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