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Saturday, March 13, 2010

Echad Chacham. . . . Echad Helpless Loser

Pesach is upon us and frum websites are publishing rants against the price of Pesach food. The latest one is from Matzav on Insane Pesach Food Prices (see my comments on a prior Matzav editorial on the Financial Impossibility of being frum). While I don't want to become a broken record here, I will continue to repeat this message in hopes that it is heard:


"I find it highly irresponsible for people in positions of influence to put out a message that we are doomed by virtue of adherence to Torah, when in fact we are largely doomed by our own dysfunction and foolishness. Part of that dysfunction is that we spend money like poor people."

Now when it comes to shmura matzah, a lot of us sort of close our eyes and pay the price. Yes, it does seem ludicrous to pay 4-5 times the price of ground beef on water and flour. But we only use shmura matza for the seder, so I can't get too worked up about much about this expense. I figure that once a year we buy a lulav and etrog and once a year we buy some shmura matzah for the sedarim. Maybe a bit extravagant in price, but I'm sure that if we weren't shomrei mitzvot, we'd find a different extravagance. I do understand that those who use shmura matzah for Pesach really do get hit with quite the bill, but that too is a choice. Those who use machine matzah really have little to complain about. We didn't even have to purchase our obscure Israeli brand machine matzah this year. It came free with a $25 purchase. I asked the store manager if I could split the cases of Kedem grape juice I was buying into multiple purchases and use multiple purchases and he said to go right ahead. So, 5 cases of Kedem Concord grape juice later, I have all the matzah I ever want to see again. I don't think I'm even going to bother buying matzah meal this year. I think I might treat myself to a small food processor and make my own, since the 5 pound packages of matzah can almost always be had for limited cost.

But the Matzah Rant isn't addressing the cost of shmurah matzah. The matzah rant is about sponge cake and junk for the kids. The author writes: "Is there any good reason that a box of a handful of chocolate leaves costs the kosher consumer over 7 dollars? Is there a good reason why a bottle of kosher l’Pesach ketchup cost over a dollar more than it does during the year? Why do I have to pay close to ten dollars for a box of sorry tasting kosher l’Pesach sponge cake?Why do we continue to allow food companies to fleece us - yes, fleece us - every year Pesach time?"

The answer is of course the food companies will "fleece" you only if you allow them to do so. If you don't want to pay these prices, head to the nearest large grocery chain and exercise your right to make your own kosher l'Pesach desserts. Later the author will blame it on the kids (just say no! comes to mind) as to why all these products are needed. Feh!

I'm starting to think that chazal should have included the 5th son in the Haggadah. The 5th son is the helpless loser who complains about the cost of ketchup! He too needs his teeth set on edge! Don't be mad at me, the author labelled himself: "As I said, the overpricing is utterly outrageous. We walk around these stores like helpless losers, paying these crazy prices each year before Pesach."

And a note to Matzav and the author who writes: "It is about time that someone - an askan, a baal chessed, anyone - came along and did something about it, producing quality kosher l’Pesach products for normal prices." Once again: empowerment! You can be your own askan/baal chessed and buy more of what is reasonably priced and pass up $10 boxes stuff for which there is more packaging than food.

Here are posts from previous years for those who refuse to be "helpless losers."

Making a Pesach Budget (10 tips)
More Peach Frugality Tips based off a note from a reader and good tips from my readers. Do, do, do, do, do, do, do, do, do consult the OU or your local Vaads Pesach Guide. If you want to convenience of going to only one store, then remember you are paying for the convenience and that comes with a price tag. But if you want to make the most of your dollar, you can get Danon yogurts in your regular grocery store (coupons are in the Sunday circulars). You can get raw nuts at Trader Joes, etc, etc, etc.
And remember, the Yom Tov is becoming a Free Man able to serve Hashem and observe the mitzvot, so don't trade in one type of slavery for another type of slavery because you overindulge. Avadim hayinu l'Mastercard b'America

48 comments:

The Leader, Garnel Ironheart said...

