Pesach is a very expensive holiday, even if you eat out for some of your meals or don’t buy all Shmura matzah! It is a wonder how you can spend half your monthly food budget on eight days of Pesach!
Here are some tips we use to keep our costs as low as we can:
Order paper goods online:
As I mentioned before, our favorite place to order paper goods is Restockit.com or Amazon. I compare prices between the two online stores as well as Walmart and Sam’s Club using my price list. See my post “Keeping a price list.” We buy enough to last for several months (or even the rest of the year) and save hundreds over dollars over retail prices at local stores. (We tend to only use paper goods for one meal a week and disposable pans for cooking for other people or when making double batches of things to freeze.)
Right before Easter eggs go on sale. Target, especially, has really good deals on eggs. However, get there right on Sunday when the ad comes out, because they sell fast. Otherwise, Aldi is your best bet for a great price!
Make as many homemade things as you can:
We try to avoid buying any mixes or pre-made foods because these tend to be very high in price for the amount you get. Instead make your own baked goods, salad dressings, sauces, and ice cream. This year my challenge is to make more breakfast foods. The Pesach cereals are so expensive per box and contain so little! And with four kids in my house, we go through a box or two a day!
Also buy as many fresh or non-Pesadik ingredients as possible, to limit the number of Kosher for Pesach items you have to get. These items are more expensive than regular kosher brands. It is helpful to know what items need a Pesach hecture and what does not. Refer to the CRC’s Passover Shopping Guide (you may have to click around to find the current year’s guide).
Reusable shelf liners:
Some of the shelves in our kitchen we clean off and use for Pesach items. This includes our pantry and a shelf next to it. We take everything that is normally on them and store it downstairs until after the holiday. To cover the shelves, I use foam shelf liner you can get at Target, Wal-Mart, etc. I have cut it to the size I need and store each set in a gallon plastic bag to reuse each year. This makes covering the shelves easier (just fit in and apply painter’s tape) and makes for one less expense.
Keep track of items that have left over from one year to the next:
At the end of each holiday when we are packing up everything, I make a list of what leftovers we are packing away. This includes: spices, unopened non-perishable items, and unopened margarine (which we freeze). When we plan our shopping for the next year, I don’t need to open any boxes to know what I already have. See my post on “Pesach is coming!” for my shopping list (this is included in my Pesach Prep Checklist).
Eat up Pesach leftovers after the holiday:
Who says you can’t eat matzah after the holiday? We make sure to eat up anything that is left no matter what. Fried matzah is good any time and Yom Tov and Shabbos leftovers put together can make a great smorgasborg dinner!
- Pesach on a Budget: Top Ten Tips for a Low-Cost Pesach (ou.org)
- Kosher on a Budget’s various Passover savings (kosheronabudget.com)
- Leftover Bread? (organizedjewishhome.com)