Kashrut chief's tips for a cheaper Pesach

Many staples are at normal price and some do not require a Passover hechsher, the KLBD's Rabbi Jeremy Conway advises


The director of the London Beth Din’s kashrut division, KLBD, has come up with ideas for families to keep Pesach without breaking the bank.

Rabbi Jeremy Conway acknowledged that “shopping for a number of large meals quickly adds up”. However, staples such as kosher meat, chicken, fish, fruit and vegetables, grape juice and wine “are all available at normal prices”. And matzah prices were competitive with some supermarkets slashing the cost as a loss leader.

KLBD also allowed frozen fish, whole or filleted — provided no other ingredients were added — and approved regular eggs. It additionally sanctioned leading brands of still and carbonated water which can be purchased without a Pesach hechsher.

Rabbi Conway said the KLBD had worked with manufacturers to have their products certified kosher for Passover and throughout the year.

“Tate & Lyle sugar, for example, now bears a KLBD-P symbol and can be purchased for Pesach from regular sources at the year-round price. Other mainstream products such as Saxa salt, Yorkshire Tea and many Nescafé products can now be enjoyed at Pesach without bearing a kosher l’Pesach seal.”

Where products for Pesach cost more than at other times, a number of factors were at play.
“Many of the main raw ingredients simply cost more — potato flour, matzah meal and ground almonds used for home baking on Pesach cost as much as 15 times the price of regular flour. Manufactured kosher l’Pesach cakes will be more expensive for this reason.”

Another factor was that “local bakeries or large factories have additional costs from closing down their premises for a few days, bringing in extra staff to clean from top to bottom, koshering the equipment and investing in special Pesach utensils”.

Rabbi Conway maintained that supervision and labelling did not push up prices. “KLBD Pesach supervision is provided at cost as a service to the community. Where large quantities are produced, the cost per item is negligible.”

He also pointed out that “kosher l’Pesach cakes and Coca-Cola are optional luxuries. All the mitzvot of Pesach can be fulfilled without them.”

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