There are a few factors here:
1) We are a hostage market. If we want ketchup over Pesach, we have no choice but to buy the crappy expensive kind and the food companies know this.
2) We are trapped by the "Frummer than thou" crowd and forced into accepting stringency after stringency. Coffee does not need a special hechsher for Pesach but who dates to buy it without one? Milk bought before Pesach can be consumed during the holiday but we all go for the more expensive one with the special stickers.
3) We are nostalgic - how else to explain macaroons? There are no rational reasons for those.
As a result we shell out more money for 8 days worth of food than we do for 8 months!

ProfK said...

Garnel,
You need to reread this posting--we don't HAVE to spend more if we shop smart. And I would add if we shop early. Those who leave all the shopping to the week before Pesach are going to pay more for that convenience. Yes, some items are more expensive for Pesach than during the year, and may not be on sale anywhere. The key is to balance those items out with buying other items on sale. And the key is to shop at multiple stores to take advantage of sales and reduced prices.

I finished my non-perishable shopping for Pesach last week, as well as my fish and meat shopping. Yes, I spent more than I do regularly because of the addition of some items such as hand shmura matza. And no, it was nowhere approaching 8 months worth of expenditures non-Pesach time.

Re the coffee, check the OU Pesach listing--there are a couple of coffees that don't require a P for Pesach, just the plain OU--your choice if you don't want to switch brands over Pesach. The macaroons? They wait a whole year for the chocolate chip ones in my house--they love 'em. I indulge in a couple of cans--on sale of course at Stop & Shop. The sponge cake? Who buys ready made on Pesach? We bake our own in my house--again, your choice, and nobody is forcing you to buy it.

Yes, the price raises for Pesach items are price gouging with a captive audience for some things. But smart shopping and just saying no helps the consumer to win the battle.

tesyaa said...

Garnel - when I was a kid either ketchup wasn't available for Pesach, or my frugal parents just didn't buy it. Either way, my whole family survived and I don't think there were any ill effects. Every year I'm surprised by the new Pesach products that are suddenly available, but we lived happily without them before and we'll live without them now. I find the biggest expense is the produce, but that's one of my biggest expenses all year round.

LeahGG said...

ketchup - add brown sugar, onion powder, garlic powder, and vinegar to tomato paste. It'll probably taste better than the commercial stuff, b/c the kashlap stuff here is VILE.

For desserts, use fresh fruit.

Our family special breakfast was bananas and strawberries cut up in cottage cheese and sour cream. Loads yummier than pesach cereal.

Other breakfast things we like are matza brai, latkes, scrambled eggs.

My parents always splurged on marshmallows and macaroons because we couldn't get marshmallows the rest of the year and macaroons are yummy.

In general, I try not to cook anything that requires a different recipe for Pesach.

(though matza lasagna is actually really great - just use matza instead of lasagna noodles.)

Lion of Zion said...

SL:

"But we only use shmura matza for the seder, so I can't get too worked up about much about this expense."

one who uses hand shmurah should consider the considerably cheaper machine shmurah. (the triumph of hand over machine shmurah should be included as a textbook case in marketing 101, but then again one could probably dedicate and entire marketing 101 course based on kashruth alone.)

"do consult the OU or your local Vaads Pesach Guide"

depends on the vaad (e.g., i wouldn't place too much faith in the vaad of queens or 5 towns after the streits affair). as far as the OU guide, many people look only at the kosher-for-passover item lists (the website even gives options to download these pages alone without the rest of the guide), but don't get far enough into the guide for the notice that many of the items in the "grey pages" don't require OU-P (or even OU) to begin with not at the rest of the guide. (e.g., what are the chances you will use mr. clean toilet bowl cleaner for arba kosot?)

Lion of Zion said...

my point was consult your trusted rav, not the vaad or a guide

Orthonomics said...

The Seattle Vaad has a great site with a grid listing what certification can be used for basic products. It also gives an Ashkenzi and Sephardi grid. A lot of Sephardim rely on this list. The setup is fantastic. Much better than thumbing through a thick magazine.

