San Francisco may have some of the highest rents in the nation, but there certainly are ways to survive (loosely speaking) on a budget. Some stores sell inexpensive items — both new and used — and if you know where to look, you can find other things to buy or do on the cheap. There are several websites dedicated to listing information about swap meets, drink specials and food-related events. One of the best resources for finding used items is craigslist.
Also, be sure to check out fun free things to do in San Francisco!
The word "cheap" is subjective, but the list below should meet everyone's idea of life on a budget. Don't forget to check out thrift stores for information about used items.