One thing you can do is to watch the weather. Then you can be like my cheapo millionaire pals and never have to buy expensive outdoor wear like Gore-tex and polyester fabrics. Then you can use K-mart stuff, pants for $5 and stuff like that. I used to browse Army surplus and Salvation Army, and watch for clearance sales at the local ski shop. You can get around to search for deals, at least before the Net. There's people who decide they don't like climbing and all, the aware will be by to take advantage of such give-aways. Maybe the MLC SC thought that they'd pick up a lot of used gear, cheap, when they got rid of me, a distress sale of sorts.
Used to be good food deals at places, I still collect and use coupons. 2 for 1 stuff. Search the main drag of the towns that you pass through, there's ads for food deals and even bargain lodging. Never impulse buy, ever.
You can save in electronic goodies, no need to be Net disenabled. There's big discount houses to sell loss leaders. Ditto with supermarket items.
There were some L.A. people who lived freely and/or inexpensively, although most cannot stand it for more than a season. Wash (no soap) in streams and lakes, there are free shower ops in places, and you can bum food off some people in the bc. Backpackers that don't wish to carry out so much extra food, and are just sick from being in the bc.
You can learn from some homeless people, though mostly they collect welfare and have issues, and you can live in a visible way or not. I used to hitchhike to avoid gas and car expenses, it's amazing, or used to be, how people would help you out.
Best is to get assistance and to get a job. Then you can be a worthless sort of employee moving from workplace to workplace, like some MLC SC (by them), if that is what you so truly are. I was only a minimum wage worker when I did the Muir Trail, living better than many counterculture types I met along the way (1970's). Back then, 1.45/hr would get you enough to eep if you wanted badly enough.