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Last-minute Purim preparations

Is anyone else up tonight getting ready for Purim? Some years I am ready days in advance and others I am making costumes right up until the seuda! This year I am in between that. I have one more costume detail to take care of and we have to assemble the shaloch manos tomorrow. I have to work, too, so not sure when that will happen.

At any rate, I would like to share with you some Purim inspiration from last year – costumes and shaloch manos. You might not need these ideas for this year, but you can always come back to this post next year for new ideas!


Pinterest is my go-to place for ideas for costumes these days. I used to have a few websites that always had great ideas, but now my boys often have a specific idea in mind. So it is easier to search for that particular costume than go through tons of articles with multiple costume ideas. I always use the terms “handmade” or “DIY” so that I can find make-it-yourself ideas. I like the satisfaction of making my own costumes and they are much less expensive that way. I usually have leftover supplies from year-to-year, too, and can pull what I need. I love that my boys continue to play with all their old costumes for dress-up!

Last year, my boys really gave me a break in making costumes. Three out of four decided to be secret service agents. One of the boys decided he wanted to be a mouse!

2015 0304- 0305 Purim 002

For the mouse costume I used:

  • a grey sweatshirt and sweatpants
  • a white felt circle cut and pinned to the shirt
  • a set of mouse ears, bow tie and tail – bought very cheap on Amazon
  • an eyeliner to make whiskers

For my secret service agents:

  • each boy wore dress pants, a white dress shirt, a tie, and a black hoodie sweatshirt.
  • I bought over-the-ear earphones and sunglasses from the dollar store.


I usually have three criteria for our family shaloch manos – homemade, placed in a reusable container, and creative. This past year, I did two out of three. We made hot cocoa cups. They included a hot cup, hot cocoa mix, a few wafer cookies, and a package of Sixlets. Not so fancy, but I think creative and useful (and somewhat inexpensive)!

Here are some highlights from what we received last year (2015):

2015 0304- 0305 Purim 007

Very creative and unique theme and packaging! Thanks Devorah and Eli!

Most creative and complete theme! Every year our friends Yosef and Bella come up with a theme that they use for their shaloch manos and costumes. The family all dresses up according to that theme and they pick coordinating foods for the shaloch manos as well. Last year was a Wild West/Cowboy theme.

More creative themes – Star Wars, drum, shaloch manos man, and “Frozen.” Thanks Dave and Keri, Shari, Naftali and Jessi and Arik.

Beautiful packaging. Thanks Jen!

Delicious and fancy (plus great reusable packaging)! Thanks Tammy and Mark! The bread was delicious!

Wonderful meals and homemade goodies! Thanks Zipporah and Rabbi, Racheli and Yitzchak, and Chana and Shmuel.

2015 0304- 0305 Purim 013Very thought out and unique shaloch manos. Our friends Amy and Joshua wrote a poem and had coordinating foods to go with different parts of the poem.

Color and fruit themes. Thanks Vicki and Warren, Elisheva and Yaakov, and David and Debbie.

Hope this gives you some ideas! Thanks to all our friends for their thoughtfulness and creativity!

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Posted by on March 22, 2016 in Family ideas, Holidays


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St. Louis Jewish Orthodox Community – Purim Megillah Readings 2016


With Purim approaching, I am reminded to pay attention to my blog. I am so sorry to my readers that I have neglected it for so long. This year I am working three jobs – teaching full-time, running a Hebrew school program and freelance writing. That has left very little time to do my blog and other more pleasurable activities!

But Purim means that I must do our annual Megillah readings post for the St. Louis Orthodox community.

Here are the Megillah readings and other community events happening in the St. Louis Orthodox community. I will add any updates and additions throughout the week.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

7:40 p.m. Ma’ariv followed by 7:55 p.m. Megillah by Rabbi Rovinsky and Max Gornish, Young Israel; followed by light refreshments at 9:00 p.m.

