A junk food addicted couple shaved an incredible £5,000 off their household expenses by ditching the takeaways they enjoyed three times a week.
Cherie Higginson, 37, and her husband Mark, 40, have saved an average of £100 a week and lost an amazing nine stone between them since they abandoning their thrice-weekly trips to the Chinese or Indian takeaway 15 months ago.
Mrs Higginson, a clinical support worker for the NHS, said: “We were just being lazy. It was so much easier after a day at work to get a takeaway in rather than cook. It became a habit.
“We probably had a takeaway three times a week and then we ate out at the local pub once a week as well. That’s £100 a week as a family.”
Mrs Higginson, who with her husband has three children named Ewan, 14, Tia, 13 and Livvy, eight, decided to make a lasting change in the summer of 2013 after she looked a holiday pictures in which she was overweight.
She said: “I couldn’t believe it was me. At first I thought it was someone else, but then I realised that this massive person was me.”
The pair decided to ban convenience food from their family meals and replace it with healthy, cooked-from-fresh alternatives.
Their typical daily diet once included cereal and toast with jam for breakfast, ham sandwiches with crisps and chocolate for lunch and beef curry from an Indian takeaway or sweet and sour chicken with rice from a Chinese for their evening meal. They would snack on chocolate, popcorn and crisps during the day.
Today, they typically eat shreddies with banana for breakfast, soup with pasta and a fruit salad for lunch, and peppered mackerel with onion rings and mushrooms for dinner. When they snack they mostly enjoy fruit and vegetables.
Mrs Higginson, once wore size 20 clothes and weighed 16 stone, but today wears size 14 clothes and weighs just 11st 4lb. Mr Higginson, a policeman, once wore size 40 jeans and weighed 18 stone. He now wears size 34 jeans and weighs 14 stone.
Mr Higginson said his new-found health even enabled him to make an arrest while off duty.
He said: “I chased after and caught a shoplifter on my day off last week.
“I would never have been able to do that two years ago – I was just too unfit.”
The family, of Wednesfield, have paid off a £2,500 bill and have been able to treat the children to a number of days out with the money they have saved.
Mrs Higginson said: “We’ve been to Alton Towers, Legoland and Chessington World of Adventures. We’ve done a lot this year which we wouldn’t have been able to afford if we were still eating so much rubbish.”
Mrs Higginson has competed in several running races, including two triathlons and the Birmingham half-marathon.
She said: “I had a BMI of 36 when I decided to change. My mother is diabetic and my doctors told me I would have ended up diabetic as well if I had kept at that weight.”
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