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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Tuesday Night, July 26, 2011

We are down to the wire! Moving day is very soon and I'm behind schedule.

Tonight's supper plan takes into account that since it's so hot, I have given in and we're running the a/c.

Took stock of the contents of my kitchen, and here's what we'll have:

Pitot with cheese (toasted, cut into triangles, perfect for little hands to hold)

Barley, Rice, Lentils, and Mushrooms in the crockpot (put it all in the crockpot in the morning, with water to cover, and season to taste. I generally use salt, pepper, garlic powder, and oregano)

Cucumber and Carrot sticks

Watermelon

What's your dinner plan?

Monday, July 25, 2011

Printable Coupon!

Do you use wipes? Some people use baby wipes for a whole variety of purposes... cleaning hands and faces while out and about, cleaning hands after putting gas in the car or checking the oil, tires, etc. I usually keep a package on me for those sorts of inevitable situations when I must clean something up but don't have a sink at my disposal!

Here's a printable coupon for wipes, good at New-Pharm

This offer is only good 25/7 - 27/7, so hurry!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Sunday, July 24, 2011

This week we will be too busy to cook or be frugal. We have one week to go till Moving Day!

We'll be eating some pasta (have some in the house, still), breads, cheeses (no, not frugal, but my family loves cheese and I'm willing to splurge this week just so I don't have to come up with complicated cooking plans), and whatever fresh fruits and veggies I can get inexpensively...

Wish me luck this week getting it all done!

Printable Coupon!

Here's a coupon that is good until the end of the year for Danone Yogurt (single serve cups)

Buy 2, get one free with this coupon!

Enjoy!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Printable Coupon!

Good till the end of July!

Here's a printable coupon for some pretty fancy writing supplies by NICI!

Please be sure to read the fine print on the coupon to find out where it is accepted.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Menu Update

I am just too busy with all the pre-move stuff to actually plan and post menus! I'm so sorry. But in the meantime, you could certainly look through the archives for ideas...

We are just doing a catch-as-catch-can sort of thing. A lot of sandwiches, random items pulled from the freezer, the occasional pot of pasta or batch of pancakes.

How do you handle meals when life just gets too busy?

(Honestly, I am wishing that I could just do take-out or know that someone else would be swinging by with a meal, but those are just pipe-dreams. oh well)

Free Ice Cream!

Quick! This coupon expires very soon!
Click here for a coupon for a free scoop of ice cream with the purchase of a regular cone at Ben & Jerry's stores!
Offer good only at the stores in Modiin, Yavneh, and Be'er Tuvia, and expires 23/7/2011.

Money Saving Tip

If you're like me, you're looking to combine as many trips in the car as possible, in an effort to curb the huge expense of fueling the car. I have been trying to combine errands and outings, so I keep a cooler in my car. Every time we head out, we stick a couple of frozen water bottles (out of the huge 0 F freezer) into the cooler. That way if we end up picking up some perishable grocery items, I have a way to keep them fresh without having to run straight home. This gives us so much more flexibility to build our outings in a way that works for us!

(And this works in any hot climate, not just Israel, by the way. I actually started doing this when we lived in Texas!)

Printable Coupon!

I don't really buy much meat, but it's actually a little hard to track down those printable coupons here in Israel, so here's one for the meat eaters out there! (And to be honest, my hubby would not complain AT ALL if I bought this for him)

Click here for a printable coupon from Of Tov

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Daily Printable Coupon

Today's coupon is for ice cream at Mega. If you are not already a Facebook fan, you will have to click "like" in order to access the coupon.

Get a package of 6 "Gelato Til" ice cream treats for 19.99 NIS (price without coupon is 27.99 NIS) with this printable coupon

It seems to be that season - coupons for ice cream! I'm working on finding coupons for healthy foods, too. They should be coming soon, I hope!

