Once a month twenty one dollar meal challenge

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Reporter: Gavin Alder

We're all looking at ways of saving money on grocery shopping and with prices always going up, it's becoming quite a challenge. So, how this for a challenge.
Could you feed your family for just $21 a week? Well, we've found a woman who says it's a breeze.

$21 it's around four bottles of milk, seven loaves of bread or six dozen eggs.

Fiona Lippey founder of the Simple Savings website loves a challenge if it means saving cash.

“The average family who spend about $300 a week on food are usually making big mistakes. They're usually buying expensive packet food. They're usually paying premium prices and they are just not thinking.” Fiona Lippey said.

Tamara Rowlingson and Kylie Brown have families of four to feed and describe themselves as savvy shoppers.

“Yeah always open up the fridge and cupboards, see what's left, what we need to top up on, what will get us through another week for example.” Tamara Rowlingson says.

“I go through like catalogues and look through the specials, what's on sale, what's like bulk buying but I mean every bit helps, but with two kids and a husband to feed, they eat quite a lot of stuff.” Kylie Brown says.

“A lot of people buy food and then forget they have it. It sits in the back of the cupboard and goes rusty and it just gets wasted. 10% of all food grown is wasted.” Fiona tells us.

By using what's on hand once a month argues Fiona average families could save $200 to $250 a month.

“The reason why it's $21 is because one of our members Barb's husband only brought her home $20 to do her weekly shop and she found one dollar in her purse and she said I'll show him and she took it on. And she told us and then our members went for it and now there's thousands of people who manage to do their weekly shop with just $21.” Fiona said.

And now there's a book so others can do the same.

Tamara : “I'm very confident. It might get me thinking outside the box a lot more now because it doesn't really look that hard.”

Kylie: “You can't see any problems with this at all? No I can see that i am not going to have any trouble with Fiona's plan.

Nutritionist Julie Gilbert has some issues though. “If I had twenty one dollars to feed my family I would look at things like fruit and vegetables particularly at those that are in season and on special, I'd also make sure I'd get a loaf of multi grain bread and also some low fat milk.”

She warns families should not use menu plans like Fiona's too often.

“I know people are trying to cut costs and at the same time you still need to consider the health needs of your family.” Warns Julie.

Fiona's menu planners calls for snacks made from scratch. Using ingredients in Kylie's pantry and Cheyanne is a willing helper, while Kylie's meals hit the spot more often than not.

“I can see us getting through the week quite easily. Yeah we plan to stick with this because it's a way to prove to ourselves that we can do it again, again and again and make the saving we're after.” Tamara said.

The Brown's are getting excited about that long overdue family holiday.

Pick up this week's issue of that's life! Magazine for details on how to start the $21 challenge or visit simplesavings.com.au for more information.

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