Monday, 23 November 2015

You gotta laugh at this

Hello. This is my own very amateur video, on how to get the most for your money when shopping for food. Do not expect it to be polished, in fact it is thrown together on a whim. I have not tarted myself up, no makeup, no fancy hairdo, no fashionable clothes, just me in my everyday clobber. No rehearsals and no retakes, I can't be bothered to do it all again. No editing, I don't know how to do that, it's just my mush in front of my little point and shoot camera. What you see is exactly how I am in real life. I have never seen a face move around as much as mine does, it has a life of it's own. Yes, you can laugh if you like, I think it is hilarious. The  BBC cameraman kept telling me to smile. I know I should smile more, but I find it very difficult to smile while I am talking, so no fake smiles from me. I am as I am.

So here we go, it's 13 minutes long. I've just watched it and had a damn good laugh at myself.



Catch you soon. Toodle pip

49 comments:

  1. Wow, wonderful advice ! I follow the same.principles as you and only buy real food. Your accent is lovely ! AussieCheryl : )

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  2. Great video Ilona, good advice! You mention about not liking cheap yoghurts, out of interest is there anything else you are willing to pay a bit more for e.g to get a particular brand as you think the quality is worth it?

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    1. Hi Steve. The cheap yogurts I mentioned are the Value six pack, the small ones. They are thin and watery with hardly any taste. I go one step higher and buy the Tesco own label, six for £1, perfectly acceptable, no need to buy the more expensive branded ones. I also buy the 45p Value large tubs of plain yogurt, that is ok, and similar can be found in other supermarkets.

      I like nice tasting instant coffee, I don't buy expensive brands, and won't buy cheap ones either. Middle of the road for me, I have always been happy with Nescafe, but now I have discovered Carte Noir Classic which is a bit more expensive. I mix the two and it makes a tasty mug of coffee.

      I don't like cheap white bread, awful, no taste, like cotton wool. I will pay a bit more for wholemeal, seeded, or multigrain. Aldi do one for £1, but often I can get it on a yellow sticker at Tesco so I stock up when I see it. Bread freezes well.

      I pay a bit more for wholemeal pasta, don't like the cheap stuff.

      I need to buy some lemon curd as I have just run out of the Value one, and Tesco no longer stock it, so I will be looking around. I won't pay more for it, I'd rather go without. Value rice pudding is perfectly acceptable, 15p a tin. I have stopped buying peanut butter, won't pay the prices, and the Value one tastes horrible now they are putting palm oil into it. I buy peanuts and make my own in the food processor.

      I won't buy cheap eggs, must have free range on the box, though I suspect that the hens live in large flocks and are only allowed outside for a limited time. At least that's better than living a hellish life in cages.

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    2. Yes I agree about value bread, it isn't nice. I guess everyone should try the value option at least once to see if they like it or not, you see it on all the blind taste tests on TV programmes where people end up preferring the cheaper brand. The last value item I bought and decided not to buy again was smartprice custard. Had a metallic aftertaste!

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    3. I try to avoid palm oil in view of it' s origin and how the way it's obtained is affecting endangered animals. It's so hard though as it's in many, many products, not just food.

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    4. I find that the Value bread is good for toast and breadcrumbs, but that's all.

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  3. Our fish counter and butchers counter closes at 4.30 pm in a 24 hour tesco, I can get whole salmon for £2, prawns large ones for 50 p, lamb chops 10 for £2. I adore my 3x year holidays to Athens, by budgeting I can do that , on an average food budget. I don,t need to touch savings , just put difference of average food budget and mine in a pot, covers plane fares and hotel, not spending pennies but only spend what I would here in a week.

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    1. Hi Jaqueline, Sounds like you have your spending sorted. You know your priorities and work hard to save money for the important things. Great news from you.

