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Makaveli123

cost of living in San Diego / L.A.

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Hello. I was hoping somebody could tell me how high the cost of living in S.D. / L.A. was. I know homes are overly expensive (especially at the moment because of the real estate bubble..if it hasnt been busted yet :P ), but how much do other things cost? Especially food..like milk for example, a bottle of coke, a big sized meal at mc donalds or burger king, a bottle of water, chinese/japanese/mexican good for take-away, public transport, average fee for clubs, ...

I dont expect you guys to give me the exact prices for every single item, but I'd be really glad if you could give me a few impressions...and if you can give me the price for milk, water or so please say how many liters or gallons it is (Over here we mostly have 1 liter milk bottles, but if I could buy milk gallon bottles (dunno how these things r called exactly) I'd do it without blinking an eye, if I could get it cheaper that way).

Thanks guys!!

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Let's see...

Milk - 2% gallon is close to $4

Can't help you on the fast food, I've no idea.

Produce is not any cheaper despite the fact that a lot of it is local. You can hit a few farmer stands (not the coastal pseudo 'Farmer's Market' which is an overpriced version of real farmer stands) more inland and the produce is reasonable, but really, not worth the drive.

You can catch the Coastal line train for about $15 from LA to SD and vice versa.

If you end up renting a car, don't rent near the SD airport if possible - the airport taxes are killer. Gas is about $2.40ish per gal for regular grade.

Ummmm, what else? It's freaking expensive here! Bring your life savings to survive. ;)

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Hello. I was hoping somebody could tell me how high the cost of living in S.D. / L.A. was. I know homes are overly expensive (especially at the moment because of the real estate bubble..if it hasnt been busted yet :P ), but how much do other things cost? Especially food..like milk for example, a bottle of coke, a big sized meal at mc donalds or burger king, a bottle of water, chinese/japanese/mexican good for take-away, public transport, average fee for clubs, ...

Coke is the same price as everywhere else in SD at the supermarkets: $1.19 or $1.29, $.99 if you're lucky.

LA is slightly more expensive for the small consumables, but not by a whole lot more.

Fast food joints are generally more in SoCal. I hate Mc Donald's and never go to BK anymore. There's Del Taco, In n' Out (or Fatburger sometimes in LA) and Weinerschnitzel. At all three you can eat well for less than $5.

The Mexican stuff is everywhere, and is the Sonoran style: really hot salsa, lots of meat and burritos especially in SD. Those will generally run you about $5 as well.

Drinks at bars and clubs run about $4-5 in SD, about the same in LA, but it all depends on where you go. I couldn't tell you what the cover charges are though because I'm so cheap that I never go to places with covers unless a band is playing.

I've been told that San Diego is always the highest for gas in CA. I've found that gas inside of LA is about the same as in SD County, but in OC and inland, it's a little less. Both SD and LA have pretty good public transit systems: LA having the subway and rail lines and San Diego having the "trolley" which is actually light rail. Paper Tiger mentioned the Coaster also, which is a really good deal and drops you right in Downtown SD.

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I spent the last year living in Newport Beach; here's my experience.

Gas is expensive, San Diego is generally the most expensive place in America to buy gasoline. LA isn't a whole lot better.

I didn't notice much of a difference from Minneapolis in the cost of everyday items though. Fast food is about the same, so were groceries. The cost was not large enough for me to even notice. A double double combo at In and Out was about $5, McDonalds was similar for combo meals.

I really think that the big difference in cost of living comes in transportation related expenses (gas, insurance, etc.), and in housing related expenses.

Also, it seemed as though the cost of living was actually higher in SD than LA...but I have no difinitive proof to back up that claim.

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Thx for the answers, I was busy so I only read them now...you guys should be LUCKY. In germany we pay over 1 Euro per liter (like 1,15 or 1,20)...that would be about 6 dollars per gallon...Im not kidding! Everybody is wailing why the gasoline is so expensive and stuff and Ive been told it was a whole lotta cheaper to rent a car in the USA all in all, so I dont think Ive made any mistakes calculating... (a gallon is around 4 liters, just looked it up)

The food and drinks seem to be not much higher than in germany..actually rather a lil cheaper considering the Euro is pretty high right now.

@colin: How big are these cokes? are they like a quarter gallon? And..when you say you dont go to places with cover charges, you probably have lots of clubs over there where you dont have to pay to get in? ..I do that, too over here if theres a good club which I dont have to pay for, but actually cover charges are the norm here..Ive hardly been to any club before where u didnt have to pay to get in (actually I just know 1 or 2 in the city I live in). 4 or 5$ for drinks sounds kinda expensve, but then again here its about 3 Euros which at the moment is 4$. Anyways all in all Im a bit surprised in a positive way, though I assumed that the hight cost of living was mostly due to the high rents and housing prices (and maybe gasoline compared to the rest of the U.S.).

