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November 27, 2014 / 5 Kislev, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘shopping’

Confessions Of a Saveaholic

Friday, September 7th, 2012

For some of us trying to cut corners is not just something we do to save a few cents, it is practically an obsession. While we may have our little tricks designed to shave a few dollars off our grocery bill and squeeze a penny so tight that it screams for mercy, we each have our own little indulgences, the things we absolutely refuse to do just to save a few pennies. Let’s hope that none of my immediate family members read this column because I am about to share some of my personal secrets and they just might disown me.

I don’t throw out food, even leftover cholent: We spend so much time and money on our food. Why are we so quick to throw out anything that doesn’t get eaten immediately? With some foresight and lots of creativity, there is no reason leftovers can’t be refreshed and served again, although obviously you don’t want to serve the same foods ad nauseum. Try making your cholent in a smaller pot to minimize leftovers and if your family won’t eat it for supper one night during the week, find some hungry yeshiva bochurim who will happily polish it off for you. Turn leftover challah into bread crumbs, croutons or challah kugel, or if it wasn’t on the table with meat, resurrect it as French toast, a Panini or grilled cheese. Don’t just reheat that roast chicken. Dice it and turn it into a stir-fry or follow my husband’s lead by sautéing it with onions, mushrooms and a very generous dose of shwarma seasoning. Leftover cold cuts make great deli roll (which freezes really well) or can be diced and tossed with salad or pasta. If you find yourself with an overabundance of matza after Pesach, don’t toss it! Take out your food processor and turn it into matza meal.

I return deposit bottles: Deposit bottles are particularly annoying where I live, because all bottles have to be recycled by law, so it galls me to have to pay the extra five cents on each bottle when it is going to be recycled anyway. Does it really pay to save all those bottles and lug them back to the supermarket? Probably not, but I still do it. I also try to buy my beverages in New Jersey, where they don’t charge a bottle deposit, whenever possible.

I reuse plastic containers: How often has it happened – you buy these cute little containers to pack school lunches for your kids and more often than not, the kids come home but the containers do not. Save your empty cream cheese, cottage cheese, yogurt and other containers for packing school lunches. Not only won’t your kids have to remember to bring them home, but you won’t get stuck washing smelly containers. Empty containers are also great vehicle for discarding leftover sauces and gravies that you don’t want to pour down the drain.

I write my shopping lists on envelope backs: Be it extra envelopes from your most recent simcha or credit card offers that come in the mail, chances are good that you have access to plenty of envelopes that don’t cost a penny. Stash them in a convenient location because they are perfect for writing shopping lists and as an added bonus, you can tuck your coupons inside the envelope so they are easily accessible when you checkout.

I reuse water bottles: Have you ever stopped to weigh a case of two-dozen water bottles? I have. It weighs approximately twenty-five pounds and quite frankly, I don’t enjoy schlepping them in and out of both the shopping cart and my car and have no interest in paying to have them delivered. So while water bottles are great for traveling, trips, sending to camp with the kids and other occasions, around here they aren’t for everyday use and I encourage my kids to grab an empty water bottle and refill it whenever it isn’t too inconvenient.

I flatten and stack my garbage: Not only do I compact my boxes, containers and foil pans before they go in my garbage but when we use disposable plates or cups I stack them up before I throw them out so that they take up a fraction of the space. It’s not that I am really worried about the cost of an extra trash bag or two. It’s just that I don’t want to have to take out the garbage twice as often.

You Know You’re Israeli…

Sunday, September 2nd, 2012

You Know You’re Israeli if you spend the last evening before government forces remove you from your legally purchased land by decree of an autistic high court… playing soccer.

These young residents of Migron spent their last Saturday at home kicking the ball around. The High Court of Justice (what a humorous title that is, in light of this decision), on Wednesday evening, August 29, 2012, ordered all 50 families in the Judea and Samaria village of Migron to evacuate their homes no later than Tuesday Sep 4.

In a universe in which Justice reigns, these judges should find themselves on the streets of their affluent Jerusalem and Tel Aviv neighborhoods, homeless. I don’t see any other tikkun to their souls for their brazen act of yet again evacuating hundreds of Jews from their homes in their Jewish homeland.

The injustice of it cries to the heavens, and on occasion Heaven cries back.

