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Paul Mayer of Vallarta Food Tours – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Fresh vegetables in a Puerto Vallarta market – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingFood in the markets of Puerto Vallarta is much less than it is in the States. I’ve been going to the same local market here for 6 years and I get as much as I possibly can for a week, which would be two huge bags around 8 kilos (17.6 pounds) each and I don’t think I pay more than 200 pesos ($11). From that, we make my juices. As an example, carrots are 14 pesos per kilo (about 31 cents per pound), tomatoes are around 18 to 20 pesos per kilo (about 40 cents per pound) so it’s hard to spend more than 200 pesos ($11) for a family of four just for vegetables. This is not like a regular supermarket in the US. This is a farmers’ market where the produce comes in and where the fishermen go and sell their catch. Bigger cities have much bigger farmers’ markets. For seafood, it’s the same thing. We live on a seafood port. Tuna runs about $8 per kilo (around $3.60 per pound). A red snapper is usually 130 per kilo (around $2.85 per pound). It’s extremely reasonable. The only thing that has gone up here is shrimp, but everything else is very cheap.
 
There is a supermarket right across the street from my place. If you were to go to a supermarket, it’s still super cheap. It may be 10% more than the price in the farmers’ markets but it won’t be more than that. The most expensive here is Costco because that’s where you get the “pretty food”. The bananas are perfect and the tomatoes look a certain way. The food that you get from the farmers’ market do not look as nice so I call them “ugly food”. They are not bad. They have the same quality as the ones in the US but they just do not look like the ones you will see in the big supermarkets. The food in the farmers’ markets is good.  I think it was just in the last 20 years that people figured that these foods need to look a certain way to be nice to the eyes, which is why you see the pretty food you see in stores like Costco.
 
Eggs usually are about 25 pesos a dozen (around $1.50). At the market where we go, they have some organic eggs for sale, which cost about 4 pesos each (about 22 cents). The bread here is usually hard bread to make bolillos, which is what they use to make the sandwiches. Bolillos are crusty on the outside and tender on the inside. They are not like the regular sliced bread that we have. The sliced bread probably costs a little more because that is not the typical bread that you will see here, though the price is less than in the US. The last time I went to Costco was when we were making a little picnic for a bunch of kids and it cost $2 for about 12 rolls of sandwiches. It’s really cheap.
 
(Fresh vegetables for sale in market in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, pictured.)
Michael Keller of Guardian Insurance Mexico – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Mexican spicy beer cocktail with shrimp – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingThere's a Walmart, a Costco, and a Sam's Club for food here in Puerto Vallarta. I can get by with buying food between 500 Mexican pesos and 1,000 pesos (US $27 to $55) a month. Those are tourist places so it's a little more expensive to buy food in these places than in non-tourist stores. For example, if you go to the open air markets that are mainly used by the Mexican nationals, you can buy food for a lot less.  One of my co-workers spends 200 pesos to 300 pesos ($11 to $16) for himself every couple of weeks on food that he eats at home.
 
Food costs in the Walmarts and Sam's Clubs in Puerto Vallarta are very similar to prices generally in the States, which comes as a surprise to a lot of people that move down here to Mexico. They think they're going to Mexico and everything's going to be so much cheaper. It's more than just food. It was really a wake up call for me that some things are pretty similar in price in Mexico compared to what they are up in the States. Food purchased in places like Walmart and Sam’s Clubs is one of them. Electronics is another one. 
 
Some of the open air markets in Puerto Vallarta are in little corner stores and little buildings, and some of them are just booths. They're even selling out of their vans or their cars all kinds fruits, breads, meat, cheese, or tortillas. You can go to the open air market and get pretty much anything that you want. Anything you buy in an open air market will be a lot cheaper, but it will all be naturally grown products. It won't be brand-named things that you would find in Walmart.
 
In terms of price, a gallon of milk may be 20 pesos ($1). For fruit, you buy by the kilo (2.2 pounds), and it depends on the fruit that you're buying, but the price could be 25 pesos to 75 pesos per kilo ($0.77 to $1.86 per pound) of fruit. A kilo of tortillas is 10 pesos ($0.25 per pound). It's pretty much the cheapest thing that you can find in Mexico. Eggs in the open air market are priced pretty similar to what they are in Walmart. Bread is pretty cheap. You don't really get it by the loaf. You just get it in a big roll like a roll for a sandwich, but five times bigger, which costs 20 pesos to 30 pesos ($1 to $1.50). It's all pretty cheap.
 
You can go to the open air markets for the fruits, vegetables, bread, and other stuff and then go to Walmart for coffee, meat, chips, juice, and similar items. 
 
Overall, the cost of food in Puerto Vallarta compared to the US definitely saves you some money. In Puerto Vallarta, I'm spending 500 pesos to 600 pesos ($27 to $33). That's less than $50. So yes, you definitely save a decent amount of money.
 
(Mexican spicy beer cocktail with shrimp, pictured.  Also known as Michelada con camarones-- Michelada with shrimp)

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