While millions of people who are affected by the global economic downturn would scrape up whatever’s left to a savings account or resort to extreme couponing, this woman decides to take measures to another drastic level.
Meet Ilona Richards, a retired truck driver who is well known as â€˜Britainâ€™s most frugal womanâ€™. 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 used bath water.
Richards prides herself for her frugality in nearly every single aspect of life, managing on only Â£2,400 (RM14401.52) of her state pension of Â£10,000 (RM60006.32) 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 thatâ€™s probably because she hardly does any cooking. Sheâ€™s a vegetarian, because itâ€™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 doesnâ€™t use her kettle to make tea. â€œI usually heat up my cup of water in the microwave,â€ she said, speaking to Daily Mail.
â€œIt takes two cups to cover the kettle element and I only need one, so why waste it?â€ Her oven has been broken for ages, but she hasnâ€™t had it fixed because she has no use for it.
Richards also buys grocery items that had gone off their expiration dates to get more bang for her buck, like super-sized jars of mayonnaise that expired on September 2015, but she swears they’re still safe for consumption. And cheap too, only 20p (RM1.20) per jar.
If youâ€™re interested in picking up more tips on frugality from Richards, she documents everything on her blog, meanqueen-lifeaftermoney.blogspot.com Her posts have quite the following, but despite all the attention sheâ€™s been, Richards says she isnâ€™t doing it for the publicity.
â€œIâ€™m just living my life the way I choose,â€ she said. â€œI go on walking holidays, I eat well. But Iâ€™m living within my means â€“ thatâ€™s how I was brought up.â€