Thursday, March 23, 2023

Pesach Preparations!

This post contains affiliate links. This means that if you click on a link and make a purchase, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you! Thanks for your support!

We've just hit that point when the countdown to Pesach is truly on! There's no more room for denial, no more time to waste, no more keeping my head in the sand - Seder night is officially less than TWO weeks away!

excuse me while I scream (AAAHH)

This is going to be the first time since 2019 that anyone outside of our immediate family joins us for Seder. Not just for Seder, actually. We have 11 guests joining us for the first 4 days of Pesach (which includes 1 day of Yom Tov and 1 Shabbat)! And I feel extremely out of practice. Especially because we've barely even been having guests on regular Shabbatot (lately we've done a bit more hosting, but seriously - we got kind of stuck in the mindset that set in in March of 2020 and our home became much more of a private haven just for us).

So to get myself into the Pesach mode I started cleaning. But I jumped from one task to the other because I was feeling so anxious about "how on earth am I going to get it all done!" So today I did a little spring cleaning, a lot of laundry, a little pantry sorting, and started to clean all the scary things out of the back of the fridge. I also confronted one of my children who told me that yes, they'd seen some of those scary things and decided to leave them for me to deal with instead of actually removing them from the fridge! Maybe we need to find a way to make the back of the fridge easier to get at?
(Do your kids do that too? I mean, I remember telling them to use up the leftover pasta that was in the fridge. So why did I have to take out a whole science experiment and toss it today? Couldn't they just use it up? Or when they discovered they waited too long - couldn't they throw it out? I really will have to speak with them about this again.)

Another task I managed - I ordered new gas balloons. I was going through a phase in which I didn't want to use the gas powered stove. (Long story but I think my asthma is happier when we don't use gas.)

HOWEVER, it's just not practical to cook for 17 people for Seder the way I'd been cooking. And my kitchen would need to be rewired if I want to run more than 1 electric burner at a time, so in order to facilitate normal cooking for a crowd, I have to revert to using gas. After all, it's not like we uninstalled the gas stovetop(s), so it's easy enough to go back. And then we'll know if it actually affects my asthma, right?

I also placed our shmura matzah order, and my husband went out and found some spelt shmura matzah for me. So we'll be FINE, right? Note to Katzrin people reading this: if you want good shmura matzah get your orders in ASAP!

I've got to make my menus and make sure that most of the shopping gets done soon. I will admit to having started shopping last week in an effort to calm my anxiety about having 17 people for Seder, and we have a nice stash of shelf-stable Pesach items and some meat and chicken already, plus plenty of wine and grape juice.

But now chicken prices seem to have gone CRAZY! Please tell me it's not just here, because if it is, I'll be really unhappy with the store manager who told me that they went up everywhere and he expects they'll come back down after Pesach and Ramadan both end. Of course they will. It's always like this, and I know that it is, but I didn't manage to stock up on all the chicken we'll need before prices rose (I did get 3 kilos of chicken for Rami Levy's sale price this week. But I'll be using some of that for this Shabbat, so it's definitely not enough if we're going to have chicken over Pesach!). I also really have no idea how much chicken and meat we'll need for a group of 17 people for First day of Pesach and Shabbat Chol Hamoed! Anyone who knows how to get it right, please let me know how much I need to cook!

So where does that leave me? I think it leaves me trying to get a handle on things. So if I seem out of it, now you'll know that I am simply overwhelmed by everything I need to do right now - there is truly a lot to take care of (and I didn't list anywhere near the half of it here!). But I'll try to be friendly and make time for you too. Just please forgive me if I don't have a lot of time. Believe me, I'd love to just sit and chat and catch up. And we will. One day. But not right now!!

But I will admit to you, that I am REALLY looking forward to Shabbat and the break it brings. I plan to read the new book I just got. It was written by someone I know, which is so, so much fun! I also plan to be a little social, we'll see how that goes.

What are you up to in your Pesach prep? Let me know!

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

iHerb discounts!

This post contains affiliate or referral links. This means if you click a link and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission, at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your support!

עברית למטה

iHerb is one of my favorite ways to find products that I can't get in Israel. Or products that may be available in Israel, but at inflated prices.