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    2. Thank you, you inspired me, I was living in poverty paying lots for food, every day living. Had no idea how to budget at all. Now I budget and what is precious t me is my trips to Athens. Food budget wasprobably £100 a week with most being thrown out sadly. Now around £30. Also wakening up that I have a spare
      room that I now rent, as in a City get £500 a month, sure heating needs to be on when she is in, but I adore to be cosy . Thank you mean queen you have turned my life around!.

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  4. Hi.Your a star!Very instructive and easy to follow,however I kept on being distracted by the beautiful artwork behind you and the snazzy sweater,Ilona.:-) Seriously,though your thoughts and advice on the junk food aisles was very good.Appreciating what we have( whether on a budget or not) is a good way to start the day,and as you say so many have so very little...lots of good and useful tips in the video.Fun and interesting read, thank you,D.

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    1. Hi Des. The sweater was given to me, it's lovely and warm, and I made the artwork. Thank you for your comments.

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  5. Great video Ilona! So many good tips. Thanks for posting!

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  6. Great little video Ilona. Lots of good points there and lots of common sense spoken.
    Really enjoyed it xx











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  7. Excellent video with some very good advice. Nice to see you on screen as well. I'm with you on the menu planning issue. I much prefer looking at what I have and using it to make something for us to eat rather than organising it days in advance. I've got a lot better at finding bargains in the various shops and I have used one of the tips you gave on an older post where you write the price you pay on each item so you can track any increases. This has helped to keep the spending down so thank you.

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  8. Very good video, Ilona. I enjoyed it.

    The only grocery store here that regularly lowers prices is Aldi. They also offer produce specials every week - not as cheap as your yellow stickers but good prices. Walmart claims to have low grocery prices but I do much better at Aldi and a local grocery store. Plus, Walmart is a madhouse so I try to avoid it.

    We also have bread outlet stores that sell overstock and short-dated bread, bagels and English muffins. It is a bit out of the way so I only get there once a month.

    One of my favorite things I learned from you is buying and using spices. That would make another good video.

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  9. Thanks for the refresher...Nice to hear your voice, too.

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  10. I really enjoyed your video. I thought there wasn't a chance to see the BBc show here in the US so this was really fun to watch.

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  11. I think you did an awesome job! I have been following your style of shopping for quite some time now and will only buy markdown stickers,bread from day old shelf, etc. I'm 80 and no one can tell me "old dogs can't learn new tricks" - just wish I'd always done this! Thanks for sharing and teaching us! Shirley

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    1. Hi. You are 80, wow Shirley. I could learn a few things from you then. Thankls for reading my blog, you are very welcome.

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    2. Thanks! My photo was a special freebie this year when friends couldn't use their theater tickets and gave them to a mutual friend and me. We went to opening night of Cabaret and they had a photographer there. I never turn anything down anymore.

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  12. LOVE the video! It was fun watching and listening to you. Great tips, too! I, too, buy things on discount as much as I can, shop for the bargains, don't always have a shopping list, don't menu plan, etc. I budget a certain amount for food for myself per month (US $75) and have been told that it is a starvation diet, although I think I eat quite well. Looking forward to more videos!

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  13. Hi Ilona. Thank-you so much for the video... Love it and your messages too.
    Now I feel like I really know you! Listening to you speak put a smile on my face. I now have a new friend on the other side of the world! Cheers

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  14. Excellent Ilona, this should be a recommended video for schools and everywhere really, well done and no need for any directors etc either!

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  15. Good sound advice, hopefully will make a few people stop and think about their habits.
    Love your blog so much you are such an inspiration x

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  16. Good morning Ilona! The video is very good for an amateur and I liked what you had to say. You were smiling from time to time and you were quite pleasant when talking.I didn't laugh at all (ok... only a little when your arm slipped off the armchair) because what you had to say were very interesting things. Oh and you have a very nice smooth skin.
    I do most of the things you suggest although I have to plan the weekly menu for my 4 member family. The point is that there aren't any yellow stickers in our supermarkets so you have to choose products from cheaper labels if you want to keep your budget low. Thank you for sharing. Have a nice day!

