Tuesday, March 2, 2010

They Want How Much?!

A money saving tip to consumers who have computers and printers. The OU regularly puts out a booklet of all of its Kosher for Passover products, along with other information helpful for Pesach. The complete booklet is available online for download by going to ou.org and then typing in passover product listing in the search box. Yup, the whole booklet is some 95 pages. If you scroll through and note the page numbers of the pages you want, you can print only those.

But here's the thing. If you order that booklet already printed up the OU is charging $10 for the booklet--yes, you read that right. Apparently the days when those booklets were given out as freebies to shoppers has ended this year. Groceries are being encouraged to order booklets to give out to consumers--I'll assume their charge is less than $10 but you know what they say about assumptions.

Let's see, about 1-1/2 minutes to download and print the booklet and about 65 cents in paper and ink to print it. That leaves me with $9.35 to spend as I want. A local nail salon has chair massages at $1 per minute. So I can spend $10 to get the pre-printed booklet versus 9 minutes of sheer bliss getting the kinks unkinked. Sounds like a no-brainer to me.

19 comments:

tesyaa said...

I confess that I find this surprising. As you said, the cost of printing is insignificant. But I can imagine this being a problem for the elderly, who may not be computer literate and may not even have computers.

ProfK said...

Tesyaa,

This is where being a good neighbor/friend/relative comes in. If you have the computer and printer, make extra copies for those who you know don't have the computer or aren't computer savvy enough to download the booklet. Even if you end up printing 10 copies of the booklet, your cost is $6.50 for those 10 as opposed to the $100 the booklets would cost if ordered individually from the OU.

Ruth said...

Funny that your other posting up today is about price gouging and then here is a great example. And thanks for the tip to print extras. I made a copy for myself and few for a couple of neighbors that I don't think can manage it on their own.

Lion of Zion said...

who needs the OU book? for recipees? certainly you can't find plenty online.
for a list of kosher for pesach products? well do i really care which brand of bottled water has an OU-P hechsher? or which bleach cleanser?! (what are the chances i'm going to make kiddush on clorox?)
as far as the products that do require a hashgacha, well it's printed on the product label.
what is the purpose of the book other than advertising?

Lion of Zion said...

RUTH:

"Funny that your other posting up today is about price gouging and then here is a great example."

in the OU's defense (and i'm not a diehard fan):
1) it is a non-profit and proceeds from its kashruth department fund its non-kashruth activities.
2) 10 bucks isn't that much
3) they let print it out for free. you want it for cheaper than free?

and unlike matza and arba kosot, there is not mitzvah to buy the OU book. if you feel it's price gouging, don't buy it.

ProfK said...

Lion,

Re "as far as the products that do require a hashgacha, well it's printed on the product label.
what is the purpose of the book other than advertising?"

First, not every store that sells kosher for passover products has those products out now,or has all their passover products out, so looking on the label won't tell you whether or not that product is kosher for Pesach or not. Pathmark carries an OUP on their tuna for Passover, but it's first coming into the stores next week some time. Look at it now and all you will see is an OU.

Second, supermarkets don't usually put anything but the "heimishe kosher" products into their Pesach sections. Many of the regular national brands and the store brands are dispersed throughout the stores in the regular aisles. It's a time savings if you have in print which products to look for in the store instead of having to stop and examine every product on every shelf.

Third, you can plan shopping trips to different markets based on which products they may have that are OUP and what is on sale. Without the list you can't pre-plan.

Lion of Zion said...

"Look at it now and all you will see is an OU."

but if its listed in the book then you can buy it already?

tesyaa said...

LoZ: you can't use the tuna with just the OU on Pesach (you need the OUP). But without the book, you might think erroneously that Pathmark wasn't selling an OUP version this year. Then you would buy the inferior heimishe brand at twice the price.

ProfK said...

Lion,
No, if it's in the white pages and needs that OUP you can't buy it now. But knowing that it will be available can represent a huge savings. That heimishe tuna is going for well over %2 per can and in some places is over $3. The Pathmark store brand is going to cost about half that and quite possibly even less. Knowing that it will be there means I don't have to buy that more expensive brand now and can wait until the store brand is on the shelves. It's a savings on only one can, but certainly a real savings if you are buying 10-15 cans.

And looking in the booklet's grey pages results in both savings and convenience. Those pages list the products that are kosher for Pesach with only an OU. Don't know about you, but that info is not something I would have just off the top of my head. Lipton tea bags, both regular and decaff need only the OU, not the OUP. Other types may be different.

Lion of Zion said...

but i don't eat tuna, so how does all this help me? :)
good point. i guess because i really buy very little in the way of packaged goods (and we're not buying for a large family anyway) i'm not as in tune to this.

as far as the teabags: despite 12+ years at one of the most expensive day schools i know zilch about hilchot kashrut (oh wait, that rant belongs on a different thread), but do tea and coffee even need a hechsher during the year to begin with? i drink neither, so never really thought about it. depends if flavored or not?

ProfK said...

Lion,

It's not just the flavorings on coffee or tea but two other problems. One, the coffee or tea may be prepared on the same equipment that produces the flavored coffee and tea or coffee or teas with additives that are chometz or kitniyos. Two, the filtration process/system for some of these products uses chometz ingredients.

Anonymous said...

At least the OU has its listings online. The Star K has no online edition, only a printed booklet sold in Judaica stores (and not cheap)and the OK doesn't even mention Pesach for this year. Last listing is somewhere around 2002. The Chof K if you try searching for Passover lists only one thing--a winery.

Are these organizations being blind? This is the world of computers and they can't get up some listings?

Lion of Zion said...

ANON:

"Star K has no online edition"

star k's guide has been online for a few years and is quite good

ProfK said...

Lion,

You are correct that the Star K listings are online. However their medications list, which is a rather comprehensive one, is not available online. You can have a free copy mailed to you by calling 1-323-933-7193, the LA Kollel. The lists are not yet there but should be being sent out next week.

Lion of Zion said...

" However their medications list . . . is not available online."

but this is not a chisaron of the star k guide, as the OU guide does not contain a medcine list either. otoh, iirc the kashering section is much more extensive in the star k guide than the ou guide

personally i'm skeptical about the medicine lists. (at least the one in the blumenkrantz book. i've never seen the star k list.)

ProfK said...

Lion,

I'm not sure where your skepticism comes from re the medicine lists but they serve a useful purpose, at least to me. Since they also cover the OTC products most homes have in abundance they at least tell you which ones contain echt chometz, which have kitniyos and which are free of both or in a form that is not problematic for Pesach use. If swallowing a stomache acid gel cap is not a problem but chewing a tablet that has a binder that is chometz is, I'll switch for the week.

Becca said...

Thanks for the correct phone number to get the medicine list. The one on the site is apparently the wrong number and this is the one they told me to call.

tesyaa said...

My mother just said she received her OU book in the mail. And I know she would never PAY for it. So I wonder who has to pay and who doesn't?

Lion of Zion said...

PROFK:

"I'm not sure where your skepticism comes from re the medicine lists but they serve a useful purpose, at least to me. Since they also cover the OTC products"

if you use the guide for non-maintenance OTCs (esp. liquids and chewables), then knock yourself out.

otherwise i remain skeptical as to the lists' utility.