Things Wealthy People Do to Save Money: Can You Be Rich & Frugal?

by Lizzy

A couple of years ago, I saw a program called “Britain's Spending Secrets”, featuring Baroness Anne Jenkin of Kennington. Her story fascinated me: despite being very wealthy, she makes a point of living frugally. Today I want to use her example to talk about the things wealthy people might do to retain their wealth.

Baroness Anne Jenkin of Kennington

The baroness was born into a very wealthy family with lands and properties and even an island. However, she said her father was particularly frugal and made sure that all their family looked after everything they had, wasted nothing, and used resources fully.

This included following the children around when they were younger, making sure they turned off lights and did not waste food. Clothes were often hand-me-downs. He believed that wealthy people giving away money would not be able to keep it, and looking after your money and your resources was an important thing to do.

This rubbed off on Anne Jenkin, and she prides herself on being a very thrifty baroness. So what does her frugal wealth look like?

Being a baroness means Anne has to attend royal receptions, and of course, one needs to look presentable for those. However, Anne Jenkin refuses to buy any brand-new clothes. She buys all of her clothes from eBay or second-hand from charity shops.

Anne says she always puts into the search engine “mother of the bride”, which makes for classy, usually well-cut and tailored clothes for bargain prices. She refuses to spend more than £10 on one item.

Secondhand clothes

She also holds switching parties, where friends will bring the clothes they no longer wear and everyone will have a swap around, ending up with new outfits at no extra cost.

When tights or stockings get old and laddered, Baroness Jenkin does not throw them out. She saves them, washes them, and strains her marmalade and jams through them. Speaking of her jams and preserves, she likes to use hedgerow berries that grow wild on her land. She also picks apples to make cider and various apple pies and crumbles.

Homemade cake

Being an active gardener, the baroness grows a variety of vegetables that feed her in different seasons. One year she had a particularly large glut of marrows (large zucchinis) and rather than waste them, she made them into cake. They were lovely and moist, and fat was not needed to bind the cake together.

Even though it may seem she is a little too frugal with food, Anne is not embarrassed about this at all. She brags about how she once served Britain's then Prime Minister David Cameron a food platter from the high street freezer store and bought cheap Aldi Cava rather than champagne.

She believes learning to cook is very important: everyone needs to know how to make nutritious and tasty meals from a minimum of ingredients. All the animals hunted on her land are used for food and utilized fully.

When away from her home, the Baroness likes to cycle everywhere, enjoying the free exercise and the fresh air. She said in an interview that she felt more people would get on board with caring for the Earth and being more careful with resources if politicians and the media focused on the conservation of how to reuse and recycle things, rather than just talking about climate change all the time.

Homemade jams and jellies

Anne recycles her jars and tins. In her kitchen cupboard, she had a rather posh Fortnum & Mason jar which originally had the Fortnum & Mason coffee in it, but now it is just repeatedly filled each month with coffee from Aldi. She is certainly not a coffee snob.

When it comes to decorating the house, the Baroness does not mind reusing, revamping, and even using offcuts of other people's paper. Her cousin had some leftover paper of Mick Jagger, and the baroness, being her forever frugal self, covered her small bathroom with Mick Jagger paper.

Baroness always plans ahead for dinner parties, freezing bargains as she buys them, buying cheap drinks from low-price supermarkets, and decanting them into better-branded bottles and timeless containers.

She is not fussy about party food either: she will use whatever she has in the freezer, whether it is rice salads, lentil soups, or frozen fruit fools from the fruit she has collected from around the properties.

She uses the same tea bag twice, and has porridge and water or porridge and milk for breakfast. She will very often top up the porridge with fruit just to add some extra taste without spending too much money on an expensive breakfast every morning.

She also recommends rinsing out Marmite or Vegemite jars when you get right to the bottom and using them for a tasty stock for a soup or stew.

Indeed, the baroness is also mindful of her use of water and electricity. She makes sure to turn the shower off when lathering up rather than letting the water run and puts a sweater on first before turning up the thermostat if she is feeling chilly.

The baroness always shops with a list and never wastes food. If there is a bit of mashed potato left over in her house, it is made into potato milk, which can be used as any other vegan milk.

Things wealthy people do to save money

In the program, Anne says that it is not about how much you have, but rather about how much you can save. However, she is aware of the difference between living frugally from choice and being in dire poverty and having very little choice at all.

Things wealthy people do to save money

What do you think of the baroness’s tips? Are you surprised that somebody with millions of pounds would still be so frugal? Or do you believe that these are regular habits of wealthy people, and this is how they get to retain their resources? Leave a comment below!

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2 of 3 comments
  • Janie Coulson Janie Coulson on Dec 26, 2023
    I think if more people, families would do this they would have more money to pay bills, etc. Many people do over buy things that they don't need. I know a lot of people that do that.
  • Chickchoc Chickchoc on Feb 14, 2024
    I was reared by parents who experienced dire poverty during the Great Depression. We were fortunate to live near the seashore so protein was always available, but everything else was very similar to the lifestyle described in the post. My lifestyle is still very similar. Anecdote: I hired a painter/handyman to work on a house we were preparing to sell. As I sat at the kitchen table sorting a large number of recycled nuts, bolts and screws he was amazed. I asked whether he did the same and his response was "I'd just throw those out and buy new each time." My reply was he might consider whether my habit explained why HE was working for ME.