Conclusion: Don't be cheap
It's easy to slam being cost-conscious as being cheap. I couldn't disagree more. It's not about cost, it's about value, and I'm value-oriented. I get a good feeling when I've gotten a good deal. Half price dining is great, yet I always leave a generous tip on the full undiscounted amount. I'm not staying in a flea-bag motel nor forgoing the big screen TV or cable to watch the Super Bowl. And that I drive the worst car in the neighborhood, demonstrating that my self-worth isn't defined by what I drive, is actually a source of pride.
So this isn't about being cheap - it's about getting the most for your money. While these are all my tried-and true ways of getting the most for your money, Clark Howard makes me look like an amateur by comparison: His recent book, Living Large in Lean Times, will give you over 250 great ways to spend smarter and live larger.
Adapt my motto: "Never pay retail." Admittedly, it's more of an aspiration than a reality.