(Note: An earlier version of this post said that parking at the Getty was free after 5 p.m. It used to be free, but is actually now $10, a new policy implemented in Nov. 2011)
Are you the person who secretly doesn't put down enough cash for the check, leaving all your friends to scramble to cover it?
Don't worry -- we feel your pain. (A little.)
The Cheap Bastard's Guide to Los Angeles, which I wrote, details endless free and inexpensive opportunities for things like theater, concerts, museums, wine tastings, yoga classes, haircuts and massages.
Here are ten cheap bastard things to do from the book:
10. Get a makeover on the cheap.
Contact the Aveda Institute Los Angeles in Westwood for a high salon level haircut, color, make-up application, mani and pedi at just a fraction of the price. Haircuts start at $19, and color starts at $25. www.avedainstitutelosangeles.com.
9. Take a bus to the Getty.
The Getty is free except for the $15 parking fee, and parking used to be free after 5 p.m. but is now $10. You can save yourself from forking over the cash by taking the Metro
Rapid Bus 761 bus up Sepulveda. Then you've also saved the
8. Catch a flick for cut-rate prices.
With locations in Beverly Hills, Encino, Santa Monica, Pasadena and more, Laemmle Theatres offer $7 tickets on New Deal Tuesdays, $7 tickets for students after 6 p.m. on Sundays, $4.50 tickets for seniors on Wednesdays for any screening before 6 p.m., and free popcorn on Thursdays to premiere card members with paid admission. Sign up for the Sneak Preview Club and see free movies, or get your Premiere Card for $2 off tickets Monday through Thursday, $1 off tickets Friday through Sunday, and 20 percent off concessions. www.laemmle.com
Next: Catch a live show without spending tons of dough
7. Order theater tickets early.
Two to three weeks prior to a performance at the Mark Taper Forum, Ahmanson Theatre, or the Kirk Douglas Theatre, the Center Theatre Group (CTG), which controls all those places, offers $20 Hot Tix. Limited to 2 per person and based on availability, Hot Tix on-sale dates can be found on the CTG website or the show's production page, and purchased via phone or in person at the box office. www.centertheatregroup.com
6. See some television get made.
Have a friend, parent, or the in-laws visiting you and need to keep them entertained? A live taping of a talk show, game show, or sitcom is a quintessential experience. To book, visit www.audiencesunlimited.com
5. Enjoy some low-cost laughs.
Yes, there are a lot of alt-comedy venues in town where can go for free or $5. But you can also get into one of the big clubs for cheap at the 7 p.m. Sunday and Monday night Comedy Potluck show at The Comedy Store on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood. Free up until 9 p.m. with just a 2 drink minimum (though drinks range in price from $6 to $10). hollywood.thecomedystore.com
Next: Marked down live music.
4. See a band for a bargain.
At the The Roxy, which has hosted everyone from Miles Davis to Pearl Jam to Bruce Springsteen, most shows are just $15, with many of them costing less. theroxyonsunset.com
3. Nosh on upscale eats for less than a movie ticket.
Drago Centro, one of Jonathan Gold's 99 Essential restaurants, is an upscale place for dinner but has an all-day happy hour with bar bites for $3 to $10 and specialty wine, beer and cocktails for $5 to $7. You can even then take their shuffle service to Nokia Theatre or Music Center.
Next: Staying thin while keeping your wallet fat.
2. Stay thin while keeping your wallet fat.
Free yoga classes are offered several times a day in the grassy area at the North Fuller Entrance of Runyon Canyon. Stay up to date with class times on the "Runyon Canyon YOGA" page on Facebook. Bring a mat or towel. Donations welcome. runyoncanyon-losangeles.com
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1. Just drive.
And not necessarily along the coast -- head east to the San Gabriel Mountains and the Angeles Crest Scenic Byway, which will have you gasping at views of the Angeles National Forest and the Mojave Desert.
Ashley Wren Collins is the author of The Cheap Bastard's Guide to Los Angeles and Produce Your Own Damn Movie!. She also has an entertainment blog on The Huffington Post, and is an actor and producer. Follow her on Twitter at @wrenashley, find her on Facebook, or visit her at www.ashleywrencollins.com. For more arts news follow @LAWeeklyArts.