Friday, May 31, 2013

Expenses Going Up... You can bring them down!

Scrimping and saving. Adjusting to higher taxes, and fewer government benefits.
That's what we are all thinking about right now.

So what's a struggling family to do? It's already hard to keep from falling into the "minus" gap that so many Israelis find themselves in. And now - it is going to get tougher.

I don't have the answers. I know this is going to be a tough time for many of us. Lapid keeps promising that the tax hike and cutbacks are temporary, and while I hope that's true, I wouldn't place any bets on that.

So here are some money saving ideas.

1. Call your service providers and ask for lower rates, and be ready to switch to the least expensive competitor.

2. Evaluate all of your spending. Save every receipt from every purchase you make. See where there are unnecessary expenses. This will vary. there is no exact formula for deciding what you can cut out, but there are usually places to cut back.

3. Watch your electricity usage. Turn off the lights when you leave a room. unplug small appliances when not in use. (Actually, I also unplug my washing machine a dryer when not in use, too) Don't run fans in empty rooms. During the day, use natural light - make sure to open those shades to let the light in!

4. If you are throwing out food at the end of the day/week, then you can safely cut back on the amount of food you purchase.

5. If you need new clothing, first check the second hand shop! There are plenty of them out there, and lots of them have clothing for just a few shekels per piece. Especially if it's a G'mach. I've gotten really great deals at the second hand shop, even items that are new with tags!

6. If you are genuinely struggling, consider downsizing. Sell stuff that you aren't using - post on Craigslist, Yad2, your local bulletin board. I would even recommend moving somewhere that will cost you less in the long run (as long as the savings are greater than the move itself will cost you!).

7. If you need to quickly save up money, try out a spending fast for a month. A month with NO spending (I would say except the very basics of living) at all. And stash the money saved for rainy day!

8. If you must buy something, do take some time to comparison shop, especially if it's a big-ticket item! Your wallet will thank you.

9. Even for groceries, keep track of prices. Some stores have consistently better prices on some of the items you buy, so be sure to buy them where they will cost you less! (As an example, my kids wanted yogurt in single serve cups. And 8-pack at Mega was well over 20 shekels. But at Yesh, that same 8-pack was 16 shekels!)

What are your best money-saving tips?

Expanded smoked salmon recall (Israel)

Following last week's smoked salmon recall, there is a new, expanded recall.

Sterling brand smoked salmon (frozen) 100g packages with barcode     7290003821754

200g packages with barcode 7290003821761

This applies to production dates between 24.4.2013 and 25.5.2013

Delidag brand smoked salmon (refrigerated) 100g packages with barcode 7290008340618
This is for all packages with production dates between 3.5.2013 and 12.5.2013

These products may be contaminated with listeria.

Please call  1-800-50-40-50 to speak with a customer service representative if you have any of these products, in order to arrange a refund/replacement.

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Thursday, May 30, 2013

Shabbat Menu

Shabbat Menu!

I didn't end up waiting till Friday to shop - last week I said I would do that, but in the end I stopped in at a supermarket today and spent about 285 shekels, and tomorrow I will buy a few items - about 100 shekels worth of stuff at our local Mega, that offers 10% off purchases on Friday. I buy my milk and cheese for the week to come on Fridays, plus random items that make sense to buy at Mega (buyer beware, many items are very expensive at Mega. But some things work out ok.).

So we got lots of produce for 1 shekel/kg today at Yesh, and some for 2 shekels/kg. Bought chicken for Shabbat, and bunch of other items on the shopping list (like tissues for all those sneezie-heads!)...
I'm trying to do most of my cooking in the oven - for one, that doesn't heat up my kitchen. For those of you who aren't aware, my oven is in my laundry room (yes, a little absurd, but life can be absurd sometimes!). And the second reason is, we are running low on gas in the canister outside and we are planning to move soon and I don't really want to order a new canister before the move! So we'll be trying to use the oven a LOT more than usual for the next few weeks.

Here's the plan for Shabbat this week:

Homemade Whole Wheat and Flaxseed Challot
Chunky Tomato Soup
Roast chicken with some sort of spice rub (whatever matches my mood when I cook it)
Roasted Carrots
Roasted Kishuim
A pan or two of side dishes from the freezer 

In addition, I'll make banana muffins and a lemon quick bread.

