About Me

Welcome to Kosher on a Budget! I’m glad you found me!

My name is Mara. I’ve been married for 21 years to Frankie, and together we have three children: two boys and one girl.

My family lives in Israel, although we came here in a very round-about way. My husband and I started off in America, made aliyah as young people — and met and fell in love in Jerusalem.

Our first two children were born in Israel, before we moved to Kansas City, where my parents live, and then to Cleveland, Ohio for a couple years (I also have lots of long-lost family there) — and finally back HOME.

(If it sounds like I’ve moved a lot, I have. The longest I’ve lived in any one house is four years.)

Fifteen and a half years ago, my husband and I were drowning in debt and I couldn’t imagine having $100 in the bank – let alone an emergency fund. In my series An Honest Discussion, I reveal the intimate details of these personal finance struggles and how we overcame them.

If you came to KOAB because you are feeling overwhelmed by a mountain of debt, take heart: You’re not alone.

Today we continue to live on a pretty tight budget — by choice — so that we can afford to splurge on the things we really want while building a solid foundation for our family’s future.

Now I want to show you how to do it, too — whether it’s making and sticking to a budgetmenu planning and frugal cookingdeal hunting, or getting freebies.

There are thousands of frugal living blogs out there, but what makes Kosher on a Budget unique is that it’s written by me — a modern Orthodox Jewish woman, raising a strictly kosher-keeping family of five. You won’t find anything on KOAB that isn’t kosher – literally or figuratively!

Now that you know a little bit about me, I can’t wait to learn more about YOU! Leave me a comment or contact me with any questions or suggestions you might have!


  1. Hello Mara,
    I found your website by “accident” and last week and since then I am addicted to it…
    The only comment I have is (beside of course the word THANK YOU) that maybe 90% of the listings that you posted were not relevant or couldn’t find the page… but the rest is just wonderful!
    Doing such a great job I really really like this way of life. Hooray! Greetings from Florida.

  2. I’m so excited to have found your blog! I’ve been looking for a blog about money management from a Jewish perspective for MONTHS!

  3. I don’t mean this in a bad way at all. I just have a question that I need some insight into. Reading through Torah, when an animal is slaughtered for food purposes, including the chicken, it has to be done in a way in which the blood is spilled on the ground and covered up. Modern chicken slaughtering facilities don’t do this, as they take the blood contents and sell them for other manufacturing purposes. With that in mind, how would buying chicken at Costco be kosher? I’m a Jewish mother in a family of 9 that tries to keep the strictest kosher possible. It would be so much cheaper to buy a chicken at Costco or Sam’s Club, but from what I understand you can’t buy kosher chicken there.

    • Many Costco’s carry Empire Kosher Chicken among other Kosher meat products – depends on your location. There are two Costco’s near me and one carries A LOT of Kosher meat products and the other only has limited frozen Empire products. You can also talk to the manager, if there is enough demand they can make it a regular product for that store. Good luck!

  4. Monica Rubin says

    Hello Mara my name is Monica I live in Canada I wanted to ask you if you have created Cooking Books and if you do where can I get them please get back to me Todah Rabba and Hag Sameach

  5. Sara Blitman says

    How do I sign up for your koab WhatsApp group?

  6. please add me to your email list, thank you.

  7. Vivian Gelberman says

    Is there kosher stuff and Pesach friendly supplies online that’s deliverable to Chicago’s West Rogers Park?

    • Mara Strom says

      Kosher.com, KosherWine.com, even Amazon all have supplies that might help you. What are you looking for in particular?

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