box of non perishable foods
Mayukh Saha
Mayukh Saha
April 4, 2024 ·  4 min read

Mom eats once a day and drinks cups of tea to feel full so she can keep kids fed

The sky-rocketing costs of living are taking a toll on more and more families. 29-year-olds Kate Worby and Charlie Skudder have resorted to eating the bare minimum to keep their kids fed and happy. The couple has three children, so the conditions are getting increasingly difficult for the young family.

The couple now suffers from malnutrition which makes common colds exceedingly difficult. Moreover, both of them work three different jobs and long hours every day to ensure their kids remain happy.

According to The Mirror Charlie is the owner of a valet business, a full-time student at a university, and used to be a carer at a care home in their locality. Unfortunately, the care home shut down recently. Kate has a similarly grueling routine. She works as a carer, a cleaner, and runs Magical Guests, her business where she is an entertainer for children.

Charlie Skudder and Kate Worby.
Image Credits: Kate Worby | The Mirror

Their 3 kids – 8-year-old Alice, 4-year-old Oliver, and 1-year-old Edward – are given 80% of the family’s food shop. Recently, the spiraling living prices have meant many families have to go without being able to feed their smallest family members sufficiently.

However, Kate is resolute to not let that happen. She now eats only one meal every day and vows to starve than let the kids suffer. The couple has also had to sell their belongings from time to time to keep everything running.

In Kate’s words: “As a parent, it’s what you do. I’d sell the clothes off my back, which I often do, to provide for my children. I wouldn’t have it any other way. We would do anything for our children and to provide for them. As parents, we make every single cut back or sacrifice to ensure they get all they need.

Read: Family says they were turned away from hospital, baby born at gas station

Is There No Help In Sight

As much as Kate rues the situation, she does have advice as well. She said that childcare providers and schools can offer advice and vouchers for food banks. So anyone struggling should contact them. Explaining the situation, Kate added:

It’s hard and completely rubbish, but there is no shame in having a family and feeling the pinch. As parents, the pressure is already on to provide for small mouths that are always growing and need topping up.

The family’s average weekly food cost is £60 ($75 USD). This also accounts for the tons of vegetables and fruits that the kids need. Usually, the children will dine at school on weekdays or have a sandwich during lunch. Options for dinner include a dish based on potatoes (like mash and sausages) or pasta. As for snacks, the kids have bananas, apples, or raisins.

For the adults, though, the day’s singular meal is the leftovers of their kids’ meal. In case there aren’t any, it might cheese and toast, which, at times, the two share. This is taking a heavy toll on their immune system and worsening their mental and physical fatigue.

But what about the government? Kate says that public figures and members usually shun large families, particularly during financial duress. However, Kate admits that the couple is giving it their all during these difficult times. The blame does not lie with them at all.

Kate explained that many families, like theirs, were not always in this situation. It’s just that the increase in price has taken them by surprise just as the pandemic recovery had begun. She suffers from a chronic mental health condition. So, the constant stress of life and ensuring the kids are happy takes a lot.

The Happiness Of The Kids Is Supreme

For Kate and Charlie, it’s all about making sure the kids thrive. Speaking about their situation, Kate added:

Their safety and wellbeing physically, and mentally, is our priority. As a parent or anyone at the moment, it’s not a crime to be struggling, it’s certainly not your fault and you’re not alone.

Kate and Charlie with their three kids.
Image Credits: Kate Worby | The Mirror

Kate also shares “embarrassing” moments when she had to return things after reaching the till because she miscalculated the budget. Nevertheless, the family uses frozen vegetables to bulk up the dinner. Of course, mom is always ready to go without dinner if the kids still say they are hungry.

Kate also takes pride in being a savvy spender and has come up with small ingenious ways of spreading the weekly shop. She said that she makes one meal plan, and sticks to only that. She also lists and jumbles up everyone’s favorite dishes to maintain variety throughout the month.

Furthermore, she makes her own sauces, grows herbs, buy items in bulk that last, and freezes bread to cut down on wastage. Finally, one big visit is preferred by Kate over many tiny trips. As a psychological trick, Kate advises going to the mall on a full stomach since buying while being hungry might make you buy more.

Keep Reading: Elementary school turns leftover lunch into frozen meals for children in need


  1. Mum eats once a day relying on cups of tea to feel full so she can afford to feed kids.” Mirror. Amy Walters and Charlie Jones. May 23, 2022.