Thursday, 19 November 2015

Shopping till I dropped

Hello. Now that the filming has finished, I have time to tell you a bit more about it. Mollie asked the question, what happened to the food, did I get to keep it. I'll come to that later. Someone from the BBC found my blog and was interested in how I cut my food bill by buying yellow sticker reduced items. They came up with the idea of sending me shopping to get as many items as I could with big savings.

We started at Sainsbury's and I did what I normally do, head for the obvious places, and as I haven't been there for a while, asking an assistant where I should look. I'll just mention here that we did not film inside any of the stores. I had to forget that I was shopping for myself, and had to get a good cross section of food including meat and fish, with the biggest markdowns. This is when I hit the first problem, how could I put into my basket food that I do not need and food that I would not eat. It goes against my principles. I usually take my time and carefully select what I would buy. We did this on Tuesday late afternoon and evening, and to get to four stores in the time meant I had to make quick decisions and rush about. I had to keep reminding myself, it is not my shopping and I was spending someone else's money. There wasn't a lot on offer at Sainsbury's and normally I would have been happy with spending a pound and getting two or three items, then walking out.

At Asda we hit the jackpot, there was plenty of my normal food to choose from, fruit, veg, salad, and dairy, at very low prices. No problem in filling the basket there, in fact we had to get a trolley, the basket wasn't big enough. By now I was getting a buzz, we were winning. We then went to Morrisons, and finished up at Tesco. It was quite late when we got there, and had missed most of the bargains. Nevertheless we found something from the few things that were left, but it wasn't food that I would normally buy.

It was all brought back to the house and I stored the temperature sensitive items in the fridge. We ended up with a lot of shopping, and I got quite excited about having all that food in the house. We talked about what would be done with it once the filming had finished. I said that as they had paid for it they could take it away, but if they left it with me I could eat some of it, and make sure that every thing I didn't need would be given to friends and neighbours. I would find a home for it and nothing would be wasted. They said that would be fine and I could have it. I was very excited at the prospect of giving people surprises. Barry could have the mince as he likes to make spag bol. The family across the road might like the diced turkey, bread, and some veg, they have three strapping blokes to feed, two of them students. And my friend in the next village who is slightly disabled and doesn't earn much would like to pick a few items. Then there's my friends in the crafty club, I could ring them and tell them to come and take what they liked. I was really looking forward to sharing it out.

It was an early start the next day, the crew arrived at 8am. They had a plan. The cameraman and I would go back to all the four stores and film the outside scenes, me walking to the store with empty bags and coming back to the car with full ones. The sound lady would stay in the house and go through all the purchases logging on the computer how much each item was to begin with, how much was paid for it. Now as you know this is something I have done in the past with my own yellow stickers, because it's interesting to find out exactly how much can be saved. She had a massive amount of food to go through, it was going to take more than two hours to do it.

When we got back she had finished and the food was piled up in the living room, some of it back in the shopping bags. It was lunch time and we were going to the pub so I started putting the temperature sensitive food back in the fridge. By this time, with all the handling, some of it had started to deteriorate, the prepared veg getting squishy and the bread crumbling. There was no time to mess about they wanted to get to the pub to eat, I insisted that some of it had to be refrigerated. I had already mentioned that the food shouldn't be out of the fridge for too long.

More filming after lunch, in fact we didn't get finished until 7pm, so it was a long day. During the afternoon I was told that they would have to take the food away with them because each individual item needed to be photographed by someone else for the still shots. Nothing I could do, it was out of my hands. From that moment on, I lost enthusiasm for the the job. I was so disappointed. For me that would have been the icing on the cake, to be able to give it away.

We still had some filming to do, the food came out of the fridge and went through more mauling about. I had to put a smile on my face and carry on, and hide my disappointment. It was very hard to do that. By the time they had got back to Manchester later that night some of the food would have to be binned, it had been out of the fridge for too long. You know what I think about wasting food. Criminal.

