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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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  1. rumor has it one of the kosher Stores in the 5 towns might not make it to Pesach

    1. what exotic items did you get? what unusual items did you find?

      2 Replies
      1. re: koshergourmetmart

        Exotic, in my case, meant items like - Gefen Sugar Free Chocolate flavored syrup w/Splenda. 0 Calories, 0 carbs. (I fear 0 taste). You know, not the usual items that would be carried. Not exotic in the culinary sense.

        1. re: MartyB

          what do they have in terms of cheeses, sauces, vinegars?

      2. 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.

        1 Reply
        1. re: MartyB

          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.

        2. You said that you bought "Gefen Sugar Free Chocolate flavored syrup w/Splenda"- is this for Pesach? (I always thought that Splenda is not Kosher L'Pesach)....

          2 Replies
          1. re: Lissy63

            In years past, The only splenda that was made Kosher L'Pesach was the wholesale sized bags that only business's were able to get. That is why you are able to find products with splenda but not the splenda itself.

            1. re: Lissy63

              Yes, I went to their Pesach store, so I assume that all items there are Kosher for Pesach.

            2. hey Marty, you might know the answer to this, any of the supermarkets in the 5 towns sell Charedim Shmurah matzah?

              1 Reply
              1. re: berel

                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.

              2. Pesach shopping specials in full bloom. Check out Brachs offerings. Nice starting point in planning your shopping needs and handy to bring along as you shop at other locations.


                10 Replies
                1. re: MartyB

                  Had a chance to look at the Pesach ads hosted on "thefivetowns.com" web site. As I suspected in almost every case Brachs was cheaper than Gourmet Glatt. I therefore stand by my recommendation that you begin your shopping at Brachs then move over to Gourmet Glatt to fill in the holes.

                  Here are some of my findings. Item first then Gourmet Glatt's price then Brachs.

                  Mayonnaise $3.99 $2.99
                  Potato starch $2.39 $1.99
                  Olive oil $7.99 $6.99
                  Ketchup $2.50 $1.50
                  *Mandarin Orange $.59 $.69
                  Chocolate syrup $2.50 $1.69
                  Tuna $1.79 $1.69
                  Kedem grape juice $3.99 $3.49
                  Kedem sparkling concord $2.99 $2.50
                  Duck sauce $1.99 $1.89
                  Osem soup mix $3.99 $2.99
                  Tasters choice instant coffee $7.99 $6.99
                  Gold’s horseradish $1.79 $1.29
                  *Temptee cream cheese $3.25 $3.50
                  Shredded cheddar $2.99 $2.50

                  1. re: MartyB

                    The Brach's prices are about the same, maybe a little bit higher, than the prices at Moisha's in Brooklyn.

                    What's special about the mandarin oranges and the cream cheese that they have a *?

                    1. re: cheesecake17

                      * simply means these items were cheaper at Gourmet Glatt. I forgot to include that note.

                  2. re: MartyB

                    MartyB, thanks to you I went pesach shopping at Brachs yesterday. In addition to what you listed in the post below, I found some nice bargains in the baking aisle
                    hadar chocolate chips 2 for $3 (ok maybe not the best quality chocolate in the world but good enough)
                    ground almonds $2.99
                    Ground filberts $3.99
                    Ground walnuts $2.00
                    lots of spices $1.19-$1.69
                    Thanks again!

                    1. re: serenarobin

                      my wife was very smart last year, she bought all the Pesach spices that went on sale after Pesach and we put away the sealed jars in our Pesach storage closet

                      1. re: berel

                        I do this every year and get all sorts of things that will last the year with no problems, things like some canned products, syrups (chocolate, etc.), vinegars, salad dressing, other stuff. Actually, sometimes it pays to go to regular supermarkets after the first days of yom tov, because as far as most supermarkets are concerned, that's the end of the holiday, and that's when they start the Passover clearance. Sometimes you can get things on sale that you can use for the rest of yom tov.

                      2. re: serenarobin

                        And avoid Kosher Kingdom. Just returned from there and the prices were crazy!

                        1. re: bubbyrebecka

                          I've been to Kosher Kingdon a few times. When they opened they had some good sales. Now even their sale items are high, their Pesach selection is small and there were no customers in the store. Unless they change things quickly, they'll be gone by summer.

                          1. re: yaakov

                            Went there today. pesach section (what pesach section?) unorganized. Prices way to high. Cantaloupe $3 each. Only cheap item was green grapes $.89/lb. Store was basically empty. They have got to get their act together. Brachs was crazy busy whenever I went there, morning, night, always. Went to Gourmet Glatt a few times, very nice store, but found that prices were for the most part cheaper at Brachs. Had no luck running into the busloads of women that was promised at GG in another post :(

                    2. Got the Keyfood/Woodmere flyer. They are selling Empire Frozen Turkeys for $1.99/lb (reg $2.99), limit 2, w/club card. I see no mention as to any minimum purchase requirements. Not quite the $.79/lb that they are selling Butterball turkeys for, but still a good price for kosher turkeys. Funny they don't show it in their online flyer.

