Mum-of-16 shows what ‘popping to the shops for bread and milk’ looks like for her family

A mum-of-16 has revealed what a quick dash to the shop for essentials such as bread and milk looks like when you are the matriarch of a massive brood.

Jeni and Ray Bonell have one of the biggest families in Australia and regularly share snippets of their daily lives with their followers on Facebook and YouTube.

Jeni, 51, showed off her huge midweek shopping of six bottles of 3L milk, three loaves of sliced bread, 2kg carrots, four punnets of strawberries, two punnets of blueberries, 1kg grapes, 400g of cherries, 600g of tomatoes, 4kg potatoes, two salad kits, a punnet of peaches and a bag of apricots.

The mini haul cost Jeni AU$132.67 (£73) – but she said it was just her “popping to the shops for bread and milk.”

She said on Facebook: “When you just need milk, bread and some fruit and vegetables.”

Jeni explained that the family gets through 50 litres of milk each week, but they are trying to cut down on dairy.

“We’re trying to pull back on milk for a little bit just for budget sake so [I bought] six three-litre bottles, and we’re trying to get by with just 12 three-litre of bottles per week,” Jeni said.

Many of her Facebook followers were shocked, with one saying: “You don’t need to join a gym. So much weight training going on, lifting the milk jugs.”

“My family is the same but there’s only 10 of us here, just a couple of days’ essentials. Love the fresh veggies and fruit,” another person wrote.

The supermum, whose 16 children range in ages from five to 30 said she is a firm believer in the benefits of stockpiling, a tactic that allows her to keep her costs down.

She will often do a mega shop at the start of the week, spending AUS$450 (£251).

But this sometimes only lasts the huge family for half the week, meaning she has to pop to the shops for a top-up, seen here.

She keeps costs down by buying homebrand products and bulk-buying meat and fresh produce.

She said on YouTube: “So I tend to buy up whatever we need to make meals for that week to add to our supplies or if I have something that I find that’s on special or half-price or it’s a great bargain, then I will buy up on that product and we will stockpile it.

“We’ve bought certain ingredients to go with certain meals that we are going to make this week – and the rest of it is basically we are just filling the cupboards back up to what fits in the pantry.”

She said she usually spends around AU$600 (£335) per week for the family’s food shopping.

Jeni previously revealed that they’re often mistaken for hoarders when they go shopping because of how much food they have.

While she acknowledged that “it probably looked like a panic buy” to others, the three trolleys they filled were just their regular shop.

She said: “Doing groceries for a big family is hard enough without the unnecessary stares and comments. Just pleased it’s all done.”

Jeni also revealed how she was shamed by another shopper for buying a large packet of toilet paper.

The mum-of-16 told her fans that the woman had accused her of taking too much toilet paper without realising that she actually needed it.

“It’s wrong that people should be judged when they do go to the grocery store,” she said about the incident.

Jeni also gave an insight into the family dinner. She revealed how she makes spaghetti for her super-size family.

She needs 1.5 kilos of homebrand spaghetti, 1.5 kilos of lean beef mince with 700 grams of homebrand pasta sauce and 500 grams of mushroom to cater for the large family.

Jeni uses a rota to keep her family life from descending into chaos and make sure her nine boys and seven girls do housework.

The matriarch of Australia’s biggest family has taken on the motto “If you live here you work here” – and she believes her approach can help parents with smaller families.

She and Ray put their children on the rota for chores when they turn eight years old so they can learn important skills and habits for the future.

The couple are the parents of 16 children aged four to 28: Jesse, Brooke, Claire, Natalie, Karl, Samuel, Cameron, Sabrina, Tim, Brandon, Eve, Nate, Rachel, Eric, Damian and Katelyn.