An example of typical eating and grocery shopping habits while living in Belize!

I have had a lot of questions recently about exactly how expensive it is to shop in Belize – especially in San Pedro, because it is an island. There is no doubt that imported foods are very expensive in Belize – but as you figure out what is a good value and what you can live without, it becomes a lot more reasonable! You do have to change your cooking and eating habits somewhat in living here, and if you are only here for a short visit, and looking for some US foods, you might think it is very expensive. For a short visit, you don’t have to commit to changes in your eating, for great value – just enjoy the vast array of amazing street food options and local foods that are very reasonably priced – chicken, rice and beans, and burritos and tacos of all sorts can be found for $5us or less. Most restaurants have great specials and/or a few local dishes on the menu that are much lower priced.So yesterday I went to the farmer’s market stand and got the following:

-1 head cabbage
-2 heads iceberg lettuce
-3 potatoes
-1 cucumber
-1 carrot
-4 purple onions
-9 habaneros
-1 bunch cilantro
-5 roma tomatoes
-3 green peppers
Total: $15usd

Then I stopped by Pollo Feliz where I bought 2 huge rotisserie chickens, which come with a huge stack of homemade corn tortillas and a bunch of homemade pico de gallo. This was $20usd.

With this, and some white vinegar, mayo, shredded cheese, milk, butter, and salad dressing that I had on hand, I was able to make several days of meals for two people. The first dinner was chicken with mashed potatoes, cole slaw, and dinner salad. I also made Belizean pickled onions (habaneros and onions boiled with white vinegar and then a touch of Splenda – put it on everything!) There were several lunches of chicken tacos with the pico, corn tortillas, and shredded cheese. You can also put chicken on a dinner salad with this combination. This is approximately enough for a few days of meals for most people. (I also boiled a dozen eggs which is a cheap breakfast.) With the eggs and other ingredients, the total for two people to eat for a few days was less than $50usd. And this is all whole, natural food that wasn’t difficult to prepare, and you can eat this combination a LOT without getting tired of it!

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Laura Diffendal

Laura and her husband David purchased a half acre on the Caribbean Sea in 2014, in Placencia, Belize. They have built their own version of paradise, and they now operate the only boutique, adults-only microresort, walking distance to everything in the village. Caribbean Beach Cabanas was rated the 2017 Small Hotel of the Year by the Belize Tourism Board, and was featured on HGTV's Beachfront Bargain Hunt. You can visit their site at www.caribbeanbeachcabanas.com. In April of 2018, they opened their second boutique hotel, www.purboutiquecabanas.com, in Ambergris Caye!

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