Britain’s biggest family The Radfords’ share their thrifty food tips, from 30p meals to bargain buys for a family of 22
FEEDING your kids can be expensive for some families – especially if you have 22 children like Sue and Noel Radford.
Britain’s biggest family, who don’t rely on benefits, have a number of thrifty tricks when it comes to making meals for their whopping brood.
The Radford support themselves with the proceeds of Noel’s bakery, located in Morecombe, Lancashire.
They have racked up over 229,000 subscribers on YouTube thanks to their videos, a number of which show how they “cook on a budget”.
Here’s how Sue, 45, and Noel, 49, manage to keep their food bills down each week…
All kids eat the same meal
Noel and Sue have many mouths to feed as they are parents to Chris, 31, Sophie, 25, Chloe, 24, Jack, 22, Daniel, 20, Millie, 19, Luke, 19, Katie, 17, James, 16, Ellie, 15, Aimee, 14, Josh, 12, Max, 11, Tillie, nine, Oscar, eight, Casper, seven, Hallie, four, Phoebe, three, Archie, two, Bonnie, one, and Heidie who was born in April.
Sue told Closer: "We don't really have any fussy eaters, we cook one evening meal and they have to eat what's in front of them.
“We are lucky that we don't have fussy eaters because there's no way we would be messing about cooking two, three meals of an evening."
One of Sue's top tips for keeping prices down is to plan ahead and buy in bulk.
She added: "We buy in bulk things like wash powder, toilet rolls and we shop about for things and see what's on offer. It's all about planning and being savvy.
"I just go out and do a shop every day which saves me a lot of money. We also buy things from our local veg man, and we use our local butcher as well because we find it's a lot cheaper."
Noel often posts videos on YouTube showing how he whips up meals such as stews and bakes for 30p or 40p per person.
One of the delicious-sounding recipes was for a ham and potato bake.
Noel said on YouTube: “What we are going to make today is a very simple potato bake. It can be a vegetarian one if you want it to be, I’ve got a bit of gammon left over from the weekend.”
Here are some of his offerings – tuck in!
Unsurprisingly for a family that makes their money through a pie company, the pastry dish is often a staple in their household.
Noel, recently shared a snap of the bumper pie he made for dinner.
He wrote on Instagram: "Regular pie versus a family pie for us.”
Sue previously told how she loves getting the best buys online.
She said to the Star: "We always shop around for the best deals online.
“It’s worth making sure you get the best deals on your utilities and take advantage of voucher deals where you can."
Bulk out meals with pasta
With many children to cater for, the Radfords say pasta often helps to make sure a meal stretches further.
Speaking to the Mail, Noel said: “We love pasta and we’ll use up three 500g bags per meal. Or we’ll have a big chicken stew or pork chops. With such a big family you have to be savvy and shop around.
“Our shopping bill is around £250 a week, but we’re pretty lucky to get good deals through a butcher whom we use in the bakery and a local veg delivery man.
“We’ll get through two big bags of apples a day, eight bananas and a bag of oranges.”
Sue said the family try to avoid splashing out on pricey restaurants and instead bring their own food to days out.
The busy mum said: “We make up loads of sandwiches and just take a packed lunch with us because if we eat out anywhere it can be really pricey.”
RADFORD TOP RECIPE
Cheesy cauliflower pasta with crispy topping
- 50g plain flour
- Grated mature cheddar cheese
- 350g macaroni pasta
- 1 packet of ready salted crisps
- 500ml Milk
- Grated Parmesan cheese
- 50g tablespoons of butter
- ¼ onion, halved
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 cauliflower
Begin by boiling your macaroni.
To make the “dead simple” cheese sauce, heat your butter in a pan until melted and then stire in the four, stirring until combined to form a roux.
Once your roux is formed begin stirring in the milk a little bit at a time until completely combined.
Allow the mixture to simmer for 20 minutes, adding your onion and garlic.
Once cooked, drain your macaroni, conserving the water to cook your cauliflower in.
Chop the cauliflower into small chunks, and then place in the paster water, cover and leave to cook on a medium/high heat.
Remove the onion and the garlic from your sauce and discard.
Add your cheese a little at a time, stirring in to make sure it melts. Noel says it is completely up to you how much cheese you add depending on how strong you want it to taste.
Put your macaroni into an oven-proof dish, drain the cauliflower and then toss in amongst the pasta, then cover in the sauce, stirring to make sure everything is well covered.
Crush the ready salted crisps a sprinkle over the top of the pasta bake as well as some extra grated cheddar and the parmesan.
Pop in the oven for around 20 minutes.
In other Radford news, the couple recently celebrated their 28th wedding anniversary by buying a holiday home.
And Sue Radford shared a snap of ‘three generations’ of Britain’s biggest family as she cuddles baby daughter & granddaughter.
Plus mum-of-22 Sue Radford shared her kids’ first day back at school with tears & piles of uniforms everywhere.
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