couponing in the holy land

Frugal food shopping for the Anglo Israeli

Archive for the tag “supermarket”

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



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.


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!

What is your favorite supermarket?

Vote for your favorite supermarket. I will try and gear my research towards the supermarkets that get the most votes.

Shufersal’s Italian sale

Shufersal has joined Mega with a sale on Italian food products. Click here to see the sale circular. One item on sale is Barilla pasta sauce: 3 for 19.99 shekels, a great deal.

Fine print:

  • The sale ends July 11 or when there is no more inventory, whichever comes first.
  • You need a Shufersal moadon card.
  • You must spend at least 75 shekels in the store (not including sale items).
  • Limit 2 sale items per purchase.

There is also a 2+1 sale on Italian products which does not have the 75 shekels minumum purchase and the limit of 2 sale items.


Online grocery shopping- you CAN do it!

One of the most attractive new ideas for a working mother (in or out of the house) is shopping online. Why waste time on lines and shlep groceries if you don’t have to? “Sure,” you say, “but who can afford it?”

Believe it or not, you CAN afford it. If you are a smart shopper.

The three main supermarket chains offer online shopping.  Rami Levy only delivers to Northern  Tel Aviv at this time.  Mega does not come to where I live either.  You can check here to see if Mega comes to your area.  That left me with Shufersal.

Shufersal Yashir’s website is here.  You can search by the sales or not. I, of course, shop the sales.  I was pleased to see that the sales are the same as what is advertised in the stores- that means that for sale items, it is equivalent to in-store shopping.

There is also a button called ״חיסכון נוסף ״ – “chisachon nosaf”- additional savings which are not listed in the stores. For example, I purchased aluminum foil at the sale price. In the additional savings section , they offered me a discount to purchase another package. So I did.

I did browse the non-sale items, and did find slightly higher prices than the store. For example, Shufersal brand shoko powder was 10.99 ₪ instead of the regular 7.99-8.99 ₪.

The delivery fee is 28 ₪ which is waived if you spend 750 ₪ or more.

As a new customer, I received a coupon book with 8 coupons for 25 ₪ each off my next purchases (can’t combine them).

Now for the most important part- delivery.

I was given a two hour window from within 12 hours until next week.

You have to check when the sale ends, though: if your delivery date is after the sale ends, you will pay regular price for those items on sale.

They came one-half hour into the window. The truck was not refrigerated, but the refrigerated and frozen items came with dry ice. The ice cream was soft, but the fruits were perfect and the non-food items were wrapped separately from the food items.

 They called that morning to tell me they were missing some items and asked if I would be willing to switch them for a similar item.  They will be sending them in a few days at not additional charge.

To summarize, you can be a frugal shopper and still shop online as long as you follow the following rules:

  1.  Use a Shufersal club card, preferably a credit card as well.
  2.   Only buy the sale items.
  3.  Spend over 750 ₪. 

Happy Shopping!

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