High Holidays here we come!

Rosh Hashanah is less than a week away. With many meals and simanim to prepare, two things run high – food costs and time spent preparing. We are trying to get ahead by cooking and freezing dishes, but that is just one part.

To help myself and my readers, I have compiled some of our tried and true tips for spending as little as possible and getting everything done in time.

Here are some of my blog posts from the past that may help you in your preparations:

1) Menu planning – I created a menu planning form for Yom Tovs that really helps. You can download yours here. The first includes days for Chol Hamoed. The second has enough spots for a three-day Yom Tov.

2) Shopping at Aldi – If we do nothing else but plan a menu and shop at Aldi, we already can make our Yom Tov cheaper and easier! Need I say more?

3) Keeping track of prices saves us the most! – Having a price list and knowing where to shop for the best deals on everything by far saves us so much money! It does require shopping at more than one store, but it is well worth it! Our favorite stores include Aldi, Sam’s Club, Trader Joe’s, and Walmart. Keeping a price list is also helpful for buying paper goods for the holidays. We try to use real dishes for at least one meal, but it is not always practical for more than that.

4) Making your own challah – There was a time when we relied on buying challah, however that expense adds up quickly. Now with the help of our bread machine, challah making is not quite so time-consuming. My husband took over that mitzvah several years ago and is now a pro!

5) Don’t buy it, make it homemade Part 3 – There are so many things that you can make yourself and save money. Check out my post for ideas.

6) Here a recipe, there a recipe – Organizing our recipes makes our holiday planning much easier. We have used several systems over the years, but the binders I describe in this post are very helpful. We also keep a typed list of favorites now that includes the type of recipe, the name of the recipe, and the cookbook and page we can find it. My husband would love to go all digital for our recipes since we have so many cookbooks and recipes, but we have not figured out how to do that yet.

7) SodaStream soda makers! – We love using our SodaStream! It is a great way to provide a treat without spending a ton on soda. They also have some natural soda waters that are don’t have sugar or artificial sweeteners! My other favorite is the La Croix sparkling water cases at Aldi.

8) Shabbos Shortcuts – A few tips for when you are in a pinch!

9) Making the most of the whole bird – We can get several meals from one chicken! Check out my husband’s smart tactics!

10) Create a list of recipes that can be made on Yom Tov. It is helpful to have a list of easy recipes that you can put together on the holiday if you can’t get everything done in time. What is on your list?

11) Hanging Sukkah decorations and finding a great Simanim card – check out my post Tips for the Fall Jewish holidays.

12) Kids’ Mitzvah Checklist – Years ago, I came up with several Kids’ Mitzvah Checklists to keep my kids engaged in the holidays and their preparations. I have included various mitzvahs (and clip art) that pertain to each holiday in chronological order. My kids loved getting to put stickers on their charts as they completed each custom/requirement. We chose a special reward the kids would receive when they had covered their boards. Usually it was a special outing or treat (like ice cream).

I hope your kids will enjoy them as much as mine have. Click below to download the checklists for two of the upcoming holidays:

I would love to hear your tips, too! Please comment below! Chag Sameach!

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