OK, just a quick one here. I've been reading about the popularity of blogs with "cheap living" advice, a lot of stuff I've been doing for ages. (see: http://zenhabits.net/2007/08/the-cheapskate-guide-50-tips-for-frugal-living/ and: http://beingfrugal.net/)
However, there are a few things out there worth *not* being cheap about.
Organic food: It might be more expensive at the cash register, but that's because it's not subsidized by the Department of Agriculture the same way factory farmed food is. It's also healthier in the long run.
Buying Fair Trade: I can't say this enough. Whether making sure what you buy is from a democracy, or looking for a Fair Trade label, this also pays off in the long run. When a worker is paid enough to live on, they can actually contribute back to the economy.
Supporting Local Business: I'll brown bag my lunch all week so I can have a dinner out at the Greek restaurant down the block from me; I'll also buy most of my clothes at thrift shops so I can support the indie boutiques. Remember, small businesses altogether employ more people than WalMart and pay them better.