I spend just $250 a week feeding my family of eight

A thrifty mum-of-six has revealed how she sticks to a $300 shopping budget each week – despite the surging cost of living and some very expensive ‘non-negotiables’. Jess Magill, 30, fuck me daddy from Lake Macquarie and her husband Warren, 39, have been budgeting and meal prepping consistently for the last eight years. The busy mum told FEMAIL they really got stuck into budgeting when her second child came along – and now the kids see meal prep as ‘something mum just has to do’.

‘They really like always having snacks on hand,’ she said. Jess Magill, 30, from Lake Macquarie spends an average of $250 a week at the supermarket  for her extra-large family  The strict budget is enough to keep her six kids who are aged between 1-9, and mechanic husband with snacks on hand at all times Jess works part time from home – and also looks after her young children – who range in age from 1-9 – which means there’s always people home when she’s prepping her meals.

‘If I am cooking something they like I make twice as much because I know that they will try bits,’ she said. ‘Otherwise they are really good and even help,’ she added.  And after eight years she has finally come up with the perfect schedule which allows the fridge to be full, the kids happy and no need for last-minute trips to the supermarket. ‘I get a big shop delivered on Sundays so I can prep food for the week, and get a top up of fresh fruit and bread and milk on Wednesdays,’ she said.

‘I used to think I could go without the top-up but would end up at the shops on a Thursday night, having not eaten dinner, and buy too much stuff,’ she said. The mum has been meal prepping and budgeting since her first two kids were born – and says it is automatic now  She never makes a single batch of anything – and whips up 30-40 scrolls at a time  The family have a few fridges and a separate freezer which makes the bulk-buy nature of food prepping sustainable.

‘Some days I will do a big cook up, if the freezers are getting low. I will plan to make things which use the same ingredients so I can just chop all the vegetables together,’ she said. ‘And if I am just cooking something for dinner that night I will make enough for three or more meals, it doesn’t take any more time and then it is in the freezer ready to go,’ she said. With six children Jess and Warren are often rushing around in the afternoons to get people to appointments and school sports.

‘It is great always having something ready to go at home – because it reduces the temptation of going through drive through which costs about $100 for our family,’ she said. Jess, who runs the household while her husband puts in long hours as a mechanic, says she has $300 a week to use on all of the food and household supplies.


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