We’re all about Purim in our house these days, but I’m not in complete denial that Pesach is indeed coming. So, I thought this question in the comments section last week was especially apt.
It was submitted by “Annonymous”, but I’m guessing that Anon isn’t the only one wondering about how to balance the pull of stockpiling deals at rock bottom prices with the push of the impending de-chametzification of our homes.
What do you do about Pesach and cereal? I started reading your blog recently and learning about stockpiling, but when I came home with a bunch of cereal from Target the other day, my husband made a comment about Pesach coming. (Even tho’ we do sell our chametz, he doesn’t want to purposely buy stuff we know we’ll have after Pesach.)
Do you use up your cereal & other chametz, or continue to stockpile when there are good sales and just sell it all?
I’m learning so much here! Thanks!
So, first of all, in case you are reading this and see the word “stockpiling” and immediately get turned off by images of Y2K-underground-storage-bunkers, let me put your mind at ease.
To me stockpiling means, simply, buying the products my family uses regularly when they are at rock bottom prices. And, even better, when I have a coupon to allow me to save even more.
How much do I buy when I’m “stockpiling”? Well, that depends on a number of factors:
- Does the item expire? If so, I’m obviously not going to stockpile more than we can use — or donate — before the expiration date.
- Do I have room in my budget? Even if this is the deal of the century, if I can’t afford it, it’s not a bargain.
- When do I think the next sale will be? Most products have a 12-week sale cycle. That means about once every 3 months, they will hit their rock bottom price. So, in a pinch, I can assume that a 12-week supply is an adequate “stockpile”.
For more on my thoughts about stockpiling, you may want to read these posts (if you haven’t already):
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let me also say that every family has different customs when it comes to selling chametz.
For our family, we feel comfortable with selling our chametz, and will probably designate the basement storage room for all the non-perishable chametz stuff. That’s where our freezer resides, so that will be all chametz as well.
While we do sell our chametz, I nonetheless try to avoid buying more cereal, pasta, etc. than we can use before Pesach. I’ve got 14 boxes of cereal still stockpiled in my basement, for example, so I probably won’t be buying anymore. If it’s a real family favorite, I might get a few boxes — if I’m fairly certain we will eat them before Passover.
In my week of crazy Pesach cleaning, I like to go through the stockpile and weed out anything that has been sitting for a while. This is a great time to make donations to food banks – and so many are in great need.
Since I’ve been shopping like this for a while now, I’ve got the beauty of perspective: I know that the deals will come back. So spring cleaning isn’t much of a financial risk. I know BBQ sauce will be free again this summer, so I can “afford” to part with the three bottles left from last summer’s sales.
As long as I’m waxing on about Pesach and stockpiling, I will confess to you all that I did a little experiment last year. I stockpiled matzah.
Yeah, I know.
But it was really cheap. I hit up one of our local grocery stores the day after Pesach and found a grocery cart filled with 1-pound boxes of matzah for $.50 each! That is crazy cheap. I checked the expiration date (who knew matzah could last so long?!) and bought 10 pounds.
I figured even if it tastes horrible, at $5, I’m not out too much. And if it tastes “normal” (I’m not sure if I’d say that matzah tastes “good”… But maybe that’s just me), then I saved myself $35!
I’ll be sure to report back in during Pesach about the success — or failure — of my stockpiling experiment.
In the meantime, I’d love to hear how you and your family deal with stocking up on chametz in the weeks before Pesach. And has anyone ever bought matzah – or other Pesach products – at the end of one yom tov to use for the next year?