Is Clapton family one of Britain’s most frugal?

Odizer Harris, 27, and her 16-month son Z'Chari, who have been shortlisted in a competition to find

Odizer Harris, 27, and her 16-month son Z'Chari, who have been shortlisted in a competition to find Britain's most financially savvy family. Picture: Dieter Perry - Credit: Archant

In these difficult economic times everybody is trying to save money – but in a nationwide competition, one family in Hackney could be crowned Britain’s most frugal.

Odizer Harris, 27, and her family are one of eight shortlisted from thousands in the Nectar Savvy competition. The winner gets prizes worth £5,000.

For the past few weeks Odizer has been blogging on how to rein in spending.

The single mother of 16-month son Z’Chari, of Clarence Road, Clapton, is a final year student at Greenwich University, studying Tourism Management with French.

She said: “I get a student loan of £3,000 and have to live on it for the year. It’s quite easy. I bulk-buy my groceries. I will spend between £100 and £120 for three months of food shopping and that includes Z’Chari’s nappies and everything.

“If I have to top up on juice or milk, I shop at certain times of the day when prices have fallen. Certain supermarkets reduce their prices between 4pm and 7pm.

“I tend to recycle leftover food. When I cook, I tend to cook for a whole week and portion it out.

Most Read

“I don’t drink or smoke. It’s strictly water and fruit juice in my house. There are no fizzy drinks.”

She admits she doesn’t buy clothes for herself, rarely goes on nights out and opts for afternoons in the park with Z’Charli and DVDs in the evening.

She has even managed to squeeze a holiday out of the shoestring budget, planning to visit eastern Europe because it is cheap.

As a social housing tenant, she pays a weekly rent of £14. Her childcare costs are £180 a week but 75 per cent of this is subsidised by Student Finance England.

She said: “Once I start work, it will make life easier so I don’t have to depend on benefits to survive.”

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter