The loss of income put a huge strain on her family’s budget, and when the Adelaide mum did the maths, she realised they could only afford to spend $50 a week on food.
“I cried for about six weeks. Like everyone else, I absolutely fell into a heap until I realised it wouldn’t do me any good,” Jody told Mamamia.
“That was when I got to work and thought, ‘well I’ve got absolutely nothing to lose, except everything if I don’t try’.”
So Jody set to work, first taking stock of everything in her freezer, fridge and cupboard and using it all up.
"I found out cans of creamy pumpkin soup and I don't even eat it. Just little things like that. You get into the habit of food shopping and buying the same thing over and over and you don't realise how much you actually have."
"So I started designing recipes that would use all that food up... that saved me a lot of money in the first couple of months."
Next, she went about overhauling her shopping list, changing the way she cooked, and spending some time in the garden, to successfully get her weekly supermarket docket down to $50.
Jody, her husband, and her boys, now aged nine and 10, lived on that same $50 budget for four years. At the same time, she began sharing tips on her blog-turned-website Stay at Home Mum.
Now, Jody the author of four books, the latest of which, The $50 Weekly Shop: Weekday Dinners, is packed full of tips and recipes for how anyone can reduce their spend at the supermarket.
Because she's nice like that, Jody has a shared with Mamamia a few of the ways she keeps her food expenses in check.