frozen than fresh.

Rami Levi often sells whole chickens for a few shekels a kilo on Thursdays.  My husband hasn’t quite mastered cutting a whole chicken into 1/8s, but he’s definitely got the wings and legs down.

Some stores (Rami Levy for sure) have “shuk day” early in the week when selected vegetables are just 1 NIS/kilo.  This is generally Tuesday and sometimes Wednesday.

Grocery stores in Israel are tiered.  This is not a comprehensive list of all grocery stores, but it will give you an idea of how things work:

Upscale, expensive
Mega Ba’Ir
Shufersal Sheli

Middle class
Shufersal Big
Mr. Zol

Mega Bool
Shufersal Deal

Stores that cater to haredi customers (e.g. Yesh, Shefa Shuk, Osher Ad in Givat Shaul and Sha’arei Ezra in Romema)

Although we shop in other places too, our major weekly shopping is done at Rami Levy.  Their prices are routinely very competitive and the owner of the company is a mensch.

Many chain stores, especially grocery stores, offer their own cartis mo’adon.  It’s what we used to call a frequent shopper or bonus card.  Some of them are free and give you access to in-store special prices.  But some are actually credit cards which may be free for the first year, but then cost around 15 NIS a month.  The first thing the cashier will ask you in a store that has one is, “Cartis mo’adon?”

Another question cashiers often ask is if you want to buy any of the specials that are available at the register.  There are generally 5-6 sale items that are pictured right on the shelf where you sign your receipt.

After your groceries have been totaled, the cashier will also ask you how many payments you want your total to be divided into.  So if cash flow is a problem, you can arrange to pay in November for groceries that you ate in September.

Credit cards in Israel are somewhat like a cross between an American credit card and a debit card.  Your bank will give you a monthly credit limit.  As you charge things throughout the month, your available balance is reduced by the amount you’ve charged.  Then, once a month, your bank will deduct your credit card balance from your bank account and your available balance resets to zero.

Produce, meat and bulk foods are weighed in kilos.  A kilo is 2.2 pounds.  So half a kilo (500 grams) is approximately a pound and a quarter kilo is approximately half a pound.

Chetzi Chinam + Visa CAL = Great Deal

Visa CAL is offering a great deal to shop at Chetzi Chinam this month- 3.5% off on all purchases made with the CAL card.

Fine Print:

  • There is no need to sign up- the discount comes off automatically.
  • Offer ends 27/9/2011.
  • Valid in the following stores: Holon, Rishon L’Zion, Petach-Tikva, and Hod HaSharon.
  • Includes double sales.
  • Doesn’t include double discounts.
  • Not valid for YOU members.
  • Chetzi Chinam can change or cancel the deal at any time.

The cheapest vegetables in the supermarket

One of the blogs I follow, Bishul B’Zol (Cooking Cheaply), has a very good post on how to choose fruits and vegetables.  Here is a loose translation.

In my previous post I discussed purchasing seasonal fruits and vegetables, which are lower in price than out-of-season fruits and vegetables.  But have you noticed that some vegetables are cheaper all the time, even than the “seasonal” vegetables?  What I want to emphasize is KNOWLEDGE- look around in the supermarket, learn the prices of what you purchase and you will discover what is really worthwhile.

These are the vegetables that I have found have the lowest and most stable prices:

  • Cucumbers
  • Carrots
  • Tomatoes
  • Eggplant
  • Potatoes
  • Cabbage
  • Onion
With this list, you can create a whole host of exciting foods- salads, stir fries, soups, etc.
Is this list restricting?  Yes, I think so.  I don’t think I could survive on these 7 vegetables alone.  Therefore I present a list of slightly higher-priced and slightly less-stable prices, but which are still a good deal:
  • Green Squash
  • Lettuce
  • Beets
  • Sweet Potato
  • Butternut Squash
  • Basic Herbs (parsley, nana, coriander, dill…)
  • Peppers (try not to get attached to one color)
  • Apples (not the specialized types such as Pink Lady- the basic types)
  • Oranges
I do not say that this these are the only vegetables you can buy if you are looking to save money.  Not by far.  However, I must remind you that our greatest expenses in the supermarket are not in the fruit and vegetable department, but in other sections such as snacks, meat, and frozen foods.  Ah, the frozen food section, where one package of Tivol costs the same as a weeks worth of fruits and vegetables…
I would like you to take two things with you from this post:
  1. You can eat from the first list and survive.
  2. You can use this information to make an educated decision when planning recipes.  Do you need to make a pashtida (quiche)?  An squash pashtida will cost less to make than a broccoli pashtida.  Cabbage salad will be less expensive than corn salad.
By the way, have you noticed that vegetables prices are cheaper than they have been several months ago?  To me, sweet potatoes, squashes, and peppers have all gone down in price.  Why?  Is it summer?  Are less people buying because they don’t have kitchens in their tents?  There was an article in Globes about prices recently, and what was sad to note was that although there were some small price decreases, most of the food they checked increased in price.  Cottage cheese, for example, did lower in price, but all the other dairy products actually increased!  It seems we still have a lot to learn about how to boycott effectively.
I hope you enjoyed a native Israeli’s view of supermarket shopping.

