A SUPER-SIZED Queensland family have revealed their top budgeting tips for creating nutritious and filling meals that won’t cost a fortune.
With the cost-of-living crisis spiralling out of control and causing food prices to skyrocket, many households across the world have been struggling to stay within their budget when shopping for groceries.
The Queensland-based mum and dad duo, Jeni Bonell and her husband Ray, are no exception and have felt the pinch more than other families.
The couple are parents to 16 children, nine of whom still live at home, which means Jeni and Ray have had to come up with new recipes and shopping tricks to keep the costs as low as possible.
“If you want to make a good budget, and a reasonable budget, you have to know exactly what’s coming in and exactly what you’re spending” the mum told 7News, News Australia reported.
“We bought meat, but I can turn what most people might put on plate by itself, we extend it into a bigger meal.
“We use the same amount of meat for 11 people that a family of four might eat for themselves.
“You’ve just got to be very clever. Just trying to use every little thing you can buy.
“Keeping an eye on used-by dates, rotating everything in your pantry, so that you’re getting the best value for your money.”
The family regularly shares heartwarming snaps on their Instagram page and small snippets of day-to-day life, which include meals to keep their large brood fed.
The recipes are nutritionally-dense, filling and simple, which keeps costs down.
“This is our easy dinner, beef teriyaki” the stay-at-home mum wrote.
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“You just need beef, store-bought teriyaki sauce, white rice, stir-fry vegetables, and two packets of oriental rice.
“It was quick to make and quick to disappear,” she chuckled.
In a video on the family’s YouTube channel, one of their younger sons Damian shared a recipe for a creamy angel hair chicken pasta – and not only did it look mouth-watering but it can also make a whopping 28 servings.
“We served 14 people and refrigerated an extra 14 servings for the next day as well” the video read.
“The total cost is $1.40 (81p) a serving.”
In another clip, one of the family’s daughters Natalie whipped up a budget-friendly, creamy pumpkin soup for the family.
To keep the costs down, the cooking enthusiast made the veggie stock from scracth.
“I start with this bag of liquid gold right here” she said.
“All it is, is a stack of your offcuts from your vegetables, onion skin, garlic skin, carrot offcuts, all the things you’d usually throw away.
“Now that the weather is getting cooler, soup is a great way to feed a large group on a budget.”
Mum Jeni also showed off her cheap meal haul that she stocked up on – and this was enough for a whole 53 mouths.
“I’m off to the supermarket and the butchers, it’s time to fill the freezer up with meat,” she said.
“I made 53 meals, and in total if I was serving 10-14 people per meal, it would come out to .88c – $1.23 (51p – 71p) per person.”
To help the offsprings learn about the importance of budgeting and spending, the parents also get their children directly involved the family’s finance.
“All of your children have gotten part-time jobs when they turned 15-16, and I think that teaches a lot of responsibility to them,” the mum said.
“And they learn to pay for their own wants, and that takes the pressure off us of having to buy them everything.”
Here’s how to cut the cost of your grocery shop
SAVING on your shop can make a big difference to your wallet. Here are some tips from Money.co.uk about how you can cut the cost of your shopping bills:
- Write yourself a list – Only buy items that you need. If it isn’t on your list, don’t put it in the trolley
- Create a budget – Work out a weekly budget for your food shopping
- Never shop hungry – you are far more likely to buy more food if your tummy is rumbling
- Don’t buy pre-chopped veggies or fruit – The extra they’ll charge for chopping can be eye watering
- Use social media – follow your favourite retailers to find out about the latest deals
- Be disloyal – You may want to go to different stores to find the best bargains
- Check the small print – It’s always worth checking the price per kg/lb/litre when comparing offers so you’re making a like for like decision as a bigger box won’t necessarily mean you get more
- Use your loyalty cards – Don’t be afraid to sign up to them all. They all work slightly differently – work out what bonus suits you better and remember to trade in your points for additional rewards
When’s the best time to shop at Aldi?
WHEN it comes to shopping at Aldi, the best time to do so depends on what you want to buy.
For reduced items – when shops open
Red sticker items are rare at Aldi’s 830 UK stores, but the supermarket says that none of its food goes to waste so there are some to be found – if you’re quick.
A spokesman for the supermarket said: “All items are reduced to 50 per cent of the recommend sales price before stores open on their best before or use by dates.”
That means you have the best chance of finding reduced food items if you go into stores as soon as it opens.
Opening times vary by shop but a majority open from 7am or 8am. You can find your nearest store’s times by using the supermarket’s online shop finder tool.
For Specialbuys – Thursdays and Sundays
Specialbuys are Aldi’s weekly collection of items that it doesn’t normally sell, which can range from pizza ovens to power tools.
New stock comes into stores every Thursday and Sunday, so naturally, these are the best days to visit for the best one-off special deals.
For an even better chance of bagging the best items, head there for your local store’s opening time.
You don’t have to head into stores to bag a Specialbuy, though.
They also go on sale online, usually at midnight on Thursday and Sunday, and you can pre-order them up to a week in advance.
As long as you spend at least £25, you’ll get the items delivered for free.
Remember: once they’re gone, they’re gone, so if there’s something you really want, visit as early as possible