Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Pesah post-mortem

My friend Sallie W. points out that now is the time to go to the grocery store and stock up on all those Passover items that are now marked down - cake mixes, cans and jars, etc. The corrollary to the mark-ups in the prices of such items that take place leading up to the holiday is the markdowns that take place after it. Actually, here in Wichita I'll wait another week or two - I looked in on the section yesterday and most everything was only slightly marked down; in a little while longer, when Dillons really needs to free up the shelf space, discounts will be much more significant. Last year Passover gefilte fish was marked down about 75% about a month after the holiday, and you've never seen a happier man than I was that day, let me tell you.

I can also say that we did pretty well with keeping our Passover-related spending under control, and the basic reason for that was that we didn't worry too much about hekshers (kosher certification). I know this won't be very helpful to people who are more observant than I, but I've more or less decided that kosher certification is a rip-off, and I'll eyeball ingredients lists to make sure something doesn't have wheat etc in it, but after that I don't worry about it too much. And those little "made on the same equipment as wheat and nuts" legends that have appeared in the past couple of years are very helpful in this regard.

During the week of the holiday we ate a lot of leftovers from the seder, of course, but one night I made a matzo-meal polenta from the NY Times Passover cookbook, another night I made a matzo lasagna, and aside from a quick run for apples we didn't go back to the grocery store all week.

Yesterday was replenishment day, and for the first time I went to Aldi's, which is probably worth a post of its own but was a revelation, let me tell you. Last week on NPR's Talk of the Nation there was a discussion about Walmart moving toward local produce, and it was so convincing I brought it up to DW, who said that she would much rather me start by going to Aldi's than to Walmart, which we pretty much consider a source of pure evil.

Anyway, a shopping trip that would have cost nearly $200 at Dillons cost about $60 at Aldis. Comparing the brands that I got there with some of the stuff we still have in the cupboard, the things look very similar both nutritionally and in terms of ingredients, but it's cheaper, what can I say. They don't carry any organics or the fake meat products that we like, but for cereals, canned goods, pasta and some other staples, it looks like it will be a regular stop on my shopping circuit.

1 comment:

Pastor Cindy said...

Moti, I had not idea you were not familiar with Aldi's. That has been my basic stock up food store for years. There are some things that are not at all good, but mostly for basics it can not be beat. Back when I kept a price book, Aldi's prices were my standard.

We will have to compare Aldi notes one of these days.