San Jose - Post Report Question and Answers

How would you describe the availability and cost of groceries and household supplies relative to your home country?

Good. The country has Walmart and PriceSmart, as well as local chains that carry US products. Farmers markets are the best for fresh produce. Cost of food is more expensive than in the US, but not too bad. - Sep 2020

Expensive, or at least not as cheap as one would have hoped. Amazon compensates some, as do the fresh fruit and vegetable markets - Jul 2018

Super expensive. Think midtown Manhattan prices. Avocados are roughly $9 per kilo right now. Quality is also generally not that great. Availability of imported things is also spotty. Amazon will be your best friend. - Dec 2016

Prices here are higher than any other developing country I've experienced. It's really shocking. Expect to pay the same or somewhat more than you would in the U.S. Fruits are cheaper; anything imported, like U.S. brands, is much more expensive. - Feb 2016

Widely available and surprisingly expensive. Attention: This is not a cheap post. If you can live on beans, rice and fresh fruits and vegetables at home, then you won't spend too much. If you want decent meat, cereal, bread, coffee, beer... then it adds up quickly. Cheese, for example, is absurdly priced. You might pay US$10 for a small block of mediocre cheddar. The "cheap" national lager costs more than US$1 per 12 ounce can in the supermarket -- and is no cheaper in quantity. Meat can be expensive and is usually not great. - Apr 2014

HIGH - for my family of 5 we average $1000 plus a month in groceries, school lunches, embassy lunches, and once-a-week dining out. Granted, we do maintain a diet of many American products, but we also spend a lot of money buying fresh produce. We tend to eat a lot of it, and it spoils quickly because of the humidity & heat. I order almost all my paper goods & cleaning supplies through Amazon or WalMart due to the double or triple prices locally. - Jun 2013

You can find almost all the U.S. products here for a hefty price. We order most of our stuff through Amazon. We have found some items here are triple the price compared to the states. - Aug 2011

Cheap for fruits and vegetables. If you want American/European products it is of course, more expensive. - Feb 2010

Cheap and plentiful fruits and produce, rice and beans. If you buy American/Euro goods at Automercado, expect to pay. - Jul 2008

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