Meet Ilona Richards, a retired truck driver who is well known as ‘Britain’s most frugal woman’. Some of her tips for simple living include scouring supermarkets for discounted food, having guests bring their own tea bags, saving ink by making your handwriting smaller, a weekly bath to save water, and flushing the loo only once a day with old bathwater.
Richards prides herself for her frugality in nearly every single aspect of life, managing on only £2,400 of her state pension of £10,000 a year. She detests wastefulness, so she tries to make everything last as long as it possibly can. She can make do with a bottle of dish soap for an entire year, but that’s probably because she hardly does any cooking. She’s a vegetarian, because it’s cheaper, surviving on a vat of vegetable stew made from expired produce. She makes it last an entire month.
There are plenty of other examples of thriftiness all around her kitchen. For starters, she doesn’t use her kettle to make tea. “I usually heat up my cup of water in the microwave,” she said, speaking to Daily Mail. “It takes two cups to cover the kettle element and I only need one, so why waste it?” Her oven has been broken for ages, but she hasn’t had it fixed because she has no use for it.