The primary goal of an engineer is to find the best possible economical design and this goal can be achieved by considering multiple trials. A methodology with fast computing ability must be proposed for the optimum design. Optimum design of Reinforced Concrete (RC) structural members is the one of the complex engineering problems since two different materials which have extremely different prices and behaviors in tension are involved. Structural state limits are considered in the optimum design and differently from the superstructure members, RC footings contain geotechnical limit states. This study proposes a metaheuristic based methodology for the cost optimization of RC footings by employing several classical and newly developed algorithms which are powerful to deal with non-linear optimization problems. The methodology covers the optimization of dimensions of the footing, the orientation of the supported columns and applicable reinforcement design. The employed relatively new metaheuristic algorithms are Harmony Search (HS), Teaching-Learning Based Optimization algorithm (TLBO) and Flower Pollination Algorithm (FPA) are competitive for the optimum design of RC footings.