Rosh Hashana and the Chagim are looming over the horizon and this year for 10 days in October, which is the third of the month, we have to prepare festive meals. Wow that is a lot of food and calories!!! Whether one is religious or secular the food shop is going to be considerably bigger and more expensive. So what is going to happen to our food bill? How different will the food shop be from our regular food shop? How do we plan for the month of festivities?
So here are some tips:
First of all, go shopping at home and see what you have in the freezer and the pantry. Many clients, when I start working with them, actually do this and plan a menu according to what they have available.
If you are like me, a thrifty shopper and buy the items that you need on a weekly/monthly basis. In order to prepare for the Chagim I first need to stock up on my freezer. During August and September I started to fill my freezer with meat, chicken and fish, buying a little bit more than I needed at every shop. This way by the time October comes along; these expensive items are taken care of.
I also bought more vegetables, cooked and froze them. So again, I don’t need to buy everything all in one go. Where possible, I have done the same with chicken, meat and fish. This pre-planning not only reduces my food bill but also alleviates the time that I have to spend cooking in the kitchen in October.
For those of you who have not planned in advance the enormous amount of food that will be consumed over the Chagim some serious menu planning needs to be taken into consideration. Once you have done the planning then the food shop is so much easier. Remember to take into consideration left overs. For example chicken: make a stir fry; chicken salad; chicken risotto. All these will certainly go down well as the main dish for another meal.
If you are entertaining it is very acceptable to ask your guests to bring a dish instead of a present, thus reducing the cost of entertaining.
Keeping your food bill under control will leave you money for trips during hol hamoed Succot.
Let me take this opportunity of wishing you all a very healthy, successful and happy New Year.
Gmar Hatimah Tova
Suzy Kahati, Family Financial Advisor.