Is 'cheap' a dirty word? Being a cheapskate is an all-American virtue

When it comes to being frugal, Lauren Weber wrote the book.

As the author of "In Cheap We Trust: The Story of a Misunderstood American Virtue," just published by Little, Brown, she takes a long, affectionate look at thriftiness.

She was raised by a dad who was so cheap, he would literally ration toilet paper in the family home. But she didn't spend her life complaining about it. In fact, her dad's miserly ways inspired a thoughtful, researched book about his mentality. Weber learned that while it annoyed her as a child, now that she's an adult who pays her own way, she sees virtue in being careful about wasting what you buy and in re-using what you already have.

Weber, looking like a million bucks in a smart thrift-store outfit, paid a visit to WalletPop's studios to talk about the culture of thrift. In a conversation with Jason Cochran and Andrea Chalupa, Weber reveals some surprising facts about skinflints in the United States.

Cheap is not a dirty word! For one, did you realize that we owe our nation's independence to the fact that our Founding Fathers were devoted to stretching every pound they had?

When did we become so wasteful as a country? How can we save money and still look respectable to our friends and family, and is it possible to take thrift too far? Is it cool to be cheap again (oh, please, say it is)?

Join the fun with our podcast. After all, it's free!

And ration your toilet paper with pride!

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