What's on your menu?

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Recall (Israel)

Neviot is recalling a limited number of water bottles, that were affected by a problem at the bottling site.

The recall is for 1.5 liter bottles of mineral water, with expiration dates of 11-12 May 2014. The water bottles being recalled may have an unusual taste, and are being recalled as a precautionary measure. Neviot requests that customers call their customer service hotline at 1-800-224-041 to arrange an exchange.

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Free Shipping at Kosher Casual!

Looking for great clothes, perfect for those looking for something stylish, yet modest?

Right now, you can get free shipping on your order from Kosher Casual! My friends all love their workout/swim outfits!

Enter code KC528FREE at checkout, and your order of $100 and up will get free shipping!
I know, $100 can seem like a lot of money. So, buddy up with a  friend or neighbor and take advantage of this limited-time offer!

Kosher Casual Square

Offer expires Thursday night, May 30, 2013.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Cheap produce

I am desperately trying to save money this month. I feel like I am just able to make a tiny drop in the bucket though. I KNOW my summer months (June, July, August) are going to be very expensive, so I just like to try to even things out a bit, you know?
Unfortunately, I am not going to manage to save huge sums of money. Sadly, that is the truth. Mostly because I really already do not spend huge sums of money...

But I am going to focus on trying to spend as little as possible for now.

So... this week you can get some veggies for 2 shekels/kg.

At Mega they have tomatoes, cabbage, onions, and carrots for 2 shekels/kg - today thru June 3rd. Beware of the total of 6 kg per purchase (not per type).

At Yesh they have cabbage, cucumbers, and onions for 2 shekels/kg - until Thursday only. Limit 4 kg per type.

I haven't seen other ads for 2 shekel produce, but other stores often put a few types at that price. Let me know what you find for 2 shekels or less!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Superpharm Coupons!

There are a few printable or downloadable coupons on Superpharm's website still available thru May 29th if you haven't gotten them yet! Be sure to sign in so you can print valid ones (the ones shown here do not contain a barcode and will not be accepted), or download them to your smartphone!

Here's what's available right now:

5 shekel off Alsefa max omega 3's,
valid thru May 31

Gillette clear gel deodorant,
for 14.99. Valid thru May 29

Life liquid soap, 2-pack
for 7.99. Valid thru May 29

Johnson's baby wash, 750 ml
for 9.99. Valid thru May 29

Soft Touch facial cleansing products
for 19.99. Valid thru May 29

Soft Touch face and eye creams
for 99.99. Valid thru May 29

5-pack wipes, Fresh ones
for 16.99. Valid thru May 29

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Weekly meal plan!

Here's my meal plan for the week, assuming we don't go grocery shopping until Friday.

This is just using whatever I have in the house, my plan for now is to try to use up the staples I have in my pantry so we can start fresh after we move (more on that another time).

Lunch: pasta with alfredo sauce, cucumbers
Supper: Sandwiches, salad, and watermelon

Lunch: Sandwiches, carrot sticks and tomatoes
Supper: homemade pizza, home-fries, cucumbers

Lunch: Lentil and potato stew with vegetables, garlic bread sticks, make-your-own salad
Supper: Grilled cheese sandwiches, spicy roast carrots, stove-top grilled peaches with leben

Lunch: vegetable soup with potato dumplings, crackers with chumus and homemade leben cheese with zaater
Supper: Pasta with tomato sauce and cheese, roasted cauliflower, salad (tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, purple cabbage, feta cheese)

Lunch: anything leftover from the week
Supper: Tomato soup, salad, lentil-sloppy sams on homemade rolls

For snacks we'll have popcorn, various muffins, and whatever fruit we happen to have on hand...

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Shabbat menu planning

We're working on eating up our pantry and freezer stock. So, as I mentioned earlier, in the past 2 weeks, our grocery spending was at least 250 shekels less than usual for a 2-week period. And my meals have been slightly unusual, but we're still good to go (but we will pick up a few staples tomorrow - we need milk and butter and leben and cheese).

Here's the plan for Shabbat, using foods on hand, and with minimal cooking time. I am wiped out from a super-busy week!

Homemade whole wheat challot
Maybe soup, but it's kind of hot, and I'm leaning towards skipping it.
Spicy roast chicken
Garlicky roast potatoes
Barley or bulgur with onions and mushrooms
Cut veggies - tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots

Banana-coconut breakfast cake
Oatmeal and chocolate chip cookies

I usually end up adding an item or two, but I am SO tired right now I cannot imagine I will actually do that this week!

Shabbat Shalom! Let me know what's on your menu!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Recall (Israel)

I will admit, I have been very pre-occupied lately and haven't been blogging much.

There's been a lot going on, here. But I hope to get back to blogging recipes and savings ASAP!

In the meantime, I wanted to be sure you all stay in the know about recalls...

Due to the presence of listeria, the following types of smoked salmon are being recalled:

Sterling brand, frozen smoked salmon, 100g package, production date 24.4.13 and expiration date 24.11.13 (that date coding ONLY)



Delidag brand refrigerated smoked salmon, 100g package, production date 2.5.13 and expiration date 2.6.13

These products are being removed from store shelves, and consumers who have purchased these products are asked NOT to consume them. Please call 1-800-50-40-50 to arrange for a refund.

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Sunday, May 19, 2013

Recall (Israel)

"Gad" Dairies announced that certain packages of Pecan Brie Cheese, manufactured by manufacturer code "MKN" and sold by Gad Dairies, with expiration dates of May 20, May 23, and June 19th are being recalled due to e.Coli contamination.

The cheeses are being removed from store shelves, and customers who have purchased this product are asked NOT to consume it.
Please call customer service at 1-700-502-122 to arrange a refund/replacement.

If you found this post informative/useful/important, etc, please follow this blog (links on the right!) and find us on Facebook!  

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Children's Book Sale! has a great sale going on right now!
(Valid thru May 20th)
Save 15% off your purchase of 4 or more used books (children's books marked "Sale")!

Always free worldwide shipping, which is great!

The links in this post are affiliate links, and I'll get a commission if you click thru them and make a purchase. This will not cost you any extra, don't worry!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Free museums around the country today!

I did not find out about this early enough to actually translate the list of free museums today. I really don't know how I missed out on this, but I did.

So next time, if any of you catch wind of something like this, I would appreciate it if you could send me a quick note, and then I'll happily translate the list!

So this time, please check out the Hebrew list.

Since a lot of my readers are in the Jerusalem area, here is a quick synopsis of the free museums there:


The Underground Prisoners' Museum in Jerusalem, 02-6233167

The Bible Lands Museum, 02-5611066 

Agnon House Museum, 02-6716498

The Nature Museum,  02-5631116

The Wolfson Museum of Jewish Art (Heichal Shlomo), 02-5889010

The Bloomfield Science Museum, 02-6544888

The Herzl Museum, 02-6321515

The Old Yishuv Court Museum, 02-6276319

Yad VaShem, 02-6443266

The Nachon Museum of Italian Jewry,  02-6241610

The Israel Museum, 02-6708811

The Islamic Art Museum, 02-5661291/2

The Tower of David Museum, 02-6265333

Enjoy some free culture today!

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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Shavuot Menu!

I must begin by thanking my husband for helping me make it through the entire sfirat ha'omer this year! I counted every night with a bracha. And, honestly, it's been a long time since that happened. You see, he used to count when he davened and then at some point in the evening, he'd casually remind me to count. But I was always busy with something and just never could remember to count each night!
But this year, he made a big change. He didn't count when he davened maariv. Instead, he waited a bit and we all counted together. Each night. So I made it, with his help. I wouldn't have done it without him, really!

And now Shavuot is nearly here.

And in Israel, it's such a short chag!

So I'm making a random menu and I'm pretty relaxed about it... haven't started cooking yet, but I have decided it IS worth leaving the oven on for Yom Tov. So I can cook some things on the chag, if I want to.

Here's my plan, same menu for the night and day meals. I'm just realistic that I won't have time to make two menus!

