The Indispensable Post-Pesach List

Passover - Shalom

This is an update of a post  first published in 2009.

The funny thing about Pesach is that you spend weeks getting ready, obsessing about crumbs and making sure that everything in your kitchen has been switched over and made kosher for Passover. No matter how simply you clean, it is still a ton of work.

But the minute the holiday is over, you look around your kitchen and realize that all of it —the drawer liners, the Passover pots, the taped-up cabinets—are completely useless. Your new goal becomes putting your kitchen back together, restocking your pantry and forgetting that there ever was such a thing as cleaning for Pesach.

I still take the time to review, making a list as a reference for next year. It doesn’t always help. I think I was too embarrassed to admit that we had 5 kg. (10 lbs.) of matzah leftover last year—we only finished it on Purim.  In my defense, I had two sons in the army and had to be prepared in case they came home unexpectedly.

But this year, we had to buy more matzah on chol hamoed and still needed to ask the neighbor for an extra package on Friday, as we came too close to running out. I ended the holiday with two eggs, and no potatoes or onions. But I still have an assortment of cooked leftovers to be turned into Pesach soup.

I ordered my produce from a group sale by a haredi organization known as Keren Haor. Pickup is right across the street, but you must order in large quantities. The quality is above average, but some foods like cauliflower are unavailable. We got 10 kg. each of potatoes, onions, and bananas and 5 kg. of beets and carrots, and 4 kg. of avocado. I shared (too many of) the onions, most of the beets and some bananas and carrots. We had to buy more potatoes. I’ve only had to throw out a few items that arrived already soft.

In honor of our guests, my daughter baked two Pesach cakes. She kept asking me why it was necessary, but they came out well and  don’t require separation of eggs. See the recipe at Cooking ManagerOne-Bowl Gluten-Free Passover Cakes.

After over twenty years I finally own a complete Pesach kitchen. I will not get more utensils, except for the excellent paring knife I misplaced—I suspect it went into the garbage.

Here is my list from 2008. I always label it with next year’s date, so there won’t be any confusion. So far I’ve resisted computerizing it, and keep it in a file folder marked “Holidays.” I stuck in my menu for the last days too.

  • Matzah–7.5 kg.
  • Carrots–3-4 kg.
  • Eggs [I didn’t write down a number, but it’s not critical. I’ll start with sixty. I don’t bake.]
  • 130 potatoes
  • Less than 1kg. canola oil [I must have meant a liter]

Utensils [to buy]

  • Good can opener.
  • Metal spatula fleishig [meat]

We ate [canned] tomatoes labelled for kitniyot eaters only [after consulting with the rabbi. I wrote this down to avoid last year’s discussion–my husband won’t remember.]

Don’t buy: Foil, plastic wrap, tablecloths, potato starch, medium containers. [Why medium?]

The blue tablecloth is dairy.

In my list for 2013 I wrote down which days the kids were at home and how many guests we had. I added baking powder and vanilla sugar, and extra eggs for cake. I also stuck in the menu I wrote up for the last two days, even though it will probably be useless since Pesach falls on Monday night next year.

Taking five minutes to write the list saves money and aggravation. It’s impossible to remember those little details.

Do you have a post-Pesach list?

You may also enjoy:

Pesach Crisis Cleaning

Coping with a Pesach Baby

Getting Your Kids to Help with Passover Cleaning

How Much Is Finding Your Beshert Worth? Paying the Shadchan

Image by paurian


  1. Is there a way to calculate how much Matzah to buy per person? I always end up with way to much leftover Matzah.

  2. mominisrael says

    It depends on how much you eat–I suspect we eat more matzah than the average family. We don’t use much matzah meal, and people who make rolls and cakes will eat less matza. We are a family of eight, 6 of whom are over 12. I’ll add your question to the post.

  3. We also had 60 eggs, but how many heads of lettuce, bottles of grape juice.
    I have that we do not need more than 5 bottles of grape juice, but then that is something you can use afterwards if you buy too much, having enough lettuce for the seder is essential.
    The other thing I write down is the kitchen things we need to buy, for instance I need a set of crockery this year (any suggestions of where to buy in Israel?)

  4. When I read the title of your post, I thought you were already planning for after Pesach! I then realized what it meant and now feel better. Not that it has made my own list go down…

  5. Oh, you’re a list person like me. I save my shopping list from year to year and make adjustments based on what we liked, what we didn’t, etc. Every year as soon as we have finished putting away the Pesach things I make two lists for “We Have” and “We Need.” “We Have” might be an unopened potato starch (doesn’t spoil), unused oven mitts, things like that. “We Need” is for things we need to replace, such as a broken utensil. These really help me because throughout the year when I’m shopping I remember to pick things up.

