Americans have always had "a complicated relationship with frugality," says Lauren Weber, author of In Cheap We Trust: The Story of a Misunderstood American Virtue. She says we often admire the ideal, rather than embrace the practice.
But, while writing her book she practiced what she preaches by eating dried beans instead of canned (they’re cheaper) and scouring New York City for the cheapest writing room — a place where writers can pay a small fee to have Internet access and a quiet place to work.
If that doesn't impress, check this out: she even encourages readers on her website to find her book at the library instead of buying it from a bookstore.
In this conversation, Weber and host Mike Cuthbert discuss the notion of the good life being a simple life and our ongoing national debate about whether it’s better to spend or to save.