A Queensland mother of six has shared the secret to feeding her large family for less than $5 a head in the throes of a supermarket crisis.
A mother of six has revealed that she only runs errands for her family once every six weeks and spends just $1400 feeding the entire family in that time.
Nyssa Lehane, husband Darryl and their six children moved from Brisbane to remote Queensland four years ago after living a life of franchisees up to 70 hours a week.
Their grueling work schedule coupled with taking care of a large family left the duo confused, so they decided to adopt a different rhythm of life after feeling like they were spending too much time apart.
They moved to an old mining site after living on the outskirts of the state capital and decided to trade money for time together, hoping to become completely self-sufficient.
By doing this, the family completely changed the way they shopped. Ms Lehane told news.com.au that the key to her success has been a shopping journal full of recipes, meal plans and a list of the groceries she has in her cupboards. †
“When we first moved here, I went to Toowoomba every two weeks,” she said.
“But I found that since the fuel costs and Toowoomba were very limited in what you could get, it just cost too much money that we couldn’t afford to spend.”
Instead, Ms Lehane makes the four-hour trip to Brisbane every six weeks, on a $1400 budget.
“After spending the night with my mother, I go to the fruit and vegetable store, the butcher and Costco.
“Costco is usually where most of our shop is done.”
Ms Lehane added that she has a very good relationship with her butcher and will text him if she knows she is going to Brisbane to stock up on things for her to go on sale.
Her budget of $1400 over the six weeks equates to $4.15 per person per day — including rare Bunnings and Kmart trips.
Mrs. Lehane will take a ute, and the occasional trailer, filled with four eskies for her giant grocery store.
She said it takes 10 to 14 days after the store to process everything, which includes planning what to freeze or canned, as well as preparing meals.
She recently scored 180kg of apples for $95 and spent a week making apple butter, apple butter BBQ sauce, apple pie and then canned apples to keep them year round.
While their grocery store currently runs every six weeks, Ms Lehane said the plan is to expand it to every 12 as they make their property more self-sufficient.
The 20-hectare greenhouse has a 40-by-100-meter greenhouse and contains basic vegetables and fruits, while the family is currently experimenting with different berries to grow in the unpredictable climate.
The family also has chickens, but plans to add pigs to the mix as well.
In addition to creating a space to live in, Ms Lehane revealed that her children – aged between 14 and 6 – are homeschooled.
“They’ve always been home-schooled,” she said.
“When Surreal, my oldest, went to first grade, I had four other children who were not yet of school age.
“The idea of putting them all in the car to take one kid to school really wasn’t ideal so we started homeschooling her just because it would be easier for our family and after that we’ve never looked back. “
She said she used a mix of approved curricula as well as the child’s interests. Her daughter Surreal, now 14, is working on a unit on Greek mythology.
Ms. Lehane started talking about the family’s move to the off-grid life on YouTube six months ago during a Christmas challenge on YouTube.
She said she was stunned by the response to the account called Our small footprint†
The mother added that many were happy to see an Australian living off-grid, as many are used to seeing Americans.
With inflation, rising cost of living and lack of availability of fresh produce, many Australians are trying to save a dollar where they can.
The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and flooding have led to a massive shortage of fresh produce, with items such as lettuce costing more than $10.
Other issues, such as housing, gasoline and electricity prices, were also heavily impacted by the rising cost of living.
#Grocery #Diary #Moms #Family #Meals