Times are tough and people are feeling the pinch, but not everyone is shopping downmarket, in fact many people can still afford to go to Waitrose. But how to look responsible and still eat well? Enter the Camo Bag concept.

‘Of course we can still afford to buy the best,” says Helen whose husband is a well-paid columnist on a liberal newspaper. ‘But in our circle it’s just not cool now to admit it. When Tatiana gets the Waitrose bags out of the back of the Range Rover I can almost feel the neighbours disapproval.” So Helen had as she puts it, ‘a brilliant idea!”

Now when the au pair loads the car at Waitrose she puts all the groceries into Lidl’s bags so that back at the house the neighbours only see a family that is fashionably in tune with the times. ‘Yes it was a bit tricky getting hold of the Lidl’s bags”, Helen admits, ‘there’s no branch in this postcode obviously, but Tatiana lives somewhere south of the river so she got us a selection when she was last shopping for those funny little sausages she likes so much.”

Helen has now turned all of her friends on to the idea and they’ve embraced it enthusiastically and now she has a further plan. ‘Driving a big car that takes up most of the road, isn’t affected by speed bumps and mounts the pavement occasionally does make me feel a teeny bit guilty,” she explains, ‘ but how else are we supposed to get to Devon on Friday afternoons?”

Taking the Camo Bag concept further, Helen now keeps their big car parked well away from the house and they do all their general driving in a Datsun Sunny they bought for the au pair. ‘It was a bit odd on the school run,” Helen admits. ‘At first no one would talk to me and avoided my eye. They supposed my husband must have been made redundant or something, but once I explained the idea they thought it was wonderful and now they’re all considering following suit!”

Helen now has plans to market the concept on her interior design business website. ‘It could make us a lot of money,” she says. ‘And that’s so important right now because let me assure you, private school fees aren’t going down and I think I may well be pregnant yet again. So it’s very worthwhile doing.”