Discount Tip

I know that Mega has a reputation for being an expensive supermarket. And I do find that for some things they really are, but for other things, they are decently priced (remember they have been advertising that they are selling certain price regulated items at a discount of 10%, making 1 liter of 3% milk cost 4.50 NIS).

Well, I just discovered that certain Mega stores are now offering a storewide discount of 10% (although certain restrictions apply) if you shop on Mostaei Shabbat (with a "You" card membership - which is free. Just take a minute to sign up at the store!)!

My local store is not on the list, but there are plenty on the list that may make it worthwhile to shop on Motsa"sh!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Daily Printable Coupon

Today I found a bunch of printable coupons for מאמילי products - these are products designed to help care for new mothers and babies (like diaper rash cream, natural baby oil, baby lotions, creams for nursing mothers, etc)

Click here for the coupons or to find out more about מאמילי! (These coupons expire on Dec. 31, 2011)

Enjoy!

Discount Tip

I think in the past I have mentioned that if you shop at Kimat Chinam, it is totally worth it to get their VIP card, because you get 2% off every purchase over 300 NIS if you pay in cash, PLUS you collect points, and when you get to 3000, you get a 30 NIS voucher. I love the 2% off - the 30 NIS voucher is way off in the distance for me, though, because in order to get 3000 points, you have to spend 3000 NIS in their store! And for those customers who shop at Kimat Chinam in Bet Shemesh or Petach Tikva, you can get a free ride home with your purchase of 250 NIS and up!

In addition, if you have their VIP card, you can print out some coupons on their website. Check it out!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Tuesday Night, July 19, 2011

Post-fast menu... this should be interesting. The pickings around here are getting pretty slim!

Here's what I can improvise:

Pita crisps


Mushroom Quiche


Pesto infused roast potato wedges (I only have a couple of potatoes)

Couscous (as an alternative to the potatoes!)

Sliced cucumbers

Daily Coupon - New feature!

I'm trying out something new! I'm tracking down printable coupons for grocery/pharmacy items that might interest you - my readers! These coupons are for Israeli consumers.

So here goes:

Right now, Facebook fans of Shufersal can print out a coupon for ice cream cones for just 5.99 NIS !

Click here (If you are not already a fan of Shufersal, you will need to click "like" and then look for the tab that says קופון


Enjoy your ice cream cones!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Monday Night, July 18, 2011

Trying to figure out how to feed the family without spending lots of time in the kitchen. It's too hot in my kitchen!

Here's the plan:

Minestrone soup - not so sure if the kids will go for this in this heat, but I'm going to make it in the crock pot and hope for the best!


Grilled Cheese sandwiches


Fruit salad

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Shabbat Parashat Pinchas, July 15-16, 2011

This Shabbat, we are continuing the pantry challenge and I get to pull most of the food out of the freezer! I do plan to make a soup - not sure what kind - and a salad, and hopefully these yummy chocolate cookies!

And the rest of the day I will pack, clean up, and hang out with my kids! All but the packing and cleaning sounds good to me...

What about you? Do you ever make sure you empty out your freezer? Do you cook for your freezer? I'd love to hear about it!

Shabbat Shalom!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Wednesday night - July 13, 2011

So I went to the store and bought some fruit. Somehow I couldn't quite manage not to buy anything else. I'm so bad at pantry challenges! But I tried to keep it reasonable, and everything I bought is something that will get used,  like a large bottle of vinegar to make more vinegar/water/orange oil solution for cleaning, 2 bottles of wine (and we will need that for Shabbat), and other simple necessities, like pitot and yogurt...

Anyhow here is the supper plan for tonight:

Pita Crisps

Fruit & Yogurt Smoothies

Cut Vegetables

Pasta with cheese or Pasta with tomato sauce and cheese (you got it! some of my picky children - esp reflux girl - won't eat tomato sauce!)

Melon

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Tuesday Night, July 12, 2011

Still trying to avoid the supermarket! How much longer can we do this!?

I know that if I don't go buy some fresh fruit tomorrow I will have a mutiny on my hands...