7:40 p.m. Ma’ariv followed by Megillah reading, Agudas Israel

7:40 p.m. Megillah reading, Chabad on Campus, 7018 Forsyth Blvd., RSVP to

7:40 p.m. Ma’ariv followed by Megillah reading, U City Shul

7:45 p.m. Megillah reading, Bais Abraham

7:45 p.m. Ma’ariv followed by Megillah reading at 8 p.m., TICK

7:45 p.m. Ma’ariv followed by 7:55 p.m. Megillah reading, Nusach Hari B’nai Zion

7:45 p.m. Ma’ariv followed by 8:00 p.m. Megillah reading, Congregation Bais Menachem – Chabad;special animated presentation for young children as well

9:30 p.m. Megillah reading for women at Torah Prep Boys School

9:30 p.m. Megillah reading at Young Israel

9:40 p.m. Megillah reading at TICK

9:45 p.m. Young Israel Celebrates! Bingo, adults only, $5/card

10:30 p.m. Purim party at Agudas Israel for the entire family

Thursday, March 24, 2016

6:30 a.m. Shacharis, followed by Megillah at 7:10 a.m., Young Israel

6:30 a.m. Shacharis, followed by 7:00 a.m. Megillah reading, Nusach Hari B’nai Zion

6:30 a.m. Shacharis followed by Megillah reading at 7:00 a.m., Bais Abraham

7:00 a.m. Shacharis followed by Megillah reading, U City Shul

7:00 a.m. Shacharis followed by Megillah reading at 7:40 a.m., TICK

7:45 a.m. Shacharis, followed by Megillah reading, Agudas Israel

8:30 a.m. Shacharis, followed by Family-friendly Megillah reading at 9:10 a.m., Young Israel

8:30 a.m. Shacharis, followed by 9:00 a.m. Megillah reading, Congregation Bais Menachem – Chabad

8:30 a.m. Shacharis and Megillah reading, Chabad on Campus, 7018 Forsyth Blvd, RSVP to

9:00 a.m. Megillah reading, TICK

9:30 a.m. St. Louis Women’s Megillah Reading, Goldmeier’s home, 219 Topton Way, Clayton

10:15 a.m. Megillah reading, Agudas Israel

12:10 p.m. Lunchtime Megillah reading, the DUC Washington University campus room 233

1:00 p.m. Megillah reading, Young Israel, followed by Mincha at 1:35 p.m.

2:00 p.m. Purim Re-Enactment Parade, meets at the corner of Gay and Cornell

4:00 p.m. Megillah reading, Congregation Bais Menachem – Chabad; special animated presentation for young children as well

6:15 p.m. Megillah reading, Chabad on Campus, 7018 Forsyth Blvd.

8:00 p.m. Dancing and Simchas Purim following your seuda, Agudas Israel

For more ideas for Purim, see my post:

Inspiration for Purim costumes and shaloch manos



Posted by on March 20, 2016 in Family ideas, Holidays


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My 20 favorite tips (that have saved us the most money!)

my logoI go through spurts of time where I am too busy to clip coupons or find new ways to save (and to blog!). However, there are some tried and true tips that have become part of our regular routines and daily life that help us save a lot of money!

Check out my favorites! How many do you do?

1) Keeping a price list – This is probably my favorite resource. I update it frequently and keep it in my purse to refer to when shopping. It helps me know when a price is right!

2) Rewards for shopping – With OfficeMax rewards we have saved hundreds of dollars! They have great clearance and sale items and coupons, too. It is one of my favorite stores!

3) My favorite find – swapping books – It used to be that you could make some money selling your used books on Amazon. One year I made a few hundred dollars selling old books. Now the market is saturated and books go for pennies. However, this site allows me to create a wish list of books I want and trade books I am done with. I have gotten many great books for my family and for teaching!

4) Preparing for gift giving = savings – My gift drawer has come in handy many times for birthday parties and teacher gifts! I always stock up on things when I spot a good deal.

5) Making your own challah – Since we got a bread machine this has gotten even easier. My husband also makes pizza crust and loaf bread in it. Between that and shopping at our local bread outlet, we spend so little on bread products!

