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Everybody wants to know how to save money in Israel. Something about haggling in the Middle East makes one feel like they are in the Homeland. There is something nice about arguing with people. It makes you feel like you are with family. However, haggling is not the only way to save money.
I am here to help, so that you will never have to get ripped off again as an American who is easy to scam. Here is how you save money in Israel. Today we will focus on falafel.
Never Purchase Falafel
Bring your own pita and load up. All the salads on the side of the falafel stand are free. You will find an array of salads, ranging from tahini to cucumbers to spicy cucumbers to pickled cucumbers. You'll find pickled carrots. Pickled cabbage. It's a smorgasbord of pickled. Load up your pita. It's an excellently satisfying lunch. And the tahini helps with the toxicity of the pickling. Tahini is very expensive. So, load on as much as you can. I greatly appreciate that the falafel stand owners take the tahini and my budgetary concerns into consideration when they're loading up their Salatim buffets for me.
Stick to Pita
I do not suggest bringing a laffa (the tortilla looking bread that adds twelve pounds to a meal). Last time I brought my own laffa, all of the salads ended up falling through the bottom. It made a whole scene. I had to ask the guy behind the counter to help me wrap it. He is a professional, and was very kind. He tucked the bottom and showed me how to use the restaurant tissue paper. Then he gave me a bag to wrap my laffa. I would have left a tip, but leaving tips is not a good money saver, and I did not purchase the laffa from him. I just hope that the customer I cut in line still purchased their falafel.
Do Not Ask for Falafel
They charge for the falafel. Once falafel is in your pocket, there are financial concerns.
If you're lucky, you might find a ball in the tahini tub. Sometimes, people get overzealous and overload their pita pouches too high, and a falafel ball falls out.
And always take the taster. Falafel guys are always happy to give you a free sample ball. Enjoy it. Take the ball and run. I once asked them to put the ball in my pita. They don't do that for you. You have to take the ball with your hand and put it in your pita.
Purchase Half a Pita
If you have too much shame to bring your own bread from outside, purchase half a serving. This will still save you some shekels (nis), it will give you access to the falafel guy, and it will get you a couple of hot falafel balls, which are good for a cold day.
Do not belittle the access to the falafel guy. This purchase of 7nis gives you constant access to the salads behind the counter as well. You will have full request ability of Turkish salad and eggplant. If you're wealthy enough, enjoy it.
The Rule: You can order as many extra salads as you want, until the pita is finished. You will want the easy obtainability of the fried eggplant, which is only served from behind the counter. Don’t test them. They know when you are finished with the pita, as it is impossible to not push up on the bottom of the bag for the tahini lick.
Stand By the Salads- The Salatim
First off, know the word Salatim. It means salads. If you call them salads, they will rip you off and charge you for the pita you brought. Trust me, they will know you're a foreigner and that costs money.
Take your pita and stand by the salads. It is crucial to eat standing. This allows you easy access for constant salad reload. Make sure you have a good spot by the cucumbers, and do not bite into the pita itself. Once you bite into the pita itself, you are losing valuable gripping perimeter. If you purchased the half pita, you may want to stand by the falafel guy showcase, as to not slow down your Turkish salad reload request ability.
Before discussing any other budgeting methods, be sure to stick to a strict falafel diet. The falefel diet is the first way to save money. It is the base of Israeli economic living.
Next time we will focus on other ways to save money by living in Minus, never flying direct, eating in the supermarket itself- where you don't have to, and purchasing your Israeli products in America.
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