ProfK said...

Lion,
Putting aside family minhag for a moment (and you can't really put that too far aside), there is a huge difference between the machine shmurah and the hand shmurah. Put a piece of machine shmurah on a plate with a piece of regular matzah and you cannot tell the difference in taste or in texture. The hand shmurah, to us, tastes better and has the texture we wait for all year. Comparing the hand and the machine, the idea of matzah shmurah aside, is like comparing apples and oranges. Even the different producers of hand shmurah do not produce an identical product, and we know which particular brand we like the best. If hand shmurah were identical to machine shmurah your marketing comment might make sense, but it is different. And yes, preferred by many. De gustibus non disputandum est--you can't argue taste.

JS said...

Pathetic.

The answer is to simply not buy this junk and let it sit on store shelves till after Pesach is over, upon which it becomes completely worthless. Eventually people will get the message and lower the prices (of course, even better would be if people just stopping buying this junk forever - who needs more empty calories and a bad stomach anyways?).

The only thing that bothers me is the jump in price for meats and chickens. I don't understand why kosher meat/chicken is so expensive to begin with or why when I travel to Brooklyn I can get the same meat 2-3 times as cheap depending on the cut. But please, someone explain how making ground beef kosher l'pesach somehow requires a jump in price.

Anonymous said...

ProfK: All Lion did was say to "consider" the machine made. He did not say that people are suckers for buying the hand made. BTW, the argument for taste cuts both ways. Believe it or not, some people may prefer the machine made.

Anonymous said...

JS: If people stop buying that stuff, that doesn't mean the prices will be lower.
The stores may not stock it next year or stock a lot less.

Miami Al said...

ProfK, that's buying a product you like, no problems there. Hand made things cost more, and are different, no big deal.

If your concern is Shmurah, get the machine stuff. If you WANT hand made Matzah, get hand made Matzah.

We eat a lot of squash. Other than Matzah Brei and Matzah Pizza 1-2 times during Pesach, and lots of festive meals in a row, there isn't that much different in my house for Pesach.

We switch our vegetables around, but it's not a huge cost premium. I think that the wine costs more than the rest of the holiday in my house, because we tend to drink nicer wines on Pesach simply because there are a bunch of people drinking wine.

HearingLawyer said...

JS-
I think the increased cost of meat relates to the labor of kashering the processing plants/machines used to cut/grind up the meat. Not that I am sure that the price increases actually reflect the cost increase.

BTW, SL, as someone who is much further to the right hashkafically than you, I completely agree with everything you wrote. Increased Pesach costs, by and large, are a result of financial retardation on the part of the frum community.

Lion of Zion said...

HEARING LAWYER:

"I think the increased cost of meat relates to the labor of kashering the processing plants/machines used to cut/grind up the meat."

you'd think (i at least hope) that abbatoirs and butchers shops thoroughly clean their facilities and equipment at least once a year anyway to a standard that is not much different from what is required for pesach kashering?

JS:

"But please, someone explain how making ground beef kosher l'pesach somehow requires a jump in price."

because you're willing to pay for it. just be happy the price differential is not as bad as the one for citrons and willow brances come sukkkot time.

actually, iirc the OU guide says that raw meat does not require special hashgocho if it contains no other ingredients.

Dave said...

As has been pointed out, you can make your own ketchup.

That being said, I always found it odd that people who would avoid any corn products would at the same time spend money on a mediocre cake (or cake mix) made from matzah meal.

Either I could see, but doing both seemed both expensive and contradictory.

HearingLawyer said...

LOZ:
"you'd think (i at least hope) that abbatoirs and butchers shops thoroughly clean their facilities and equipment at least once a year anyway to a standard that is not much different from what is required for pesach kashering?"

I'm no expert, but based on my limited experience (I worked as a mashgiach for a couple of years in a pesach hotel), they actually need to do more for pesach than the usual cleaning (e.g., they do hagala as opposed to simply washing it down with the necessary cleanser), which is more labor intensive.

