Fam­ily fed for un­der $100

Central Leader - - FRONT PAGE - HUGH COLLINS

Julie Craig has proven it’s pos­si­ble to feed a fam­ily in sub­ur­ban Auck­land on less than $100 per week.

The One­hunga res­i­dent has de­vel­oped her own art of mak­ing and grow­ing a ma­jor­ity of prod­ucts used to feed, clean and wash a fam­ily of four.

But Craig isn’t in­ter­ested in keep­ing se­crets and be­lieves peo­ple have be­come too de­tached from their food. She now wants to im­part her knowl­edge on to fam­i­lies liv­ing in Auck­land on a tight bud­get.

With her hus­band Derek, she’s started the Oak and This­tle, a com­pany which will run work­shops and con­sult­ing on sus­tain­able liv­ing.

Orig­i­nally she was in­spired to live this way when cre­ativ­ity be­came es­sen­tial with a young fam­ily on a low in­come.

‘‘We made our own kids’ presents and they grew up like that and they didn’t re­ally mind. It was only when they com­pared them­selves to other chil­dren or peo­ple that they asked ‘why don’t I have the Nerf gun?’,’’ she says.

Born in Mel­bourne, Craig has taken many of her recipes and in­gre­di­ents from me­dieval, Vic­to­rian and peace­time era cook­ing - pe­ri­ods of his­tory when peo­ple were the best at be­ing fru­gal.

‘‘It re­ally is just about mak­ing every mouth­ful count … and mak­ing sure if you buy in­gre­di­ents that they’re re­ally good qual­ity in­gre­di­ents and you use every sin­gle bit of it,’’ she says.

‘‘What I’ve done is I’ve gone through the whole [idea of] be­ing filled up and hav­ing your tummy filled, to now be­ing fed where you have a feel­ing of be­ing full but your body doesn’t crave food all the time be­cause you’re meet­ing its needs nu­tri­tion­ally…..so there­fore you have less be­cause you don’t need as much be­cause your body is not hun­gry.’’

But there’s more to Craig’s method than just be­ing fru­gal and healthy. It all goes back to her child­hood when she would see the way her grand­mother would ex­press love by mak­ing her own house­hold essen­tials.

‘‘As a child it was peace­ful and lovely…it was the feel­ing that I had and I wanted my chil­dren to have that feel­ing.’’

Craig has more work­shops planned this year with the next be­ing gluten-free sausage mak­ing on Septem­ber 17.

Visit oakandthis­tle.co.nz for more in­for­ma­tion.


Auck­land mother-of-two Julie Craig has learned to feed a fam­ily for less than $100 per week.

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