Most read story: How to feed a family for around $2 a head for dinner - solo Kiwi mum shares secrets

This story was first published on Thursday July 19.

Rotorua’s Loreen Shields can feed her family for around $2 a head for dinner. Source: Seven Sharp

A Rotorua woman, who struggled for years as a solo mum, wants to share how she learned to feed her family by only spending around $2 per head for dinner.

Loreen Shields has some simple rules that can help get that ever expensive shopping budget down while still delivering hearty meals for the family.

RULE 1: Buy in season and buy cheap

Food is often cheaper when in season; especially fruit and veg, also make sure to always be on the lookout for supermarket specials.

RULE 2: Buy items that can be used across a range of meals

For example a head of broccoli can go a long way, remember the stalk can also be used.

RULE 3: Don't turn up your nose at budget brand products

Often for a cheaper price non-name brand or budget products will do the same job.

RULE 4: Avoid temptation

Those chocolate treats next to the counter might seem irresistible, but they're also going to hurt your wallet.

RULE 5: Fresh isn't always best

Canned foods and food close to its expiry date can really help get the most out of your weekly food budget.

Following these rules Loreen managed to serve up a meal to her family which worked out to $2.25 per head.

Watch: To leash or not to leash? What can parents do to deal with 'bolter' kids

Parents of "bolter kids" who spend most of their time trying to reign in their wayward youngsters may well sympathise with those using leashes to keep them under control.

Trouble is there are lots of parents who say it's cruel and inhumane.

So what's the answer? TVNZ1's Seven Sharp reporter Tim Wilson took a trip to the mall with some toddlers to find out.

It’s a quick and easy way to be judged, but pro-leashers are convinced they are doing the right thing. Source: Seven Sharp



'They started kicking and punching me' - Auckland Transport reviewing safety procedures following increase in attacks on bus drivers

Auckland Transport (AT) is reviewing its safety procedures in response to an increase in the number of attacks on bus drivers.

Over the last two years, there have been 36 assaults against AT drivers - a figure the transport service admits is too high.

AT bus service manager Darek Koper said "we need to do more and we are working with bus operators to do a lot more to reduce the risk, to minimise the risks the drivers are facing".

Most recently, an Auckland bus driver was attacked by three thugs on her route in Māngere three weeks ago.

The driver, who was afraid to be identified, told 1 NEWS she was physically assaulted after refusing to hand over the vehicle's cash box, which contained around $60.

"I kicked and punched back but with three of them against me, they overpowered me and threw me off the bus," she said.

"I had bruises on my legs, on my stomach."

According to FIRST Union, which represents the majority of bus drivers, nearly half of their members nationwide have been attacked either verbally or physically.

"We need to have AT and council and the companies seriously sit down together and talk about what they're gonna do," said Emir Hodzic, FIRST Union's transport organiser.

AT says it's taking steps to improve safety for bus drivers, including rolling out CCTV on its entire fleet, giving drivers training to deal with difficult passengers, and putting security guards on more risky routes.

It's also considering operating cashless vehicles.

However, the bus driver says change can't come soon enough.

"A lot of our other drivers have been attacked as well, and some of them have even resigned because of it. I'm thinking of resigning because I fear for my safety," she said.

Police are continuing to investigate the recent attack and say they have strong lines of inquiry.

- By Andrew Macfarlane

A union says half its membership has been physically and verbally assaulted on the job, and more needs to be done. Source: 1 NEWS