A New Zealand family of 6 has made a huge new years resolution. Lydia Harvey, husband Matt and their four kids are a month and half into their year journey of spending $0 on food.

Lydia and Matt began to think seriously about their lifestyle and the food their family was eating after one of their children was diagnosed with coeliac disease.

“I started wondering why our food was making him sick. And then I started asking questions – reading all the ingredients on packets and googling anything that I didn’t understand. I realised that so much of what we eat isn’t even proper food.”

Now, along with the fruit, vegetables and eggs from their own garden, the family acquire food through a type of bartering arrangement.

“My motto is that if you give freely, it will come back to you freely. We always have so much surplus, and we give what we have – fruit, vegetables, eggs, baking – and although we don’t ask for anything in return, people are happy to give back to us,”

The family have been making delicious looking food from the look of their FB updates:

While we have fruit trees and a veggie patch, we certainly don’t have enough to keep our family of 6 eating for a year yet.

Good Luck to the family on the rest of their year journey, I look forward to seeing how they go.

Could you go a year without buying food?

PLEASE share your comments with us below

Image credit: Back to Basics FB

  • I would love to see an interview with this family after they’ve completed this challenge, just to see how they went


  • I would love to have a nice big veggie patch with some fruit trees. Everything tastes better when it’s home grown


  • If you have sufficient land to rotate your vegetables, grow herbs have plenty of fruit trees, fowls for eggs and manure for your garden, cows, sheep or goats for milk, cheese, butter and meat( if you eat it) it may be possible. Obviously you aren’t planning to eat bread, cakes or biscuits unless you are on a farm and going to process your own flour….or grow rhubarb and use the seeds/flowers to make buckwheat flour(that is what buckwheat is made from).


  • I like the concept but I think you would need to plan in advance and have a lot of time.

    • I agree – plenty of planning and plenty of time to initially set up and get going.


  • How inspiring! I am aiming to reduce my grocery bill by subsidising with my garden, but could never see myself spending Zero! I’m going to follow them on Facebook to get some ideas.


  • How awesome ! With a good veggie patch, some fruit and nut trees, chickens and maybe even a goat or cow for milk you come far ! When you can give away indeed you’ll be blessed in return.


  • Basics would still need to be purchased or there would need to be a barter system with other people for goods/foods. This very much reminds me of that old TV show – The Good Life.


  • wow this is truly inspiring and look at how healthy and gorgeous their food looks – I’m off to follow them on facebook and to wish them well on this journey – hopefully I can learn a lot from this too


  • An amazing family,l am sure l would not be able to do so!


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