If you thought your weekly food bill was bad, spare a thought for the Radford family.
Parents Sue and Noel, both 50, are forced to spend an eye-watering £400 a week at the supermarket to feed their 22 kids – most of whom are still living at home.
They are parents to Chris, 32, Sophie, 27, Chloe, 26, Jack, 24, Daniel, 22, Luke, 21, Millie, 20, Katie, 19, James, 18, Ellie, 16, Aimee, 15, Josh, 14, Max, 12, Tillie, 11, Oscar, 10, Casper, nine, Hallie, six, Phoebe, five, Archie, four, Bonnie, three, and Heidie, one.
On average, they consume 56 sausages, 16 pints of milk and four loaves of bread a day, as well as three tubes of toothpaste, 80 yoghurts and 24 toilet rolls per week.
With their pie business and other money-making opportunities, they have always managed to look after themselves financially and on occasion treat themselves to luxuries such as a Range Rover car, outdoor cinema set up and hot tub.
Britain’s biggest family have been targeted by trolls over ‘extravagant spending’ and defended their lifestyle, with mum Sue insisting they are “definitely not secret millionaires”.
With the Radfords returning to our screens tonight on Channel 5 show 22 Kids and Counting, here is a look at their lives and how they make their money.
How do they make their money?
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The self-sufficient Radfords live on the income from Noel’s family bakery business, The Radford Pie Company, which is located near their family home in Morecombe, Lancashire.
Noel is the family breadwinner, having been a baker for 25 years and working in several bakeries from trainee to manager before opening his own bakery in 1999.
It’s certainly a family affair, as Noel’s job is to ensure the smooth running of the business and future developments, such as creating new pie recipes.
When she doesn’t have her hands full with the kids, wife Sue oversees all the orders coming in and going out and acts as “chief taste tester”.
It’s certainly a family affair, as wife Sue oversees all the orders coming in when she doesn’t have her hands full with the kids and is “chief taste tester”.
Daughter Chloe, who has worked in the bakery shop for five years, is the next generation of artisan pie maker and makes suggestions for delicious new recipes.
That’s not all, as son Daniel takes orders, prepares the pies for delivery and makes sure everywhere is spotless after a day of pie-making.
The company did expand to cater for online orders made from around the UK, but they were devastatingly hit by the Covid-19 pandemic and had to temporarily close when Noel contracted coronavirus.
Do they receive benefits?
Sue and Noel famously rely on their own bakery business and do not claim any benefits apart from Child Benefit.
Instead they look after their whopping clan with the proceeds from their pie shop and YouTube channel.
“Absolutely not, we’re definitely not secret millionaires,” Sue said when asked if the family were rich.
“To me rich would be having the big mansion, the flash cars and quite a few hundred thousand in the bank, to me that would be rich but we are not that.”
The only other source of income they get is through brand partnerships on social media.
They have worked incredibly hard to build their online presence and have created a very successful YouTube channel – boasting 312,000 subscribers.
The Radfords have also allowed cameras into their lives for their popular documentaries, starting with 15 Kids and Counting in 2014.
Defending their spending
Sadly, vile trolls have lashed out at the Radfords over what they deem to be ‘extravagant’ spending.
Something that particularly irked the haters was a video showing a £749 Emma mattress which Sue had bought for one of her daughters.
One person scorned: “Disgusting waste of money, you should remember where you came from and start giving back instead of flaunting your ‘wealth’.”
Not one to take unfair criticism lying down, Sue decided to hit back at the naysayers and explain her purchase.
She wrote: “Oh I do, we’ve worked extremely hard to get to where we are now.
“I think people forget that we don’t just have our bakery, we also work very hard on our media company and filming for our new program just like lots of other ‘influencers’.
“I hate that word but most YouTubers don’t also run a very successful business.”
How much rent do they charge?
Only two of the kids have moved out of the family home, meaning some are still living there as adults.
But they don’t get a completely free ride as the eldest children pay a small amount of rent to their parents.
“Us older ones do pay a little bit of board, granted it’s not a lot but I am trying to save up for my own house at the moment,” explained Chloe, who is the oldest of the couple’s children who is still living at home.
Sue added: “We’ve always said if you want to buy somewhere, rent is dead money so we would rather you saved that money up and stayed at home for a bit longer.
“But me and Noel believe they should pay board, if they are earning we’ve always been brought up to pay board.”
Will there be more babies?
There’s a reason why their Channel 5 show is called 22 Kids and Counting, because more babies could be on the way.
Sue and Noel have previously claimed they definitely will not be expanding their family.
“No, we are not having any more,” Sue told The Mirror last year. “Definitely 100% not.”
During a Q&A session for their fans with their two eldest daughters, the couple explained that youngest daughter Heidie would be their final baby.
When asked if they were having any more children, Sue replied: “We have both decided that we don’t want more children. This time we are definitely done! Heidi is definitely the last! That’s that.”
Noel added: “There will be no more little Radfords, not from us anyway.”
However, he may have had a change of heart as he discusses the possibility of Sue having a 23rd child in the new series.
Speaking on the show, he says: “I get mixed feelings, its a nice feeling to think Heidie’s the last, we can get on, just enjoy our lives, happy with what we’ve got you know with our 22 kids that’s it, move on but then you get other feelings you know that’s it, never gonna have that feeling again that newborns in the house that’s ours.”
Could Britain’s family be about to get even bigger?
*22 Kids and Counting airs tonight on Channel 5 at 9pm
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