One of the reasons we moved back home was to be closer to not just our families and friends but to everything else.

At the last place we lived in, a more rural area, we had to drive at least 10-15 minutes to Costco, Trader Joe’s, natural food store, and an Asian grocery store.

But the rent was very affordable, which is why we stayed as long as we did.

Now we live minutes away from the city.

And here’s why I left my heart in San Francisco.


1. We live less than 5 minutes from our favorite grocery stores – Trader Joe’s, 2 Costco’s, Safeway, natural food store, farmers markets, and several Asian grocery stores.

Soon, Sprouts will be nearby too!

I know this may not sound like a huge deal for some that have to drive much farther, but it’s a big deal for me, as someone who grew up in a big city (San Francisco).

I can’t emphasize how important it is for us to live close to everything. It means that if I run out of something, it’s easy to go out to get it and it won’t take a big chunk of time or gas.

Most of my errands involve taking my daughter along so convenience is key or I won’t do it.

Living close to an Asian grocery store means that I can get my hard to find Asian vegetables and noodles easily. If you’ve read my ebook, Eating Gluten-Free on a Budget, you’ll know that Asian grocery stores are my go-to for gluten-free food.

2. We’re also close to CVS, Walgreens, Dollar Tree, Grocery Outlet, 3 Targets, and many others… except Walmart.

Being close to discount stores means it’s easy to compare prices and get the best deal.

3. The weather is mild here.

Where we previously lived, the summers were in the 80’s and 90’s. That meant that the AC had to be turned on for long periods of time and our electric bill would rise substantially during the summer.

Now that we live closer to San Francisco, the weather ranges from 40’s to 60’s. Occasionally, we’ll have a few days a year where it gets to 80 degrees.

4. San Francisco is minutes away.

I love San Francisco, being that I’m a native San Franciscan. There are so many events going on during any given weekend.

With so many beautiful places to visit in the city, it’s hard to get bored. Golden Gate Park (the most visited park in the US), Fisherman’s Wharf, Alcatraz, The Crookedest Street, The Ferry Building, Downtown, Union Square, Golden Gate Bridge, and Haight Street are some of the top destinations.


1. We’re also close to countless exceptional restaurants, which can be dangerous on our budget!

We’re foodies and are willing to save in other areas so we can enjoy our favorite foods. This can be good and bad.

2. You have to BYOB (bring your own bag) everywhere you go! I’m not kidding!

It’s a new law in the San Francisco Bay Area, except Contra Costa, which is where we used to live. We were able to get free bags in our old county. This new law was designed to curb the plastic bag waste.

Whether it’s Trader Joe’s, CVS, or Target, you must bring your own bag or you’ll be charged 10 cents per bag! As a frugal person, I hate this because 90% of the time, I forget to bring my bags!

On each grocery visit, I need at least 3 bags to carry my groceries so that adds up to 30 cents each time!

3. Beware of the fog.

Fog can be a good or bad thing. My husband loves the fog because it keeps the temperature cooler.

However, fog can make driving difficult and limits visibility especially at night.

Don’t let the sunny blue skies that are featured in the photos of San Francisco fool you. Warm, sunny days are rare in San Francisco.

If you ever come visit our beautiful city, bring layers and a warm knit hat. The weather may be cold one day and hot the next. But it’s cold most of the time.

You can always tell who the tourists are because they are the ones who wear short sleeves and shorts in chilly weather. Natives wear knit hats when it’s cold.

4. All McDonald’s in San Francisco have no Happy Meal toys. 

We don’t eat much at McD’s. But for those who do and visit San Francisco, Happy Meal toys are banned in San Francisco.

When you order a Happy Meal, you won’t receive any toys courtesy of a law that was written to curb obesity in children. Instead, drive to nearby Daly City to get your Happy Meal toys.

On a positive note, it’s a dream come true to live here again. And I’m very thankful for this.

There’s a natural sense of comfort when I drive around here, knowing that I’ll never get lost or need GPS. My husband and I missed living here.

I’m also hoping that being back here will improve my health as well.

Have you visited San Francisco? What did you think?