With Tu B’Shevat right around the corner, I’m already starting to think about one of my favorite traditions: The Tu B’Shevat seder.
Hailed as the New Year for the Trees, Tu B’Shevat falls in the dead of winter – and we celebrate by partaking in the “fruits” of these celebrated trees: Namely dried fruits and nuts.
(This year, Tu B’Shevat falls out on January 26, 2013. Learn more about the New Year for the Trees in this article from Chabad.org.)
When we lived in Israel, these traditional foods were plentiful – and relatively inexpensive.
In the U.S., however, the cost can quickly add up. A tiny bag of roasted almonds can run $5 or more. And the way my kids eat – it’s gone in one sitting.
Adding these costly items to my regular grocery list can definitely cause me to trip over my monthly budget.
Most weeks, I shop at Aldi for their affordably priced produce and basic staples, like milk, eggs and butter. But Aldi has also proven to be a great “secret” source for special occasions, too, including our Tu B’Shevat seder.
Earlier this week, I checked out their selection of dried fruits and nuts and was very impressed.
Southern Grove Pitted Dates — $1.99 for 8 ounces (These by the way are a seasonal item – so grab them now and stock up for Tu B’Shevat.)
Roasted Almonds — $3.99 for 12 ounces
Mixed Dried Berries — $2.49 for 5 ounces
Dried Figs — $2.49 for 8 ounces
Unfortunately the dried apricots don’t have an hechsher right now. (They did a few months ago, so this could just be a supplier issue? Definitely check your stores, as yours might still be hechshered.)
I also love Aldi’s uber-affordable fresh flowers and seasonal plants. If I feel the need to treat myself to some Shabbat flowers, you can’t beat Aldi’s $3.99 bouquets. Or their gorgeous potted orchids, which they had recently for only $5.99.
The next time you stop into Aldi, also be sure to checkout their clearance shelves.
Since Thanksgiving, Aldi has been stocked with a wonderful array of holiday items – from baking pans and colored sprinkles to high end cheeses (including their spicy mozzarella braided loaves, which are certified OU-D – YUM!) and delicious mint-chocolate milk.
A surprising number of these seasonal items have been hechshered, including their yummy baklavah platter. (Drizzled with chocolate. Chocolate drizzles, people!)
Thanks to all these deals, I managed to pick up the fixings for my Tu B’Shevat Seder, plus some treats for me (why yes, I did get the mint-chocolate milk for $.99!), a pound of butter and some produce we needed for Shabbat – all for just $30.99 including tax.
Go here to find an Aldi grocery store near you.
And if you want to learn more about my “take” on saving by shopping at Aldi, here’s a Reader Q&A from a while back.
Disclosure: I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for ALDI. I received a gift certificate to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item as a thank-you for participating. For more information, please see my Disclosure Statement.