Thrift and vigilance keep a family’s budget on track

According to Nicole Avery, managing a household budget with a large family of five children, on a single income, requires discipline and a watchful eye on spending.

Although they are now on two incomes, Avery says that years spent managing on a single income has taught her that careful planning makes all the difference and continues to adopt a frugal approach to household spending.

Family meals continue to be planned weekly in advance, and when visiting the supermarket Avery says that she takes advantage of advertised specials and resists impulse buying on groceries.

With five children, Avery finds it economical to bulk buy her meat once a month and fill up the freezer, while also shopping at the local market once a week to purchase in season produce saves about $50.

According to Avery, one of the biggest challenges is managing the expectations of her children. Together with her husband they do a weekly track of their expenditure with the help of a Google Drive spreadsheet. The results of this dictate whether they can afford to splash out on a night at the cinema or rent a DVD and stay in.


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