Hot Tips

Free & Cheap 2019 Halloween Haunts

The annual pumpkin-everything month is finally upon us! And with it tons of haunted to-do’s. But while I love the hayrides, amusement park mazes, and costume balls and bashes, I don’t have the extra $30 – $100 per event to do all the spooky things I want to. And I definitely want to do them all!

Fortunately for me Los Angeles has a bunch of events for $15 or less so I can get my themed event fix and still have enough leftover for my daily pumpkin spice coffee. And you can too by checking out some of these FREE and cheap October 2019 events:

Beyond Fest
September 25th
– October 8th
Times Vary
FREE – $12/movie
The Egyptian in Hollywood

Muertos Artwalk
October 5th

10am – 7pm
FREE admission
Olvera Street

The Science of Scary
October 10th – April 19th
9:30am – 5pm
$14 Museum Admission
The Natural History Museum Los Angeles County

Halloween Drive-In Movie
October 11th
7pm – Ghostbusters & 9:45pm – Friday the 13th
Lake Balboa Complex

Halloween Drive-In Movie
October 12th
7pm – Addams Family & 9:45pm – The Exorcist
Lake Balboa Complex

Eat LA Halloween Fest
October 19th – 20th

11am – 7pm
$3 Admission
North Hollywood

Rotten Apple 907 Haunted House
October 19th, 20th, 26th, 27th, 31st

7pm – 10pm
Donation Based Admission

3rd Annual Halloween Costume Contest & DJ Dance Party
October 25th
6pm – 8pm
FREE Admission
Redondo Pier

Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Bungalow!
October 26th
5pm – 7:30pm
FREE Admission
Downtown LA

Marina Spooktacular
October 26th – 27th
11am – 9pm
FREE Admission
Marina del Rey

Halloween Carnaval
October 31st
6pm – 10:30pm
FREE Admission
West Hollywood


Cheap Dates for your Broke Butt: Los Feliz

The only thing better than a good date is a date close to home (for the sake of a fast return to sweats: quit it with the filthy thoughts). So with that in mind I give you: inexpensive date ideas in Los Feliz.

Date Idea #1:

Head on up to Griffith Park and take a stroll on one of the more mild trails near The Trails Cafe or if you’re feeling ambitious hike up to the Observatory (or pay to park close to it, but that runs $4/hour). It’s open every day except Monday until 10pm and always has FREE admission. Afterwards snag a slice of cake at Alcove (the cake slices aren’t particularly inexpensive – running around $8 – but they’re huge and perfect for sharing).

Date Idea #2:

Nestled in Barnsdall Park the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery is open Thursday – Sunday 11am – 4pm and is FREE to attend. Peruse the latest exhibit then have a picnic in the park after (a baguette from Trader Joe’s with a block of cheese and some prosciutto feels fancy, but won’t run you much).

Date Idea #3:

A $3.50 slice of pizza at Garage Pizza is never a bad way to start off an evening in Los Feliz. After scarfing a slice or two (or eating politely if you’re on one of those early dates) walk over to La Luz de Jesus Gallery to check out their latest exhibit. The gallery is FREE, and the store it’s nestled in, Wacko, is an experience in and of itself.

Date Idea #4:

Grab a couple of tacos from HomeState (if the line is reasonable), or Machos Tacos (just keep in mind Machos is cash only) then head over to The Clubhouse to take in some donation-based comedy. They have shows nearly every night of the year. Plus a big parking lot, which should score you bonus date points in this city.

“Cat-Human date nights are the best!” – the cat

If none if these strike your fancy, a wander through the neighborhood over to the Shakespeare Bridge always pleases. And my personal favorite: staying in and possibly not even messaging another human is always a win-win-win (the third win is because it’s cat-approved).

Broke Betty’s Recipes: Ramen

Rent is due and I don’t get paid for another week so I’ve gotta make these last few dollars in my account stretch. If you’re like me then I’ve got a recipe for you to try that’s tasty and cheap. Here’s a little photo teaser to encourage you to read on:

Broke Betty’s Ramen


  • 1 packet of ramen noodles (flavor of your choice)
  • 1 bouillon cube (flavor of your choice)
  • a handful of spinach (about 1/4 – 1/2 cup)
  • 1 egg
  • water


  1. Gather your ingredients, and your tools. You’ll need: one pot, one bowl, a measuring cup, a spoon to stir with, a cutting board, a knife, and utensils to eat with.
  2. Fill the pot halfway with water, or at least enough to cover an egg, and bring it to a boil.
  3. Soft boil the egg by gently placing it into the boiling water with your spoon. Then stir the water in a circular motion as the egg boils (this centers the yolk). Do this for about 5 minutes then remove the egg from the boiling water.
  4. Place the egg in the bowl and fill it with cold water, and set it out of your way.
  5. Empty the pot and fill it with 2 cups of water, and bring it to a boil.
  6. Place the bouillon cube in the boiling water and stir until it dissolves.
  7. Add the ramen noodles to the pot and cook for 3 minutes.
  8. While the noodles are cooking remove the egg from the cold water and empty the bowl.
  9. Remove the shell from the egg and carefully slice it open (it will be runny if you did it right so be careful).
  10. Once the noodles have finished cooking dump the contents of the pot into your bowl.
  11. Add 1/2 (or all of) the egg.
  12. Chop the spinach and add to the bowl.
  13. Take a few pics, post them on Instagram, and tag @livingbrokeinla.
  14. Consume ramen.

