Is it possible to feed a family of four on just AUD$120 a week? One woman, (former Centrelink benefits survivor, mum, foodie, sometime gardener, cookbook author and rather good cook) is rising to The Challenge.
When Sandra Reynolds quit her job in February 2010 after a particularly difficult day, she thought it would be easy to move straight into another job, only to run into a brick wall of long-term unemployment, job-seeking and Newstart benefits.
When the Salvation Army gave her two $60 food vouchers to feed her hungry teenagers for two weeks, she cobbled together a menu plan and shopping list, then decided to share her food ideas. She created a blog called The $120 Food Challenge, a recipe site for people on a very small budget in March 2010. Built entirely on word of mouth, it was an immediate hit.
Based on the runaway success of the blog, Sandra has now authored her first cookbook, The $120 Food Challenge (Penguin Viking, Feb 2012) full of kitchen wisdom, budgeting advice and over 100 recipes. Inspired by seasonal produce, this book will help you get your wayward food expenditure under control and gives you wonderful ideas for doing more with less.
Having carved a writing career for herself, Sandra now works and lives in Melbourne, where she continues to cook, blog and foster a large online community of fans. She has featured on Today Tonight, writes for The Money Circle, has written guest posts for Mamamia, had recipes featured in The Salvation Army’s Warcry, The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age newspapers, Super Food Ideas, That’s Life! and Women’s Day and will soon speak as part of an International Women's Day business breakfast .
A second cookbook full of new recipes with an anticipated launch date in late 2014 is well underway, with new recipes released on the blog three times a week.