I’m looking forward to seeing the entire lineup of Supreme Court justices pushing their shopping carts with all their earthly belongings on the streets of the Jewish state.

I could throw in the Attorney general and his industrious staff, but I’m not sure they deserve shopping carts.

So, you also know you’re Israeli if you don’t forget these crimes against human decency and against the Jewish nation, perpetrated by the high court.

Don’t forget, don’t forgive, and don’t vote for Netanyahu, who’s been enabling these crimes.

Fine, he, too, can have a shopping cart.

School Supply Lists

Friday, August 31st, 2012

Basics for All Ages:

-         Backpack
-         Notebooks
-         Folders
-         Pencils
-         Erasers
Elementary School – 1st thru 5th grades

-         Crayons
-         Colored Pencils
-         Markers
-         Glue
-         Scissors
-         Book covers

 

Middle School – 6th thru 8th grades

-         Pens
-         Binders
-         Highlighters
-         Index Cards
-         Lined Paper
-         USB drive

 

High School:

-         TI-84 calculator
-         Sheet protectors
-         Dictionary
-         Headphones
-         White-out
-         Hand sanitizer
-         Water Bottle

A Modesty Request in Williamsburg – Or Is it?

Tuesday, August 7th, 2012

http://haemtza.blogspot.co.il/2012/08/a-modesty-request-in-williamsburg-or-is.html

Whenever my wife and I visit New York, we try and “take in” all the Jewish neighborhoods. Among the places we visit are Boro Park, Monsey, and the Satmar enclave of Williamsburg.

A couple of years ago as I was walking down Williamsburg’s famous shopping district of Lee Street, I recall seeing a sign in one of the stores that had a message written in both Yiddish (Hebrew characters) and English. The English sign said “Closed”. The Yiddish sign said “Offen” – which is Yiddish for “Open”.

I smiled when I saw it. How clever, I thought for this storeowner to avoid “unwanted” customers. But that smile was immediately followed by the realization that not only was he guilty of Geneivas Daas (deception), he may very well have been guilty of ethnic prejudice.

I thought that the store owner  wanted to avoid the ethnic minorities that share the wider Williamsburg neighborhood with him. Among the 45,000 Satmar Chasidim that live there are significant numbers of Black and Hispanic people.

But perhaps it was something other than prejudice. Maybe the issue was one of modesty in dress.

A sign was posted recently posted in one of those stores that read in English, “Please… do not enter in immodest clothing (i.e. short sleeves pants…).” This was obviously directed towards women.

That sign has caused quite a controversy. In these hot summer days where people tend to dress as comfortably as they can – modesty by Orthodox Jewish standards goes “out the window.” If one is not Orthodox one would hardly be expected to cover themselves up by Orthodox standards of dress. So when these signs went up, cries of “discrimination” were heard.

This is not discrimination. Requiring that patrons observe a dress code does not discriminate against a class of people. People have a right to require dress codes for their establishment. A restaurant for example is well within their rights to require jackets for their patrons. As long as it is all patrons and not just – say… black patrons. The same thing should be true of dress codes for religious reasons.

I therefore side with the Chasdim on this one.

But still… in the back of my mind is that deceptive sign from a couple of years ago: “Closed” in English – “Open” in Yiddish. Was it prejudice or modesty that motivated them? That there was deception involved makes me wonder what the real motivation is.  Is this just a legal way of eliminating unwanted patrons?

Who knows?

But the way the sign reads now, there is certainly nothing wrong with it. Not any more than if I would put up a sign saying that only people wearing underwear on their heads would be allowed in the store.

Shopping For Priestly Garments

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

I receive letters and e-mails every day from all parts of the world. Sadly, there is no shortage of problems. Pain and suffering abound. How to navigate the turbulent waters of the world we live in is a challenge for everyone.

Every once in a while, however, I receive a letter that seems so outlandish I suspect it’s fictitious – someone playing a prank. Such was the case with the following e-mail.

Dear Rebbetzin Jungreis:

I am so confused and troubled. I am scheduled to get married in two weeks. Two months ago, my father announced he had to go to Paris for a very important business deal. My mother loved the thought of going to Paris and decided to accompany him. Although we hadn’t finished our shopping for the wedding, we scrambled to find the right gown and while we couldn’t decide which one to take, we did settle on a certain designer.

