July 10, 2024

Twin things and feeding a big family

Today I took Nora and Audrey on a big adventure to the baby optometrist (the optometrist was not a baby herself, but she instead specialised in babies).  The visit was really interesting - Nora's eyes hadn't focused properly by 6 months but were apparently normal today, which was assessed using a series of cards and then some fancy camera with dots and sounds.  One of the tests (which Nora was too young for) was holding a magic eye card and seeing if she would point to or reach for any of the shapes.  Instead she put the card in her mouth.   

Apparently her eyes are fine, so hopefully I can capture better photos than this from now on:

After the appointment I thought it would be nice to get a coffee and people watch with the twins.  The first coffee shop I walked past had a queue and was too small to fit the double pram in.  So I walked to the second coffee shop, where I saw another family using one of the two high chairs already.  With only one high chair left for the twins I had to pass and instead got in the car.

I figured maybe we could stop at M&S and get something nice for lunch.  The twins have only ever been to a big Sainsbury's before because I know they have at least one twin shopping trolly.  So before going to M&S I called to ask if they had shopping trolleys for twins, and unfortunately they only had trolleys for single kids.  

So I drove home, coffee and shop-less.

Twins at Sainsburys
Twins is an interesting view of a world I didn't know existed.  I own a Mountain Buggy twin pram, which is the narrowest of the twin prams and is the same size as a standard wheelchair.  I find it interesting when people say "on can you fit in there?" or even one person who said "Those things are huge! sort of a menace!"... do people say these things to wheelchair users?  I assume no one is surprised when a wheelchair can fit through a door?  Or maybe they are surprised? or maybe wheelchairs can't fit through all doors?   

Anyways, I take up a lot of space with twins.  And we take up a lot of food with our giant family.

For example, our grocery shop this week (delivered on Sunday) included 3kg (6.6lb) of carrots (which cost £2.10/$2.70).  I just used the last carrot for our dinner tonight.  

We eat about 2 kg (4.5lbs) of potatoes a week.

We have already eaten 4 cans of chickpeas this week (making our own hummus and having a falafel dinner). 

We eat approx 3 dozen eggs every week.  This morning we had scrambled eggs for breakfast (10 eggs, 2 each for the kids/adults and 1 each for the babies).  

Yesterday we had crumpets and yogurt for breakfast, and a pack of 8 no longer feeds the whole family, so instead I had to get 2 packs of 8... although we do have some leftover.

We eat a 550g (1.2lb) block of cheese every week... more if we have Macaroni and cheese.

We eat at least 12 apples a week.

We order 3x 4pints of milk a week (about a gallon and a half?)

We eat 2kg (4.5lbs) of bananas every week

I've started having a standard shop of most of the above delivered weekly, and then we add specifics for our weekly meals.  But still... this is so much food.  And sometimes we need to get a few more pieces from our local shop to supplement our big order.  Our weekly shop is currently about £125-£150 a week.

(we don't have a pantry so food is split between open kitchen shelves and a cabinet unit in the dining room.  I try to only stock 4 types of cans - Black Beans, Chickpeas, Baked Beans and Chopped Tomatoes.  Right now I have a can of tomato soup for the kids and white beans for the babies, as well as my last can of pumpkin.)

We don't really eat out much (never for dinner, very occasional lunch or cafe) so I don't think our spending is unreasonably high, since a pizza dinner would probably be £50.  We make almost everything from scratch or mostly from scratch.  

This week's meal plan:
Sunday - Veggie Burgers and Roast Potatoes and Carrots
Monday - Veggie slow cooker spaghetti bolognaise
Tuesday - Falafel wraps with hummus and tomato and cucumber
Wednesday - Jacket Potatoes, Roast Carrots, Beans and Tuna salad
Thursday - broccoli soup and bread
Friday - Macaroni and Cheese

Do you think your family eats a lot of food?  Do you have any questions about twin life or big-family-lots-of-small-kids-life? 


  1. I am very impressed by your carrot intake! And you spend so little on food, in my opinion. (Or I spend way too much, which is also possible.)

    The wheelchair/twin stroller thing sounds so frustrating. So few places in the US seem to be able to physically accommodate wheelchairs. I feel like it must be worse in Europe, where everything is so much older. The comments you get though! WHY?!?!

    1. I think food is a lot cheaper in the UK than in the US. I did spend £23 on corn tortillas recently. I got 6 packs of tortillas for that, but it definitely felt like a luxury... and now I have to learn how to make tacos without any other proper Mexican ingredients handy.

      This double pram life interlude has definitely opened my eyes to how so many things I take for granted would be so much harder for people in wheelchairs. And yes - I do think it would be worse in Europe since it's not really possible to retrofit a castle for disability compliance.

  2. My extended family has twins in it and now one of those twins requires a walker or a wheelchair and I am constantly surprised at how few places are actually accessible. Here in the US, so many buildings are grandfathered in and don't need to be ADA compliant. And don't even get me started on grocery stores putting stock in the middle of aisles. *sigh*

  3. Wrangling a stroller in and out of buildings was such a hassle. I will admit I don't miss it one bit.
    I think we consume an average amount of food, but I HATE food waste, so I grocery shop a lot so we just eat things as we go along. Food is so expensive in Canada now. We used to spend about $600/month on groceries and now it's about $1000! We don't eat much meat, but most things on sale, and have relatively inexpensive tastes. Still. $1000!!! My husband and daughter do like expensive cheese and I roll my eyes a bit when a little chunk costs $7. Sigh. But, aside from that...not many splurges. Food is just...expensive.

  4. Those toes are so CUTE! I will those toes when my kids were babies!
    Food... I don't think we eat a lot. a) R is very picky and eats little b)we eat the same thing over and over again so our shopping is basic. I want to say we spend about $200 every 1.5 weeks? I could go even longer than that but my husband T is spoilt and he has a saying "we have nothing to eat."= NOT true. We have plenty.
    When he travels for work, I actually aim to use up what we have in the pantry, only buying perishable things, e.i. yoghurt. The kids like canned soup- okay, fine with me. We warm up the soup, toast some slices of bread with butter= YUM. And easy.