Mister Zol, Pashut Zol, and Etzel Maman 7 shekel sale July 31-August 6

Co-Op Group, which comprises of these three stores, is celebrating “70” with a 7 shekel sale.  You must purchase at least 70 shekels of non-sale items to qualify for this sale.

All of the items cost 7 shekels each unless otheriwse noted.

Yoplait Shtuzim Muktzaf (Whipped)- 320 grams

Yotvata Shoko- 1 liter

Osem Ketchup- 750 grams

Kochav HaBayit  French Fries- 800 grams

Koshav HaBayit Peas- 800 grams

Nishnushim- 300 grams

Tirat Tzvi Hot Dogs- 400 grams

Canola Oil (no brand listed)- 1 liter

Angel Rye/Dark/Seeded/Homestyle Bread

Kochav HaBayit Aluminum Foil 2 pack

Aqua Nova 6 pack- 2 liters each

Colgate Red/Gel- 100 grams

Persil Laundry Detergent- 1 kg

Hawaii Shampoo/Conditioner- 700 ml

Kochav HaBayit Liquid Soap- 1 liter

Kochav HaBayit Paper Towels 6 pack

Koshav HaBayit Pasta- 500 grams- 3 for 7 shekels

Tara/Strauss Bag of Milk- 2 for 7 shekels

Strauss 5% or 9% Cottage Cheese- 250 grams- 2 for 7 shekels

Kochav HaBayit Tuna in Canola Oil- 160 grams- 2 for 7 shekels

Canned Cut Mushrooms (no brand listed)- 4900 grams- 2 for 7 shekels

Yachin Tomato Paste- 100 grams- 7 for 7 shekels

Spring- 1.5 liters- 2 for 7 shekels

XL Energy Drink- 250 ml- 4 for 7 shekels

Jump- 1.5 liter- 2 for 7 shekels



Fish sale at Mega this week- August 2-10

All of the Mega stores are having a fish sale this week.

The fine print does say to expect different prices in the different branches, though.

For YOU members:

Fresh Tilapia/Amnon fillet for 29.99 shekels/kg when you spend at least 75 shekels on non-sale items.

Fresh Sterling Salmon for 57.99 shekels/kg when you spend at least 75 shekels on non-sale items.

For everybody else:

Fresh Merloza (Bakala Tza’ir, or Hake) in 1 kg packages for 15.99 shekels.

Delidag Frozen Bakala Tza’ir for 12.99 shekels/kg.

Delidag Frozen Nesichat HaNilus (Nile Perch) for 29.99 shekels/kg.

Yesh sales August 1-9

Here are the latest sales at Yesh supermarket.  You must spend at least 150 shekels on non-sale items to get these deals.  Limit of two items unless otherwise indicated.

Frozen Nesichat HaNilus- 14.99 shekels/kg, limit 4 kg

Frozen Packaged Sole Fillet- 14.99 shekels/kg, limit 4 kg

Frozen Classics French Fries- 2.2 kg – 14.99 shekels

Ariel Laundry Detergent- 6 kg – 39.99 shekels each when you purchase two

Tnuva/Tara/Strauss 1 liter milk in bags- 4 for 9.99 shekels

Yesh Brand Pasta- 500 grams – 6 for 9.99 shekels

Tnuva Gvina Lvana- 250 grams- 3 for 9.99 shekels

Taaman Sardines in Oil, different flavors- 125 grams – 3 for 9.99 shekels

Tzipor HaSharon Cheese/Potato Burecas- 800 grams- 9.99 shekels

Sanfrost Garden Peas- 800 grams- 9.99 shekels

Delidag Gefilte Fish- 650 grams- 9.99 shekels

Tivol Vegetarian Shnitzel and Hot Dogs- Buy 2 Get 1 Free

Shwepps Seltzer- 1.5 liters x 4 bottles- 2 packages for 16 shekels

Prigat Drinks- 1.5 liters- 5 for 20 shekels

RC Cola/Free- 1.5 liters x 6 bottles- 2 packages for 35 shekels

Zoglobek Natural Corn Shnitzel- 2.4 kg- 49.99 shekels

If you pay with a Yesh credit card and spend 100 shekels, you cn get 1 kg of Yesh brand flour for free.

Happy Shopping!

Rami Levy Materna sale- through July 14 only!

Rami Levy is selling the 700 gram container of Materna for 38.90 shekels. You must have a club card to get it at this price.


Shufersal Deal sale- July 12- August 1

Click here to see the sales at Shufersal Deal.  You must be a club member to take advantage of these sales.

