10 Cheapest Cities in the Country
You'll also find the 21st-best prices on miscellaneous items (8.6% better than average), as well as good deals on utilities (7.3% below average), transportation (6.7% less than average) and health care (6% better than average).
No. 2 cheapest city: Memphis, Tenn.
Cost of living index: 83.7
Tennessee's largest city offers below-average costs on all six categories that the Council for Community and Economic Research measures.
Utilities cost just 81.3% of national average, while miscellaneous goods are 10.2% below average, transportation 9.1% less than average, groceries 6.9% cheaper than average and health care discounted by 3.6%.
But it's in real estate where the Bluff City really shines.
Housing in the 663,000-population locale costs 31.3% below national average -- tying Winston-Salem, N.C., as the nation's fourth-cheapest market.
No. 1 cheapest city: Harlingen, Texas
Cost of living index: 82.8
This city in southern Texas just 10 miles from the U.S.-Mexican border is America's cheapskate mecca, with a cost of living 17.2% below national average.
A city of some 65,000 people, Harlingen takes top honors mostly by virtue of having the nation's lowest cost -- 79.5% of U.S. average -- for miscellaneous goods.
Located about 130 miles south of Corpus Christi and 30 miles west of the Gulf of Mexico, Harlingen also enjoys the fourth-cheapest transportation cost (83.8% of average) and places fifth for grocery costs (16.6% below average).
That more than offsets the city's relatively high utility costs, which clock in at 102.1% of national average.