While feeding a family of four on $80 a week might seem like a tough task, one Auckland couple who've had financial struggles are sharing their tips on how to make a little stretch a long way.

Vance and Jasmine McPhee run a charity called Feed a Family, through which they hope to educate and enable families to eat well, within their means.

They know what it's like to struggle - just nine years ago, with four kids and not enough money to pay their power bill, they found themselves heating up baked beans over a candle.

Following the story of West Auckland mother Ebony Andrews, who has $81.30 each week to feed her family, the McPhees showed NZ Herald Focus how to fill the shopping trolley without blowing the budget.


They share a few tips, including calculating your spending while walking through the supermarket, buying meat on sale and using dishwashing liquid for the laundry and the dishes.

Jasmine McPhee said potatoes were a cheap, versatile option, which could be used in a bake, stew or anything else with mixed vegetables and meat.

"We'll get frozen vegetables. They are just as good."

She said porridge was a good, cheap option for breakfast if you were on a budget.

"If we are giving the kids porridge with a bit of brown sugar and milk, that's going to be a really awesome way to start the day."


• Weigh vegetables and fruit before you buy
• Use frozen and/or canned vegetables
• Buy on-sale meat
• Use meat with vegetables and potatoes in a stew to make it stretch further
• Use bar soap in the bathroom
• Buy cheapest wheatmeal bread
• Canned tuna is a cheap option that can be mixed in a potato bake