6) Menu planning – We often get too busy to do this, but when we do, it helps so much! We make less trips to the store and eat better. Our family loves homemade meals better than pinch hit dinners like eggs and toast!

7) Brighter savings – I cannot remember the last time we had to buy light bulbs. Using fluorescent bulbs saves us a lot of money and we have to replace them so infrequently!

8) Staying on top of your kids’ clothing – We are so fortunate to have generous friends who give us their hand-me-down clothes when they are done with them. I love to go shopping in my basement for the next size clothes when my boys’ need it! I rarely have to buy things for them except for socks, underwear, and a few other items!

9) Become a member – Our zoo and science center memberships have more than paid off and give us other things to do at each place that we normally could not afford! I just wish they both weren’t up for renewal around the same time!

10) SodaStream soda makers! – I admit that I love soda, even though it is bad for me! However, SodaStream uses healthy artificial sweeteners and is much cheaper than canned and bottled sodas. It also makes a nice treat for Shabbos guests that we would normally not be able to afford!

11) The advantage of buying paper goods online – I try to limit our use of paper goods, but around the holidays (especially Pesach), they really come in handy. Buying them in the store (even Sam’s) can be so expensive. See my reasons for why shopping online is better!

12) Recycle your ink – earn money – OfficeMax offers $2 back now on each ink cartridge you recycle with them. It just gets added to your rewards. Simple way to earn a few bucks!

13) School Supply Shopping Strategy – With school supplies already out on the shelves, my shopping tips really help us spend very little on supplies each year. And with four kids, it can add up quickly!

14) Are “dollar stores” really a good deal? – I love Dollar Tree and frankly probably shop there too much! But, I find so many great deals there – teaching items, kitchen tools, containers, and more!

15) Why I love Target! – Target has so many ways for you to stack your savings – manufacturer’s coupons, Target printable coupons, Cartwheel mobile app, your Target Red Card, and gift card rewards. I always come out with a feeling of accomplishment and save at least $20 or more this way!

16) Printer ink can cost a fortune – I print a lot from home for teaching, so my tips for buying affordable ink are crucial! We also changed to a Brother printer, which has been much better than our HP printer.

17) Making the most of the whole bird My husband is a master at using as much of a chicken as possible. We let very little go to waste and end up with several meals from one chicken!

18) Follow-up on ditching cable – we love our Roku!This change has made the biggest difference in our monthly expenses. It was hard to do at first, but I cannot imagine going back and am so glad we are not wasting our money anymore!

19) Post-Christmas shopping successI love after-holiday sales. I can always find good deals on special treats, snacks, items for my gift drawer, and more. You don’t have to celebrate the holiday to save from the special seasonal items!

20) Saving on Black Friday without spending much money! I do not stand in line for hours, but I still save a ton each Black Friday. A little planning and knowing the right stores to go to make the difference!

Thanks for reading and please let me know what you think of my favorite tips and other posts!

Hope you are enjoying your summer!


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Goodbye Pesach 2015, but thinking about next year…

pesach closetPesach may be over, but there is always a lot to do to put it all away and go back to our usual routines. My husband and I spent most of the morning finishing the dishes, bringing our Pesach stuff downstairs, packing the leftover food away, and taking off all the odds and ends from Pesach (the signs, counter coverings, etc.). We still haven’t repacked the bins and put them away, but at least we are farther than most years! I will have to be sure to check my list to make sure we haven’t forgotten anything! See my post, “Putting away Pesach” on doing this.

But the most important part of ending Pesach is thinking about next year! I always like to think about a few things before wrapping up the current year:

1) Any things I want to change or do differently next year (see below for details).

2) Wish list for next year

– For us it was things that had broken (like our cutting mats) or more plastic containers, which always seem to disappear.

– We also plan to remember to buy more margarine. We got only one pack and it was not enough! We had to borrow from friends!

3) Inventory of what food we have leftover and plan to save for next year.

This list is very important so you don’t overbuy the next year. We have so many boxes of cake meal and matza meal left, that we won’t need it for several years! I also take the time to adjust my shopping list based on what we used. For example, we used 8-9 dozen eggs this year. That was a bit more than past years.