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  17. I loved your video. Very sensible advice. I buy lots of yellow sticker bargains to freeze. You're obviously doing something right as you look far younger than your years!

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  18. Thank you so much for the video! It was good to have some reminders of the ideas you have raised in your blog over the years. Kind regards Jane.

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  19. SO VERY GOOD TO SEE SOMEONE TALKING SENSE FOR A CHANGE!!!!!!!!!!! THANK YOU - ANNIE

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  20. Brilliant video :-)

    ... and I only laughed when your arm slipped off the chair and you said 'oops'. If only the pieces for the tv company could have been off the cuff and naturally filmed, it would have been over in a matter of a couple of hours instead of over two days!!

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  21. Great video. great advice and great to hear your voice:)

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  22. we love this. DH stopped buying double Decker bars years ago when they moved from 14p-15p. he doesn't even know how much they cost now.

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  23. brilliant...loved in you have a lovely manner and great ideas

    tessa

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  24. We loved seeing you again Ilona. As others have said, it was like seeing an old friend. You are so accomplished. My favourite video of you is when you were on your cross-trainer, have watched it many times as it is very inspiring.
    Wendy (Wales)

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  25. After the nasty experience I just had with my dinner, I have to disagree that price is the most important thing. Quality of food is. I just purchased some broccoli today which I have just eaten. I got it from a budget supermarket whose quality used to be excellent. Recently though they have been cutting their already low prices, even further back and quality is starting to suffer. Food can not be so cheap that quality is compromised and farmers get no reward for growing it. Yesterday I saw the same amount of broccoli on sale in Waitrose for £1.69 today I paid £0.39. This was normal price. This is the second time now this same thing has happened where the quality used to be so good. After I removed the packaging, (no sell by date to tell me how long the stuff had been festering in the shop by the way as government rules now allow for it.) I noticed brown areas on the broccoli. I cut them and scrapped them off as best as I could, but not a nice way to prepare my food for dinner. Waste not want not I thought. After it was cooked and on my plate, I kept noticing more and more brown bits, just lurking in the cracks. Well by this time my stomach couldn't cope and in to the bin it went.

    I never see goods much reduced here, but what I do see is fresh produce that weeps liquid and looks oozy and past its best. That is what sell by dates are for, to let me know how long the food has already been there - they have already been on the shelves days and days by then. I don't intend to buy them to keep them any longer when they are already like that.

    I have had tomatoes and peppers that look good to eat but are months and months old. Why they didn't start to appear gone off, I have no idea. I certainly don't think it was a good idea to eat it though and threw it away after my experiment. Produce is meant to be fresh! Goodness knows what was done to it, to make it still look okay. Food is eaten for health. I worry about the yucky broccoli I ate earlier, it was either mould or decay. Deeply unpleasant.

    I will not willingly compromise on quality, and food that is old will be starting to rot and will certainly be lacking in nutrition. So it can be as cheap as you like, but if it is not perky and edible then it is of no value. I am annoyed at this supermarket because it already undercuts others and produce used to be equal or better quality than them. They also got rid of my quality wholemeal loaf and replaced it with squishy cotton wool. The difference in price was £1 but the difference in quality immeasurable. No one should be eating this substandard food. I no longer buy my bread there. So its my belief that you can have too cheap. I need sell by dates and best before dates because no, I don't trust my senses and I don't trust retailers to tell me just how old this produce is. My dinner was spoilt today for a bit of 39p broccoli. I hope I don't get stomach ache or worse.

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    1. Hi Anon. I believe you are talking about Aldi. S'funny you should mention that your broccoli was not up to standard. I have just eaten a portion of veg stew, (3 day stew in a big pan) and in it I put a whole broccoli head from Aldi, stalk and all, bought on Friday for 39p, it was fine. You won't get stomach ache or worse. There's no way I would pay £1.69 for the same thing from Waitrose.

      Aldi don't have sell by dates on their food, they have codes which the staff check. I saw them once removing a whole lot of food from the shelves and put it on a trolley. I would have bought some if they sell it cheap, but they wont. They wouldn't say what they did with it.