  6. mominisrael says

    Keren: Two heads of lettuce, a few bottles of grape juice–those things I remember. I do remember that the closer it got to Pesach, the lower the prices on household goods. Grocery stores have deals too.
    Ilana-Davita: Your list will get shorter soon.
    Tesyaa: My list has the same things, just shorthand (like the can opener). I keep opened potato starch too.

  7. Mrs Belogski says

    this is hysterical – we are also family of 8, but we will be having a lot of guests, plus we have yom tov sheni. i have ordered something like 25lb of machine baked matzo, plus i will get 2kg of hand baked and about another 1kg that my husband bakes for the sedarim. we get through two large sacks of potatoes, a sack each of onions and carrots, about 20 lettuces etc. We don’t use enormous shiurim, either. people who aren’t baking – what do you feed your family on in between meals or serve for dessert? there is a limit to how much fruit my people will eat!

    re lists: absolutely indispensable – a master shopping list, a quantity list, a list of what’s left over so i don’t buy it again, a list of all the things you can do with potatoes and a list of other side dishes.

  8. I need to buy a food processor. In teaching my son how to use a food processor, he managed to break our chametz one. So I dragged the Pesach one down from the attic. Since I don’t relish grated potatoes, carrots and other veggies by hand, I need to go buy one.

    I haven’t even looked at my Pesach list. I guess I’m still in avoidance mode. I have bought some stuff. Sigh. It’s printing right now…

  9. lol – i clicked over to link to you as an example of an “organized person” and then i found this post:-) i was writing the same post – about what we used last year/what i need to get for this year/etc. great minds think alike, huh?:-)

    i’ve gotta get to the store, though. i’m always afraid they’ll sell out. they never do. but i can panic anyway.

  10. I’ve been quiet lately, but this blog has been my go-to resource. I’ve told some people that for our first year making Pesach at home (as opposed to closing up the apartment and going to my parents for all of Pesach), it feels like I’m being asked to cater a wedding on Mars. I’m unsure about the amounts, the basic ingredients, etc.

    I do have the basics food ideas I grew up with to go on, at least mentally if not practically. (Shnitzels and matzah brei come to mind), but my mother usually does not do much baking for Pesach from scratch – she’s bought or in recent years used the mixes – and I am planning on making several simple cakes. We’re not as many people, but I presume I’ll need a lot of eggs. What’s the story with people not buying eggs over chol hamoed?

    I’m eschewing pre-made processed things as much as I can similarly to what I try to do throughout the year. We’ve bought our non-perishables and cleaned the bedrooms, car, and I’m making some headway in the areas closer to where we eat. I also did a preliminary cleaning of the freezer and a couple of fridge shelves, putting things back in a more consolidated form and in doubled plastic bags.

  11. Interesting how you count. I always think of potatoes in terms of pounds and would be counting 5 lb bags. As for eggs, I take it you mean what I would count as 5 dozen. I think in Israel, though, eggs do come in larger cartons that may held several dozens.

    Raggedy Mom, I think the thing with the eggs may be the same as those who try to buy all their milk before or avoid dairy altogether — lest the cows are fed chametz over Pesach. For eggs, I suppose they may be concerned that the chickens who lay them were fed chametz on Pesach.

    Personally, I don’t buy every last thing before. I live very close to the stores, for one thing, and for the other, I don’t have enough space to store so many perishable items.

    BTW just got my second 5 lb box of free matzo at Stop and Shop today.

  12. I also rely on my list of do’s and don’ts from previous year. Every year there’s a DON’T BUY! list, and how much we consumed of certain things.

    Here is Israel there seems to be less danger of not finding something crucial in the stores over chol hamoed (e.g. oil or potatoe starch, or even matzoh). Am I wrong about that?

  13. mominisrael says

    Mrs. B: Snacks are more matza, potatoes or bananas. Dessert are bought macaroons or sherbet or chocolate.
    Leora: Enjoy the new FP. I finally replaced my tiny one with an inexpensive standard-sized model (not as large as my year-round FP). The steel blade works great but the attachments are atrocious.

    Phyllis, that’s funny. I’m organized, but only in very specific ways.

    RM: I know you are lurking. You sound like you have things under control. The first time is the hardest.

    Ariella: Potatoes are rarely sold in sacks here, unless they are a fancier type. For some reason I estimated carrots in kilograms, even though we usually buy them loose.

  14. I do the same, but I also note who came for how long. If my oldest son and his whole crew are here for yom tov…2 days..shabbas, it is a big diffeence from if they are just here for shabbas……

    I often save certain things from year to year, and write that on the don’t buy list. I also have a list of books for Pesach so I don’t re-buy a kiddie book.

    I have “master lists” (which just have to be filled in the amounts) of grocery shopping/ vegetable. Each yearn I just xerox and fill in the amounts….