I will share with you the lessons I learned from this year.

∞ Changing your cleaning order is okay! I ended up cleaning in a backward order this year. When the week of Pesach came, I had only cleaned the two kids’ bedrooms. We normally would not turn over the kitchen until all the rooms were done (except maybe the living room and dining room). However, I knew with my husband’s and my work schedule, we had to take advantage of that Sunday to turn over the kitchen no matter what.

So I just ended up cleaning our bedroom and the basement (which were only an hour and a half or so total) and then the living-dining room last. It is funny how no matter how long you have been keeping Pesach, each year is so different. You might think that things will get easier as your children get older, or you are not working, or… But what I found in talking with my coworkers, every year brings something new. One friend had lost her father and was helping her mother move, another had a few-month-old baby, and another had a sick mother she was caring for. We never know what life will throw us. I think being organized, but willing to be flexible to get it all done, really helps!

∞ This year I also had to really resist the urge to spring clean to get it all done. With working three jobs and taking care of my family, I did not get as much cleaning done the month before as I had hoped. So with encouragement from friends that “dust is not chometz,” I forged on and lightened my standards, My house did get clean, but we do have some things to continue cleaning (and that is okay!), i.e. dusting, mopping a few areas of the house, and decluttering!

∞ Order paper goods early. In years past, I have compared prices on paper goods from websites and placed a large order with friends. However, I just never got around to it this year. I just couldn’t bare to buy from anywhere else (like a brick and mortar store) because you pay so much more! Thankfully, I was able to get within $.02 an item for most of the paper goods I needed from Amazon Prime. I ordered on Tuesday and my stuff was here Thursday, just in time for Pesach. Next year, I plan to remember that even if I don’t have the time to do the research and do a big order, Amazon has great prices and I should just order right after Purim so I will have some for that week before Pesach!

∞ Planning the week before Pesach is just as important as the cleaning and menu planning for Pesach. This year, I used some tips from a friend of mine, and planned some easy, but not necessarily chometz-free meals the week before (shul dinner, pizza bagels, soup and salad, salmon hash, hamburgers and chips). What helped make it a success was that we:

  • ate outside every night
  • only let the kids eat chometz outside
  • had kitnios snacks and cereal that week
  • used appliances outside the kitchen for meals (like we moved the toaster into the dining room for one night’s meal, grilled for another and heated a frozen soup in the crockpot for one)

∞ Don’t wait to do your Passover shopping! We kept waiting until closer to Pesach to get our groceries, but by the time we did our shopping, some popular items were already gone (like margarine, salad dressing, and pickles). So I will remember to at least get those few things early, even if I am not ready or do not have the money to do my full shopping trip yet.

Do you have any tips you learned this Pesach to share with the rest of us? Please share in the Comments!

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Inspiration for Purim costumes and shaloch manos

This year I am not feeling nearly as crazed as usual, but it certainly helps that my boys chose easy costumes. I normally make their costumes and I take pride that they still wear most of their past costumes to play dress up. However, this year with working two jobs and being sick most of last week, I was feeling so behind. I am finally caught up, except for this – blogging! The following are costume and shaloch manos ideas from last year.


Here is what my boys dressed up as last year – a rocker, Bat Dog, Robin and Batman.

Picture 199

One of my sons chose to be a rocker. All that required was a borrowed wig (thanks Michelle!), favorite pants with hole in the knee, and a favorite jammy shirt. The easiest of the bunch!

