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A Happy and Frugal Purim


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Purim is right around the corner! It’s such a fun holiday, and there are so many aspects to it that we mustn’t forget. It’s definitely worth thinking about a few weeks in advance.

Off the top of my head, here are the parts of Purim that tend to make us spend money: Costumes, especially for families with a bunch of kids (but I also know adults who go “all out”); Purim Seudah – a festive meal; Mishloach Manot – sending gifts of food to friends; and Matanot La’Evyonim – gifts to the poor.

So how does a family keep it all under control, in perspective, and yet still make it a festive day?

I’m sure you can hunt down any number of articles about how to get costumes for less (ebay, thrift shops, make your own all come to mind. We tend to make our own. Or for princess costumes, we bought dresses at the thrift shop or from the clearance rack that just needed a bit of  embellishment).

Our Orange Tree

Matanot La’Evyonim – don’t skimp. Give as much as you can.

Seudah – the meal. You can make it festive and frugal just follow these Budget Minded Holiday Tips.

Mishloach Manot – here is where people almost always go overboard. At the risk of sounding a bit grinch-like, I am going to advocate seriously examining our mishloach manot. Does it need to be full of candy? Junk food? Processed who-knows-what?  Way back when the mitzvah was established people sent ACTUAL food to one another.  So I am going to advocate taking these measures:

our lemon tree

1. Keep your list short

2. Keep your gift basket simple – the elaborately themed mishloach manot contest has kind of gotten out of control.

3.Skip the candy and junk, if you are brave enough. Or at least keep it to a minimum…

4. Use foods that are in-season, on sale, or that you have available to you in abundance.

So here’s my plan for this year – I want to use what I have in abundance. I will be sending lemon quick breads, and oranges (we have 1 lemon tree and 4 orange trees in our yard). And a mini chocolate bread (I’m including the recipe below) – because it’s a really delicious sweet treat, and still sort of like real food. I didn’t say skip the fun!

Have a Happy Purim! I’d love to hear about your Mishloach Manot and your ideas for having a frugal Purim!

Recipe for Mini Chocolate Bread


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About Ester Silber-Schachter


I am a homeschooling mother of 4 who lives in the Jezreel Valley in Northern Israel. I made Aliyah with my husband and children in 2010, and we are so happy that we were finally able to make that dream come true!

I am a dedicated penny-pincher and love to cook healthy foods for my family without breaking the bank. I blog about my adventures in saving, spending, and cooking in Israel at Frugal and Kosher.




5 Responses to A Happy and Frugal Purim

  1. avatar says: sherri

    can you share your lemon quick bread recipe as we, too, have a lemon tree.

      • avatar says: Dassy

        The lemon bread sounds great even tho lemons and milk don’t usually mix!
        On Purim you should specif that the recipe is milchig!!!
        People tend to eat their seuda early and might want to nosh !!
        Used to b mishloach manot were sent to people so that could use things for the seudah.
        Last yr. I bought popcorn containers(plasticised) and sent a big bag of popcorn-something like 7 shekels in Geulah for ready made- of course u can send home made ad well/ I still have the container (we added a bottle of good wien 1/2 bottle size.
        Good work!
        Purim Sameach

  2. avatar says: shulamuna

    Every year we give the same shaloch manos: tuna and a small bottle of grape juice. If it’s for a rebbe or Rav, then a big bottle of wine/grape juice. These items are kosher l’Pesach and very practical. My friend tells me that when the kids get older, I won’t be able to get away with this, that they’ll want themes just like everyone else. Nu nu. We’ll see. For now, though, this is what we do. Not too expensive, either.

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