Right now, there's this sale: 20% off Beauty, Bath and Personal Care! CLICK HERE to shop this sale! You can also get up to 40% of Oral Care - click here to check it out

If you're shopping for other things, you can get 10% off anything if your order total is $60 or more, if the coupon doesn't load automatically, just enter code QEJ101 first and then promo code GOLD60 to get the discount (please be sure to apply both coupon codes even if it tells you that you can only use one! You'll get the best discount your eligible for and I'll get credit for referring you. Win win! THANKS!)!

Need some ideas for your iHerb order?

Here are just a few things I recommend - several of these are eligible for the extra discount! I'd love to hear what your favorites are:


Lip balm 

Specialty sea salt grinders 

Witch Hazel Toner

Concentrated Laundry Detergent 

Unscented Compostable Dryer Sheets

Witch Hazel Cleansing Pads 

Stridex acne control pads 

Cocoa Butter Lotion 

Dental Floss 

Pain Relief Cream (the athletes in my house like this one a lot)

Makeup Remover


Maple Syrup Granules 

Made Good Granola Bars 

Cheddar Cheese Powder

Your order of $60 and up will usually qualify for FREE Global Air Locker shipping!

Don't forget these important, basic principles of shopping online from Israel:

  • Keep your order under $75 to avoid paying VAT!!
  • Spread out your orders. If you want to buy more than $75 worth of items from one website, and you have the option of splitting your order - DO IT. BUT don't order more than $75 worth on any given day to the same shipping name/address/ID. If you do, customs may combine your orders and charge you. Give it about 3 days between orders. Best to ship to a different name using a different ID for customs, so you can order it all on the same day.
  • Always look for the free shipping option - usually it's to a pickup spot.

I was so excited when my order came to $74.64 after the discount was applied, and with free delivery! Talk about maximizing savings while avoiding import taxes! I hope you're just as successful!

Enjoy and happy savings!

יש לכם הזדמנות עכשיו לקבל הנחה על כל האתר של אייהרב! התחילו את הקנייה עם הקישור למטה, שמקודד להעלות לסל שלכם 2 קודים שיתנו לכם ההנחה המקסימלית!

הזינו קודים
אחד לאחר השני בסל לפני סיום הרכישה

(ולרוב גם תקבלו משלוח חינם עם גלובל אייר לוקר עם מוסיפים מוצרים כדי שסכום הרכישה
יגיע ל$40)!


Monday, February 20, 2023

Discounts for a Day Out in Teverya (Tiberias)!

This post contains affiliate links. I may receive a small commission if you click a link and make a purchase, but it will NEVER cost you extra!

Planning a day out in Teverya? "Groo" (formerly Groupon Israel)'s got ya covered!

Here's the plan:

First, pick up your vouchers for a spa day at the Cesear Hotel  - they'll cost 169 NIS for one person, or 329 NIS for 2 people. The pass gets you into the hotel's spa facilities, including a thermo-mineral pool, sauna, and exercise room. Plus, your choice of breakfast or lunch!

Then, after you're all relaxed and re-energized, you can enjoy a nice steak dinner at El Rancho just a few minutes from the downtown boardwalk (far enough away to forget the hustle and bustle of it)! Here's a discount voucher that gets you their classic menu for 2 for 199 NIS - it's always a favorite!

End your day with an overnight stay at the Donna Gracia Hotel for just 399 NIS for 2 people, including breakfast the next morning! The hotel is very centrally located and you can take a tour of the small museum dedicated to the life and story of Donna Gracia. 

Total: under 1000 NIS for a full getaway for 2, including a hotel, 3 meals, and a spa day!





Want to share savings, frugal tips, and more, PLUS hear great ideas from others? Be sure to join my Facebook group!

Sunday, February 12, 2023

Discount Restaurant Vouchers!

This post contains affiliate links. That means that I may get a paid a small commission if you click on a link and make a purchase, at NO additional cost to you! 

I'm so excited to bring you a whole list of discount Restaurant Vouchers (KOSHER) today! We all like to treat our loved ones (or ourselves) sometimes, so why not make sure to get the best deal for your shekels?! Check out these discount vouchers - there are all kinds of restaurants, in various locations throughout Israel!