I have another question: During which months can you go to the beach or to a public swimming pool or something? I mean..during which months is the weather good enough so you can take a sunbath without getting cold ;-)

thx guys

I spent the last year living in Newport Beach; here's my experience.

Gas is expensive, San Diego is generally the most expensive place in America to buy gasoline.  LA isn't a whole lot better.

I didn't notice much of a difference from Minneapolis in the cost of everyday items though.  Fast food is about the same, so were groceries.  The cost was not large enough for me to even notice.  A double double combo at In and Out was about $5, McDonalds was similar for combo meals.

I really think that the big difference in cost of living comes in transportation related expenses (gas, insurance, etc.), and in housing related expenses.

Also, it seemed as though the cost of living was actually higher in SD than LA...but I have no difinitive proof to back up that claim.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

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CA is "warm" pretty much year-round. The more Southern parts are of course warmer. So the San Diego area I would say most of the year you could get away with reason without being too cold. Of course that depends on what you define cold as. San Diego and such won't really get down below 50 (if that cold), coastal areas may get cold though due to the wind... but I would say within reason 60%+ of the time you could go out swimming & sunbathing. The water in my experiences is warm year round. (it's the Pacific after all...)

I don't know about prices atm, it's been about 3 years since I was back at my homestate of California.. :(

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I was going to post a new thread about cost of living in CA until I saw this one. Anyway I'm from Michigan where prices seem to be more down to earth. But as a digital artist, I know that California and the west cost offers many opportunities for creative individuals like me. I would love to live in CA to sieze upon said opportunities but the cost of living on the west cost sends shivers down my spine just like my home state in the middle of January. With a house I could land in here in MI costing about 130 grand going for about a half mill and up in LA or San Fransico, my Michigan salary would not cut the mustard for CA living. . So I'm wondering if pay scales of jobs in CA are different than the rest of the US to at least compasate a little for the higher cost of living.

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Pay scales are higher for white-collar, but not really much higher for blue-collar.

Having come from CA, the cost of living there is absolutely amazng (in a ridiculous way). Gas is expensive, property is EXTREMELY expensive, taxes are high, etc. At least auto insurance is more in line with the rest of the nation.

Having said that, California is an awesome place to live. Very beautifully mild weather, lots of different scenery and so much to do. You could conceivably (well, sort of) be on the beach in the morning and skiing that afternoon, and stop off for a round of golf on the way home the next day. I hated living there....but I loved living there. There's absolutely no place like it.

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Pay scales are higher for white-collar, but not really much higher for blue-collar.

Having come from CA, the cost of living there is absolutely amazng (in a ridiculous way). Gas is expensive, property is EXTREMELY expensive, taxes are high, etc. At least auto insurance is more in line with the rest of the nation.

Having said that, California is an awesome place to live. Very beautifully mild weather, lots of different C scenery and so much to do. You could conceivably (well, sort of) be on the beach in the morning and skiing that afternoon, and stop off for a round of golf on the way home the next day. I hated living there....but I loved living there. There's absolutely no place like it.

It really depends on the job; I really don't think it has anything to do with "white collar" versus "blue collar." Salaries here are higher than the national average, but it's no where near commensurate to the cost of living. Now, when I say the "cost of living," I really mean the cost of housing. Your costs will not go up when it comes to clothes, food, or movies. So that leaves the question, where should you live?

While there are affordable places to live in the L.A/Orange County/ San Diego area, I really wouldn't recommend any of them :(. I'm assuming that since you're posting on this site that you like urban areas, or at least cities with walkable neighborhoods. Any of the places that I would recommend to you would cost you about $500,000-$800,000 or more for a regular sized home. It's one of the beauties of our state; not many of us can afford to live here; we all live paycheck to paycheck, and the net savings for southern Californians is pretty pitiful. In/around L.A.: Long Beach (probably your best best for affordability) , Pasadena, Glendale, Silverlake, Los Feliz, North Hollywood/Studio City, Whittier. I'm not as familiar with San Diego, but I know the prices are the same. Also consider north Orange County: City of Orange, *parts* of Santa Ana, Costa Mesa, Fullerton, Placentia, Brea. Or if you like suburban hell full of maze-like curvilinear streets, try south Orange County (Irvine, Mission Viejo, Lake Forest).

Also, if you NEED a car to live; public transportation is not L.A., OC, or SD's strongpoint.

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