In the meantime, using foods we have here in the house, here's the supper plan:

Cornbread

Rice and Lentils

Roasted Eggplant and Zucchini (have a couple of these hanging out in the fridge that MUST get used!) (served cold)

Spinach Quiche (I have a bag of frozen spinach hanging out in the freezer; this may end up being a crustless quiche. depends how busy the day gets!)

Monday, July 11, 2011

Sunday, July 10, 2011

We just kind of randomly pulled supper together tonight. It was just too hot to think and I am too stingy frugal to run the A/C, especially now that I can breathe again!

Here's what we pulled together:

Jelly sandwich on whole wheat bread for one picky child

Cereal and milk for another picky child

Whole wheat pasta spirals with tomato sauce

Make-Your-Own-Salad

It wasn't too creative and didn't require a lot of cooking. No one went hungry despite the lack of creativity...

My pantry is starting to look sort of bare. We are left with lots of lentils, rice, and barley, but none of my family members want me to make soups and stews! This will be interesting continuing with the pantry challenge. I just may have to cave and go to the supermarket this week, but I'll try not to. We plan to bake some muffins and corn bread tomorrow. We'll see what else we come up with...

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Super-Frugal Shabbat

It is supposed to be about 104 here on Shabbat. That is not an air temperature, that is a high fever temperature!

I've been thinking about it - running the A/C for Shabbat would really run up our electric bill. And I don't feel like cooking. And then... we were invited to spend Shabbat in a hotel, what a perk! What timing! So that's how I'm going to have a super-frugal Shabbat for the whole family...

Friday, July 8, 2011

Food Prices

I've been pondering ways to lower the grocery bill. The drop in cottage cheese prices is only a drop in the bucket (perhaps I don't buy as much cottage cheese as the average Israeli family), so I've been looking at other ways.
And I'll be taking on that project quite seriously once we're settled in the new house.

For now, I'll just share that I think it's interesting that an olive oil company is petitioning the government to lower the regulated price of olive oil! (Without pressure from consumers, as far as I know -  I haven't heard of an olive oil boycott, have you?)
Check it out!

What's the best price you've seen lately on extra virgin olive oil? I haven't needed to buy any but I did notice Mega has some on sale for somewhere in the vicinity of 29 shekel for a 1 liter bottle (it's their store brand. I don't know if it's domestic or imported, as I didn't buy it.).

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Wednesday night - July 7, 2011

We had a full day today, and I think I may have inadvertently gotten a little dehydrated. I got home, and just could not focus on throwing supper together. All I could think of was "I wish I could get takeout"... but then I snapped out of it, and remembered that I am trying to TRIM the budget, not spend extra!

So I quickly took stock of the food in the house, and here's what I came up with:

Rolls with butter

Creamy green vegetable soup (saute onions and garlic in olive oil. put any green vegetables you have in the pot, and add water to cover. I used green beans, peas, spinach, and kishuim - those special Israeli zucchini-like summer squash. Bring to a boil, then remove from flame and puree with an immersion blender. Add salt and pepper to taste, and add milk if you want. Gently reheat. This soup can also be served chilled, but it was so late I didn't have time to chill it!)

Ptitim with vegetables: saute onion, garlic, and whatever vegetables you need to use up - I used cabbage, carrots, tomatoes, and green peppers, preferably in a cast iron skillet. Add whole wheat ptitim, and toast in the skillet for a couple of minutes. Add liquid to cover - I used water and tomato juice. Stir and cover the skillet. cook over low and stir occasionally. add seasonings to taste.

Fruit and Yogurt Smoothies


Melon

Shopping for Deals

I'm a big fan of price comparisons and price "books". If you've never heard of a price book, the idea is you keep a notebook in which you list the grocery (and other) items you frequently buy, and keep a record of the lowest price you can find it for, and in which store. This requires a few days of investment time, running around comparison shopping, and I found it worked better for me in the States than here, since prices seemed to be more stable there. I have not yet figured out if there are cyclical sales here like there are there - like knowing which month you can get the best prices on frozen foods, or baking supplies, etc.