Another wanted to be Bat Dog, which I had never heard of. We looked up ideas on Pinterest and found what he looks like. We used:

  • brown sweatshirt and sweatpants
  • a homemade collar made of felt and velcro (sewed on) and decorated with permanent marker
  • homemade ears made of felt and a headband
  • a black mask (found at Michaels)

The last triplet wanted to be Robin. His costume was made from:

  • red short-sleeved shirt (Michaels or Walmart)
  • green long-sleeved polo shirt
  • red pajama pants
  • felt accents for the shirt and belt, glued with felt glue, velcro sewed on to secure belt, and decorated with permanent marker
  • another black mask (from Michaels)

My oldest wanted to be Batman. His costume was made from:

  • grey sweatpants and sweatshirt
  • a black cape I made from black fabric, an elastic black ribbon for the neck and fabric glue, and decorated with permanent marker
  • felt accents for the shirt and belt, glued with felt glue
  • another black mask (from Michaels)

Shaloch manos:

Our own shaloch manos last year were made to be inexpensive, with a bit of creativity. With job struggles for us both, we needed to keep our costs down. So we went with an apple theme – red gift bag (from Party City), green leaves made from scrapbooking paper, labels printed on the computer, green ribbon, apples, apple laffy taffy and apple cereal bars (from Aldi). Simple, but cute.

Picture 195

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Here are more ideas from shaloch manos we received last year that were creative, yummy and/or useful!

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Pirate treasure theme – cardboard treasure box, goodies inside, scroll with poem on top

Picture 203

Italian delicacy theme – Pellegrino drink, dakkah spread, olive oil, and Italian bread. Such a special yummy treat and a beautiful, elegant presentation! (Great idea Tammy & Mark!)

Picture 204

Beach theme – pail and shovel, cute poem with food to match (Great idea Amy and Joshua!)

Picture 205

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Shoe theme – The sisterhood of one of the local shuls always does beautiful, elaborate shaloch manos as a fundraiser. They come up with wonderful themes each year. Last year’s was shoes. The container was a shoebox of course, and inside were a shoe cookie cutter, a shoe-shaped cake knife, shoe luggage tag, a shoe notepad, shoestring potatoes, fruit by the foot, a shoe-shaped cookie, and more. They even put it all in a canvas bag from Famous Footwear!

Picture 208

Superhero theme – family initial superhero logo, blue paper bag, poem with foods to match – Powerade, Go Bars, celery, Popchips and Gushers. (Great idea Jessi and Arik!)


Picture 207

Spring themed box – loved this one and it can be used for anything! I love reusable containers!

Picture 210

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Mexican fiesta theme – this family always chooses a theme with matching container and costumes. They include a photo of the family dressed in costume on their container. They are amazing! The food matches, too! (Thanks Bella and Yosef!)

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Posted by on March 2, 2015 in Family ideas, Holidays


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St. Louis Jewish Orthodox Community – Purim Megillah Readings 2015

purim artPurim is only a few days away and we have been very busy getting everything ready. But as we all know, Purim has four important mitzvos. Thankfully, the only prep for hearing megillah is deciding where to go. To make it easier for my St. Louis Orthodox friends, here is my annual list of readings in the community.

I update this post often as new information comes to me and if there are any corrections. Please check back if there is not a time that suits you and your family.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

5:35 p.m.         Mincha followed by 6:30 Ma’ariv, Megillah reading at 6:40 p.m. by Rabbi Shaya Mintz,
x                     Nusach Hari B’nai Zion

5:45 p.m.         Nusach Hari B’nai Zion KidZone Kids will make groggers and fill Hamantashen in the
x                     Feigenbaum-Pepose Learning Center, then – between Mincha and Ma’ariv ~ before the
x                     reading of the Megillah ~ they will show off their costumes as they parade around the shul.

6:00 p.m.         Young Israel, Kids’ Costume Parade

6:15 p.m.         Ma’ariv, followed by Megillah Reading at 6:30 p.m., Bais Abraham Congregation

6:25 p.m.         Ma’ariv, followed by Megillah reading at Agudas Israel

6:30 p.m.         Ma’ariv, followed by Megillah reading at U City shul

6:30 p.m.         Ma’ariv led by Beit Shira Hazzan Howard Shalowitz followed by Megillah reading by Rabbi
x                     Yaakov Gertzulin, The Cedars, 13190 S. Outer Forty Rd, Town and Country, MO 63017.

