Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Simple Pesah Hacks

I posted a request on my Facebook page for suggestions for how to keep Pesah from breaking the bank. Here's what my friends came up with.

Thomas T:
As an outsider who comes from a tradition where the spirit of the rule is as (if not more) important than the letter, I've always been curious about the rule-skirting, lousy tasting, very expensive things like pesadich noodles, cookies, etc. Especially among those ... who only observe the dietary restrictions during seder meals. ... [I]t seems like the raw ingredients of pesadich foods, especially for those whose practice permits kitniyot, are pretty cheap in and of themselves. Plus, you can't eat out at all, which for some families, would make a big difference right there.
Sallie W.:
Don't buy the horrible breakfast cereal -- it is truly bad. Stick with matzah brei or, if in a hurry, a boiled egg and matzah (with butter, of course).

If you're a single person, buy the 5 pound matzah package on sale and split it with friends.
Judy G.:
1) I know a lot of people who throw out all their open condiments etc every year at Pesach, which is a very expensive way to manage one's pantry. Condiments shouldn't be kept forever but even if you don't use them on Passover, you can segregate them and use them afterwards.

2)The extent of the kosher l'Pesach foods available are amazing and ... See questionable--does your milk for that week really need a special Passover hechsher? [MR: answer: no]

3) Do you need all those special Pesach treats? I buy matzah, matzah meal and matzah cake meal and that's it. (Actually, I also buy one box of those awful jelly fruit slices because my husband insists on them and has convinced my kids they are essential.) But the point is--do you need all that special Passover stuff or can you just eat a low carb diet for the week?
If you observe the prohibition on kitniyot, you would want to add potato starch to Judy's list.

Daniel B:
Glass dishes can be kashered. KfP pasta is a waste of money. Don't buy KfP cereal, make Matzo granola.
Most processed foods are a rip off, but especially Pesah foods, which are usually very unsatisfying substitutes for whatever they're supposed to be imitating.

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