Lion of Zion said...

LAWYER:

how labor/material intensive is one-time hagala? (i have no idea) does it really justify an increase in prices?

also, can someone else please check the OU guide and explain to me what it says about raw meat not neededing pesach hashgocho(i assume i am misunderstanding it)

Lion of Zion said...

PROFK:

"you can't argue taste"

fine. but i'm not going to feel bad for people who buy handmade for the taste (or nostalgia, for that matter) and then complain about the price anymore than for people who buy expensive wine, cuts of meat, chocholate, etc. (or pesach cereal for that matter)and complain about the price.
people who have expensive tastes should be prepared to pay for it. (for the record, i personally don't like ingesting cardboard, excuse me, i mean handmade matza)

"Putting aside family minhag for a moment (and you can't really put that too far aside"

halakhically there is actually a good case to prefer machine shmurah over handmade and its introduction in the 19th c. was a matter of great debate across europe (and has been discussed in modern academic literature). as far as minhag is concerned, i suspect that in some families the use of hand shmurah (and in some cases for the entire chag) is based more on preference or sometimes ignorance rather than minhag. (and i did say that a rav should be consulted in these issues)

"If hand shmurah were identical to machine shmurah your marketing comment might make sense, but it is different."

my comment about handmade's marketing victory had to do not with taste but rather with the minhag/halakhah issues. i think many people are simply not aware of the machine shmurah alternative and automically dismiss it because it's not "authentic," etc. just yesterday i mentioned to someone machine shmurah and she didn't even know it existed and she thought shmurah = handmade.

so hand shmurah has won the marketing wars in that people instinctly reject machine and don't realize there are rabbonim who permitted (and even preferred it.)

so machine shmura should be on the table (no pun intended) for people who have financial issues (e.g. to connect posts, imho paying yeshivah tuition takes precedence over buying hand shmurah when machine shmura is available)

Garnel Ironheart said...

The "wait until Pesach is over and don't buy anything so they'll lower the price" won't work. The day after Pesach when everything goes on sale is exactly when everydoes DOES go and buy all the non-perishable stuff... for next year.

mother in israel said...

We switched to machine shmura a few years ago.Yes we miss it, but refuse to shell out that kind of money.
SL, get yourself a standard-sized food processor, not a "small" one.

-Hannah

Orthonomics said...

MII-Since I trust your advice, that is exactly what I will do. I spotted a nice one on sale at JC Penny. But, I might try Amazon and Overstock too.

mother in israel said...

You won't regret it. Pesach equipment has a way of shrinking from year to year.

Lion of Zion said...

"I might try Amazon and Overstock too"

costco, costco, costco

but if you feel the need to replace a printer for pesach, staples has some nice deals this week. the printer i bought was $50 off, plus they gave me another $50 off because i recycled my old printer.

ProfK said...

SL,
Definitely go with the bigger food processor but don't just look at the price. Check out the Consumer ratings. A food processor can last for decades if you buy a solidly built one. Replacing a cheap one every few years isn't much of a bargain. Mine is in it's 34th year of Pesach and still plugging away. The company closed down business about 13 years ago but their products still live on.

Bklynmom said...

Not much to add to what has been said already, just a few thoughts:
1. Potatoes are cheap this week in chain stores in honor of St. Patrick's day. So is cabbage. Good chance to stock up if your space allows.
2. Some stores offer case discounts and some food distributors/wholesalers are open to the public. Again, if your space allows, it may be cheaper to get a case of eggs, potatoes, etc.
3. Buy things that don't need Passover certification, or mainstream brands that become certified for Passover, on sale in the weeks before the holiday. Domino sugar, both regular and brown, is kosher for Passover year-round. Philadelphia cream cheese is often on sale. So is Breakstone's sour cream. Hershey's cocoa does not need a Passover certification, according to OU (although I have found "frummie" brands to sometimes be cheaper). These are just a few examples, there are many more items. Again, storage may be an issue, so some advanced planning may be required. And items like sugar and cream cheese often go on sale around Easter, since people tend to use them in baking, and Easter most of the time coincides with Passover.
Again, nothing here that has not already been said before, just felt compelled to add to the discussion:)

Anonymous said...

