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Los Angeles Shopping Guide: Where to Go, How to Save

Trying to save money? It’s no secret that Los Angeles isn’t the easiest place to live and make that happen. In fact, a recent study found L.A. is the second-worst city in the U.S. for those looking to boost their savings accounts, eclipsed only by its spendy northern neighbor San Francisco.

If you’re determined to live in LA and live affordably, here’s a Los Angeles shopping guide to help you find ways to enjoy all the city has to offer while still setting aside a little bit extra each month.

Staying In

For those looking to save cash on the weekly food bill, forgo the boutique grocery store and find your way to one of the city’s numerous farmers markets. The Los Angeles Times found more than 200 in the area, spread out between Los Angeles and Orange Counties. You can find a farmers market open on any day of the week — unsurprisingly, though, almost a full 100 of them occur on Saturday or Sunday. With fresh fruits and vegetables and no middleman markups, these markets combine the freshest food out there with some of the best prices.

Not everything can be picked up at the local farmers market, but that doesn’t mean you have to swing by one of the big chain grocers. Instead, seek out one of the city’s countless international markets. Grocers like 99 Ranch Market, Sorrento Italian Market and Mitsuwa Marketplace deliver deals on foods both familiar and not — expanding your cookbook while saving you money.

LA market

Photo Source: Flickr

Going Out

Of course, there’s little point investing in the cost of living in Los Angeles if you always stay at home. The easiest way to maximize your dollar while still taking advantage of the city’s nightlife is happy hour. That means $1 oysters at Herringbone just steps from the beach in Santa Monica, a $6 Old Fashioned at downtown’s Plan Check and the $6.01 menu with both small plates and classic cocktails at Koreatown’s Mama Lion’s. These are just a few of the specials; many other restaurants and bars offer similar deals.

The number of free events in Los Angeles is without equal, ranging from the Santa Monica’s Twilight Concerts series to the small crowds that attend Monday night residency shows at venues like The Echo and The Satellite. And for a free day or night out throughout the year, consider becoming a member of one of Los Angeles’ museums. Membership at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in Miracle Mile or the Museum of Contemporary Art downtown gets you free admission to most of the exhibits, along with special members-only events like openings, tours and even cocktail hours.

Fixing It Up

Residents in LA pay the fourth-highest median home price in America. And on top of that, of course, homeowners will have to make repairs, too. Thankfully, Los Angeles County has a program to help certain property owners pay for house upkeep. Neighborhood Housing Services of Los Angeles can assist homeowners with loans through its “Don’t Move, Improve” program. It also offers services to help people manage the bid process and resolve conflicts with contractors. It’s an excellent resource if you’re trying to repair or upgrade your home while saving a few dollars.

Although living in Los Angeles can be expensive, you can still live an active life in the city and save money through some smart planning and good choices. Another good choice: Finding the best available deal on your next Los Angeles-area home. You can check out Owners.com to get started.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Owners.com, Altisource or any other Altisource® business or entity. The foregoing content is not intended to constitute, and in fact does not constitute, financial, investment, tax or legal advice by the author, Owners.com, Altisource or any other business or entity.


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