So, I plan to get back to keeping a price book - after we are settled into our new home. I know that I like to pick a store that has the best sales for me in a particular week and shop there. So, that means I usually hit enough stores over the course of 2 months that I can buy grocery staples at the "best" price. For instance, I found that the yogurt I've been buying (and I plan to stop, and begin making our own) is priced lower at kimat chinam than any other store in town. So, I buy it there, and only there (unless someone advertises a sale at a lower price, but I've never seen that).


Today, I needed to pick up milk, so I stopped at Mega and got milk, and a watermelon for only 1 NIS/kilo. I chose mega since they've been advertising that they are selling price-regulated items for 10% lower than the regulated price. I'm pretty sure that a couple of other stores are also matching that price, but since I was right near Mega anyway, I saved the gas...

Let me know how you shop for deals, and maximize your grocery budget! The more information we share, the more we can all save!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

I decided that not going to the supermarket is good in so many ways - I don't lose hours in the checkout line, my kids don't lobby me to buy ice cream and popsicles and chocolate, so I don't have to listen to all that whining, and I don't spend $ on gas (and everyone knows that is a huge budget buster here! Recently, one of the gas stations here lowered their price to under 7 NIS per liter, and I was so happy. Until I realized I must be crazy. It's still a TON of money.).

So, I'm trying really hard to stick to the pantry challenge.

Here's tonight's plan:

Tofu sloppy sams with pitot

Steamed kishuim (summer squash similar to zucchini)

Homemade oven-baked "french fries"

Melon

And now I'm off to spend the day with my kids!
Let me know what you're making, and if you're doing a pantry challenge, let me know how it's going!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Monday Night, July 4, 2011

We have to eat a quick, early supper tonight because of my daughter's ballet recital. We're all very excited to see her dance onstage - the culmination of a year of hard work at twice weekly ballet classes!

So, since my 3 yr old refuses to nap, we're just going to have to eat really simply. And it's a pantry challenge, so I started looking through the freezer:

Here's the plan:

Grilled Cheese Sandwiches (found a loaf of bread in the freezer!)

Rice and Lentils (from the freezer)

Fresh sliced tomatoes (i like to put olive oil and basil on them but the kids prefer them plain. how i wish they would eat foods with flavor...)

Melon (these are a really good buy right now! Kimat Chinam had them on their 8 kilo for 10 shekel list, I wonder what they cost in other stores...)

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Pantry Challenge! July 3, 2011

First of all, I want to thank Yosefa at Cooking Outside the Box for including me in this month's Kosher Cooking Carnival! If you haven't seen it yet, go check it out! There are some great links there!

On a more personal note, with a move around the corner (4 weeks away, be"H!), I've got to get back to my pantry challenge... So, I guess I will be planning menus around whatever is in the house. I've never been able to stick to a true pantry challenge - I crave fresh fruits and veggies - but I'm going to try to do my own modified version. And I reserve the right to stock up on staples if there is an awesome sale, and fill up a box of dry goods to start the pantry off right in our new house. After all, we're only moving about 1/2 an hour away, so it's not like the food will be sitting on a boat for 6 weeks like last summer (and yes, I did bring food in my lift. Most if it survived.)!

Hopefully, though, this pantry challenge will mean we will spend a lot less at the supermarket over the next 4 weeks, and that will help us buy an oven for the new house. I have no idea where the oven will go though. The people who designed the kitchen did not put an oven in, nor did they leave a space for an oven... My guess is they ate take out and ate out all the time - what a different life than mine!

So, without further ado, I will jump right into the pantry challenge!
Tonight's menu:


Pita Crisps (I have some pitot in the freezer)
Pasta with Cheese
Make your own salad (we have lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, and yellow peppers)
Watermelon