El Gaucho products-2 for 30 shekels

Shufersal fish shnitzels- 2 for 38 shekels

Gad Italian cheeses- packaged: buy 2 get 1 free, delicatessen:  25% off

Tibon Veal shwarma- 2 for 44 shekels

Fresh mushrooms- get the second package for 50% off

Shufersal frozen kebab/hamburger- 2 for 30 shekels

Tibon Veal frozen chopped meat- 2 for 45 shekels

Shufersal vegetarian shnitzels- 2 for 35 shekels

Tivol vegetarian shnitzels- get the second package for 50% off

Shloshet HaOfim burecas and filo dough- 2 for 30 shekels

Shloshet HaOfim Cigars, Kube, Pastelles, Egg Rolls- buy 2 get 1 free

Shufersal frozen vegetables- buy 2 get 1 free

Mama Of shnitzels- 2 for 60 shekels

Mama Of shaped shnitzels- 2 for 49 shekels

Shufersal shnitzels- get the second package for 50% off

Ma’adanot jachnun- 2 for 32 shekels

Shufersal french fries- 19.99 shekels each when you buy two packages

iPhone apps for the frugal shopper

The iPhone helps people organize, get in touch, stay on schedule, and have fun.  But can it save you money at the grocery store?

Here are some iPhone apps designed to help you save money while food shopping.  They are all free and in Hebrew unless otherwise noted.

  • Marketplace:  When you scan the barcode of any product you can buy at the supermarket, you get the price of that item at Rami Levy, Mega, and Shufersal online (including sales).  If you just purchased the item in a “real” store, you can enter the price you paid and at what store, which is visible to other users.  They just started a blog in the app as well.   Marketplace also has a web site  which allows you to make a shopping cart  of grocery items and compare prices of those items in different supermarkets.
  • Shop Rooster:  This app allows you to find discounts in various stores throughout the country.  They have a section for food, but so far there is nothing listed for grocery items.
  • מה זול יותר (What is cheaper?):  This app allows you to compare two items of different price and weight/volume to each other to see what is cheaper.  If the store you shop at does not list the unit price, this app can help you buy the cheaper item.  In Israel, bigger is not always better- it pays to check.
  • Yellow:  Yellow is the minimarket at Paz gas stations.  You can find their sales and coupons in the app, which has other cute driving-related applications.
  • OnMyWay:  This app shows you all the deals and coupons available close to where you are.  The “Food and Drinks” section only has minimarkets, though.
  • Shufersal:  This app has a couple of useful items.  There is a copy of the latest sales circular, which is generally updated within a reasonable amount of time.  You can connect with your club card to have a shopping list of everything you purchased the last time you were in the store.  From that master list you can add or subtract items as well as mail it.
  •  This app doesn’t have coupons but is a very nifty app.  It helps you find anything you need where you are- from the supermarket to the post office to the iriyah to the architect.  It shows the address, phone number, how far away they are, and whether they are open or closed.  It will connect with Google Maps to give you directions as well.
  • טרה (Tara): A cute app that came out for Shavuot, with recipes and shopping lists based on the recipes.  No coupons, however.
  • E Food Check:  For those of us who are not used to E numbers, this is a European system to classify food additives.  In Israel, the law states that the E number and a descriptive term of the additive must be in the list of ingredients.  I don’t know about you, but words like “emulsifier” and “anti-caking agent” are hard enough in English-knowing the Hebrew word isn’t very helpful.  This app allows you enter the number and get the name of the additive and it’s relative safety.  You can also browse the list of E numbers.  This app is in English.
If you have found any other useful apps, please let me know!

Anglo Deals- a great coupon web site in English

Although this web site does not have supermarket coupons, I was very excited to find it and wanted to share.

From their web site:

About Us

You have heard of the new phenomenon of “group buying” on websites like and  Every day they offer great deals from 50% to 90% off for a range of different products, such as restaurants, entertainment, spa treatments etc.

The trend swept Israel as well and now there are dozens of similar websites.  Some are in English, such as and, and many sites are in Hebrew, like Walla Shops, Big Deal and Buy2.

We created Anglo Deals primarily for Anglos living in IsraelWe understand that it’s hard enough just to keep track of the few sites in a language you can understand, let alone keep track of all the great deals you might be missing in Hebrew.

In order to provide you with this service, we compile all the coupons from both English and Hebrew websites daily, translate what is needed and put them up on one user-friendly website. All you need to do is click on the coupon you want and it will direct you to the appropriate site. We put all the important ‘fine print’ clearly on our site so you don’t have to search for the ‘catch’.

You can save time and never miss out on a deal you might be interested in. We’ve made it easy to do by giving you the option of searching either by your city, by category or by both.

You also have the option of signing up to our email list and receiving a list of all the coupons on our site daily. You will also be automatically entered in our weekly raffle to win free coupons!

We hope you find our site helpful! 
The Anglo Deals Team

Post Navigation