I consider myself an extremely knowledgeable person on food and prices and just returned with my wife from our annual pre-Pesach run.

Even thought it still hurts, in all honestly, the sticker shock comes from 2 things: the cost to restock the entire pantry, and secondly, the specialty items - matzahs, desserts, etc. Frankly, the day to day items have really COME DOWN in price in recent years, eg, tuna, cheese, ketchup as the passover market has expanded while the specialty items have gone way way up.

Every year we learn another trick or two to keep costs in line. We stock up on virgin olive oil as it is a consistent loss leader in the super market especially during the winter AND it's about 100 times better and tastier than Passover oil. We stock up on the OUP store or hemish brand tuna when it goes on sale. Cheese usually comes down in price a few weeks prior to Pesach (actually opposite meat prices) and we stock up and freeze packaged chicken well in advance.

As for specialty items such as cakes, we own an inexpensive pesach mixer and it has paid for itself many times over.

Finally, we really keep an eye out for wine bargains all year round. As the manufacturing has expanded to S America, it is very easy to find wine bargains (eg, 3.99 for a half decent Merlot). If we find something that works, we split a case with a friend and realize a 10-20 pct discount. My family never ever drinks grape juice - including our youngest child - we find it so sweet as to far outweigh any health issue the small amount of alcohol in a diluted glass of wine may present.

Finally, and I know this doesn't work for everyone, we have limited hand shmura to the sedurim only.

mother in israel said...

SL: Agree with ProfK. You don't need a workhorse, after all you're not kneading dough, but the Pesach FP will get a good workout over the years.

LOZ: Printers are now being sold for practically nothing as the manufacturer gets it back in sales of supplies, especially ink. My printer has a "fast draft" option. You can use refills, no matter what the manufacturer tells you. But they are not so cheap either.

tdr said...

SL don't forget that with the food processor you can make your own mayo which is WAY better than the pesachdik variety! And matza balls made with home ground matza are really yummy. Yes to Food processor. No to all the other processed junk, which by the way tastes pretty bad in addition to being expensive.

Speaking of matza -- the Star K is endorsing only one brand of machine shmura this year. On sale for 9.99/box at the local kosher store. Ouch!

For dessert we eat fruit (frozen raspberries BIG treat), meringues, and nut cookies. Stopped buying the pre-packaged cakes and stuff years ago because it tasted like sand.

My main Pesach indulgence is kosher l'P Polaner jam which cannot be substituted on matza brei with sour cream.

rachel q said...

I have no mercy on the author of the article. We brought this problem to ourselves. IF it's too expensive JUST DON'T BUY IT. Until we are willing to do that needs to be done we can't complain about prices.
If someone is in debt and cannot make basic payments (food and shelter) they need to talk to their rav about changing minhagim (to machine made matzah). I simply cannot believe a good rav would "force" a person to risk their lives (by not having enough money to pay for food) for a minhag.
If you are in a better financial situation than that and only eat handmande then buy only the bare minimum needed (sdarim, shabbos and yomtov meals) just don't buy so many boxes.

Dave said...

How much mayo are you making at once? I just use a bowl and a whisk.

Shevy said...

I buy both hand-made and machine shmurah because my grown kids won't eat hand-made. Two packages (note, not pounds, they're only 10 oz each) for $19.98 and 3 pounds of hand-made for $54-57. Really, the difference between $15.98/lb (which is what the machine works out to) and $18-$19/lb is not that much. If $2 to $3 per pound is going to break a family's budget they're in big trouble, LOZ.

They haven't invented a machine yet that can have the intent to be producing food for a mitzvah, so I'll stick to the hand-made, thanks. Plus, I prefer the taste and texture.

