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BEFORE we were mums, we never thought twice about ordering a takeaway when we couldn't be bothered to cook or bulk-buying whatever snacks we fancied just because they were on special offer.

But as we're sure all parents will agree, nothing shocks you into getting wiser with your spending than having kids.

2Alison used to spend £225 a week on food before having kidsCredit: Instagram 2She now feeds her family-of-four for £10 a dayCredit: Instagram

And one person who knows a little something about this is Alison Said.

Speaking to 7News, the Australian mum-of-two explained how she used to spend £225 on food a week when she was child-free - including £85 on takeaways.

But now that she's a mum, the food blogger has drastically changed her habits with these easy habits and feeds the four of them for £5 a day.

To begin with, Alison started by labelling her food with the date it goes off - as it's all too easy to overlook supermarket expiry dates.

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And if it's something homemade, she'll add the date she made it on there too.

The mum - who shares her tips on her Instagram page - explained: "With something like a bolognese sauce, you can make spaghetti, lasagna or pasta bake - you can repurpose it for so many things.

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“So keeping it labelled means you can see everything you have, and it helps you rotate your meals."

What's more, the mum makes a point of bulk-buying ingredients that can be used in several dishes when they go on special offer.

Although the supermarket is the easiest place to do your big food shop, Alison urged people to not forget about their local resources too.

She added: "Always shop seasonally because they are things that are in abundance and cheaper."

But just because she's nailed her food shop routine, that doesn't mean Alison doesn't get tempted by takeaways from time-to-time.

So to make life a bit easier in the week, the mum gets a head start on her meal prep on Sundays.

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Alison said: "If you peel and chop up your veggies ahead of time, you’ll have a less of an excuse during the week to buy takeout.

"If you are organised, you are less tempted."

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Tags: food money saving motherhood family of four used to spend because they just because having kids bulk buying

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I got a £17k facelift after falling pregnant with twins at 51 but ended up looking like ET – I feel like a bad mum

A MIDDLE-aged woman says she’s been left looking like ET after having a botched face lift that cost almost £20,000.

Shirley Ridley decided to get the surgery after finding out she was going to be a mum at 51.

6Shirley after surgeryCredit: Triangle News 6Shirley says the surgery has left her looking like ETCredit: Triangle News

But the lift, which cost more than £17,000, has left her in agony when she moves her head and jaw three weeks on from the operation.

Shirley, now 54, who works making protein powder, said: “I really feel like I look like ET.”

“My face looks terrible.

“I haven't done this purely out of vanity. 

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“I'm not trying to look 23 and have lovely big, full lips and everything. I just wanted to take the age away.

“It looks just as bad now, if not worse because I'm all out of proportion because there's no skin on my neck.”

The mother of 20-month-old twins added: “I was suicidal. I've just been thinking to myself I think I'd be better off dead. 

“When I went to bed last night I told my husband that I can't kill myself because of our children. 

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“I love life and I won't do it. But most of all my children are suffering already because I'm not the mother I should be. 

“They can sense unhappiness and they are miserable. 

“That is how bad I look.” 

Shirley, of Middlesbrough, said she knew something was wrong immediately after her face lift and complained.

Shirley questioned the doctor for quoting for surgery on her neck and said that she did not want anything to be done to that part of her body - just her face.

And she says that she would not have gone ahead had she known that her neck would be operated on.

But she was told that the operation was necessary to look younger rather than just Botox.

Shirley, who is an older mum who had given up on trying for kids, was keen to roll back the years for her new babies.

But now, after an infection that is only just starting to go down three weeks on from her surgery, she remains tortured by the results of her surgery.

Despite having a quote for half the price from an NHS surgeon, Shirley decided to fork out the extra cash in the hope that the high end Elite Surgical would be able to minimise the operation’s scarring.

She is now facing having to go back to work as her job was on the line if she had stayed away any longer.

It looks just as bad now, if not worse because I'm all out of proportion because there's no skin on my neck.

Shirley Ridley54

While she is able to hide some of her scars behind her hair net and overalls, the job remains extremely uncomfortable.

Shirley has now made an official complaint to the hospital.

She has resorted to Citizens Advice, trying to get some of her money back to pay for expensive surgery to correct the botched face lift.

She said: “I don't even know whether it can ever be pulled right by anybody. 

“There's no flexibility and there doesn't seem anywhere for all that’s been left in of my face to go

“To do this to somebody’s neck that doesn't need anything doing to it want to it is just bizarre.

“It was a particular area of my face that needed attention.

“The problems around my mouth have been accentuated and because of all the skin taken from my neck they’re more visible than ever.”

She received her consultations over Zoom and now believes it should be a requirement to have a proper pre-op appointment where patients can be told exactly what they will look like after the surgery.

But Shirley does remain chuffed with some parts of her procedure.

Alongside the face lift, which cost nearly £13,000, she paid £4,600 to have her eyes done.

She said: “My eyes look younger. It’s the only thing that's keeping me going.

“But my face - it looks dreadful.

“I look older than I have ever looked.”

Carolyn Andrews, the Practice Manager of Elite Surgical said: “Every patient undergoes a thorough, in-depth consultation process with a fully accredited and experienced Consultant Plastic Surgeon who is on the GMC Specialist Register for Plastic Surgery. 

“We have some of the highest levels of patient satisfaction for our cosmetic surgical interventions. 

“It is vital that a patient is realistic about their expectations from surgery and occasionally they need to be open about all their wishes not being achievable. 

“During the consultation process the surgeon clarifies the treatment options and plans any proposed treatment with full discussion of potential risks involved and any limitations. 

“All patients are given further information in writing setting out in clear terms risks and likely benefits of treatment and are always given enough time to have any questions answered. 

“Patients must be confident about their decision to have cosmetic surgery and a mandatory cooling off period is standard in our practice. 

“We offer psychological support both before and after cosmetic surgery as there are both physical and psychological aspects involved in the healing and recovery process. 

“Aftercare is as important as the surgery itself, so it is imperative that patients liaise with us and comply with their aftercare advice especially if they have any postoperative concerns. We are fully regulated by the CQC.”


EVERY 90 minutes in the UK a life is lost to suicide.

It doesn't discriminate, touching the lives of people in every corner of society - from the homeless and unemployed to builders and doctors, reality stars and footballers.

It's the biggest killer of people under the age of 35, more deadly than cancer and car crashes.

And men are three times more likely to take their own life than women.

Yet it's rarely spoken of, a taboo that threatens to continue its deadly rampage unless we all stop and take notice, now.

That is why The Sun launched the You're Not Alone campaign. The aim is that by sharing practical advice, raising awareness and breaking down the barriers people face when talking about their mental health, we can all do our bit to help save lives.

Let's all vow to ask for help when we need it, and listen out for others... You're Not Alone.

If you, or anyone you know, needs help dealing with mental health problems, the following organisations provide support:

CALM,, 0800 585 858

Heads Together,

Mind,, 0300 123 3393

Papyrus,, 0800 068 41 41

Samaritans,, 116 123


Anxiety UK, 03444 775 774 Monday-Friday 9.30am-10pm, Saturday/Sunday 10am-8pm

6Shirley still healing from the procedureCredit: Triangle News 6Smiling before the surgeryCredit: Triangle News 6Looking a bit swollen post surgeryCredit: Triangle News 6The mum says she now hates the way she looksCredit: Triangle News

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