Saving money on food for Passover
Some of the suggestions on a thread that had drifted are so useful that I am putting them where people will see them.
For many years we have shopped the after Pesach mark downs for next Pesach. This past year we bought cases of gefen Canned Pineapple for 20 cents a can. I buy a year's worth of natural applesauce after Pesdach, no HFCS that way. We have a Pesach pantry and keep am inventory list. Most canned goods are good for at least three years. Boxed goods are generally good for the next year. We don't save oli or spices. Oil can get cloudy and spices lose potency.
This year Stop and Shop has run 'Free 5 lb Yehuda Matzo w/$25 purchase' coupons a few times. I've gotten more than 50 lbs free. Half go for charity, some gets used during Pesach Chol HaMoed, and the rest gets put away. It might be there until next Pesach or get used up during the year.
By bagelman01 on Apr 04, 2011
Nice planning! I started two years ago by keeping a spreadsheet of what I bought, and how much it cost because I noticed I was buying way too much and had lots of stuff at the end of pesach that I didn't even open!
First thing I do is to go through my kitchen looking for anything unopened that was K4P. I then check those items off my spreadsheet. I then collect all the local ads see if any spreadsheet items is on sale and mark off which store has it cheapest. Thus I build up my shopping list.
I don't go too crazy, I limit myself to Costco, Brachs, Gourmet Glatt, Seasons (Supersol - only for meats) and Key Food.
... and most important - I say to myself (many times) - "It is only one week" - very important since one can get carried away - and after all, it really is only one week!
1. Plan dinners ahead of time and eat leftovers with matzah for breakfast and lunch.
2. If you live in a friendly community, divide up the cost and food preparation for the seders among 4 or 5 people and pay your share for what you take. One person makes all of the fish, one person makes all of the soup, one person makes all of the meat etc.
3. You can share your spices and Pesach specialty items among friends.
Good advice. The best way to save money is to plan and not overbuy.
And to avoid the buying special Pesach products as much as possible.
One way to do this is to read the OU guide carefully, then buy Hershey's cocoa (instead of the more expensive "Jewish/Passover brands), frozen fish form Costco, store brands of sugar and salt, and so forth.
But the best way is to avoid using specially produced passover things in your menus. Make a spaghetti squash kugel instead of a matzo meal one (bake the spaghetti squash, pull it out in strings with a fork). Explore tubers and starches you haven't met before. For example, serve a chicken stew involving fruit over plantains mashed with a splash of orange juice. Be creative with potatoes. Use olive oil and lemon juice instead of special Pesach oils and overpriced Pesach salad dressings. RealLemon and several store brands do not need a special Pesach hechscher. Neither does extra virgin olive oil. Trader Joe's has it at a good price, and you'll enjoy it all year (unlike many special Pesach products that you will may well never use up) Shop the vegetable section intensely and creatively. You'll eat better and healthier.
And avoid boxed baking mixes and Passover baked goods like the plague (like all ten) these really bust the budget, and most don't taste all that good.
Instead of buying Pesach "versions" of anything shop the vegetable section. For dessert, think baked apples, flourless chocolate torte, or a simple baked meringue shell filled with a lemon curd made with egg yolks as the thickener. Or compote. Or update the compote by poaching fresh fruit in wine.
You have better uses for the money they charge for stale cake, fake cheerios and faux mustard.
A good cook really can avoid almost all of the expensive Pesach foods.
One exception to the avoiding Passover baked goods for me is the Pesach Rainbow cookies. During the year, Rainbow cookies are "adulterated" with flour, but the non-gebrochts versions available for Pesach are so heavily almond-flavored, I find it almost marzipan-like. Not as good as marzipan, of course, but reminiscent of it anyway.
Save money on wine this year: if you can get to Eber's in Crown Heights, they have a rather good Italian white on sale for $4.99 a bottle. It's Monte Olivo Umbria Blanco 2005, non-mevushal, nothing spectacular but very drinkable. The reason it's on sale is that it won't last much longer, and they have to get rid of it before it starts to turn. So take advantage. I have been!