The only problem is getting shleimahs. I admit that we sometimes have to use machine ones for shleimahs by the end of the holiday (even though erev Pesach we open every box of hand-made, check each matzo and pull out all the shleimahs so they don't get used by accident).

The only things I normally use the machine made for are making fried matzo (think matzo brei crossed with a large waffle, by coating a matzo with egg and matzo meal and frying it whole) and for a dairy lasagne that fits in a square cake pan. And both of those are gebrokts items anyway.

I was in Safeway last night and almost couldn't find the Pesach section other than the display of matzo & matzo meal! Last year they had tons and lots of different prepared food like cake mixes, Pesach pasta, cookies, candy, etc. but times were tough and a lot of it was left over and ended up being put on sale. (Unfortunately nobody frum got much of it because they put it on sale either Shabbos or Yom Tov.) This year there's very little and a lot of the special treat type stuff is gone.

Either they didn't order it this year or the manufacturers didn't make it. Believe me, none of the stuff is cheaper.

And I like LeahGG's special family breakfast. It's reminiscent of my custom of always serving cottage cheese with cut up cheddar cheese and apple in it for lunch erev Pesach when you've stopped eating chometz but can't eat matza. (It also has plenty of protein and keeps me going when I'm cooking like a maniac.) I like the idea of adding sour cream....

Shevy said...

Sorry, I meant to address rachel q's comments more directly too.

If someone was in debt and was going to ask my rav about changing to machine to save a couple of dollars I am 100% certain that my rav would *give* him a pound or two of hand-made.

A hundred times more so if they were going to change to regular machine rather than shmurah to save money!

tdr said...

Dave,

I make a cup or two of mayo, but I can never seem to get it thick enough with just the whisk. Now that I think about it -- I think it's because I never bought a Pesach whisk.

That's not all I use my food processor for BTW.

TDR

LeahGG said...

tesyaa - expensive produce is one of the taxes for living outside of Eretz Yisrael. 5 shekel a kilo for tomatoes on netsal (which is pretty much the most expensive shopping option there is...) that's ~ $1.25 a kilo, which is $.60 a lb. Won't be breaking my budget anytime soon...

Dave said...

TDR:

Ahhh, I never make anything close to that much. I'll make what we need for a meal, no more.

Anonymous said...

I don't think it matters that much what kind of food processor you buy for pesach; price is the issue- when you use something one week a year even the cheap ones can last a really long time.
last erev pesach (on erev pesach, not two days before) my 28 year old cheap food processor (so it actually had had about a year of hard labor...)dropped dead mid potato kugel- had to send my son out to buy ANYTHING as I had tons of cooking to do; I told him, buy the cheapest thing you find, toivel it and bring it home!
worked for me...

Orthonomics said...

Happens that I have owned a cheap food processor for regular fleishigs for the past 9 or 10 years. It was a gift. The bowl has cracked a bit, but the engine is going strong. I don't use it every week, but it has plenty of mileage. But my dairy processor is on the blink and has had a lot less use. It came with a hand mixer that I use a lot, so I don't feel too bad about it.

I think they each ran $30 on sale + tax.

Bob Miller said...

If people can resist buying non-nutritious munchies and junk foods year-round, they can resist them on Pesach, too.

If not, I suggest they have a broader food problem.

Lion of Zion said...

SHEVY:

"If $2 to $3 per pound is going to break a family's budget they're in big trouble, LOZ."

my local jewish grocery (which has average prices and is not one of the ones everyone flocks to for bargains) has 2 machine brands for 5 and change and 7 and change per box (i don't know what type)

"They haven't invented a machine yet that can have the intent to be producing food for a mitzvah"

so what? even if this is a problem (and it may not be, or this problem may be or this problem may be overshadowed by the view that machine matzah is less likely to be chametz than hand matzah), the mitzvah is only for the first day. why does the matzah consumed on the remainder of the chag have to be made with kavanah?