    • mominisrael says

      Rickismom: I also note that, but nothing unusual happened last year. Grandchildren make a big difference in the equation. Enjoy!

  15. mominisrael says

    Baila, I’ve never had a problem but I do avoid the grocery store if I can help it.

  16. It’s poignant, reading comments from young women just starting to host their own Sedarim. Memories of those early years and the pre-Pesach cleaning/shopping/cooking marathon.

    The crowd around our Seder table has dwindled till we’re down to four. I miss the family and guests, but on the other hand, Pesach has become simpler. Still have to clean, shop, and cook, but on a much smaller scale.

    Like others, I also keep a spreadsheet with Pesach needs on it. It’s my shopping list before Pesach, and my list of things to replace after Yom Tov. In those long-ago pre-computer days, I’d write these things down longhand and tape the list to the last box of Pesach things before it got stored away (so I could see it first when I opened the storage space next year). I’m not usually all that organized, but I learned early that with the Pesach list preparation for Yom Tov is far less stressful.

  17. I think we had 60 eggs just with the 2 days last year (Shabbat and Pesach) and we later bought more eggs!
    This year we have Peasach followed by Shabbat.

    Also maybe outside Israel people buy the eggs before Pesach, not only because they eat hametz, but because they might have grain sticking to the egg!

    About running out, I remember one year my parents ran out of Matza before the last day (in Israel), they were only eating a particular sort and could not get hold of them

  18. Bible Belt Balabusta says

    Thanks for the comment on my blog!
    I make a list every post-Pesach, too. This, plus my notes of seder info (who came, what we ate, how we dealt with the afikomen hunt) make a mini-journal. I can look at these lists and remember all the good and not so good stuff. Much easier for me than scrapbooking.
    I am enjoying your posts and comments about cleaning. I feel so isolated here. It is nice to hear of people going to even more trouble than I am.

  19. mominisrael says

    Mimi, that’s why I love blogging on these topics.
    Keren: There’s usually plenty of matzah around.
    BBB: Thanks for your visit too. “It is nice to hear of people going to even more trouble than I am.” Not nice for us! LOL.

  20. I keep a list of Word docs, organized by holiday and year, so I can go find previous year’s menus, shopping lists, haggadahs, recipes, etc. It works pretty well.

    I’m still trying to figure out what you do with 130 potatoes… 🙂

    • mominisrael says

      Tzippora: Eight people. Seven days. Let’s not forget lunch on Erev Pesach, making it eight days. 8×8=64. So 128 is slightly more than two potatoes per person per day. It’s not really that much. We went away for Shabbat last year. I never made this calculation before and I would have estimated more.

  21. In my family, everyone loves matza. We even ate matza brei almost every day in our sukkah on sukkot!!!

  22. mominisrael says

    Mark: Matza in the sukkah? {{shudder}}

  23. Mark, my cousins also enjoy matza in the sukkah. MIL, I find matza so useful year round. What do you do when you run out of Lechem Mishneh on Shabbos?

  24. Of course, I meant to refer to you as MII, not MIL 🙂

  25. But again – two potatoes per person per day? What do you do with them? are you making olive-oil latkes? mashed potatoes?

    I guess in our family we just really like matzah. Bad Cohen and the toddler just finished off the last box, so I decided it was time to get the giant KFP 5-box pack. But we may still run out before the end of the chag.

    • mominisrael says

      Tesyaa, if we want matzah we can buy it at post-Pesach prices. But we usually keep pita in the freezer instead. IL=Israel so it’s okay to call me MIL!

      Tzipporah, some latkes and occasionally kugel–with canola oil. But most of the potatoes are cooked plain or with meat and other vegetables. We also like potato salad.

  26. How can canned tomatoes be labelled kitniyot?

  27. mominisrael says

    They have a bit of vinegar or sugar, or preservatives?

  28. I was under the impression that canola oil is kitniyot.

    Tell me more.

  29. mominisrael says

    Yes, it says on the label that it is only for kitniyot eaters. But there are two reasons to allow it:
    1. It wasn’t included in the original ban on kitniyot.
    2. Most rabbis allow kitniyot derivatives like oil.
    Our rabbi permits it.

    • Just watch out for “enriched” canola oils – this year there was an announcement that the vitamins make it definitely kitniyot (and possibly therefore a problem on that factory in general – I wasn’t clear on the Rabbi’s announcement on that detail)

  30. I bought lemon juice today that was labeled as being for eaters of Kitniot. Lemon juice! Come on, be reasonable. I think it’s just easier for them to write that.

  31. I would like to know what people do if they can’t eat potatoes. What is a good, cheap substitute (with low or no starch and carbohydrates)for the diabetic during Pesach?