Here's a deal for a discount voucher to Poke Bowl (kosher) in Petach Tikvah or Herzliya! For 65 NIS per person! 

Here's a deal for a meal for 2 at Paradiso at Sarona in Tel Aviv, for 159 NIS instead of 265 NIS!

Going out to eat in Cesearia? Here's a discount voucher for lunch for 2 at Aresto!

Dinner for 2 in Tel Aviv's Schunat Hatikvah at Avazi, for just 139 NIS!

Looking for a Friday hotel breakfast buffet? Here's a discount at the Ramada in Ramat Gan! 89 NIS for 1 / 169 NIS for 2

Here's a deal for Sushi platters in Ramat Gan!

Eating out in Netanya? Here's a deal for 2 at Casa Julia (mehadrin)!

Premium deal for lunch at "Hamotzi" in Jerusalem!

Dinner for Two in the Gush at the Gush Etziyon Winery (mehadrin), for 209 NIS

Coffee and Sandwich deal at LecheMoshe in Tekoa (Mehadrin)

Pizza deals (personal/family) at LecheMoshe in Tekoa, start at 19.90

Sushi Platter in Jerusalem from Wok Station (mehadrin)

Cholent Bar (Jerusalem) delivery deals! 69 NIS for a 1 person meal, 109 NIS for 2 people, 145 NIS for 3, 199 NIS for 4

El Rancho (Tiberias) has a great dinner for 2 deal available! 

Olam HaOchel in Haifa has a great deal for over 40% off the regular price!

Breakfast for 2 for 109 NIS at Gatos in Ashkelon!

Grab this deal for the Breakfast Buffet at the Leonardo-Negev (Be'er Sheva) Hotel! 69 NIS for 1 person, 119 NIS for 2!

Lunch for 1 starting at 139 NIS at Cafe Greg, Be'er Sheva

Thursday, February 9, 2023

Thinking about Pesach. And shopping, already.

This post contains affiliate links. This means that if you click on a link and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission, at no additional cost to you! Thanks for your support! 

You probably know I'm a pretty price-conscious shopper. I really try hard to make my shekels go as far as possible, so I'm a pretty picky shopper. I try to pair great deals with coupon codes (don't forget about the mastercard savings you can get on the 10th of the month) and save as much money on my purchases as possible. 

Here are some great things you might need to set up your home for Pesach -- without overpaying!

2-pack large, washable tablecloths

Stainless steel baking pans (multi-pack)

Stainless steel cookie sheets (2-pack) - currently at its lowest price in 30 days!

Get all the deals in my groups: Israel Deals Made Easy and Live in Israel. Shop Online, and my new public group, Kosher Frugal)!

Things to know about ordering from Israel: Shipping takes time, but lately, my orders have, for the most part, arrived well ahead of schedule - they seem to be building in a lot of extra delivery time to cover worst-case scenarios, but most packages arrive much faster.

Amazon's prices change frequently but they're really great about letting you know if an item in your cart has changed price - so if you found one and deliberated about it, you'll know if something changed when you decide to complete your purchase.

Sometimes free shipping offers disappear, so please check carefully before you order. Just remember - you can avoid VAT and other import fees by staying below the $75 tax threshold for any single order! If you do go over, as you will if you're buying a computer, you will see exactly what you'll pay in taxes at checkout. I only do this if I'm actually buying a product that costs more than $75. And I don't add any other small things to these orders, because once you're over, you're over and you'll pay fees on the entire order.

For smaller purchases, I place separate orders that each total under $75.

If you're in the USA and buying a gift for someone in Israel, please follow those guidelines, too - or be prepared to prepay all taxes and fees. You'll see them before you checkout, so don't worry about surprises. You will need to enter the recipient's ID number at checkout too, so the package can clear customs.

Hope you found this helpful!

Sunday, January 29, 2023

Versatile Vegan Cake Recipe

This post contains affiliate links. This means that I may receive a small commission if you click on a link and make a purchase, but at no additional cost to you! Thanks for your support!

I love having simple cake recipes I can throw together in just a few minutes! Because let's face it - we're all really busy people who just want to bring yummy food to the table for our families, with minimal fuss and minimal stress, right?