So now my fridge is empty, I'll leave the shopping till next week and eat out of the freezer and store cupboard. I can't face going shopping again just yet. I've lost my mojo, I need to find it again. I have a £3 voucher off a £20 shop at Tesco with another week left on it, so I'll use that.

A lot of work goes into making a short piece of film, and unless you have done it you don't realize just how much. It's interesting to gain a bit of an insight as to how it all comes together. They had allocated two days to this. I decided to do it because it might be fun, but in truth you need to have a sharp mind, you need to pick things up quickly, and follow direction. It's a lot of focused concentration. Most of the filming is in short bits which will be pieced together later, and most of it is shot out of sequence, so that befuddles the brain a bit, especially my logical brain. There were times when I was stuck for words. I am usually a lively conversationalist, but to be asked the same questions over and over again, and to respond with a smile on my face and repeat the same or similar lines over and over again, I found it very hard. My enthusiasm started to fade away as the day went on. I am best first thing in the morning.

Right, let's move on, what's the next? Something will turn up. In the meantime, I'll keep on trucking.
Thanks for popping in. Toodle pip

29 comments:

  1. That must have been a tough couple of days. It's so disappointing when you have something important to say and it gets taken out of your hands to a large extent. I hope they can edit it to show your enthusiasm and the points you wanted to make, and leave out where you were getting disillusioned by the filming process.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi. I wasn't disillusioned, I knew what it would be like because I've done it before. I was just a bit tired towards the end. The camera man rang me this morning, he is pleased with the footage and said I come over really well.

      Delete
  2. Media will wrest things the way they want them to be.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I have done a photoshot for a magazine before for a Christmas issue and it took a couple of days, it was exciting to begin with then as it dragged on very boring.....Such a lot of work. Also when we had our house up for sale they wanted to record 'escape to the Country' in it. I said NO! Glad it went well a shame about the food., did they pay you for your time and will it be coming on our screens?
    Rosezeeta.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi. You were right to say no, Rozeeta. That would have been a nightmare. I had to put my house back to how it was, once they left.

      Delete
  4. Oh ,what a shame. Feel for you Ilona . Everyone knows you hate waste. I suppose you could say the cost for the programme was the £20 for the food (don't mean the expenses) Such a pity they said you could have it and then changed their minds. Never mind probably wasn't fit to eat anyway by the time it had be mauled about.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Sounds like it might have gone better if the producers had just followed your usual routine, and made the program about that, instead of having you modify your choices and decisions and buy loads more than you normally would. I suppose they wanted to make the program appeal to a wider range of consumers, but people aren't stupid...just because you don't eat meat it doesn't mean a viewer/reader couldn't relate to your methods of saving money, eating well, and NOT wasting ANYthing!
    Sorry you didn't get to share out with your friends - I can understand how that would dull your enthusiasm.

    ReplyDelete
  6. There was a lot of hard work involved on your part, including keeping an upbeat attitude as they filmed and filmed again, and you went twice to all the stores, had to shop in a hurry and keep smiling. I think it was a good experience overall; too bad it did not work out to keep and give away the food.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi. Keeping upbeat is quite hard for me as the day goes on. I find learning lines quite difficult, I am not an actor. I can stand up in front of an audience and deliver a presentation for an hour, on a subject I am passionate about. Spontaneous off the top of my head works for me, I feed off the audience, not endless takes in front of a camera.