6:30 p.m.         Ma’ariv, followed by Megillah read by Rabbi Rovinsky and Max Gornish, Special youth program
x                     for children from 1st grade and under with JoJo the Clown, Young Israel

7:00 p.m.         Tpheris Israel Chevra Kadisha

8:15 p.m.         Young Israel, reading by Dr. Danny Wachsstock

8:30 p.m.         Torah Prep Boys School

9:15 p.m.         Chabad on Campus, 7018 Forsyth Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63105, contact

9:15 p.m.         Young Israel “Lotts of Fun”-Purim Bingo with food and prizes

Thursday, March 5, 2015

6:15 a.m.         Early minyan – Shacharis, followed by Megillah reading, Agudas Israel

6:30 a.m.         Shacharis, followed by 7:00 a.m. reading by Rabbi Rovinsky, Nusach Hari B’nai Zion

6:30 a.m.         Shacharis, followed by Megillah reading at 7:00 a.m., Bais Abraham Congregation

6:30 a.m.         Shacharis, followed by 7:10 a.m. reading by Dr. Hillel Frankenthal, Young Israel

7:30 a.m.         Shacharis, followed by Megillah Reading, Agudas Israel

7:40 a.m.         U City Shul

7:40 a.m.         Tpheris Israel Chevra Kadisha

8:30 a.m.         Shacharis, followed by 9:15 a.m. Family Friendly Megillah In 4 Voices with Rabbi Shulman,
Young Israel

9:00 a.m.         Shacharis led by Beit Shira Hazzan Howard Shalowitz followed by Megillah reading by Rabbi
x                     Yaakov Gertzulin, The Cedars, 13190 S. Outer Forty Rd, Town and Country, MO 63017.

9:30 a.m.         St. Louis Women’s Megillah Reading, at the home of Bonnie & Mickey Goldmeier, 219 Topton
x                     Way, Clayton

10:00 a.m.       Agudas Israel

12:05 p.m.       Chabad on Campus, in the DUC room 232, Washington University’s “Danforth Campus,” contact

1:00 p.m.         Young Israel reading by Max Gornish

2:00 p.m.         Grand Purim Reenactment Parade, begins at corner of Gay and Cornell, 1 hour

5:00 p.m.         Annual Bais Abraham-Torah MiTzion Festive Purim Seudah Meal, Adults: $20 at the door, Kids
x                     3-12: $15 at the door, Kids under 3: FREE

5:10 p.m.         Chabad on Campus, 7018 Forsyth Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63105, contact

*Please note that the main part of your seudah should be completed before sunset at 6:00 p.m., according to the Young Israel schedule.

** Other seudas are not listed because they required in advance reservations that have passed.

Related fliers:

Women’s Megillah flyer 2015

Young Israel Purim 2015

Bais Abe purim flyer (2)

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Posted by on March 1, 2015 in Family ideas, Holidays


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Saving on Black Friday without spending much money!

black friday imageSome of my friends thought I was crazy to go shopping on Black Friday. They talk about not wanting to fight the lines and crowds. However, if you know what deals you are going for and stick to a few stores, you can’t go wrong! I also refused to go on Thursday, wanting to send a message to stores that they should be closed!

I have a few favorite stores I love to go to each year – Target and CVS. Target often offers special items just for Black Friday. I always can get my boys cheap pajamas and hat and glove sets. The pajamas are often in sets that are created solely for Black Friday. CVS offers tons of freebies (you just split your purchase up and use your Extra Bucks right away!).

My strategy:

1) I go through the newspaper (or online) sale fliers and my favorite blog, “Kosher on a Budget,” beforehand.

2) I create a detailed list before heading out to shop (be sure you record the price each item should be).

3) I am careful what goes on my list. I try not to buy anything we don’t need or usually buy anyway.

4) I also try to keep my gift expenses low for the kids, because I know they usually get holiday money and gifts from relatives. We are not really in a position right now to buy any splurges!

Here are my savings for the day:


Amazon has a deal offering 30% off one book: I have only seen this deal for Black Friday. The deal is still good until Nov. 30. See the post “30% off Amazon book code…” on Kosher on a Budget. I saved $3.99 on a book for work.

