A throwaway society and fast fashion has never appealed to our Penny-she's more of a sock-darning, money-saving sort of girl…

We are living through a double-dip recession-which if it wasn't so nasty, would sound like a conundrum with a carrot and some humorous at party. Any money we've saved is attracting as much interest as a bicycle in Jeremy Clarkson's garage-we've stopped going out so much and we're cutting back on luxuries

Description: Kate Rabett

Kate Rabett

So, where now? As the financial crisis continues, a change has come over us-thrift addicts are coming out of the (second-hand, revamped) closet.

I'm one of them. I love spending money, but my greatest joy comes from saving it-salvaging a shirt, growing a herb, making a present, mending something that would otherwise be sent off to the knacker's yard with nary a backward glance. And I hardly ever throw food away. Leftovers get whipped up into a delicious bubble and squeak, and I'm pretty fearless when it comes to use-by dates.

It's not just me. A friend of mine, actress and academic Kate Rabett, is a dad hand at eking out provisions. ‘I can get at least Four meals out of a chicken,' she says with pride. 'Roast, risotto, cold with salad and stock for soup.' She also rummages through the hedgerows for edibles like sloes for gin, dandelion leaves for salads and elderflowers for sorbet. She's the sort of bird who wears a picture hat and a dimity grown while foraging.

Talking of which… ‘I never throw out clothes,' says Kate. In fact. I wore one of Granny's silk dressing gowns to a film premiere and got a tick in the Evening Standard for having a "hit" dress,' she says.

Description: . I love spending money, but my greatest joy comes from saving it

 I love spending money, but my greatest joy comes from saving it

So thrift isn't just cool, it has the fashion experts' approval too. Although there is one disadvantage to never throwing anything away-I won't mention what a crowded mess her wardrobe is!

In these days of straitened circumstances, we are rediscovering old ways. Newspaper is great for cleaning windows. Soda crystals are cheap and you can use them to clean silver, brass, get rid of food stains and unblock sinks and drains-hell, they're so useful you could probably make them into a small boat and sail it to France for a cheap holiday. Vinegar is equally useful, although it can leave you with the faint scent of a fish-and-chip supper.

However, in my humble opinion, there are three major false economies…

1.    Freezers. People have been known to find pork chops the reign of Queen Mary in the snowy wastes at the bottom of their chest.

2.    Two-for-one deals. The second 'deal' sits there for ever, until eventually you end up putting it in the bin. This is particularly true of bananas.

3.    Bargains that don't fit. You will never wear those shoes, because they make you walk like a tit on a hotplate. Ditto that size 8 dress.

I asked Twitter for bright ideas and one cynic suggested: 'Save money on buying Good Housekeeping by reading it for free while you're having your legs waxed.' Aha, I thought. Afar better way to save pennies is to buy Good Housekeeping and read it after waxing your legs yourself! You won't regret it.

The word 'thrift' used to have a whiff of old pants about it. Picture a thrifty person and you'd imagine someone with grey frizzy hair and pointy fingers who smelled of cats. But our time has come now-thrift has cast off its musty cape and emerged blinking into the sunlight. Let us wear the name with pride.

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