      Delete
  7. Good on you for giving the whole experience it a go Ilona. Thanks for sharing with us. I would have been really disappointed too that food went to waste. My pet hate is food waste.. hate it hate it. Thank -you again for doing your bit towards making people think about what they buy and what they needlessly waste. Cheers

    ReplyDelete
  8. You will get your point across and inspire other people who don't see your blog. That is worth a lot. Well done. A different kind of exhausting to the usual physical such as when you do your fantastic long hikes! JanF

    ReplyDelete
  9. It's interesting reading about what goes on behind the scenes and how shows like this are put together. Slightly ironic that making a film about something that could help reduce food waste has actually ended up with food being wasted! I'm sure you will come across very well though as always and will encourage people to hunt for the bargains and save money.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I just hope that when they filmed the individual items of food, that it wasn't all looking worse for wear from all the handling and being out of refrigeration. It would give a distorted view of the quality of food that can be had, and kept, if handled properly. Mary Jane in Canada.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I had no idea what goes into filming. I'm sorry about the disappointment and food waste. Hopefully the show will inspire others to save money and food.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I hope having the piece air on television won't mean less yellow sticker bargains for shoppers. In the U.S. there was a show on television that started as a "one off" piece about extreme couponers, then became a weekly show. Cameras followed shoppers armed with mounds of coupons as they filled 2-3 or more shopping carts with food items they had coupons for. At the check out they'd save 90% or more off of shelf prices. Then U.S. stores changed their coupon policies and within a year there were fewer coupons for food/sundry discounts available. Since yellow stickered foods would have to be discarded otherwise, it's unlikely your stores would stop offering them, but there might be fewer available goods if the general public begins waiting for mark downs before buying? It's a shame all that food bought was wasted, but good that your blog will get a televised plug!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I did think about that very point, Elise. A few people might try my method of shopping, but whether they can sustain it over a long period of time is another matter. To live cheaply is a lifestyle choice, not something to do on a whim. I am hoping after the initial frenzy of activity, that things will die down to leave plenty for me, ha ha.

      Delete
  13. Oh, too bad you weren't able to distribute the food to your friends. Pity they couldn't have photographed the individual items at the beginning, and then given to you for distributing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Bless. They come with a detailed plan of what they want to do, and they have to follow it. No room for deviation.

      Delete
  14. I hope it all comes out well. I'm sorry you did not get to do as you planned with the food.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Sounds like its been a busy few days. I can totally understand your frustration with the for waste. Such a shame.

    X x

    ReplyDelete
  16. I know the tedious work and repetition that goes into filming, we had five hours of filming for a few minute segment on Escape to the Country, it drove me mad ... never again !!

    I hope the programme turns out well, it should, you were great last time you appeared on the television.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Sue. People think it must be exciting to be filmed for TV, but it's frustrating. Sixteen hours for maybe ten minutes.

      Delete
  17. Can I just say, I think you are blessable, I almost cried when I read your disappointment at not sharing the food with your friends and neighbours and wasting it. You are a truly kind person.xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you alice. I have spoken to the cameraman today, he said they were able to give some of the food away.

      Delete
  18. I'm not surprised you weren't very happy about it - nor would I have been (particularly having been promised the food earlier).

    Did they actually pay you for doing that couple of hours or so work for them?

    If they had expected my labour for free AND I couldn't even get to keep the food - then I would have been livid about having been used by them quite frankly.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi. It's not normal practice to pay someone to do this sort of thing, I knew the score before I agreed to do it. If I didn't do it there are hundreds of others who would. I was happy to do it, just disappointed that I didn't get to give the food away. By the way, it was about 16 hours, over two days.

      Delete
    2. Oh dear - 16 hours worth of work for absolutely no pay! Even at NMW that would have been about £100. Well, that's my answer worked out already if ever any TV company comes knocking at my door and it wont be a "Yes".

      Delete
  19. Well done for being brave enough to do this. I certainly wouldn't have been. Really infuriating that good food was mostly wasted. Kristel

    ReplyDelete
  20. Hello,Ilona.Your long day of filming seems to have had it's pros and cons, but I think,that it was very good of you to give your time and effort into it.The food being wasted was a shame,especially considering the theme of your segment.Well done,you...and thank you for sharing your experience,D.

    ReplyDelete



Comment moderation is switched ON at the moment to block spammers. Your comment will be posted after I have checked it. Thank you.