Cheapest: Harlingen, Tex.

Cost of living index: 79.9
U.S. average: 100

The city of Harlingen is in the heart of the Rio Grande Valley, near the Mexico border. The cost of living in this southern Texas metropolis is about 20 percent below the national average, according to the Council for Community and Economic Research. While the expenses may be low, the area’s poverty rate is high at 35 percent of the population.

Data source: Council for Community and Economic Research, third quarter of 2010
 
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