Cost of Living
(brought to you by This Week's Valley Produce Ad)
I do just about all the grocery shopping by myself now. I used to enjoy going with Dan to Trader Joe's, then Whole Foods, then (probably 100 dollars later) carrying the three or four bags upstairs together.
Sometime in the process of discovering the wonders of stores like Valley Produce, Jons, and Vallarta, I started shopping by myself. And instead of spending 50 bucks a stop, I spend about 20 total and bring home more bags than I can comfortably carry up to the apartment in one trip (but I'm lazy, so I do). When Dan occasionally accompanies me, his reaction after paying reminds me how ridiculously cheap these places are. (I've become quite desensitized.)
Apartments and houses and sales tax are more expensive in Los Angeles County, than say, oh, anywhere else I've ever lived, but cost of living, in general, is pretty awesome. We can get so many things quicker, in shorter distances, and for less money. There are more things to do closer by, and they cost less than driving all the way from whatever faraway suburb I lived in to the city where the cool stuff happens.
Northridge (the neighborhood of Los Angeles I live in) isn't the most exciting place by any means, but look at this list of sweet stuff I can do:
- Buy cheap, fresh groceries from international food markets
- Pick oranges for free at the public grove on the CSUN campus
- Bike to the university for class instead of paying for an expensive parking permit or gas
- See David Bazan in someone's living room just a few miles away
- Access any cuisine I want in a just a few minutes' drive
- Eat lunch with my husband every day after he walks across the street from work
- Leave the windows open all winter and never once turn on the heat
...and the list goes on.
California's cost of a building to live in is higher than a lot of places, but overall cost of living is much better when you consider how accessible (proximally and financially) so many other things are.
And you know what? I really, really love it here.