Britain’s Most Frugal Woman

Ilona Richards, 66, from Scunthorpe, gave up work at 59 and now lives comfortably on just £2,400 a year

Am not sure I would want this title. I prefer, ‘Duchess’ and ‘Your Ladyship.’ But to be called ‘Britain’s Most Frugal Woman’-I just hear ‘Britain’s Most Stingiest Broad’, err…nope. I know it is important to practice financial rectitude/penny pinch but come. on.  66 year old Illona Richards of Scunthorpe is a retired HGV driver and is Britain’s stingiest woman and is more than happy to share her tips (not her money tips) so, lets do this.

Here are her tips:

  • Illona insists that her guests bring their own teabags when they come round.
  • She flushes the loo once a day. Good grief.
  • She doesn’t encourage visitors to visit-and they don’t. She NEVER turns the heat on. In fact, the photo above was taken several times. Her house was so darn cold that the photographers flash did not work. Am not even kidding.
  • She has had the same hair dryer for 30 years and the same microwave for 20 years. Yikes. Hope she doesn’t stand in front of it.
  • She spends no more than £1 on a meal.
  • She boils water in the microwave instead of using the kettle.
  • Illona goes shopping after 730pm-once the prices have gone down
  • Illona buys teenage boys trousers/pants. She says they are cheaper and more durable. I am not a teenager and I am not a boy. So this is NOT going to work for me.
  • She cuts her own hair
  • Ilona can make a tube of toothpaste last a year. Can YOU?
  • Illona waters down fruit juice with water to make it last longer

Oh there are more but it is making me break out into hives. Illona spends approx. £2400 a year on living costs. Her State Pension is 10K per annum. And what does she do with the REMAINDER of the money? Am guessing champagne baths and caviar and lobster tail lunches. In fact, I am certain of it.


Ilona insists that while she may be frugal, she's no penny-pincher





  1. Yvonne · February 8, 2016

    So, what is she going to do with all this money she’s saving!

    • samdfb1 · February 8, 2016

      Good question! Betting shops probably. 😉

  2. Fiona · February 8, 2016

    Makes on wonder what she’s afraid of. Sad, really.

  3. Laura (PA Pict) · February 8, 2016

    I pride myself on being thrifty but that is just crazy. Utterly crazy. I also cannot trust a woman who can make a tube of toothpaste last a year. Her teeth must be mossy.

    • samdfb1 · February 8, 2016

      Lol. She is nuts. Who doesn’t put the heat on? And tea is so inexpensive.

      • Laura (PA Pict) · February 8, 2016

        I have known people to make the same tea bag last and last. They used to sell little teapot shaped dishes that people kept the used teabags on ready to be recycled.

      • samdfb1 · February 9, 2016

        ahh yes. I have a few of those. But not to recycle tea bags but rather to let the tea bags cool down so the heat from them doesn’t make the trash smell….warm.

  4. John · February 10, 2016

    she has a sis called Ida

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