While at the grocery store the other day, Kris and I witnessed an act that crossed the line from frugal to cheap. We were in the toiletries aisle, shopping for toothbrushes, when a man wandered up to the deodorant. He picked a can of aerosol then sprayed under each armpit. When he had finished, he continued on his merry way.

Kris and I looked at each other, amazed. That, my friends, was not frugal. That was cheap. Here, however, are a few stories about frugality in real life:

First, USA Today says that cooking newbies are turning to home dining to cut costs. Market research firms report that people are eating at home more often. No wonder — making your own meals is a great way to save money.

Donna at Smart Spending profiles some real people who do without in their 20s — by choice. This article contains a lot of great tips from young adults who have chosen the frugal path but still know how to enjoy life.

Good Morning America recently visited a family that spent a month using cash instead of plastic. They spent 24% less than the previous month. Experiments like this are interesting, and the stories offer great lessons, but I think one month is often too short to pick up any meaningful information. I’d rather read about a family who does this for three months. (Or longer!) With just a month, you can fudge numbers. That’s harder to do over a longer period of time.

Finally, Madison at My Dollar Plan shares 29 steps she took to leave the workforce at age 29. Even if you have no desire to retire early, these points can serve as a checklist for building your financial future.

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