                      1. If you are into eggs, Brachs is selling 1/2 case, i.e. 15 doz extra large eggs for $15. $1/doz!

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: MartyB

                          thta's if you can get "into" Brachs, looney bin this morning. Supersol was very quiet

                          1. re: berel

                            Talk about looney bin. I went to Brooklyn to visit mom and decided to go to The Buzz to buy a food processor. I figured with the Mrs along, I would park by a hydrant, leave her in the car while I ran in and do my purchase. "A nechtiga tag" Not only were the hydrants taken the entire strip of Coney Island Ave between J & K were double parked. I found a hydrant to park at 3 blocks away! I then wanted some pizza and figured I would go to the well received Pizza Time on Ave J. I pulled into what looked like a spot only to notice that it was a No Standing zone, but the zone extended for half a block and was filled with cars parked there. Took a chance, gobbled down my pizza and thank g-d no ticket. Then I went to Pik-N-Pay, found a hydrant a block away and watched while the police were ticketing people, still in their cars while they were double parked on Ave M, how stupid can one be to not move after hearing the burst of the police siren. Whew!

                            1. re: MartyB

                              haha.. that's just Brooklyn on any given day!!

                        2. To round up my pesach shopping experience I make the following observations. Although Brachs was the cheapest store around, this was true until the week before pesach. In the final week before pesach, Gourmet Glatt had meaningful specials and more importantly had a greater selection. I next went shopping on Tuesday, the day before the last two days of yom tov. Brachs was busy clearing out the store in preparation of the post pesach shopping frenzy. However, even with their meager offerings, sales were scarce. As an example, they were selling only chocolate cakes at a discount, which of course they had none, but had piles of the nut cake at the inflated pesach price. This 2-3 hours before the store would be closing for the holidays. Gourmet Glatt was a different story. Lots of stock, people still stocking shelves 3 hours before their close. All their cakes were being sold at a huge discount. Some cakes were being sold for $1.99 with the rest being priced at $2.99 for ALL packaged cakes. In fact I bought a cheese cake that scanned in at $10.99, I told the cashier "this is a packaged cake, shouldn't it go for $2.99?" She promptly adjusted the price.

                          Moral for next years shopping; shop at Brachs until a week before pesach, and then it is Gourmet Glatt until after pesach.

                          As to post pesach sales. I don't know, I am too busy helping emptying out Glatt Kosher Kingdom due to their 50% all grocery blowout sales :)

                          1. Went to Costco to begin my Pesach shopping. Got my 20 lb bags of their HUMONGOUS potatoes that can be found only at Costco. They had samplings of Kosher for Pesach A&H items (I did not want to make myself fleishigs so I did not sample) I picked up some low sodium/low fat hot dogs and salami. They had an assortment of Classic kugels for sale and to sample (picked up their potato soufflé and latkes). They also had Shicks cakes for sale and sample. The brownie tasted good so I picked up some. They also had cheeses and salads to sample and buy. They also had Manischewitz items, matzos, lollycones, caramel nut clusters, Tam Tams, Matzo Meal and Matzo ball mix (family size) Mix & match any 4 for $6 and change. They had a nice selection of Meal Mart items. Kishka, ready made chicken cutlets in mushroom sauce, matzo ball soup, stuffed cabbage, pot roast, whole cooked chicken w/sides heat & serve and of course their cold cuts. I bought a couple of these (kishka, cutlets, stuffed cabbage and soup) more to taste them and decide. My son-in-law said that they had chopped liver but I couldn’t find any. Lots and lots of meats and chickens but I am stocked with them. Maybe I will buy some of their ground beef, beautifully packaged and sealed, just love a good meat loaf. Still have a turkey in the freezer, but if you are interested, Costco has the best prices in town at $1.79/lb.

                            This my first pass of the many to follow. Now it is off to Brachs. They have an excellent 4 page supplement and from what I see easily matches whatever Gourmet Glatt had in their flyer. I have spreadsheet in hand of what I bought last year so I don’t expect too much hassle. Having a spare frig comes in real handy so I don’t have to coordinate too carefully between chametz and Pesach items. Friday will be the dairy shopping with Sunday for the fruits and veggies.

                            Let the shopping begin!

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: MartyB

                              Saw most of that stuff at Costco in NJ. They had shredded mozzarella cheese- 2 lbs for $8.29.

                              If you are planning on going into Brooklyn- the 99 cents store on Coney Island and Z had lots of Passover items for really cheap. Boxes of chocolates for $1.79 and $2.99, cake mixes for 99 cents, lemon juice, oil, spices, mayo...

                              1. re: cheesecake17

                                Seems to be a good year this year. Plenty of margarine – though didn't see single sticks but we are getting there, from last years scarce 4 stick bricks to plentiful 2 stick packages. It should not be too difficult to split them. No other shortages that I saw or heard about and prices for a lot of items were the same this year as last. I used a spreadsheet that I created last year as my shopping guide and was pleasantly surprised that most items, at least at Brachs, were the same price as last year.