I'm always looking for idea's to save money and saw The Orchard at Tesco mentioned on a local mums page I follow on facebook and had to see what it was all about. The lady who posted mentioned getting vouchers to try produce for free providing you did a quick review for the product afterwards. That was me sold - free groceries - great! Reviews - I enjoy doing them and good timing as I'm just starting up a blog again.
After signing up i didn't expect to get invited to a program for a while but after only a couple of weeks I received my first invite. It was one involving ice cream and gelato and I was sent a £3 voucher which covered all their ice cream from Tesco Every Day Value to their Finest* Range.
I decided to treat myself and try one of either the Finest range or their Cornish ice cream. I'd never tried Gelato before so I was curious about trying them out too. The store I was in had a fairly good range but only Vanilla from their Finest* ice cream (not sure how many flavours they do in that range) so looked at the Gelato. I was a bit shocked to see the price at £4.99 per 500ml carton. That's more than Ben & Jerries and Haagan Dazs normal tubs and the same price as their special ranges (core and special sensations).
£5 is expensive for one 500ml tub of ice cream so I expect they must be extra special. As I am on a tight budget, don't normally allow myself the luxury of ice cream and joined to program to save money I went for a cheaper option. Their other 500ml Gelato tubs were £3.50 and I spotted a Marscarpone flavour and knew straight away that was the one I was having. 50p for a tub of luxury ice cream, yes please!
When I finally got home from a stressful shopping trip the ice cream had defrosted a bit and after the trauma of yet another difficult grocery shop with a just turned 3 year old I thought I'd indulge myself and have a sneaky spoonful before getting on with things. The conclusion? It's the most amazing ice cream I have ever tasted! For those of you who don't know Gelato is just the Italian word for Ice cream and it is made from mostly the same ingredients but the difference is the way that it is made and as Tesco might say themselves you really can 'Taste the Difference'. I'm not sure if I can do it justice with words so I can only suggest you try it yourself. I'm looking forward to trying some more with some home made banana cake and I'm sure G is going to love it.
I can imagine it is incredibly fattening (I've not looked at the nutritional information...don't want to ruin it for myself just yet) but as a treat or part of a desert for a dinner party you can't go wrong.
I got sent a few 50p off vouchers for friends or family in my Orchard pack so I will be sharing them out and making some recommendations.
After buying and trying the product you follow the instructions on the Orchard site on how to review it. This can be done via Twitter and Facebook or just on the Orchard site. It's up to you how you do it. The more active you are and the better your reviews, the more programs you get invited to.
If trying things for free was not enough you get rewarded with clubcard points for each reviewing activity you do. I have earnt 85 clubcard points already just from the Tesco real ice cream program.
Within a couple of weeks of my first program invite whilst waiting for the vouchers to arrive (they take a couple of weeks to come after accepting the invites) I got invited to another for fruit and veg. It was late at night when I read the email so decided to join the program in the morning. Sadly by that time it was full, so my tip is to join straight away if you get an invite to a program you want to be part of. I didn't click at the time about their being limited places and how popular that one would be (I blame the tiredness - who's not going to want free fruit and veg!).
Have any of you signed up for it? What have your experiences been?
*Disclaimer: This is not a sponsered post and is all my own words