    • mominisrael says

      Elisheva: Sweet potatoes? Turnips? As for oil, I’ve never heard of anyone who does’t permit walnut oil, except for Chabadniks who avoid all processed food and use chicken fat for the whole week.

  32. In our shul, we can only have extra-virgin olive oil during Pesach. Everything else is chametz or kitniyot(s).

  33. Elisheva, I don’t understand why there wouldn’t be a heter for kitniyos for people who have an illness such as diabetes that severely restrict food available to them. I have a son who is a picky eater and is also allergic to dairy, eggs & nuts. I never asked for a heter for him but I remember a year when he was a toddler when he refused to eat matza. It was a difficult yom tov for him food wise and rice would have made things much easier.

  34. I read the entire blog, but I still don’t see how much matzo to order per person. Does anyone have an idea? You could say the range, between great matzo lovers and folks watching their carbs? Every year I have this problem. How much matzo to buy? Here in Baltimore it’s time to order it now (before Adar) and the stores DO run out sometimes. Great blog. Thanks!

    • I bought about 2 lb. per person last year. Don’t know how much that helps and whether we are average or not. We don’t eat gebrokt so it’s all matzah and potatoes for us.

  35. Aviva_Hadas says

    Can you share your egg noodle recipe.
    Also, I am about to order my matza & appreciated the estimation. BTW I love to bake for pesach! My favorite part! I can taste my haroset cake already. (& need to buy more parchment paper – better add that to my list pronto.)

  36. Yes, Aviva_Hadas, I just remembered yesterday that I have never put that up. CookingManager.Com will feature only KP recipes for the next few weeks.

  37. I have a master shopping list for Pesach with EVERYTHING we could possibly need and quantities. I am one of those people who wants to be covered for every eventuality, so I restock everything I have in my kitchen. Nothing goes to waste as I usually just continue using the stuff.

    This year I put away several unopened packages (matza meal, spices, baking powder etc) as well as foil and saran wrap to be the to be used next year.

  38. Regular Anonymous says

    I have more matza left over than I can possibly every finish – due to the store kindly selling me a 5 kg box for 1 shekel with my purchase. (I also bought 2 kg whole wheat).

    I specifically bought large quantities of whole wheat matza meal because I prefer to use that during the year instead of bread crumbs.

    • Just met my neighbor and asked her if she wants me to return the matzah or pay her for it. She said that she only recently threw out last year’s matzah, and she could have given us more this year. Will be keeping my eyes open for whole wheat matzah meal!

  39. i also didmy want/need list for 2013.mnore dish towels,more soup nuts—the circular ones are only sold pessach time and we love them,more quinoa……..
    don’t buy choc milk powder–the kids like the syrup better.another serrated veg knife and a pareve and meat cutting board.
    it took me a long time to be able to take cleaning the high chair off the pessach list

  40. Although saving your menus from this year might help you when Pesach starts on Shabbat again in 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018 and I think 2021 (although by then it will have changed drastically!!)

  41. 130 potatoes, impressive!!! My post-pesach note for myself…Make certain to label stuff stored away over passover in trash bags. Motsaei shabbat I accidentally threw away ALL of my kitchen utensils (not the silverware, B”H, but ALL of my spatulas, bottle openers, ladels, etc) that I’d put away in the closet in a trash bag.

  42. I didn’t have time to read all the comments, so I apologise if this has already been said but … for years we have had a shopping list for Pesach which we perfect from year to year. However, this year I decided that we need a post-Pesach shopping list for stocking up again on all of the essentials: Pittot, pasta, cereal, flour, yeast, etc., which we keep from year to year and jsut have to pull out.Does anyone else do this?

  43. I was away from home and relied on bought gefilte fish for food . I cannot look at the stuff anymore

  44. so i guess it’s normal that my wife wanted to make a list after pesach this year?

  45. sylvia_rachel says

    I have made Pesach prep lists for many years, but I just started making a post-Pesach list a couple of years ago when you talked about it on here. I do mine on the computer so that people (including me) will actually be able to read them 😛 It’s VERY useful. For example, I will never again take three months after the chag to find where I put away the cookie cutters 😀

    Unfortunately this year I couldn’t find my list from last year, so had to rely on the one from the year before. But it turned out more or less OK.

    We are a small family, whereas most Pesachdik products are packaged for large families, so there are inevitably leftovers, but I’m getting better at gauging the necessary number of boxes of matzah. At least, I thought I was. Last year 2 boxes was exactly right, so this year I bought 2 boxes … and had to buy a third chol hamoed. Which we didn’t finish. I think I will make another (non-Pesachdik) batch of caramel matzo crunch and bring it into the office 😉

  46. Nurse Yachne says

    My friend Karen Baldasare has a “modest proposal” that we should make Pesach for 2 weeks, every other year. Always makes me chucle