A free martini here, a low-cost back rub there…saving moula is good fun in the Bay Area, but it's nearly impossible to save a serious chunk of change on everyone's biggest expense – housing. We are not, however, totally without a few possibilities. Of course there's the roommate solution: Just how many people can you cram into a 3BR flat before the landlord catches on?
For more grown-up housing options, consider living in a more-affordable co-op – if you can get in, and if it's a good fit for your lifestyle (drum busting, raw-meat-eating nudists with horses need not apply). For a good list of houses in the Golden Gate (though most are in Berkeley), check out the San Francisco Bay Area Cooperative Housing Directory (http://housing.barringtoncollective.org/FrontPage).
To see if you qualify for subsidized housing based on age or income level, visit the Mayor's Office of Housing – http://www.sfgov.org/site/moh_index.asp?id=4489.