Written by Katie Kusiciel
LaLa Land may be the “City Of Angels” but it is also in the top ten most expensive cities to live in America. With over 10 million people living within Los Angeles county, it’s obvious not everyone can live like a Kardashian. If you are one of the “have nots” in this city, but you don’t want to eat ramen noodles every night and stay in staring at your four roommates, check out these tips to live your best life. You might not be having brunch at The Ivy in Beverly Hills but you can still have fun around the city while you are on a budget.
1. Check Groupon
First of all, get rid of the idea that using a Groupon makes you look cheap. Even if it does, WHO CARES. You are doing the same activities as other people, but for way less money. So maybe you are cheap, but you are also smart. Beggars can’t be choosers. Check out the “Things To Do” tab in the app and purchase an awesome escape room experience or a luxurious spa day package!
2. Take Advantage Of Happy Hour
Some of the fanciest restaurants in town feature great happy hour options during their early hours of operation to bring in business before the main dinner rush. They feature a few of the SAME food and drinks that are on the regular menu but for a FRACTION of the cost. Hot spots like Mercado and Ruth’s Chris normally have high price points unattainable to the average budget eater BUT both of their happy hour menus feature $9 food and cocktails with $4 beer! Enjoy the classy ambiance without spending the equivalent of your car payment on dinner.
3. Actually GO to the beach
So many people that live in LA never take advantage of the beach. It is not uncommon for residents to go months at a time without stepping foot on the coast even though it is one of the most sought after amenities when visiting or moving here! Los Angeles dwellers can spice up your “on a budget” lifestyle by not taking the beautiful beaches available to you for granted. It costs a whopping zero dollars to go sunbathe in Malibu or walk along the famous Santa Monica pier.
4. Trade Whole Foods for ALDI
Whole Foods is a wonderful staple in LA, and great for days when you have money to treat yourself to a $15 salad from their do-it-yourself salad bar, BUT it’s not practical for every grocery trip for a budget shopper. Try switching to ALDI to stock up on your everyday needs. A full cart of groceries there will cost approximately a quarter of what they would cost at Whole Foods. AND they offer tons of organic and gluten free products so you are not sacrificing quality by shopping there. They cut costs by staffing less employees and looking less fancy, but at the end of the day delivering great products for way less money!
5. Free Events
Not every event in LA requires a VIP ticket costing hundreds of dollars. There are actually exciting free events every week! It is just a matter of finding them. Be smart and check local Facebook events and LAist.com for weekly activities that cost zero dollars! Commonly found are things like Comedy Shows, Free Museum Days, Brand Giveaways, Brewery Openings, Outdoor Concerts, and Movie Premiers!