I read somewhere that cash-strapped design students are buying Ikea furniture for the raw materials they need for their projects, since it's cheaper than buying...raw materials.
A friend of mine in Chicago is now taking the CTA to work one day a week instead of driving. He doesn't especially like doing it, but he figures it's something he can do, I guess. Not only is it slower and less convenient, it's actually more expensive (at least, until gas tops $4.50 a gallon (which, don't worry, sooner or later it will)).
Someone else. A guy I know here, a programmer. Claimed to hate people. Wanted to leave civilization behind, go live "off the grid", but he didn't have enough money yet. He was going to head to San Francisco to work for five years or so, until he has enough money saved to do what he wants. So in order to get off the grid you have to fucking graft yourself to it for five years.
When I was a kid and learning how to sew from my mom, I excitedly told her how much money we must be saving by making stuff ourselves, and she had to explain to me that, well, actually, it didn't work that way; it was actually cheaper to buy clothes at the store. I didn't understand how I could feel like I had done all this work and made this thing myself, a great example of self-sufficiency, and still not come out ahead, like something was wrong, the numbers were screwed up, we had made a mistake. I just couldn't believe it, even though I saw that it was true. I believe it now, as an adult, but maybe it wouldn't be such a bad thing to think like that kid a little more often.