living crisis | 

Irish mum who went viral with €5 plan to feed family says people are 'really struggling’

Caz Mooney (33) has amassed more than 70,000 followers with her budget plan to feed her family
Caz Mooney, 33, is now an Instagram sensation after revealing how she dishes up hearty dinners for her family of five

Caz Mooney, 33, is now an Instagram sensation after revealing how she dishes up hearty dinners for her family of five

A young mum who struggled to feed her family has gone viral after revealing how she feeds her brood for a fiver. 
Caz Mooney, 33, is now an Instagram sensation after revealing how she dishes up hearty dinners for her family of five for just €140 a month.

A young mum who struggled to feed her family has gone viral after revealing how she feeds her brood for a fiver. Caz Mooney, 33, is now an Instagram sensation after revealing how she dishes up hearty dinners for her family of five for just €140 a month.

Caz Mooney reveals how she dishes up hearty dinners for her family of five for just €140 a month.

Caz Mooney reveals how she dishes up hearty dinners for her family of five for just €140 a month.

A young mum who struggled to feed her family has gone viral after revealing how she feeds her brood for a fiver. 
Caz Mooney, 33, is now an Instagram sensation after revealing how she dishes up hearty dinners for her family of five for just €140 a month.

A young mum who struggled to feed her family has gone viral after revealing how she feeds her brood for a fiver. Caz Mooney, 33, is now an Instagram sensation after revealing how she dishes up hearty dinners for her family of five for just €140 a month.

Caz Mooney

Caz Mooney

A young mum who struggled to feed her family has gone viral after revealing how she feeds her brood for a fiver. 
Caz Mooney, 33, is now an Instagram sensation after revealing how she dishes up hearty dinners for her family of five for just €140 a month.

A young mum who struggled to feed her family has gone viral after revealing how she feeds her brood for a fiver. Caz Mooney, 33, is now an Instagram sensation after revealing how she dishes up hearty dinners for her family of five for just €140 a month.

Caz Mooney's Instagram page

Caz Mooney's Instagram page

One of Caz Mooney's recipes

One of Caz Mooney's recipes

Sunday World

A young mum who struggled to feed her family has taken to Instagram in a bid to help people under pressure due to the cost-of-living crisis.

Caz Mooney (33) has amassed more than 70,000 followers after revealing how she dishes up hearty dinners for her family of five for just €140 a month.

Despite the huge wealth in Ireland, many families are struggling to make ends meet as the cost of living crisis bites.

With so many families now watching every penny, Caz, who went on a career break following the birth of her third child, knows the importance of budgeting.

“I get some very difficult-to-read messages,” she told the Sunday World.

“A lot of people are struggling to get by right now and they are not able to get their pay cheque to last the entire month and are struggling to feed their family and pay bills.

“A lot of them will get a big bill in and they are just paddling to try and keep going.

“How I came to make the €5 meals was that I was struggling myself.

“I remember I had to basically root in the couch and try and find a few coins one day. If you’ve been in that place you’ll understand it is a shocking feeling.

Caz Mooney reveals how she dishes up hearty dinners for her family of five for just €140 a month.

Caz Mooney reveals how she dishes up hearty dinners for her family of five for just €140 a month.

“That is why I tried so much to change things financially for my family, for my husband and my kids who are now 12, 10 and my youngest who is one.”

The Offaly-based mum is doing her bit to help families dine out on everything from spaghetti aglio olio, bolognese, shepherd’s pie, butternut squash risotto, carbonara, and hearty roasts for less.

“I only started the page seven months ago, so it has just been crazy.

“I wanted to share my own journey and if I helped other people along the way, all the better. I definitely didn’t foresee this happening. It has completely blown up.”

One of Caz Mooney's recipes

One of Caz Mooney's recipes

Determined to slash her spending, Caz began sharing cost-saving tips on her Instagram page @irishbudgetingjourney.

“I thought back to that time when all I had was the five euro in my hand and thought I would have loved something like this page when I was struggling.

“Everyone is feeling the pinch now but we are still a single- income family. My husband is an engineer and is spending €700 a month travelling to work alone and that’s like another mortgage.”

Despite Caz’s thrifty savings, the mum says it is getting more difficult to cut costs.

“I was paying about €250 a week two years ago for my weekly food shopping and now it is €100 a week.

“I have that €100 budget for my family of five and that includes cleaning products and nappies.

Caz Mooney

Caz Mooney

“A lot of staples like butter, milk and bread have gone up about 10 or 20 cent at a time.

“I feel like a lot of people who have never had to look at prices have had to start looking.”

Since going viral and clocking up more than 130,000 views on dishes like her take on chilli con carne, the mum has become somewhat of a local celebrity at home.

“Because I am in Offaly it wouldn’t be the biggest place in the world and people will come up to me when they are doing their shopping.”

So what are the TikTok sensation’s instant hits?

“I got a great response from the chicken tagliatelle; it was a really quick meal and people loved the simplicity of it. The fish pie did so well too.

“My sauces have been a hit too. To be honest a massive saving is to make your own sauce, it can be overwhelming but it is really straightforward.

“Some people can’t believe the cost of the meal and I would have a lot of people say, ‘you don’t have teenagers,’ but believe me my kids eat a lot, the portions sizes are there.”

Caz Mooney's Instagram page

Caz Mooney's Instagram page

Adamant that budget cost doesn’t mean budget taste, Caz has some cost-effective tips when it comes to slashing your grocery bill.

“I will look and see what I have in the press; if I have loads of pasta I will work around that and look in the freezer to see what else I can use.

shops

“I look for deals in the shops, like the super sixes, basically six or seven vegetables that have been reduced. The supermarkets often do that as well with meat, so I look at the shops and see which one’s work for my budget.

“I would often buy from the reduced section and then freeze it.

“I always bring cash because I do cash budgeting. If you know that you have €100 in your hand you can’t go over that.

“I have had to put things back before I budgeted and now I calculate it before I get to the till.”


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