“Anything that you choose there,” my mother assured me, “will be stunning.” As for Mom, she decided to get her gown in Paris.

When my parents returned, my mother took a look at my dress and thought it was awful. I had already paid most of the money – a huge sum – and they refused to give a refund. It’s now two weeks before the wedding, and it’s doubtful whether they can have a new gown in time. I am miserable. I have nightmares about looking ridiculous at my own wedding.

As I mentioned, my mother bought her gown in Paris and, frankly, it is embarrassingly tasteless. My mom and I have been fighting. We keep blaming one another. So what do we do?

I’m curious as to how many readers think the letter is authentic. Well, the fact is – I made it up. Why did I do it? Sometimes, in order to drive home a point, you have to draw a graphic illustration. We, you and I, we are the kallah and the mishpachah. The greatest day of our lives, the ultimate wedding, is quickly approaching, and to our chagrin we are unprepared.

You and I went to a couturier for a specially designed dress. We spent a small fortune on it only to discover we won’t be able to wear the dress on which we lavished so much money. At the end of the day, G-d forbid, we will stand like schnorrers begging for entree to a great wedding hall.

We, the children of the 21st century, are victims of an obsession with money. We idolize the latest in fashion and turn to Paris, Milano, and Madison Avenue for guidance. We will discover too late, G-d forbid, that what we dedicated our lives to is an abominable waste. The wedding is just around the corner, and we are totally unprepared.

We are in the midst of the Three Weeks, which signal the destruction of Yerushalayim that culminated in the tragedy of Tisha B’Av, when our Temple was reduced to ashes.

The Talmud teaches us that when the great sage Rabbi Akiva saw the site of the destruction, with wild animals roaming the holy grounds, he smiled and comforted us: “Even as this prophecy of destruction has come to pass, so too, shall we behold the prophecy of redemption and rebirth fulfilled. Messiah will come and the Temple shall once again glow in all its splendor and majesty, illuminating the entire world with the Word of Hashem.

Many centuries have passed. Our blood has flowed freely over the face of the earth, and it was not only sword and fire that consumed us but assimilation as well, swallowing up our children in the melting pot of the nations. And now we have entered a time in our history when the footsteps of Messiah are audible – that is, if we know how to listen. Soon we will have to go to that “great wedding” and, as in my fictitious letter, we will be mortified. Our garments will be ridiculously inappropriate.

So let us stop for a moment and ask ourselves how will we feel at that wedding when we meet the Patriarchs and Matriarchs. How will stand before our King, our Heavenly Father? Will we say we had to attend to our business or that we were searching for haute couture and therefore forgot the proper dress code? Will such rationalizations fly? How will we explain it all?

IBM Haifa Developing Real-Time Shopping App

Sunday, July 8th, 2012

IBM in Haifa is developing a a new augmented-reality mobile shopping app to enable retailers to personalize customers’ shopping experiences from their smart phones and tablets.

The new app will allow users to scan store shelves to receive personalized product information, coupons, and recommendations as they shop.

The app will also allow users to customize their profiles according to factors that matter to them most – such as the cost, inclusion of an allergenic or undesired ingredient, or biodegradable packaging, and will provide prices, review, discounts, and even reviews by friends accessed through the user’s social networking memberships.

Haifa’s IBM Research lab aims to give in-store shoppers the same amount of real-time product details online shoppers have.

The app will also provide retailers with information about consumers, enabling them to better stay in touch with their likes and dislikes, and will help them build brand loyalty by providing coupons and membership benefits.

Shopping with my Dog

Sunday, June 24th, 2012

Young woman and her dog out shopping in the Florentin neighborhood in South Tel-Aviv.

The Florentine neighborhood in south Tel-Aviv was established years ago by the newcomers from Greece and Turkey. It was planned as a simple and pretty neighborhood, but it quickly sank into poverty and neglect.

Today the neighborhood attracts many foreign workers, legal and otherwise, as well as young students, all of whom like the low rents.  The city has been investing in the neighborhood’s infrastructure and in education, but the neighborhood remains rundown.

Despite this, during the day it is a busy and vibrant place where people flock to buy furniture and fabrics, or visit the Levinsky Market.

(From Tel-Aviv Guide)

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/photos/shopping-with-my-dog/2012/06/24/

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