How to Save $120 on Your Sukkah (In Less than 5 Minutes)

How to Save $120 on your Schach in Less than 5 Minutes

This genius money-saving maneuver and the post itself are courtesy of my husband, Frankie Sachs

Need new schach but can’t stand the thought of spending so.much.money on it?

Well, I have a solution!

Our schach “lenetzach” that we bought in Jerusalem back in 2003 had to be retired after last Sukkot. We spent the second half of the holidays out of town last year and when we came back, we discovered that our bamboo poles were extremely waterlogged. After they finally dried out, I spotted quite a bit of mold on them.

I figured they had served us well for more than a decade and since Google was no help in figuring out how to de-mold them, we decided to move on. Only problem was that this year when I went to purchase a new bamboo schach matt, I was stunned by the prices: We were quoted $140 on an 8×8 bamboo mat from a local retailer, and the online options weren’t much less — plus we would have had to pay a ton for shipping.

Mara was freaking out a tiny bit unhappy about forking over $140 on bamboo, so I called a friend for advice. He sent me to this page from the C.R.C. where they discuss kosher schach options available at your local home improvement store.

A few clicks later and I was able to order twice the amount of schach we needed (just in case!) — and have it waiting for me to pick up at our local Home Depot in the morning.

It cost me a grand total of…

….

$17.43, including tax!

Cheap Bamboo Schach from Home Depot Kosher SukkahNote that if you go this route, you will need to have some wood support beams (as detailed on this page at the CRC’s website). Fortunately we already have on hand, but even if you have to buy them at Home Depot, they shouldn’t cost you more than a few dollars.

All told, we saved ourselves a tidy $123. That’s an 88% savings!

Sadly, Mara doesn’t think I should get to add that money to my “blow money” category for the month. I’ll have to work on her. 😉

For more frugal inspiration, check out Mara’s post on building & decorating your sukkah on the cheap.

Chag Sameah!

Comments

comments

Comments

  1. Now I’m waiting for the local grocery store version of arbah minim. Heinens sometimes has a citron, although it’s not kosher for Sukkot, priced at $5. I don’t think there is any reason that kosher ones should really cost as much as they do.

  2. Just one piece of warning. This will save lots of money for a year or two BUT, last year I learned that the home depot brands did not stand the test of the elements. We had one strong rain in NYC last year and my schach developed some bring problems and started to smell. I needed to throw mine out last year. Even before the rain it did start shed and burn out from the sun. Also, while kosher, my rav said there were some issues with the binding and wouldn’t recommend it.

    So what to do for penny pinchers – buy one this year, if it survives then keep it. But to those living in places like NYC and Lakewood, where there are hundreds of succah and schach sellers, wait until after yom tov and buy a stronger piece of schach. I got one at 30% off the before succos prices.

    • Thanks, Ben! Yeah, I can see that these won’t necessarily last as long – but I figure I’ve got 7 years of replacing these every year before it’s the same price. Maybe one of the years, I’ll have to spend Sukkot in Lakewood! 😉

  3. It looks like the bamboo is held together by wire. Not sure this is “kosher” . Believe you need a natural product like twine or cotton string.

    • Dale – the one linked to in this post is the one on the CRC recommended site – but obviously, talk to your LOR!! Chag Sameach.

  4. Yes, bamboo held together by wire is a question. Either go searching on CRC for the full details, or ask your local Orthodox rabbi. There are ways to get around it, or things to look for, but you have to make sure you’re taking it into account!

    Chag sameach!

  5. look at this one – http://www.crcweb.org/Schach.pdf

  6. Just FYI…
    (Not judging or telling anyone what to do, just passing along info for your own decision making)
    Some rabbanim in a non-ny city came out saying this wasn’t an acceptable option, because as mentioned above, it needs to be supported in a very specific way in order to be used properly and therefore if it’s not strong enough to withhold the weather, it becomes not kosher. From what I remember, but don’t quote me on it. So ask your LOR just to be sure! Chag kasher vsameach to everyone and all various schach users! 😉

  7. Thank you so much for this tip!

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