Saira Khan came to everyone's attention when she went up against Alan Sugar in TV series The Apprentice and has gone to have a successful TV career.
She has now teamed up with Birdseye to help mums save money and reduce food waste and we caught up with her for a chat.
- Firstly, The Apprentice. Were you nervous when you found out you had been accepted for the show?
I wasn’t actually nervous, I was very intrigued. They didn’t give very much detail about what was going to go on before the show so we were very much in the dark. I’m not a very nervous person. I put things into perspective and work them out.
- So you weren’t scared to face Alan Sugar?
Not at all, being positive is how I deal with situations that I don’t have any control over and Sir Alan is just another human being. The worst he was going to do was tell it straight and maybe be a bit in my face with it, but you know, I’ve had parents like that so I’m used to it!
- You faced some criticism and harsh words from Sir Alan. How do you keep a positive attitude and push yourself to keep going rather than giving in when you hear such criticism?
A good point; I think a lot of people take things very personally. I’ve worked for a lot of very big companies and one of the things I have been privileged to have undergone is lots of training on how to toughen yourself up and if somebody says no, don’t take it personally and you move onto the next person and at some stage a person is going to say yes.
I think what it is is that we all want to be liked. We don’t want to hear someone being negative and when they are, most people lose their confidence and self-esteem. I think I’m different in that way, if somebody says no I just think well that is your loss not mine and move on.
- You are a business woman first and foremost. How is ‘Miamoo’ working out at the minute? What are your plans for the business? Are you working on anything else at the moment?
My business is set up in a way that allows me to be able to do media and do campaign such as Birdseye. At the moment my campaigns and tv work are really important and I am very busy doing both of those.
- You manage to juggle a very successful career whilst being a mother. Do you find this difficult at times?
Its all about time management and you have to be highly organised. It is about making sure everything you so you are being very pressured with time. you’re planned and organised and that’s a real skill.
I think because I’ve been trained that way and that’s how my mind works anyway I can get lots of things done. I think women are quite good at multitasking anyway and are naturally born to do that!
- What advice or words of encouragement would you give to women on work life balance? Particularly those with young children.
I can relate to this. We are not in an economic time when lots of people have money. You should have a budget and you should lookout for multi-buys so you can freeze food. A mix of frozen and fresh to make your ingredients go a lot further.
Every penny that comes out of my purse I think what am I spending it on? Do I really need this and how do I make it go further? One of the biggest things this report found is that we throw away so many vegetables.
Probably because we cook too much in the first place but also because they are fresh. If you buy frozen, you can use what you want and still keep the rest. It’s about being clever with your shopping.
Time management is also very important. It’s about making sure you give your family and the children quality time. One in three people in this country do not plan their mealtimes. They just go shopping and buy anything and that’s how food goes to waste.
Plan your meals, that’s effective time management and then you can spend the rest of your time doing your work or chilling out with your family. Little things like that achieve work/life balance.
- You are currently working on a campaign with Birdseye to help families manage their finances and help their weekly shop go further. Can you tell us more about this?
Birdeye came up to me as they’ve done a report and found that lots of people are wasting a lot of vegetables and food at tea time and we think its because people aren’t being that savvy with their money.
They wanted to use a business angle to say look, if you can stop wasting food you’re actually going to end up saving money and with that money especially in these hard time you could put it toward something you really like or need. It’s a really good approach.
Having a business mind isn’t just about business it’s about applying it to all that you do. I am a mum, I have two children, and when I waste food I feel really guilty and sad because I have wasted it.
These top tips I have come up with for Birdseye are saying to parents we love food, don’t waste it save money shop wisely plan meals, freeze leftovers and use recipes. Phil Vickery is going to get onboard and help people and families these great ideas on how to use frozen and fresh food.
This is something for all of the family to enjoy. Reducing that wastage. I am very passionate about this because I am a mum and I am business woman so saving money whilst providing healthy nutritious food for my children is right up my street.
Saira Khan has teamed up with Birdseye to help mums save money and reduce food waste. Visit www.facebook.com/birdseye for her top money saving tips when it comes to savvy food shopping and delivering nutritious, convenient teatime meals.
FemaleFirst Jennifer Mulcahey