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LA on $20 a Week

by Alaina R. Alexander

I moved to Los Angeles over a year ago with big dreams and very little financial capital. Still, I managed to find a job in a month and an apartment four blocks away from work. Even with the  two most Herculean tasks out of the way. I had yet to conquer how I was going to live on $20 a week for groceries.  Yep, $20 a week was my assigned stipend for grocery shopping for the first six months of my  residing in Los Angeles.

I was terrified  about my skeleton budget, yet excited because this was going to be the ultimate challenge for my inner-frugality.

It was easier to shop in Minnesota, because of the existence there of the four seasons (well 3 and half). I knew that from October to April I could stock up on soups, casseroles, hot pasta dishes  and other meat and potato fare. May to September I consumed a lot of breads, salads and grilled chicken. I  rarely  had to deviate from this  routine.

However, living in  Southern California requires me to have a lot of different food on hand  all -year round, because of the variation in temperatures.

Below are some  money saving tips that can help you take on the big city:

  • Shop with a list
  • Plan your food menu each week
  • Research new recipes in cookbooks, magazines or on the Internet (It's all free at the public library!).
  • Read  the Food section of the newspaper
  • Build a pantry with staple foods