This recipe is so simple, it can be mixed in the pan you're baking it in - just be sure to whisk it well! If you've been using disposable baking pans, I highly recommend this awesome set of 6 stainless steel baking pans (2 of each of 3 sizes)! They even ship (free to Israel (and other locations) with a $49 USD order. (I just bought them for Pesach for myself - for year round I had found a different deal, but this deal is so much better I just had to share!!) I'm trying really hard to use real pans instead of disposables, and lately, I have bought a LOT fewer disposable pans! Less waste and lower expense over the lifetime of a pan! Win-win, as long as I can handle washing a few more dishes. And yes, yes I CAN do that!

(Pictures here are from cakes I made before I bought new cake pans. Sorry)

Here's the cake recipe I've been making almost every week, and it is easy to adapt to different flavors (see notes at the end of the recipe).

My family is always happy to see this cake, as are my guests, and no one knows it only took a few minutes to make!

Vegan Vanilla Cake

1.5 cups flour (I use white spelt or whole spelt flour, but wheat flour should be fine)

1 cup sugar

1 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

2 tsp vinegar

1.5 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup water

1/4 cup oil

If you want, you can mix this in a bowl and transfer it to a greased or lined pan, OR mix right in the baking pan according to these instructions: 

Use an 8" round cake pan/can also be square or rectangular - it works perfectly in the smallest of the pans in the set mentioned above. Mix together dry ingredients (with a fork) right in your baking pan. Push the dry ingredients toward the outer edges of the pan, pour the wet ingredients into the middle and mix gently but thoroughly (gently so you don't make a mess) - best to use a whisk but you can use a fork. Once it's all combined, smooth it out, add in whatever add-ins you want (use a spatula to gently fold them in) and you're ready to bake the cake!

Bake at 190 C for about 50-60 min.


- Leave out vanilla and use 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp ginger, and 1/4 tsp cloves for a Spice Cake

- Add 2 mashed bananas and 1 cup of chocolate chips for Banana-Chocolate Chip Cake

- Make a cinnamon streusel topping (I combine half a cup of flour with half a cup of sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon, and 2 Tablespoons of sunflower oil) and swirl it into the batter for a Cinnamon Coffee Cake

- Swirl cherry jam into the batter for a Cherry Cake

- Add 1/3 cup of cocoa powder to the batter to make chocolate cake. Top with chocolate frosting if you're so inclined! I sometimes just break apart a bar of chocolate and leave it to melt on the still-warm cake, then spread it around with a silicone spatula. It makes a great chocolate "icing"/

I love making this cake because it checks all my boxes: 



ALLERGY FRIENDLY (no dairy, eggs, or nuts!)

IT DOUBLES EASILY to make a larger cake for a crowd (use a lasagna size pan, or the largest pan of the set I mentioned above!)


I hope you love this cake recipe as much as I do!

Please share this post with your super busy friends who still want to cook from scratch! I know it's counter-culture but there are people out there who like to cook from scratch and take shortcuts! I can't possibly be the only one!

Sunday, January 22, 2023

Buy Blue & White from Overseas

This post contains affiliate links. If you click a link and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission, at NO additional cost to you! Thanks for your support!

Today's post is for my friends and followers outside of Israel, who love Israel and want to support the people here, i.e. "Buy Blue & White".

It's become SUPER easy to support some Israeli businesses from outside of Israel! So many companies make it easy to buy their products from the USA (and probably other countries too)!

I'm happy to share some options with you - all of these items are a great way to support an Israeli-owned business! I'm sure there are lots more options, but in the meantime - here are a few I'm happy to share, and I hope to keep adding to this list:

You can make your own seltzer (carbonated water) using the iconic Sodastream machine. Or buy beautiful Judaica items, like an Emanuel mezuzah case or chanukiyah, or even a great Havdallah travel set!

Other ways to support Israeli businesses: buy a beautiful sterling silver necklace (or other jewelry), or a LeGrow planter set. If you love to display your love of Israel, consider these Jerusalem-themed ArtTrivets or an Israel Photo Art Calendar! If you love music, definitely check out Israeli artists - check out Day of Rest!

For an interactive experience, be sure to check out the games at!

