How to stop wasting money: Frugal Fran vs. Spendthrift Sue – which are you?

I had a bit of fun with this last night. Which are you most like – Frugal Fran or Spendthrift Sue? I am going to guess that, as you are reading my blog, you are all Frugal Frans! Are you spending too much? If you recognise your poor habits you can stop wasting money.

How can you stop wasting money?

I am always amazed at how much money my friends and colleagues appear to waste during the course of a working day, whilst also complaining about how little spare cash they have. It is fine to spend money like Sue if you have plenty to spare. Personally, I would be in trouble pretty quickly if I lived like that. I certainly wouldn’t be able to put anything aside for savings.

It takes a little more time and effort to be a Frugal Fran, but I feel it is worthwhile if you need to stop wasting money. More  cash in the bank and less anxiety about your finances! See you tomorrow.


Spendthrift Sue



Frugal Fran

Is very organised and puts the laundry on before leaving for work. Uses a brand name laundry liquid as she likes the TV ad (8 pence a wash) Is very organised and puts the laundry on before leaving for work. She uses the supermarket own laundry liquid as it is cheaper (3 pence a wash). She spends 15 minutes chopping  up some beef and veggies to put in the slow cooker
Buys a coffee and breakfast muffin on the way to work (about £5) Has a bowl of porridge and cuppa at home before she leaves for work (about £1)
Gets tea and biscuits in the staff canteen


Keeps a pack of biscuits in her drawer for when she needs a snack and takes her own teabags and mug to work (a cuppa and 2 biscuits: about 35p)
Buys a meal deal at lunch – sandwich, fruit and crisps (£3.50) Has a packed lunch she made at home the evening before – sandwich, fruit and crisps (£1)
Gets a chocolate bar from the vending machine in the afternoon (80p) Keeps a pack of biscuits in her drawer for when she needs a snack (10p)
Feels really tired when she gets home and orders in a takeaway pizza (£14) Feels really tired when she gets home and is so happy to smell her slow cooker meal as she walks through the door £2.50)
Gets the laundry out of the washer and puts it in the dryer (30p) Gets the laundry out of the washer and hangs it on the airer FREE
Perks up a bit and agrees to meet her friends in the pub (£15) Perks up a bit and invites her friend round to share a bottle of wine (£6)
Total spend: £40.18 Total spend: £10.98


30 thoughts on “How to stop wasting money: Frugal Fran vs. Spendthrift Sue – which are you?

  1. It’s lovely to find a post from you every day at the moment! Thanks for all your efforts. I am most definitely a Frugal Fran – in fact, i think I struggle with deciding when I ‘have plenty to spare’ and find it difficult to give myself permission to loosen my purse strings a little. I think it stems from when the children were small and we only had one salary coming in over which I had no control. Also because of food allergies, takeaways and eating out are always a nightmare, so i almost always have had to cook from scratch or take a packed lunch. You also find out who your real friends are – ie those who are prepared to cook a meal for us! Being mindful of how I spend money is now such a way of life, I don’t think I could change (and I get a secret satisfaction from not being wasteful!) However, i do have to keep an eye on hoarding tendencies, but using what I have (clothes, food, craft materials) is my current mantra! Oops, sorry to waffle! Vicki

  2. Great post. I agree with all of Frugal Fran’s doings, even though I don’t go out to work I am used to having leftovers lunch from the previous night’s tea.I LOVE our Rayburn which heats the water, dries most of the clothes, cooks our food and heats the house, for free, as we feed it wood. It is so easy to waste money in lots of ways but easy to save it, too.

  3. Great post again. I’m really enjoying your daily posts too. I’m a frugal Fran. Have to be with three growing boys to feed. Takeaways or ready made meals would be very expensive. They are saved for a rare treat. I have a casserole in the slow cook as I type :0)
    Jacquie x

  4. I’m a Fran and Sue meld, I guess. Lunch out, vending machines, coffee out of the house are rare, but I admit to joining friends and take out at supper more often than I probably should.

