Pommy Pensioner

Reporter: Mark Gibson

First, there was Gabrielle Smith. "Pensioners in this country can live like millionaires practically." Then, the backlash. "They can hardly live as it is, never mind about a millionaire. She's ignorant to say that... she doesn't know what she's talking about."Now, meet Peggy Hollingsworth, who's sure to fire things up all over again. "That whinging Aussie pensioner." Peggy happily admits she's a penny-pinching Pommy pensioner, sticking it up the Aussies. "Talk about whinging Poms, they can whinge twice as much as us. -Who, the Aussies can? -Yes."

The 71 year old lives in Perth but gets a British pension.. just seven hundred dollars a month.. that's about HALF the Aussie pension. You won't believe how Peggy saves money at home, but first, let's take her shopping. Peggy's first rule.. seek out the specials. Meat can be expensive, but not for Peggy. $4.18 for a piece of steak.. cut it in half and it's just over 2 dollars a meal.

Buying in bulk helps too.. Peggy spies 5 lamb chops for $7.90.. just a $1.58 a serve. Peggy says "On a big shop I usually spend about 50 bucks. -That's a big one? -That's a big one for me, yes."

The next rule.. "I don't go for brand names because you pay for the name." When it comes to coffee.."I usually get this size and then decant it into a smaller one. -Oh really? -Well because it's cheaper that way."

She buys long life milk, but not today. "Harvey Fresh $1.79, I paid 88 cents." Nothing gets past this bargain hunter.. even when she's buying treats like chips. "$3.51 for all that, is that a good buy? -Yeah, it used to be a better buy. -Did it, has it gone up? It used to have 15 in and they brought it down to 12."

The shopping bill for the spendthrift spinster is less than 38 dollars. "So a grand total of $37.65 that's not bad." That doesn't include fruit and veg.. Peggy buys that at a nearby market. Mixed veges for a stir fry go a long way and they're cheap. Some brussel sprouts, snow peas, mushrooms and fruit.. Peggy spends another $10.55.

The grand total - $48.20. Back at home, Peggy cuts her steak in half, puts her chops into five separate bags, separates her vegies and won't have to do another shop for two weeks.

Here are more of Peggy's tips for living on a pension.

Never wash until you've got a full load. "When it comes to the rinse stage I fetch my watering cans in and my bucket in to water the garden."

Make your own clothes. "I knit, I crocher, I sew, I've got the knitting machine as you can see."

Never use an electric blanket. "You don't need one, a little wheat bag's just as good, my wheat bag cost me 50 cents from a charity shop."

Make your own bread

Make your own greeting cards

Grow your own vegies

and, wait for it, no need to always flush the loo."Don't flush it every time you spend a penny now a pensioner that's got to pay water rates, if they did that they've save a heck of a lot of money." Pommy Peggy says if she can live on 350 dollars a fortnight, anyone can. "Our generation should know how to shop cheaply because they can remember the war years but try telling them that." And she's got one parting shot for her Aussie mates. "I think you're all a load of whinging pensioners."

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