And if you love to read, check out books by these Israeli authors:

Organized Jewish Life: The Essential Guide for Planning Jewish Holidays, Events and Every Dayby Rebekah Chaifetz Saltzman

Organized Jewish Life Shabbat and Holiday Planner: The Ultimate Organizational Shabbat and Jewish Holiday Checklist and Planning Workbookby Rebekah Chaifetz Saltzman

A Warrior's Guide to Fibromyalgiaby Sara Halevi 

Everything Tracker - The Ultimate Comprehensive CBT Tool Kitby Sara Halevi MA (Author), Liora Sophie (Illustrator)

The Breast Cancer Checklistby Fern Reiss

The Publishing Game: Publish a Book in 30 Daysby Fern Reiss

30 Jewish Superheroes: An Amazing Collection of Jewish Superheroes (Coloring book)by Hillel Penrod (Author), Ayelet Hashachar Penrod (Editor)

15 B'nei Noah Superheroes Coloring & Activity Book: Heroes from Around the World! | Color, Read, and Learn to Draw Your Own Hero, Torah Comics Paperback by Hillel Penrod (Author), Ayelet HaShachar Penrod (Editor)

Inner World (Kindle book) by Hillel Penrod (Author, Illustrator), Ayelet HaShachar Penrod (Editor) 

Israel 201: Your Next-Level Guide to the Magic, Mystery, and Chaos of Life in the Holy Landby Joel Chasnoff & Benji Lovitt

Nehama Leibowitz: Teacher and Bible Scholar (Modern Jewish Lives)by Yael Unterman

The Hidden of Things: Twelve Stories of Love & Longingby Yael Unterman

I'm so lucky: A life full of loveby Yael Unterman

The Street Cats of Nahariya by Jennifer Pyatt (Author), Aya Navot (Illustrator)

If you want to be added to this list, please email me at!

Thanks for supporting Israeli businesses! Let me know if you found this list helpful, and feel free to share it with all of your friends!

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Save on your Expat tax preparation!

If you're an American ex-pat like me, you know all about the yearly headache of filing your overseas tax return. Currently, this is something most of us MUST do, even if we don't like it. There's just no getting around it for now - no matter how much we complain (maybe one day it will change!). And because of the complexity of navigating tax documents issued to comply with Israeli tax law (as opposed to US tax law), it is usually NOT recommended to use automated software for filing your overseas tax return.

Or so we thought. But as of last year, there's SimpleTax – the first ever U.S. tax software for Americans living in Israel. I've had a long chat with the founder of the company, and they've worked so hard to make this service available (it's designed to work in a way that standard tax software doesn't) and I'm super excited about this development. 

SimpleTax will walk you through a friendly and intuitive interface to prepare your U.S. taxes on your own, find your highest possible refund and save money on fees - starting as low as 299₪ for a tax return + FBAR.
If your taxes are more complicated, you will most likely pay a higher rate, but still MUCH lower than the quotes I've gotten from accountants recently.
This is going to change our lives. Mostly because staying tax compliant will now be so much simpler and cheaper!

I invite you to find more details at SimpleTax. If you use my referral link (the links to SimpleTax on this site are referral links), you'll get 10% off your first tax return! If for some reason you can't open the link, simply copy-paste this link to go to their site: Or go to their site on your own and be sure to enter my referral code (KOFRU)

SimpleTax is also on Facebook and has plans to help US citizens in Israel navigate financial issues better. You can be sure I'll be following them and waiting for more helpful developments.

So spread the word that in 2023 we'll be doing our taxes smarter and cheaper! Use my referral code to get a great 10% discount: 

מידע חשוב עבור אזרחים אמריקאים שגרים בארץ: הגיע פתרון שיחסוך לנו הרבה כסך!

החל מהשנה, אפשר למלא דו"ח מס אמריקני עם חברת סימפלטקס - ותראו חסכון אמיתי!

אפשר לחסוך עוד יותר עם מכניסים את הקוד שלי בעת ההרשמה. ההרשמה ללא עלות - רק תצטרכו לשלם עם משתמשים במערכת לדווח. השתמשו בקוד KOFRU ותקבלו 10% הנחה.

או הקליקו כאן: