Friday, August 13, 2021

SALES and meal planning/budgeting

I know I haven't been talking about grocery prices much lately. Life kind of kept me too busy to focus on it. However, groceries often account for a large percentage of people's budgets in this country, and so this becomes the topic of many conversations, in person and online. In my town, there's a near-constant chatter about prices and where and how to shop, and I see it in all sorts of online groups as well. I get it - it's really challenging to keep enough food around for a large(ish) family, especially with teens in the house. But since the onset of the pandemic, I've been mostly ordering my groceries online, and supplementing from one or more of my local makolets, and just hoping I can get everything I need while sticking to the budget I set. Usually I manage, but sometimes I go over, especially when there's a lot going on and I can't focus on food prep all that much.

So what do I do when I need to be careful?

Generally, I shop for sales, which means I focus on the produce I can get for 3 NIS/kilo or less (usually veggies not fruits), and this week I found a whole bunch!

Here's my 3 NIS or less produce haul for this week:

Tomatoes - 0.90 agurot/kilo
Cucumbers - 0.90 agurot/kilo
Carrots - 0.90 agurot/kilo
Cabbage (Purple and Green) - 0.90 agurot/kilo
White Potatoes - 0.90 agurot/kilo
Red Potatoes - 0.90 agurot/kilo
Watermelon - 0.90 agurot/kilo
Light Green Peppers - 1.90 NIS/kilo
Kohlrabi - 1.90 NIS/kilo
Eggplant - 2.90 NIS/kilo
Summer Squash (Kishuim) - 2.90 NIS/kilo

So now I just need to make sure I make lots of food that these veggies star in. Oh, and we'll be eating lots of watermelon because the one we got weighs TEN AND A HALF kilo!!

**This is where that meal planning idea comes in. It makes all the difference between using this food or throwing out food. So I should start planning my menu now, while my fridge is full of these deals!**

Other deals:
I also somehow stumbled upon those fruit flavored yogurts that are usually about 4 NIS each for 1.70 NIS each!

(I also bought the rest of our necessities, but that's not nearly as interesting as these cheap produce deals.)

I know there's a lot of talk about the high cost of produce right now, and I myself was feeling it acutely when I spent a week in the merkaz recently, where I couldn't find fruit for less than double what I pay here in the Golan. It was crazy! I bought some fruit anyway, because I couldn't imagine a week with no fruit, but it hurt a bit to pay those prices.

So I'm pleased to report that upon my return home I happily stocked the fridge with peaches and nectarines this week for 9.90 NIS/kilo and mangoes for 8 NIS/kilo or so!

I'd love to hear your thoughts about food prices in Israel and how you keep your grocery budget in check. Please drop a note below!

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