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Who doesn’t want to save money? The siren call of sales lures us all, and few are able to resist stocking up. Then, as we’re wandering the colorful aisles, we question ourselves: Do I have mustard? Are we running low on mayonnaise? So we stick it in our cart, thinking this would save us a trip. But unnecessary and duplicate items quickly clutter up valuable space in cabinets, and if the item isn’t needed to begin with, it’s money sent straight down the drain.
In my own home, I’ll admit to a never-ending supply of black olives and matza-ball mixes. In the home of a recent client, we discovered no less then four open boxes of dark brown sugar and three open containers of confectionary sugar. In another home, I pulled out four open bags of shredded mozzarella cheese from various sections in the refrigerator.
All the above scenarios could easily be avoided by one well-known, easy habit: keeping a shopping list. As my wise sister always says, if you don’t already know what it is, then you don’t need it. Sales aren’t necessarily a sale. They are but a decoy to get you to spend more then you planned. Buy what’s on your list, and you will have bought what you really wanted and needed.
So how to keep a list? I keep a current list on both my fridge and as a memo in my phone. This way, when my husband is out shopping and has forgotten the list at home, I can easily text him what I need.
Keep the list updated by adding staples when you’re running low, but before you run out, i.e. flour, sugar, barley, and the ingredients in the recipes you plan on making that week. I buy duplicates of staples that run out quickly such as milk, cheese, eggs, bread, cleaning supplies etc. and buy another set when I’m down to one.
When there is a sale on items you do use on a regular basis, buy just one extra. I guarantee the sale will come around again.
Oh, and Costco? It’s the devil. I know it’s tempting to buy the trillion gallon jug of olive oil, and the box of granola bars that will keep you in a steady supply until 2015, but few people have the storage space for such large quantities of food, and most often, by the time you’re half way done, the food has either gone bad, or you’ve gotten sick of it. If you don’t have room to store an item, then resist buying it. I will admit that Costco does have a lovely selection of produce. So if you have a large family who can actually finish six heads of lettuce within a week’s time, Costco could be a good choice for that.
In my opinion, the best way to save money is just not to shop. Make the most of each shopping trip by buying only what you really need. The less often you walk into a store, the less money is leaving your wallet and the less time you spend on this time consuming chore, leaving more time for other, more fun activities, like cooking.
This leads us to another, well known, timesaving tool. Freezing. Many people groan at the idea of freezing, preferring freshly baked goods and a steaming hot brisket straight from the oven. If you have the opportunity to take advantage of a leisurely Friday or days before Yom Tov to cook and bake, then by all means, do what makes you happy. But if you’re like most women I know, who are struggling to balance work and family, then let’s bite the bullet and say in a loud clear voice: I can’t do everything!
Now, I’ll admit, I don’t particularly enjoy being stuck in the kitchen, chopping and stirring. As a working mom, with Shabbos every week, and Yom Tov seemingly always around the corner, doubling recipes and freezing extras is the perfect way to add more time into my busy schedule.
Here are a few tips I’ve learned along the way through trial and error:
The first time I make a recipe, I leave the cookbook out on the counter until I see how it came out, in terms of too sweet, salty, family preference, labor intensive etc. Then, I immediately make a notation next to the recipe to remind myself for future attempts.
Some foods freeze better then others, i.e. chicken, meats, cakes, bread and soups, though many experienced balabustas swear that everything can be frozen. I’ll never forget my sister-in-law’s boast that she made the entire Succos in the summer, including stir-fried vegetables and apple cobbler.
Once I have found a successful recipe, I make doubles of it and freeze half right away. The food does not have to cool off before going into the freezer, though you would save money on your electrical bill by waiting a bit.
About the Author: Pnina Baim’s newest novel, “A Life Worth Living”, about finding happiness and meaning in the land of Israel, is now available at all online retailers. Contact Pnina at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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For many, contemplating our exile from our homeland is more of an intellectual endeavor than an emotional one.
I encourage all singles and their parents to urge their shadchanim to participate in ShadchanZone.
People definitely had stress one hundred and fifty years ago, but it was a different kind of stress.
It is inspirational to see the average Israeli acting with aplomb and going about daily routines no matter what is happening.
Participants wore blue and white, waved Israeli flags, and carried pro-Israel posters.
To support the Victor Center for Prevention of Jewish Genetic Diseases at Miami Children’s, please call 305-666-2889 or visit www.mchf.org/donate and select the “Victor Center” fund.
The course will be taught once a month for seven consecutive months and is designed for women at all levels of Jewish knowledge.
Like many of his contemporaries, he went through some hard years, but eventually he earned the rewards of his perseverance and integrity.
The president’s message was one of living peacefully in a Jewish and democratic state, Jews of all stripes unified as brothers, with Arabs or citizens of other religions.
What Hashem desires most is that we learn to connect with each other as children in the same family.
You are my brothers and sisters. Your pain is my pain.
Maybe we don’t have to lose that growth and unity that we have achieved, especially with the situation in Eretz Yisrael right now.
Do we really have that much extra money to throw away on substandard products and shoddy service? I think not.
Yom Tov is about spending time with your family. And while for some families the big once-in-a-lifetime experience is great, for others something low key is the way to go.
So, my dear sisters in the trenches, remember. When the going gets tough, the tough get going. And who is tougher than the Jewish women of today?
People like to say that dirt isn’t chometz, but as Rabbi Dovid Orlofsky says, if dirt isn’t chometz, how can you tell? Besides, are you really going to take apart the whole closet and then not wipe it down before you put everything back? If you’re not going to clean the mess now, when will you?
It’s easy to get excited and start hunting for the perfect shade of champagne tablecloth to match the exact color of the bridesmaid dresses, or to insist that each guest must have a wine glass, water glass and soda glass.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/magazine/for-the-home/how-to-avoid-shopping-till-you-drop/2012/01/24/
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