July 26, 2011 – My main reason for wanting to move to Costa Rica was because of the weather while the definitive factor for buy property in Costa Rica was because of how much money I could save in Costa Rica.
After living over 5 years in Costa Rica on a limited budget, I have come to adopt the Tico mentality in terms of shopping, in short I am used to paying low prices in Costa Rica when it comes to buying food, clothes and household items.
This being said, I am very aware of any price changes and I am always out looking to saving when it comes to shopping and use every weapon in my arsenal to find shopping bargains in Costa Rica.
The number one way to find a shopping bargain is to simply walk the small neighborhoods and go to the local ferias (markets).
Much of the items you will find in the ferias is cheap and you just have to watch out for the quality of the item you want to purchase and weigh the pros and the cons.
For example, you may find a family size tube of brand name toothpaste for about $1 from one of the street vendor but it may not actually do the same job as the same toothpaste you might find at Wal-Mart(Yes Costa Rica has Wal-Mart).
In my case, toothpaste is toothpaste and it seems to clean my teeth fairly well so I do not mind at all and we are talking about a 150% saving which adds up when you add up all of the other items that I purchase on a monthly basis.
Another way that I found is great for saving money is online via the internet. Costa Rica actually has quite a number of websites where you can find Costa Rica discounts, coupons, promotions and even Costa Rica auctions.
Online shopping has also become easier because it is more common to see stores that will let you order items from the other countries and have the item purchased sent to their mailbox. The popularity of private mailbox companies like Jetbox has also helped one’s ability to save money by shopping online as you are able to have the item shipped directly to your mailbox.