This morning The Telegraph published a piece titled “My late night supermarket shopping saves me £2,800 a year”. As we are featured in this piece it was only natural for me to visit the online version of it and have a peak at the comments… now I wish I hadn’t done it. Actually this isn’t true. I think it was fine to visit and even the reading of it, but I should have never engaged and definitely never replied to some of them. I guess it was an impulse and when you find yourself under attack you are naturally overcome with an urge to defend yourself… how silly of me…
The piece was supposed to relay that you can save money by smart shopping. It looks like some people who cared enough to comment didn’t actually care enough to read the article fully or simply took it in a different way than what was intended.
The first attack was on my job. One guy thought that being a self-employed online moderator is so redundant that it actually makes me jobless. Someone else thought that I am probably hoping to secure in time a nice, well paid, lots-of-holidays, public sector job with all the trimmings – the mirror-image of self-employment. Really? Why people are so quick to project their own dreams or hopes on to others? I would hate to work for someone, especially in the public sector… as to trimmings? What trimmings? Being stuck in a cubicle 9 till 5?
Yet another person had decided that my lifestyle of frugal shopping makes me a sad personality. Quite the opposite, in my humble opinion, it makes me happy and gives me more money to spend elsewhere.
Someone else suggested that I should get a life? I actually have one and I am very proud of it.
One guy actually called me a vulture… how bizarre! I wonder if Mr. Seank knows what vultures are and what they do. I don’t actually scavenge, I pick food from the shelves just like he does I assume… the only difference is that I know which shelf to pick my food from and more specifically what time of the day I should go shopping in order to get a better bargain.
It’s sad that some people can be so narrow-minded. It’s seems it is so much easier to criticize something than to actually try and understand it. I was told that bargain shopping is not very British, maybe this is why so many people wouldn’t do it or even consider doing it… stuck with being an old stereotype or maybe just too proud to grab those good bargains is just plain silly in my mind.
There was also a comment suggesting that maybe if I work harder I would be able to afford full priced food… this was actually a funny one… I never said I can’t afford it, I simply chose to shop this way. Saving money on my food shopping, or any form of shopping come to that; leaves me with more money, and sometimes with some money to spend on other stuff. Not only this, it also gives me in most cases better quality food. A good percentage of reduced food at the end of the day comes from the finest or the organic selection, they are usually the most expensive ones and often unsold… so please explain to me why would I chose a shop value type of food (like some other comments suggested) over reduced but much higher quality products that are still in date at the time of my purchase? I simply don’t see any logic in this. And let’s face it, most labels on the food products have very little to do with its usability, they are there to empower buying power, they are there to prey on the lack of knowledge of the masses, they are simply there to make you buy more or at least more often.
I have learnt the meaning of labels and I have great understanding on how long my food will actually last before getting spoiled. I covered it earlier in my “7 Top Tips How to Reduce Food Waste” post.
I am not ashamed of my shopping style. I am actually proud of it and I have no inclination whatsoever to apologies for it.
I just feel sorry for all those people out there who failed to understand it.
People don’t have to agree with me and they for sure don’t have to follow my steps but I do think that before posting a comment or reply the individual should at least try to understand the piece and the meaning behind it. For no other reason than it will help them to form a non vitriolic and informed opinion to their replies. I also consider the other angle to this situation and that is that these foods if unsold will just be destroyed. There is no option under our law of donating it somewhere; it will not go to anyone who might actually really need it. If no one will buy it, it will go to the bin; in my opinion that is the greatest tragedy, that is a shame!
This whole comment situation had me bouncing of the walls most of the morning. It reminded me of The West Wing and The U.S. Poet Laureate episode when Josh posted a reply on Lemon-Lyman.com, which started a series of troubles. C.J.Cregg had a great came back to this whole commenting malarkey: The people on these sites: they’re the cast of One Flew Over the Cookoo’s Nest.
But there is always a silver lining. I’ve received a lovely email from Raphael who decided to write to me after seeing all the abuse some people gave me. Thank God we are not all the same. I am glad there are still a few people around who are full of civility and human compassion.
Philogenes wrote to me as a reply to one of my comments: You must know by now that most commenters aren’t interested in the facts, just their own opinions! …I didn’t know it but now I do. Lesson learnt. I was actually under the impression that if someone, as I regularly do, decides to leave a comment it will be meaningful and on topic… I was wrong, epic fail!
So, what do you think?
Am I a weird, vulture like stingy foreigner?
Can my way of shopping really be offensive to some?
Was the published piece really a reason for so much negativity?
And just to clear something else. I didn’t get paid for this feature. I didn’t do it for the money or for the fame (as suggested by yet another “friendly” comment). I have had my 15 minutes of fame with other articles published in various newspapers across the country and my own recipe on a billboard… I am not hungry for more, believe me. I agreed to do it in order to show some people another way, a way of saving a few pennies (and sometimes pounds) and having something to show for it. I hoped that maybe this feature would encourage some people to be more savvy when food shopping. I simply wanted to do something good, is that really so bad?