  5. I think I must fall between the two camps here. Being retired I don’t need to go to work, but in the days when I did, I always took a packed lunch, but in the 1960s this was normal. That, or eat in the staff canteen a proper lunch and husband would sometimes come from his place of work and join me and we would both have a hot meal in the middle of the day (and it was very reasonably priced.)
    I never buy chocolate bars when I’m out. When we do the big shop once a week husband and I buy a bar of Bourneville or a bar of Lindt chocolate and then we have a little bit each evening, one square or two, depending on how we feel, and it lasts us both the whole week. We had stopped drinking wine as we no long like it but we sometimes have a G&T but there again, this is a rarity, a bottle lasts around 9 months to a year! Truly! We have good meals, all home prepared. I can’t remember when we last had a take-away, it is years and years ago, and we stopped because not only are they expensive but we weren’t enjoying them, they tasted synthetic and quite frankly we like to know how our food is prepared (no further explanation necessary, I don’t think here! Read between the lines!) I never buy pizzas, I consider them in the same way I consider crisps and fizzy pop. Totally unnecessary. OK if you are in Italy on holiday, but they are not part of our diet.
    What do I/we spend money on then? Unashamedly, on flowers for our home, coffee (and perhaps scones) when we go out, or perhaps we share a round of sandwiches in a local sea front hotel (yes, sharing a round; they are club sandwiches and a round is too much for either of us); books (I’ve bought three in January and that’s being frugal as far as books are concerned for me!); room sprays (I’ve bought two recently, plus pillow spray, plus wardrobe spray) as I don’t like aerosols or those heavily-scented candles (and candles are a fire risk, too); the daily newspaper and my three monthly glossy style magazines; and, obviously, good food, all of which I prepare and cook myself. Convenience food is a can of chopped tomatoes, not a ready-meal (never had one of those, they look gross and are expensive, too); I never buy canned soup – as I say, everything here is home made, but only because I’m retired and I have the time to do this. I buy free range and organic where I can, and also parabens-free and not tested on animals. These things are more important to me than bargain basement, but I say this only because I can afford to shop this way, not everyone is as fortunate and I appreciate that. So, as I say, I fall between the two here, neither spend-thrift or very-frugal.
    Margaret P

    • not much point being frugal for years and then not enjoying the rewards!! sounds to me as though you deserve your ‘treats’ for being careful for years – good example for the rest of us to follow!

  6. At heart I am Spendthrift Sue. I shudder now to think about how I used to be. I had a fairly decent job but I was driving 30,000 miles a year and constantly exhausted. I then took voluntary redundancy four years ago at the age of 54. The payment meant that the mortgage on my modest terraced house could be paid off but money has been a lot tighter since then as my husband is retired and has only a small pension, so I am definitely frugal Fran now. It has taken a long time to adjust my spending habits but I think I have almost reached the right place at last. Nothing much left over each month but we are coping ok.

    On another note, I have done a whole month food plan for February centred around what I have in. Yesterday I went to Tesco to buy the additional bits and pieces needed and, apart from fresh fruit and veg, I hope not to need to buy more this month.

    What do you think is a reasonable average monthly spend on food/ household cleaning per month for two people?

    Really enjoying your blog. X

    • Oh lord, hard to say. Some people seem to get by on hardly anything by eating a lot of vegetarian meals. We manage £40-70 per week for three of us but we eat meat and fish. I could do less if I needed to by cutting right down on those. I sure other readers will have a lot of differing views on this! That includes toiletries and cleaning stuff but cat food is on top.

      • Thanks. I managed £150 last month for the two of us. I am aiming for £120 this month, but I do have a fair bit in already. We eat a lot of chicken and fish and my husband also likes red meat and mince,
        Which I detest! I like vegi food but my husband is not a great fan though he does eat it at least once a week. I am making use of Jack Monroes recipe book. I think it’s great.

  7. I’m a frugal fran by nature but no harm in the odd lapse! We actually had a takeaway last night, the first in goodness knows how long. It was at my daughter’s request – she has been extremely ill, so it’s hard to deny her anything right now. Takeaway was nice, but not worth the money.

  8. I buy for two, me and a feline friend. His food and litter are about $20 per week and mine is between 30-40 including toiletries and cleaning supplies. Having read here for a bit, your food seems cheaper than mine. I eat out or get a ta ke-away on grocery day, and I have a fondness for books. I’m placing a no-spend policy on books for the next three months, and have only purchased two items of clothing as of yet this year. I am keeping a note book for all purchases and do not anticipate any further clothing purchases.

  9. I found a fantastic website ‘The Frugalwoods’. As the name suggests, they are fans of frugality. Last few weeks I have been trying to follow their ‘Uber-Frugal-Month’ challenge – a challenge in cutting back on the spends as much as possible with a view to forming revised spending patterns. I recommend a quick peek at their pages, both their own website and they also have a facebook page. (Mrs F is also a yoga person!)

  10. PS: Am really enjoying your daily posts.. keep going! it’s great to know there are like-minded people out there!

  11. I’m a Frugal Fran but that porridge breakfast must have been made from super luxury porridge oats – £1?! Or was it the cuppa?! Love your blog and with so many dropping out it’s a joy to read.

  12. I’m definitely a Frugal Fiona…… Can’t use the name you used….It was the name of my dad’s second wife….Not a nice experience at all. Enough said

    I love on to your page every day and have done for a few years. Now you are posting every day I’m chugged to read some of the thought provoking things you’ve posted. You always talk great sense. Thanks for your posts in and around your work and family life.

  13. LOL – love this post. It is interesting how just a few changes (like packing your lunch and prepping your dinner) can make a huge dent. Even if you don’t do everything Frugal Fran does, a few minor changes can really improve your bottom line.

  14. I am a reformed Spendthrift Sue! Looking back at some of my spends mainly on gadgets and designer makeup I say to myself “What was I thinking?” It’s only in later years that I realised that all this careless spending was eating away at my future and was never going to get me the things I really wanted like land, diving around the Galapagos Islands etc.

    Great comparisons BTW!

    Linda xx

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