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Basket of Passover items averages $52.23 in boro

The survey also found...

By Daniel Arimborgo

Passover shoppers can save money if they avoid small grocery stores and instead go to supermarkets, where the prices can be reduced by as much as half by the time of the holiday, a Department of Consumer Affairs survey found.

The survey also found customers paid an average 5 percent more for Passover foods this year compared to last year.

The survey recorded the prices at 68 stores in the five boroughs. It compared prices for such Passover staples as matzo, macaroons, gefilte fish, and more. It found that a supermarket basket of Passover items in Queens costs an average of $52.23.

A preliminary survey was carried out in February, and DCA inspectors returned to the same stores between March 16 and 20 to monitor any price changes.

Independent grocers tended to increase their prices closer to the holiday, the surveyors found. Prices for gefilte fish at the small shops, for example, rose from an average of $3.74 to $3.90 in the weeks leading up to Passover, while the cost of the fish went down by 51 percent in supermarkets, from an average high of $4.09, to $2.02.

“When preparing for the Passover Seder, we encourage New Yorkers to bring along the Department of Consumer Affairs price cards while shopping for groceries,” Mayor Giuliani said in a statement, referring to price cards which can be obtained from the Consumer Affairs office. “By shopping around, you can avoid rising prices for your Passover purchases.”

The average price of meat rose 7 percent compared to last year’s Passover prices, while fish fell 2 percent from last year.

The Orthodox Union, which certifies kosher products, said inflated costs of natural cane sugar and cottonseed oil may account for higher prices for some items.

To get a copy of DCA’s 2001 Passover Price Card, call 212-487-4444.

Reach reporter Daniel Arimborgo by e-mail at timesledgr@aol.com or call 229-0300 Ext. 141.

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