Journalist Gets Absolutely Rinsed For Out Of Touch ‘Living On Reduced Food For A Week’ Article



No matter what your financial situation, I’m sure some of us have picked up the food with the yellow reduced stickers on at some point in our lives, whether it’s just to save some money or because you couldn’t normally afford some of those luxury items at their normal prices.

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Thankfully, the majority of us have never been forced to consistently eat these items as we’re so broke we can’t afford anything else, but sadly that might not be the case for those of us with no other option but to accept Universal Credit. And judging by the journey of journalist Gregory Ford, it’s not a situation that any of us want to find ourselves in because it seemed awfully inconvenient for him that he had to throw some of it away and steal his housemate’s food instead. Tough life there pal.

Here’s the full transcript of his ‘strenuous’ week living on the yellow labels that left him ‘living in regret’:

My first trip to the reduced section was on a Monday evening, this seems to be a good time for the yellow sticker hunters among us as the shelves were packed.

I was conscious of the short dates so I went in with the intention to only buy items I could use immediately and things that I could safely store.

At Tesco we hit upon a beef massaman ready meal, a cheese, leek and potato pie, a creamy chicken and chorizo pizza, a bolognese sauce, some chicken and bacon sandwich filling, turkey slices and cheese slices.

There was no reduced bread which was a shame and the vegetable selection was sparse.

Pizza for tea then, not too shabby but still more expensive than anything I would normally buy.

I’d got carried away, day one and I was already up to £13 spent.

The rest of the week was marred with similar misadventures, in the hunt for the yellow sticker you’re very much at the mercy of a small selection of items.

You know what you don’t see on the dry foods reduced section? Pasta. We’ve got a sauce and nothing to eat it with and we’re already a few days into this experiment.

I had a shameful tea where I used the bolognese as a soup and ate it with a reduced bread roll I’d picked up on my way home.

Lunch was the dubious turkey on day four, smelt fine but my mind said I shouldn’t be eating it.

Dinner was the pie with veg which had been stored in the freezer and was the best thing I ate all week.

The turkey went in the bin on day five, moved on to the cheese slices which were fine but the salad I picked up on was not.

I managed to pick up some reduced mixed veg, a reduced sliced bread and some bagged salad from Morrisons the day after my Tesco trip. But that was too late for my sandwich filling and breakfast for which I’d had to pilfer a couple of slices from my housemate.

That night’s tea was the massaman which was vaguely disappointing. The rest of the sandwich filling was used the next day but I was already getting worried about the turkey which had shot past it’s sell buy date.

I also gorged myself on the majority of a pack of spicy cocktail sausages I’d spotted on the reduced aisle that day, caught by the impulse of a bargain hunter and regretting my choices later on.

For dinner that evening I asked a colleague to go to the reduced aisle at Marks and Spencer which is apparently where you can get some of the best deals.

They came back with a child’s portion of pasta, a chocolate mousse, a whole madeira cake and a prawn sandwich. Not exactly what I had in mind.

It was at this point that I lost my patience with the challenge, having thrown away half a bag of salad which had wilted to a mush.

So in the five (and a half) days I’d comfortably spent over £20 which is far above my usual spend, I’d thrown food away and I was worried about how healthy a lot of it was in the first place.

This experiment was extreme, no one lives on yellow sticker food alone and there is a place for the odd bargain in your weekly shop.

Hmmm. When he said he ‘lived in regret’, this definitely isn’t what I thought he meant. Some of the food sounds kinda rank sure, but it sort of sounds like if he had really committed to this ‘challenge’ he would have just gone in every day and picked up a meal and ate it there and then? Not bought loads of reduced food that was about to go past its sell by date and then been surprised when it went off and/or tasted gross.

I was fully expecting him to have food poisoning or some kind of disease or something too, not just ‘feel a bit funny’ because he had eaten stuff that was out of date. I think we’ve all had that feeling in the past and for most of us it doesn’t lead to any long lasting consequences, just a feeling of ickyness that goes away fairly soon after.

Obviously though, it’s also a major joke that he ended up spending more than his weekly food shop on reduced items. What an absolute clown, the guy sounds like a major idiot who’s clearly talking from a position of major privilege and has no idea what it’s like to live on the breadline and eat the cheapest food possible. Those guys can’t just give up on it halfway through the challenge because some salad had wilted, it’s their whole entire lives 24/7.  It almost reads like something from an Onion article or something (it originally appeared on Manchester Evening News) because it’s so out of touch.

The way this guy seems to have trivialised this issue with his little challenge isn’t really doing anything useful to highlight the plight of the poor. The prick spent more than he usually did in a regular food week and got other people to go and pick stuff up for him from Marks And Spencer – one of the most expensive supermarkets out there – FFS. He just doesn’t get it whatsoever.

What could have been an interesting and insightful article has just come across as completely clueless, out of touch and to be honest fairly insulting to those people in the country living in poverty. Thankfully the online reaction has been fairly similar to mine, so hopefully that encourages the MEN to act a bit better in the future:

Can’t say I disagree with any of them. Maybe the MEN did it deliberately because they knew it would get loads of comments for being so fucking smug? Not sure if that’s a better or worse explanation.

For more of the same, check out some gritty images from the UK in the poverty stricken 1960s. Seems like those times are coming back again.



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