Providing daily food for a large family is always a big challenge. How would you manage, for example, if you had 9 children? In this situation, a family living in Australia has found some solutions to meet their daily expenses. Find out what it’s all about!
Claire Louise Hooker (blogger and housewife) and her husband Mark (civil services) are originally from the UK but currently live in New South Wales, Australia. They are the parents of 9 children: Georgina (13 years old), Charlotte (12 years old), Franchesca (10 years old), Abigail (9 years old), twins Catherine and Elizabeth (8 years old), Rose (7 years old), Martina (5 years old) and Michael (3 years).
According to “The Sun”, Claire stated that she manages to allocate £1.90 for each family member on one day for food expenses. About £630 is spent on food per month, and around 10£ is allocated for dinner. She explained how she struggles to organize food reserves for her family of 11: “Our budget fluctuates with birthdays, which are concentrated between October and May, but we always try to limit ourselves to £630 a month for food. We have to buy large quantities of certain foods, like bread, poultry and beef, so I can keep everything in the two freezers and the two pantries.”
The mother added that due to the lack of shops in the rural area where they live, she has to travel 46 km every time to shop. She also shared what she often cooks for her loved ones: “Bakery dinners and slow cookers are some of the best ways to keep your budget low. We can find two large chickens for £3.13 each, and together with vegetables and spices, we can prepare a dinner for 11 people for £10.41.”
In order to organize it as efficiently as possible, all members of the Hooker family get involved in the preparation of the meals. Therefore, the preparation time can be shorter than 1 hour. Claire gave details about what is usually consumed at each meal of the day and what the amount spent, as can be seen from the information provided by the quoted source:
“For breakfast we have either cereal, which we purchase every month for the amount of approx. £5.30, or a fruit salad. We tend to eat a lot of fruits, such as oranges, pears, bananas, mangoes or other seasonal fruits, for which we spend around £21 per shopping session. Sometimes we also have toast or pancakes for breakfast. Since we raise chickens, we don’t have to spend more on eggs.
For lunch we prepare something quick, like ham and cheese sandwiches and some fruit, which costs about £5.30 per person.
At dinner we usually serve dishes cooked in the slow cooker or we serve large, family portions of lasagna, for which we spend about £4.50 or spaghetti bolognese, the price being about £2.60 per portion. I realized that baked pasta, curry rice and stews are welcome for us.
Sometimes on Tuesdays we serve tacos so we can combine different ingredients. Also, from time to time we go out to eat in the city and spend for all of us approx. £80, but in general we do not include this type of expense in the budget.”
She insisted that she manages to save by trying to take advantage of deals and discounts on products that can be frozen.
Last but not least, she revealed other tricks that her family uses to manage their finances. Here are the solutions they resort to, according to the information from the previously cited source: “We try to go to the beach as often as possible, so we can all have fun and it’s free. We reserve an additional amount of £550 for Christmas, and around £30 for each child’s birthday, but if the birthday is more special we reserve a little more than that.”