Oh, you'll find them cheaper than $75. My shelter charges $65, and that's for a full grown, already neutered and vaccinated cat. I'm in Ohio, though, and it'll cost you at least $10 more in gas
Shop around. Ask your vet, see if he knows of some good shelters. I'd highly recommend the "grown cat" option, as well--you are spared the expense of neutering and shots. Your vet might even be able to directly connect you with someone who needs to give up an adult cat. (Make sure to ask about the cat's compatibility with other cats. Some cats are just loners; cats are solitary hunters by nature and not all of them enjoy socializing with other cats--thus the "grouchy one-person cats" you no doubt have met.)
You CAN get adult cats free from owners who can no longer take care of them--if you go for a "free cat", get a cat, not a kitten. Checking newspapers is a good idea, but check for cats, not kittens--"free kittens" in newspapers are just as expensive as free kittens anywhere else; you have to neuter and vaccinate them like any costly purebred!