"The only problem is getting shleimahs."

because of problems in the past with hand shmura, when i do buy it i open up the boxes and check before i pay.

bon apetite and chag samei'ach

Ariella said...

I don't have any insight to add; I just wanted to tell you how much I love your title.

Orthonomics said...

I was inspired by the sounds of my kids chanting the Haggadah with Daddy. Thanks Ariella.

Lion of Zion said...

SHEVY:

i checked the grocery this morning. hand shmura is $19.99 for a 1 lb box for a few different brands (and $39.99 for 2 lbs., making you pay an extra penny?). machine shmura is $7.99/lb for a 1 lb box (not 10 ounces as where you live). two brands of machine shmura, both imported from israel: glicks (KAJ/breuer's hashgacha) and geula (badatz yerushalayim). (the $5.99 i mentioned is not for shmura but rather 18 minutes.)

i don't price matzah, but i assume that in more competitive stores both would be cheaper?

in any case, the cost difference is real, especially for people who eat a lot of matzah and eat shmura throughout the 8 days.

Ariella said...

There are some brands of hand shmura priced as low as $10 a pound. I believe that is the case for the Russian Chabad ones. I only bought it one year because my family objects. They like the very thin hand shmura; the cheaper ones are thick.

We do eat the regular Streit's machine matzah throughout Pesach. I'm going to see if I qualify for another almost free box at the supermarket. It used to be free, but now only the Israeli brands are. The Streits comes down to $2.99 for 5 lbs with coupon and minimum purchase. When I am feeling super thrifty and have managed to pick up 15 pounds, I use the matzah that cost next to nothing to make my matzah and cake meal.

tdr said...

I second Ariella's first comment!

FYI to grind real horseradish in the food processor you need a tough one. Even once a year this task gives it a workout.

I usually make a list of food processor tasks before hand and just get a huge pile of produce or whatever ready and then process away for a couple of hours. I grind and chop and mix and then when it's all done I usually find that's it for all of Yom Tov and I pack the sucker away for next year.

Oh, and it's good to keep a sink full of hot soapy water for washing it in between items.

It must save me hours in the end.

mlevin said...

I didn't read through the entire comments section, but I do know that there is a reason for higher pricing for kosher l'pesach label. It does cost more to certify it thus.

I on the other hand see no problem with overpricing. Every year they sell stuff which is ridiculous, and people actually buy it. Two years ago they were selling ready made salt water. Duh? Hello, how stupid must you be to buy salt water? So, if feel it's necessary to buy it, than I don't see any problem as to why the price of it is a couple of dollars for four ounces.

Last year, they were selling kosher l'pesach hot cereal. Currious as to what it is, I decided to read the ingredients. Matzah cake meal, sugar, salt, cinnamon. Then I decided to read directions mix in with boiling water or milk until desired consistency. For extra taste add raisins, apples and other fruits or nuts. The price of the package was five dollars for eight ounces. If you are an idiot and feel the need to buy this product, then I don't see why anyone should be bothered by it's price.

This year I haven't seen anything new.

mlevin said...

To all those advocating early pesach shopping: I am one of those who does her pesach shopping a sunday or two prior to yom tov, because I simply don't have any room to hold that stuff. We only have one refrigerator, and all pesach none-perishables I keep in the corner of my living room. Had I gone shopping earlier than I would have had that extra clutter in my living room for longer and my freezer would be stuffed with meats leaving no room for everyday food. Even now, a week before pesach we still have doughy frozen products in the freezer to finish off this week and all of my pesach stuff is in plastic bags on other shelves. After shabbos, I am planning on turning over the freezer, but until then I could still enjoy my ice scream and frozen bread and pelmeni.

SJ said...

If you don't want Big KosherForPesach to hold you by the balls, then reserve for yourself the right to consume ordinary kosher or nonkosher if they raise their prices on the holiday.

Anonymous said...

Hello all,

I'm a subscriber to kosherkoupons.com (like groupon), and they just had a store advertising hand shmura matza for $14.50/pound.
Yaakov E.