I’m a mum-of-11 and feed my kids ALL their meals on a tenner each a week, here are my tips so you can too

A SAVVY mum-of-11 has revealed how she feeds all her kids for a tenner each a week.

Joanne Webb O’Rourke, 38, from London, says she spends just £12 per person, per week, for three nutritious meals a day by shopping at Aldi.

Joanne, who has been married to husband Tommy for 19 years, also unveiled her ultimate tips for feeding a family during the hectic working week.

Her top piece of advice is setting up a breakfast station complete with cereal dispensers and creating a weekly ‘fakeaway’ day to keep things exciting for little ones.

She also plans all the meals for the week on Sunday and does the food shop on Monday if possible, when supermarkets are typically quieter and there is more space to shop.

Joanne swears by baking puddings and cakes from scratch as it saves a lot of money in the long run.


She will often bake in batches and then pop them in the freezer.

And her favourite dishes include spaghetti bolognese, which costs £11.42 in total for her family-of-13, and chicken casserole, which sets her back £11.02.

Joanne is mum to Mitchell, 18, Lauren, 16, Joe, 15, Ryley, 12, Tommy, 11, Regan, 12, Ashlee dean, eight, Freddie, seven, Danny, five, Neave, three, and Brodie, one. 

With the autumn school term underway, it’s been revealed that one in four parents admit they don’t have the time to plan meals, and as a result, are making the same meals every day.

Joanne’s ‘Top Ten Tips’ for feeding the family on a budget


  1. Plan all the meals for the week on Sunday and do the food shop on Monday if possible, when supermarkets are typically quieter and there is more space to shop!
  2. Ban daily shops. Milk and bread top-ups are fine but daily shopping can really skew shopping figures.
  3. Make meals interactive with the help of fun themed crockery, cookie cutters to make shapes with (Stacey Solomon style), and personalised bowls.
  4. Make meals your family enjoy so dinner times aren’t a struggle. Use meal requests as a prize for example, best behaved can pick Friday dinner. 
  5. Once a week make a meal that the family has never had before – this is a great way to introduce new foods to younger family members.
  6. Set up a breakfast station, including a cereal dispenser, for a hotel style breakfast at home without the fuss.
  7. Plan one ‘fakeaway’ meal night a week to keep things exciting. This could be anything from air fried chicken and chips or Chinese chicken noodles.
  8. Make packed lunches the night before. Keep sandwich fillings simple and always include a piece of fruit and something sweet for a little treat like biscuits.
  9. Make puddings and cakes from scratch as it saves a lot of money in the long run. Batch cook cakes and pop them in the freezer.
  10. Main things to keep replenished – milk, bread, fruit and biscuits. These are my fail-safe items for lunchboxes and snacks.

Almost half (46 per cent) say they sometimes give in and let their child choose what to eat to make life easier.

Joanne said: “Feeding a family doesn’t have to be hard work! 

“I make sure I stick to my top ten tips including banning daily shops and keeping key pantry products replenished – it’s all about being prepared. 

“The kids love my healthy chicken casserole, it’s a really filling mid-week meal and can be frozen in batches.”

Joanne’s Healthy Chicken Casserole Recipe

  • 2 x British Chicken Thigh Fillets (£2.75 per box)
  • Bag of Carrots (52p)
  • Onions (62p)
  • 3 x Chicken Casserole Seasoning Mix (19p each)
  • Button Mushrooms (75p)
  • Frozen Garden Peas (55p)
  • 1 x Chicken Stock Pot (69p for a pack of 4)
  • 2 x Bag of Potatoes (91p per bag)

Total cost: £11.02 / 85p per portion

Ingredients (Feeds 13):


For the casserole:

  • Cut the chicken into small chunks and place in an oven dish
  • Chop the onions, carrots and mushrooms and add to the dish
  • Add the packet of frozen peas
  • Mix up one stock pot with hot water and pour into the dish
  • Add the chicken casserole mixes
  • Mix everything together and season with salt and pepper
  • Place lid on top and cook in the oven on a medium heat (160°C degrees) for around 2-2.5 hours
  • Stir and check every half an hour – if the mixture looks a bit dry add some water

For the mash:

  • Whilst cooking, peel and chop your potatoes and boil until soft
  • Once soft, drain the potatoes, add a spoon of butter and a dash of milk and mash to make creamy mash potato
  • Place your mash on to a plate (we like to make it into a circle or fun dinosaur shape) and add the casserole in to the middle

Meanwhile, here's how to save hundreds on your food shop… from items every cupboard needs to exact times to visit for bargains.

And a mum reveals how she can feed her whole family for just £4 a DAY when on a budget – and gives top tips to save YOU money.

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