      I have bought substandard sprouts and onions from Aldi, so close inspection is needed before taking them.. Mind you, you can't see what is going on inside the veg, you only find that out when you get it home and start to prepare it. I don't think Aldi's fruit and veg is as good as Tesco's. I have never had any complaints about Tesco's fruit and veg. Even yellow sticker food is ok to eat, but if you don't like the idea that's fine. Thank you for your comment.

      I am glad that people have higher standards than I have, as more gets left on the shelves for me. I will trim off any dodgy looking bits of veg and use the rest in my meals.


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    2. Anonymous, I am in the U.S. and frequently buy produce at Aldi. Here, the produce has gotten better over the past few years but you still have to look it over carefully. It is not nearly as inexpensive as in the UK. You paid 39p for broccoli but I pay the equivalent if £1.19 ($1.79 U.S.) for broccoli at Aldi here. My local supermarket charges $2.50 (£1.66, similar to the price at your Waitrose). I shop with my mother who is blind (she can see a little bit but cannot see close up) and I often have to pick out several produce packages to make sure it is fresh. The items I need to watch most closely are fruit items - oranges, strawberries and blueberries. I agree that I want good produce.

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  26. Your blog is the most entertaining and informative blog I read. Don't agree with everything but that is what makes us individuals. Also, you don't move your face that much........remember Margaret Rutherford? (Miss Marple). She knew how to make facial expressions!! Carry on Ilona and I will keep reading. Patty McDonald cmcdonald-44@hotmail.com

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  27. Brilliant video! So informative and entertaining. I think you should do more of these type of videos on several other subjects, like your crafting or thrifty living ideas. I`m sure I wouldn`t be the only one to watch, lol.

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  28. You should record an alternative christmas message for all your fans!

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  29. You are precious and adorable! Loved your video and all your sound advice. I liked what you said about the "sell by" dates. My husband has been telling me the same thing for years! :-) I've been trying to shop wiser lately and stay within a budget. I wished I had started shopping this way sooner. Please do more videos!

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  30. Hi meanqueen. Thanks for taking the time to do this, you did a really good job. I love your confidence and as usual a lot of common sense was spoken. Hope you will be doing more of these you are a very good communicator and it is lovely to see the 3D version of meanqueen. Don't worry about editing and presentation so much. I follow a lady's vlog on youtube who reminds me a lot of you though her subject matter is very different. She has never learned to edit and has a take me as you find me style. If it doesn't quite go to plan there are no retakes because she says she can't be bothered to keep redoing it. This is why I subscribe because it is more real and personable. There are thousands of videos on youtube that are neatly polished and with perfect lighting and makeup and hair all in place - they get really boring really quickly. It is also refreshing to see someone on youtube not promoting anything, being sponsored or trying to get us to click on links. Thanks again - it was fun to watch. Debbie.

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  31. Lots of great advice and straight talking, Ilona. It's not quite so easy just eating what's in the fridge etc when cooking for a family, but I do try to make most of my meals each week from items I already have in the house, and then maybe one or two meals where I have to buy extras. I love yellow stickers, especially packs of ready diced veg that I can either make into soup or add to a csserole. I can quite often pick up several at a time for 19p each in Morrisons and I stick them in the freezer. I'm also a fan of own labels basic brands and in most cases its hard to tell them apart from the expensive brands. I could do better though and I'm guilty of not fancying something so making (or buying) something else for dinner. I must work on not being so fussy. Thanks for taking the time to make and upload the video. Best wishes, Helen x

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  32. Two words for your video, "Loved it!"

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  33. Great vid meanqueen you should think about doing more .thanks

    Ray

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  34. Thankyou for the tips. I normally have snacks everyday. So I'm going to look at them now as an occasional treat to cut my food spending down.

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  35. Loved your Video! Great ideas here! Please do more on your wonderful Simple Life!love your Blog!

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