The Cost:

To make this I purchased 1 package of chicken flavor ramen (on sale 4 for $1, usually $0.39/package), a package of chicken flavored bouillon cubes (6 in a pack for $1.99), a half dozen eggs (on sale for $1.79, usually $2.49), and a bag of spinach ($2.49) for a total of $6.52 ($7.14 with tax).

This meal specifically cost: $1.20 (call it $1.31 with tax), and it was tasty, and looked like something I’d be charged six times that for.

Just because you’re broke it doesn’t mean you have to eat shitty food. And if you’re feeling extra splurge-y you can throw any number of other veggies in this thing and up your health content for this meal. Mushrooms, and carrots are good additions, hell, maybe a green onion and sesame seeds if you’re a true chef with the cash to make that delicious dream a reality.

Yours in Food & Frugality,

Cheap Dates for your Broke Butt: Mid-City

Dating in Los Angeles is daunting. People will remain in relationships years longer than they should just to avoid the drag of it. All the swiping, and the meeting, and the small talk is exhausting. And it’s freakin’ expensive too!

But it doesn’t have to be.

While I can’t promise you you’ll meet your next indefinite beau on OKC, I can give you a pretty decent inexpensive date itinerary that’s more engaging than just drinks at a bar.

Date Idea #1:

Take in some FREE live Jazz on a Friday at LACMA from 6pm – 8pm. Alcohol is allowed on the premises so pack a wine and cheese picnic for an added bit of fancy. And don’t worry if you’re coming right after work: there’s a Trader Joe’s on the corner of La Brea and 3rd (5 minutes away). Cap the evening off with a stroll through the Second Home Serpentine Pavilion on the lawn by the La Brea Tarpits . It’s FREE to stroll through, and open until 9pm on Fridays; just be sure to RSVP in advance. Depending on how wine and cheese crazy you go this shouldn’t run you more than $30, and could cost as little as $10 (psst: parking onsite can be pricey, but there are metered spots on Wilshire and 6th, and a few free spots in the neighborhood too)

Date Idea #2:

If you’re looking for more of a daytime date, The Marciano Art Foundation is open Thursday – Sunday and is totally FREE, though you do have to RSVP in advance, but this can usually be done just a few days prior to your intended visit. Plus it has free parking onsite too. After taking in some Yayoi KusamaI head over to Larchmont Village Wine & Cheese for gourmet sandwiches for $10 and under (provided it’s not a Sunday as they’re closed on Sundays). This date might run you a cool $20, or slightly more if you’re splurging on sodas too.

Date Idea #3:

In the Summer the La Brea Tarpits host FREE Late Night Friday events 5pm – 8pm. After taking in your fill of fossils head over to Carmela Ice Cream and grab a cone, and head back past the counter toward the freezer door then open, and enter the hidden back room, and maybe take a few pics in the Photo Booth. All in this could be a $15 evening.

Here’s hoping that one of these is your last first date, or your first last date. Or that if all else goes awry that you have an inexpensive outing.

And if none of these pique your interest, there’s always the totally free option to stay inside alone, or perhaps with another human, and hang out with your cat (my preferred option, to be honest).

Free & Cheap Ways to Beat the Heat in Hollywood

With temps rising, and Summer just beginning, we’re here with some hot tips to help you cool down.

Hollywood has a few inexpensive movie theaters and movie theaters always have sweet, sweet icy AC (and usually blue raspberry Icees too).

You can catch a matinee at The Los Feliz Three, or VistaTheatre for $6.50 and soak up two hours of freedom from the heat. A non-matinee will run you $3 more at $9.50, but might be well worth it when it’s 100+.

On occasion The Egyptian offers FREE movie screenings, but more frequently tickets are $12 to take in a classic film, or two, on 35mm.

And if movies aren’t your thing, there are a few FREE art galleries you can pop into to duck out of the sun.

La Luz de Jesus is nestled in the back of Wacko, a quirky store well worth a visit even if it was gallery-less. Its exhibits are mainly narrative, figurative, and what one might describe as unusual. Not much further on Hollywood Blvd is the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery in Barnsdall Art Park.

Other cool places to creep include Albertson’s where it’s consistently 20 degrees colder than it is outside even in Winter, any Ralph’s, Von’s: truly any grocery store. And it’s totally free too!