Tennessee Family of 20 Relies on Thrift and Teamwork to Make Ends Meet


A Typical Shopping List of the Bates Family

Here are some other average figures from the operations of the Bates family:

5 or 6 supersize bags of cereal per week

7 gallons of milk per week

2 pounds of sandwich meat per lunch

4 to 6 loads of dishes per day (they use paper plates)

one breakfast requires three to four packages of turkey bacon, two to three dozen eggs and 40 biscuits

on pizza night, a favorite family treat, they order 8 to10 large pizzas

When making chili, they use 8 to 10 pounds of ground beef

The Bateses do not use food stamps. "I don't take anything from the government. We probably qualify for a lot of things but … I don't want to be a burden on everybody else," Gil said.

They do take full advantage of the U.S. tax code, claiming all 18 deductions. "That's a wonderful thing," Gil said with a laugh. "America's a great place to live."

Watch the full story on "Primetime Nightline's (Extra)Ordinary Family" special, airing TONIGHT at 10/9c on ABC

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