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Passover on a Budget

Written by Mara Strom on Monday, 04 March 2013. Posted in Tips And Tricks

When panic set in that we need to start planning for Pesach we emailed Mara to come to our rescue. Mara from Kosher on a Budget is the queen of budget and planning, but even more so she has a gift of explaining things so clearly that it makes the process so much easier - CookKosher

With Passover just three weeks ago, it’s time to get serious about making your lists – and check them off. In addition to your cleaning, shopping and cooking to-do’s, here’s one more indispensible list for Passover: Seven ways to save money.

   

#1. Make a Budget – If you want to save money at Passover – or anytime of the year – you must be intentional about. Sit down with your spouse and make a plan based on how much can you reasonably afford to spend. My definition of “reasonable” is that you can cashflow your expenses, without carrying a balance on your credit.
 
 
                        Photo Credit: Caroline Musin Berkowitz / @CarolineEr
 
#2. Menu Plan – Once your budget is in place, it’s time to make your menu. A detailed menu plan for the whole holiday will not only save you money but time as well. If family favorites call for expensive ingredients that you will only use once, take a few minutes to search for some less costly Passover substitutes
 
#3. Shop Your Pantry -- You’ve made your menu plan, but it’s not quite time to go shopping yet. First, start by shopping your pantry for any unopened items you can use during Passover. Many items carry a Kosher for Passover hechsher year-round, so you may already have lots of ingredients on your shelves. Be sure to consult with your local rabbi if you have any questions.
 
#4. Not Everything Needs a Special KLP Hechsher – One of the single best ways to save for Passover is to avoid the special Kosher for Passover displays at your grocery store. Many food products – as well as non-food items such as cleaning products -- don’t require a KLP hechsher. This includes everything from frozen salmon to extra virgin olive oil to dish soap. Consult your local rabbi before you head out to the store, so you know where you can save.
 
 
#5. Do without for one week – Matzah, wine, and horseradish are Passover essentials. But fluorescent jelly candies and Kosher for Passover cereal? Those you can probably live without for one week. Especially when you consider their value vs. their cost. Ask yourself: “Is this something that I truly need?” It is only eight days after all.
 
   
 
#6. Make new traditions – Passover provides a great opportunity to think outside the box. The over-priced box of Passover cake or cereal that is. Instead of spending $7 for a “coffee cake” that will serve maybe four people, buy a pound of strawberries and a bag of chocolate chips to make hand-dipped berries. Instead of spending $5 on a box of Passover cereal, scramble up some eggs or matzah brie for breakfast.
 
#7. Work off a “master list – Here’s a tip on saving money for next Passover. As you pack up your Passover dishes and left-over (unopened) boxes of matzah meal, start a master list. What recipes worked this year? Which ones flopped? What did you have more than enough of (matzah meal)? What did you run out of too soon (chocolate chips)? What are you packing away for next year? Jot down all the details – and then make yourself note in your calendar to check this document shortly before Purim when you start working on next year’s Passover lists.
 
Have you turned saving money for Passover into an art form? What are your best suggestions for having a Chag Kasher, Sameach and Frugal?

 

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About the Author

Mara Strom

Mara Strom is the author of the popular Kosher on a Budget blog, where she shows tens of thousands of Jewish readers each month how to live fruitfully, without multiplying their budget. If you’re looking for more money-saving tips, Mara would love to connect on Facebook or Pinterest.

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