Social Groups

Joining Meetup.com is a great way to find people nearby who are interested in the same things as you. Hiking clubs, movie groups, gaming, volunteerism, networking, and more.

Check out this website for some tips on writing your own novel, then find a local writer’s group to join.

Here are a few interesting or unique groups that meet in LA County

South Bay: Palos Verdes Amateur Radio Club


Education & Skills


  • Home Depot – Offers free home improvement workshops at some locations.
  • Groupon – Online classes at $5 each for skills such as event planning, cake decorating, sign language, and more.

Free ESL & High School Prep

There are some places in LA that offer free ESL courses, as well as free classes to help adult prepare for taking GED tests or improve their reading skills. These courses can help with citizenship and immigration too.

Literacy Services


  • BBC Language Tools – Free audio and video tools for 40 languages.
  • Duolingo – Free Web-Based or Smartphone App teaching 20 languages.

Free Online Courses

It may not be for college credit, but these courses are free, and may come in handy in the future. Also, learning a new subject can broaden your interests and connect you with new people who have that in common.

  • Khan Academy – Free online courses in history, math, art, computer programming, and more.
  • MIT’s OpenCourseWare – More than 2,200 courses available for free.
  • Carnegie Mellon Open Learning Initiative – Free courses in math, science, language and more. Learn at your own pace.
  • Tuts+ – Free online tutorials.
  • FutureLearn – Free online courses in history, health, literature, arts & media, and more. Like a traditional school, there are set start and end dates for each course.
  • edX – Computer programming, computer science, digital marketing, and more. Also follows the traditional school model of set start and end dates for classes.


Health & Wellness


You don’t need a gym membership to improve your health. Commit to walking for 30 minutes a day around your neighborhood.

Los Angeles County is lucky to have many famous hiking trails from Runyon Canyon to the hidden Sunken City. Visit LAMountains.com for a listing of parks and hiking trails in your area. Get some exercise and enjoy the pretty landscapes Southern California has to offer!

For those who do want an affordable gym membership look into Planet Fitness or Crunch Gym that are about $10 per month, and may offer free or low-cost training sessions to members.


Eating at home can be a great way to save money, so that you can use that money for future goals. It’s also a great way to track what you eat, and is better for your overall health. Here are some cooking resources that will inspire you to eat at home.

Some farmers markets will take CalFresh (food stamps). You can check this Farmers’ Market Finder website to find one near you. Some even offer MarketMatch where CalFresh users get extra tokens or vouchers to use on fresh produce in the market.

If you do find yourself out in the city and need to grab a small meal on a budget, check out this TimeOut listing of several different types of food for $10 or under.

Find a community garden in Los Angeles: LA Garden Council


Coloring is not just for kids anymore. Adults all over are coloring as a way to lower stress and anxiety, and increase creativity. You can download free coloring pages here and print them cheaply at the public library if you don’t have a printer.

Fragrant Heart offers free audio meditations and guides to get started.

UCLA offers Free Drop-in Meditations in Los Angeles and Santa Monica, including one in Spanish on Wednesdays.

TED.com offers hours of inspirational and educational videos with their world famous free TED Talks. About 15-20 minutes each, and a great way to gain a new view of the world and yourself.


Money Management

Penny Hoarder is a great resource of coupons, budgeting tools, and advice. Everything from job advice, free giveaways, and how to make your laptop last longer.

Mint is a great free resource for tracking bill payments, creating budgets, and setting savings goals.

In California, if you’re on the SNAP food program you can sign-up for a free cell phone through SafeLink.

Discount internet plans are also available for food stamp and SSI recipients from AT&T or Cox service providers. Check websites for information and requirements.



Updated November 23, 2016