We heard the door buzzer and let them up to our apartment: three people loaded down with props and gear, waiting to get in so they could drop it all on the floor. This was just the first of four loads … ferrying boxes and bags up the stairs to explode all over our living and dining rooms. It was kind of incredible.
There were big lights for the shoot (that I expected) and a menagerie of props, plants, aprons, curtains, cutting boards, dishes, and linen napkins. That wasn’t expected. And food! Yes, they even brought food with them. Our kitchen was about to have an extreme makeover.
The irony of the Whole Foods Magazine photo shoot was the expense put into making a pretty picture for a story about eating at the poverty level. In January of last year, we took on the Whole Foods 30-Day Challenge: eating for a month on a budget of $491.10 while shopping only at WF. After all, people think of the store as being pricey, and think it’s impossible to eat healthy on such a reduced budget. We proved everyone wrong, and Whole Foods matched what we spent for the month and donated $491 to our town’s food pantry.
So I chuckled a bit as a sweater I never wear was selected by the photographer and an apron I didn’t own was tied around my waist and artwork was hung on our walls. Then we pretended to put food away from grocery bags onto shelves that usually hold our dinner plates and glassware. But it was all in the name of capturing the best picture possible.
I love the photo of our son, hungrily looking into a bowl of flour being used to make bread … and what you see on the cutting board (also not mine) is truly from the bread recipe we used during our 30 Day Challenge. I had baked two loaves ahead of time for use on the shoot.
I’ve never done a photo shoot before for a major magazine. And while yes, Whole Foods gives these away for free, believe it or not they print up two million copies for distribution! Whoa! We’d like to thank them for telling our story and for letting people know that you CAN choose healthy food for very little money no matter where you shop. You just have to pay attention to what you’re doing.
Don’t believe me? Here are my top 5 strategies for frugal grocery shopping.