Chocolate bread? Or challah. I'll poll my kids in the morning.
Cajun-style fried fish
Spinach and Feta cheese quiche (making my quiche eggless, so maybe it should be called a pie?)
Roasted kishuim (summer squash)
Carrot muffins
Apple crisp
Ice cream for dessert
(and cookies if I get to them)

Yes, you saw correctly. No cheesecake. Most of my family won't eat it, so I am not making one this chag. Will someone out there PLEASE share a piece of yours with me? (I love cheesecake)

Monday, May 13, 2013

Printable coupons (Israel)

SuperPharm has a whole slew of new coupons available! For the most part they are valid thru May 22, 2013, but a few expire sooner. Make sure you sign in to the SuperPharm website to either download them to your smartphone or print ones that have a barcode. The ones I'm showing here are not valid as is.

Here's a list of coupons currently available


Sunday dish detergent, 750ml for 4.99/Valid thru May 15


 Life wellness granola, 375g for 9.99/Valid thru May 15


Gillete Proglide razors, 8 pack, for 99.99/Valid thru May 15


Dove deodorant spray or roll-on, for 9.99/Valid thru May15

Omega 3's - 5 shekel off/valid thru May 31

Careline lip gloss for 34.99/Valid thru May 22


Jade Mascara for 39.99/Valid thru May 22


Garnier Eye Cream for 39.99/Valid thru May 22


Nivea Skin Cream for 49.99/Valid thru May 22


Soft Touch moisturizer set for 59.99/Valid thru May 22


Any Yomi product for 35% off/Valid thru May 22


Altman Super Q-10, 30 capsules for 49.99/Valid thru May 22


Rescue Remedy Drops, 10 ml for 39.ii/Valid thru May 22

Life Mirror (enlarges to 5X) for 39.99//Valid thru May 22


Lancaster Sunscreen SPF 30 for 79.99/Valid thru May 22


Schick Hydro Shave Gel for 9.99/Valid thru May 22


Spira mosquito repellant for 24.99/Valid thru May 22


Colgate Plax, 500 ml for 16.99/Valid thru May 22


Dr. Fisher Ultrasol Sunscreen spray, SPF 30, for 29.99/Valid thru May 22


Life wellness granola bars, 6 pack, for 8.99/Valid thru May 22


Duracell AA/AAA 4 pack for 8.99/Valid thru May 22


Italian Pasta cookbook for 19.99/Valid thru May 22


Huggies wipes refills, 4-pack for 16.99/Valid thru May 22


Materna formula for 42.99/Valid thru May 22


Huggies diapers for 42.99/Valid thru May 22


Always sanitary napkins for 11.99/Valid thru May 22


Lily Trio toilet paper, 32 rolls for 29.99/Valid thru May 22

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Printable Coupon (Israel)

It's been a while, but Mega has finally started posting coupons for FB fans again! Just like their Facebook page and you'll get access to their coupons.

This coupon is for tomato sauce, get 1 jar (420g) for 5.99.
Coupon can be redeemed at Mega Ba'Ir and Mega Bool stores thru May 18.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Printable Coupon (Israel)!

In honor of Shavuot, and all the dairy foods that are eaten on Shavuot, you can get a coupon for Lactocal from Altman!
(Simply fill in the form with your name and email address. You can always unsubscribe from their mailing list)

Perfect for those of us who are lactose intolerant.

This coupon can be redeemed at health food stores and pharmacies.
It is valid thru July 31, 2013.

Happy coupon clipping!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Superpharm Coupons - last call

Don't forget to download Superpharm's coupons to your smartphone, or if you are one of the last holdouts, like me, and don't have a smartphone, print them out if you plan to use them!

Note: You MUST sign in to their website to print a valid coupon.
The pictures here do not contain barcodes and will be rejected!

Most of these coupons expire tomorrow!

Here's what's available:

Head and Shoulders shampoo for 11.99, valid thru May 8

K300 (some sort of poison. please skip this one) for 16.99, valid thru May 8

Nivea sunscreen SPF 30 for 39.99, valid thru May 8

Persil laundry detergent (1.25 kg) for 8.99, valid thru May 8

Some sort of Lip Gloss for 29.99, valid thru May 8

Omega 3's 5 shekel discount, valid thru May 31

 Life hand cream, for 11.99, valid thru May 8

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