10 Cheapest Cities in the Country
BOSTON ( MainStreet) -- Cheapskates of the world unite -- you have nothing to lose but your spare change!
The 10 cities below offer the lowest cost-of-living levels of some 300 communities surveyed each quarter by the Council for Community and Economic Research.
"These are parts of the country that are incredibly inexpensive," the council's Dean Frutiger says. "Prices there are a lot less than
The council volunteers help compile cost-of-living figures for various cities by checking local prices every three months on some 60 goods and services, from doctor's visits to T-bone steaks. The group then runs the numbers through a weighting system to give more prominence to things such as rent and mortgage bills.
There's also a heavily weighted "miscellaneous" category that serves as a catch-all for everything from bowling prices to dry-cleaning costs.
If your idea of of the perfect date is using a two-for-one coupon at a Sunday matinee, click below to see the U.S. communities that offer the nation's lowest cost-of-living levels. (There are three Texas entries, which are grouped.)
Each city's score reflects how its living costs compares with the national average. For instance, a score of 90 means a community's cost of living is 90% of the overall U.S. average.
All local property prices are from Realtor.com -- the National Association of Realtors' official property-listing site -- and exclude mobile homes.
No. 10 cheapest city: Pryor Creek, Okla.
Cost of living index: 86.3
"Oklahoma, Southwest Missouri, Texas -- these places are incredibly inexpensive," Frutiger says. "That whole section of country has traditionally been a big part of our top 10 list."
Located some 45 miles northeast of Tulsa, Pryor Creek boasts the nation's fifth-cheapest costs for miscellaneous items (12.3% below average) and 28th-best prices on health care (10.9% less than average).
The community also has discount prices on housing (21.4% below U.S. average), utilities (9% less than average), groceries (8.2% under average) and transportation (7.2% below the norm).
No. 9 cheapest city: Pueblo, Colo.
Cost of living index: 86.2
Pueblo offers below-average prices in all six categories the council tracks.
The city features the nation's sixth-lowest prices for miscellaneous goods (12.8% below average), as well as its 15th-best housing costs (27.7% less than average).
Located some 120 miles south of Denver, Pueblo also offers low prices for health care (9.9% below average), transportation (4% less than average) utilities (3.5% under the U.S. average) and groceries (3.4% less than typical).