I was (slightly) astonished that when I put "frugal pesach" into google, I only came up with 9 links. "Frugal passover" only got two links. Hmmmmm...
Well, this family is going to have one. Most grocery items that are prepared especially for pesach are ridiculously, outrageously expensive. I bought one catsup, one mayonnaise, two small bottles of oil for baking (for cooking I can use regular olive oil), and a few candy treats. And that's it. We'll eat fish, eggs, nuts, meat, and chicken for proteins. And lots of veggies and salads. And I'm trying to figure out a kosher l'pesach way to make our own cottage cheese.
In the early 15th century, it was determined that many items (like beans) could be ground into flour and baked like chametz (flour/water), so someone might see someone eating it and think it was okay to eat chametz, since that's what it looks like. So that also nixes lots of good stuff like rice, corns, beans, and peas, that aren't chametz.
So I don't mind giving up chametz for eight days (bread, cake, cookies, etc.), but two things are really, really difficult: no beans (and no peanut butter!), and no cheese (outrageously expensive). Our family relies on beans and cheese quite a lot. Oh, well!!!
I am determined to make our normal grocery bill no larger than our regular grocery bill. We'll see! There are 5 festive dinners (2 nights of seders, 1 night of shabbat, and 2 nights at the end of pesach). The seder dinners don't start until around 10:30 because you go through most of the seder story first, so we tend to eat on the lighter side. Usually soup, fish, meat, and salad. (Yes, this is a "light" festive meal! :)). Shabbat will be slightly more elaborate (it's the most important holiday). By the last two days of pesach we're not feeling very interested in food. :)
So... I hope to report on the results of our frugal pesach. I have other cyber-friends doing the same, so we'll egg eachother on.