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.
"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."
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