Today's Daily News and the biz section of the L.A. Times both profile the post-Daily News career that ex-reporter Julia Scott has created for herself as an expert on how to live cheaply. The bargain-hunting maven staged a Frugal Festival this past Sunday that drew 300 people in Van Nuys and she is fast becoming the Valley's newest phenomenon. (A pink T-shirt featured on her Website, BargainBabe.com, features a cartoon of Scott looking a little Sarah Palinish.)

Tough economic times are the reason the newly minted columnist enjoys a growing following — and why she's having to add a second Web site to her online presence. (Today's BargainBabe tip features a map showing where to buy cheap caskets.) One of Scott's pets projects is to go to stores and try to get printed prices lowered for her, often by carrying a copy of a competitor's ad for a lower price.

She offers this coaching when approaching stores: “Be friendly and

respectful . . . Go when the store isn't busy . . . seek out the store

manager. Clerks often don't have the authority to grant discounts.”

Often? Try never! But then, we're all still learning as the recession

teaches us to become hardened penny pinchers.

LA Weekly