A frugal mother has revealed how she plans to cut down on energy bills as she encourages others to follow her unconventional lifestyle to beat the cost of living crisis. Mother-of-three Adele Allen, 39, from Brighton, UK, has revealed she won’t be turning her radiators on this winter – only in ‘extreme’ conditions – and will use minimal amount of lighting in her home. The frugal mother – whose daughter famously urinated on the floor during a TV appearance in 2016 – said her three youngsters play outside in ‘all weathers to make them hardier.’
In 2019, the family-of-five revealed they claimed £900-a-month ($1019) in benefits while living in a council home, with Adele’s partner Matt (bottom right), also 39, working just a few hours a week as a yoga teacher.The pair have insisted that central heating is dangerous and said they don’t want to expose their three children, Ulysses, 11, Ostara, seven, and Kai, four to ‘health hazards’ that radiators present.
‘We keep radiators off in the home because they’re not necessary in keeping you warm,’ Adele said. ‘In the colder months, we encourage the children to wear additional layers and allow their bodies to heat up this way. It isn’t necessary to put your heater on – only in absolute extreme conditions. They are not good for you so this is something that we tend to avoid in our house. Radiators dry out the air, increasing dust and mould spores being spread – so we keep these off.’
‘Our family tends to have quite good thermoregulation; the ability of an organism to keep its body temperature within certain boundaries, even when the surrounding temperature is very different. We don’t need to do anything more to stay warm. Matt regularly goes winter sea swimming to help manage his chronic arthritis and that increases his body’s brown fat which helps with thermoregulation. The girls also play outside lots in all weathers which makes them hardier to temperature changes.’
The mother revealed she would only turn the heating on in an ‘extreme scenario’ or when ‘sensitive guests’ visit the family’s home. She said: ‘In an extreme scenario, we would use central heating in the evenings and for bath times for a short blast in freezing temps but would prefer to use a log burner, which we haven’t acquired yet.’
‘We haven’t been publicly criticized for our lack of heating use, but it obviously can shock visitors to our home who are used to a heated house. We do sometimes put on heating for sensitive guests.’
The family has also joined the Don’t Pay UK movement, a grassroots campaign in the UK that opposes the rise in energy bills. As a part of this movement, the couple is refusing to get pre-payment meters installed and only pay ‘what they can afford.’ Another way Adele keeps the purse strings tight is keeping the light usage to an absolute minimum.
She said: ‘We don’t tend to keep the lights on all day in the house – this is because I encourage more natural exposure to lights. I’d rather just keep the curtains open and use a low-level salt lamp when it gets darker.’
Adele (pictured) added: ‘I have noticed the costs rising in supermarkets but we try to encourage the family to be more sustainable. We grow a lot of our own vegetables in the allotment group and the children often graze on the food we grow. We don’t force the kids to eat anything they don’t want to, we actually let the children choose what they want to eat. But they often opt for grazing on stuff we grow in the garden.’
‘We do also supplement by using the local food bank to top up our shopping. We also try to bake our own bread and have our own egg supply from our pet chickens. The kids eat more than us as we regularly practice fasting.’ Although Adele’s (pictured with Kai) off-grid lifestyle appears to work for their family, their child-led approach to parenting has caused controversy after making headlines in the past.
Adele and Matt (pictured with Kai) refuse modern medicine – such as vaccines for their children – and traditional schooling and encourage full-term weaning. They are also strong advocates for child autonomy meaning that their three kids can essentially make all choices for themselves including what they eat and what time they go to bed. In 2019, the family appeared on a Stacey Dooley documentary, during which the star stayed at their three bedroom council property for three days. Matt told how he earns around £60 ($67) a week for teaching yoga while his wife, who once ran a yoga center of mothers and children, said she was having a break and concentrating on raising her three children.
He said: ‘We are proud of what we do. We live very, very frugally. We don’t use the schools, doctors, hospitals. We grow our own food and we try to contribute by doing volunteer work and helping people.’ The couple home school their three children, who have previously been branded ‘feral’ online, but are not ‘stifled’ by the idea of them reaching particular milestones such as when they are able to read or write.
Adele also believes in extended breastfeeding – continuing with Ulysses until he was five. In 2016, the family caused a storm on This Morning when daughter Ostara (pictured), then one, urinated on the set of This Morning while the family were being interviewed prompting viewers to call social services about their parenting style.
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