Amazon also offered many magazines at $5, including my favorite “Real Simple.” See the post “Discount Mags Black Friday sale – 100 Magazine subscriptions starting at $3.50 per year” on Kosher on a Budget. My last renewal was $32.99 from them!

Total Amazon savings = $36.98

Target:IMG_1340I went here first, because I know that my favorite items (the pajama sets) go quick! Not so quick that I got up early or went Thursday night, though! This year the sets were $5 each and for some reason they rang up as $3.50 a set at the register! Normally a two-piece set in the children’s department on sale would be $10. You cannot beat that! (Savings = $26 since I bought for four kids.)


They also have gloves and hats on sale each year. I got the boys each a new winter hat (2 for $4) and a set of gloves (2 sets of 2 pairs for $4). So each boy got a new hat and gloves for $3 per kid! These sets were previously $5 a set and higher when not on sale! (Savings = $3)



All regular-priced clothing in the store was 40% off, so I was able to get my boys each a long-sleeved shirt ($4.80) for weekends and myself two long-sleeved shirts ($7.20 each). I also got a package of socks (10 pair) for $5 (regularly $10.49). (Savings = $27.89)


50% off select frames: Three were normally $2.00, I got them for $1. The other was $4.99; got for $2.50. (Savings = $5.50)


The Lego movie: My boys have been anxiously awaiting this to come out. I got it for $9 (Was $9.99 on Amazon instant video or $18.99 before Black Friday. However, it is $8.99 as of Saturday eve on Amazon, if you want to get it now!) (Savings = $9.99)

Red card 5% discount = $5.15.

Total Target savings = $77.53

To find out other ways you can save at Target, see my post “Why I love Target!”

Old Navy:IMG_1347The whole store was 50% off! I had looked at the sale flier ahead of time and saw that they had boys’ half-zip pullover sweaters for $8.47 each. I only have one sweater for each of the boys, so I thought this would be great to get. I could not find them at the store, but found this lighter sweater instead, for the same price. The boys loved wearing them for Shabbos. They will get good wear out of them for school, too!

Total Old Navy savings = $33.88


CVS had lots of freebies this holiday. Not quite as many as in past years, but I am not complaining! This year it was paper towels (on sale for $1.99), various chocolate candies (I chose Hershey’s, on sale for $.79), AA batteries (on sale for $4.19), and a set of two toothbrushes (on sale for $2.00). That’s $8.97 of free stuff!


Buy one get one free: I got my boys each a fleece blanket for their beds (buy one at $9.99, get one free) and got two remote control cars (buy one at $12.99, get one free) for my gift drawer. See my post “Happy Birthday to you, and you, and you”  for how to create one. So for $5 each, I got a warm blanket for each of my sons, and I got each car for $6.50! I did have to go to a second CVS for two more blankets (the closest store only had 2), but it was worth the trip! The boys loved them and even had fun using them for dress up! They will add some needed warmth for them at night this winter!


Other sale items: Tuna for $.66 a can ($.69 regularly at Aldi, but for name brand it was a savings), a polish gift set for a friend ($3.88 on sale, $3 ExtraBucks back = $.88), and a remote control helicopter for my older son for Chanukah ($8.88, regularly $19.99).

Total CVS Savings = $56.23


OfficeMax is one of my favorite stores. They have great sales every week, put many items on clearance and have a great rewards program. See my post on “Get rewarded for shopping – updated” and “Recycle your ink = earn money.” Recently our printer broke, and I had $50 in rewards to go towards a new one!

Sharpies – I got a metallic 6-pack for $3. This set is normally $10.49!

I also got a 16 MG memory card for our camera for $6.99 (regularly $39.99). We currently have a small one which really only allows us to take 10-15 pictures at once! I had been hoping they might go on sale because the regular price was way to high!

Total OfficeMax savings = $40.49

Total savings for my Black Friday adventures: $245.11. Considering I spent less than $200 that is awesome!


Posted by on November 29, 2014 in Grocery savings, Other savings tips


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