Pesach shopping in the 5 Towns
I usually wait for the last minute to do my Pesach shopping. This year is different since my middle daughter, who is the “chef” in my family will be going to Florida with friends this Pesach so it all up to me; shopping, cooking, and buying takeout. I started by scanning the Spice & Spirit Pesach cookbook and created a shopping list and a spreadsheet to track and to plan my Pesach needs and costs.
I begin with the following philosophies –
(1) "It is only one week". Should actually be your mantra.
(2) Buy only what you need, no more!
(3) Shop only after a BIG meal.
This Wednesday’s Newsday had a Passover supplement from Foodtown with what looked to be excellent prices for Passover items. I went last night shopping at Brachs, with the Foodtown ad in hand, and figured I might as well start to shop. Brachs matched and in many cases beat every one of Foodtown’s prices. I then went to Keyfood, almost all prices were higher. Today I went to the Pesach store at Gourmet Glatt. Very well stocked, should be, it is a Pesach only store after all, but all the items that I already bought from Brachs were higher at Gourmet Glatt. I did buy some of the more exotic items that Barchs didn’t carry, not much, maybe $14 worth.
Lesson learned. Start your shopping at Brachs then go elseware for what Brachs didn’t carry. Brachs never disappoints, their prices are at the very least reasonable and then some. As an example, Keyfood’s matzos (machine, no Shmura matzos here) were $10+. Costco was selling Yehuda matzos, 5lb for $8.50, Brachs was charging $5.99 for them.
... and let the shopping begin!
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First of all, if there is any time of the year that one would shop in multiple stores it would be Pesach. There is nothing shameful or degrading in doing so. This is especially true here in the five towns where the stores are so close to one another with reasonable parking (as opposed to the nightmare that exists in Brooklyn).
I haven’t really begun to shop. I am keeping my eyes open to how I will be shopping and reporting back my observations. I went to Brachs to do my shabbos shopping and took advantage of some good Pesach prices on must have items. I went to Keyfood to buy items that I needed that Brachs ran out of and therefore made my observation on their Pesach pricing. I also went to Costco to pick up bathroom tissues that I ran out of and again, happen to notice the Yehuda matzo pricing.
If you really want to shop at only one store then I would say it would be Gourmet Glatt if money is no object since they have the largest selection. Brachs would be next since they have a large selection and the best prices.
My shopping would probably be to begin at Costco and buy the following items. (1) Potatoes, $10 for 20 pounds (50 cents a pound) of the largest potatoes that you will find anywhere. (2) Onions (3) Romaine lettuce, bag of 6 for $4 (4) Eggs, extra large, at $1.11/doz. (5) Boxes of plastic cutleries, good prices and really heavy duty. Next I would go to Brachs and buy almost everything else. I would follow that by going to Gourmet Glatt to buy whatever I couldn’t find at Brachs (stick margarine?).
Meat is another story; I would begin by seeing what Supersol has on sale since they can’t be beat (I repeat, ONLY on their sale items, hold on to your wallet for almost everything else). I have no sense at to Brachs vs. Gourmet Glatt since I usually buy from Supersol or Pick N Pay. I am still actually drowning in meat from my last Supersol/Pick N Pay shopping spree to last me a couple on months worth of brisket, thick cut rib steaks and poultry so I don’t plan on doing any meat shopping for Pesach.
I don’t plan on buying much takeout so again have no comment on that phase of Pesach shopping only to note that although I like Brachs takeout during the year, they have almost no takeout worth considering for Pesach.
As to bakery, I will resort to my prior comment on my Pesach philosophy, “It is only one week” and plan on skipping on the sweets, except for some cookies, (lady) fingers or macaroons to nibble with my coffee.
I have not gone to Glatt Kosher Kingdom to see how my shopping strategy would be affected; I obviously will do so before I begin my serious Pesach shopping.
re: potatoes and onions
Food Basics in Brooklyn usually has potatoes and onions very cheap. (a few months ago potatoes were $1 for 10/lbs) Only catch is you have to spend $15- but they have a lot of kosher items and their dairy (not CY), paper goods, and fruits & veg are usually very cheap.
Couldn't find it at Brachs, Gourmet Glatt or Glatt Kosher Kingdom. I haven't gone to Supersol yet. I know they carried them last year. Did not buy from them though, after all we are talking about Supersol, extreemely expensive except for their meat specials, so I wound up buying them at KRM in Boro Park last year. I will probably do the same this year.