Port Of Spain - Post Report Question and Answers
How would you describe the availability and cost of groceries and household supplies relative to your home country?
Very expensive here. Differential recently went up to 20%, and that with the COLA make the place much more reasonable. Groceries are probably 20-30% more expensive that in the DMV. There is a Costco-like store here that sells many Kirkland brand products which makes things more affordable if you buy in bulk. Most houses have a freezer or extra refrigerator in the garage, so buying in bulk is okay. - Aug 2021
Food for the most part is expensive. Most items are imported. T and T could do a LOT more in terms of growing own products, but they don't. We supplement via Amazon and other online groceries, but food is NOT cheap here. - Mar 2019
The cost of groceries is slightly higher than that found in the U.S. Vegetables and fruits are best purchased at markets, where prices and quality are typically superior. Cleaning supplies are widely available, but U.S. brands are more expensive. - Apr 2017
Groceries in Trinidad are mostly imported which mean they cost a great deal more than what you would pay in the U.S. A small container of blueberries for example (imported from the U.S.) is about $7, strawberries are around $9. We spend nearly double in Trinidad than we do in the U.S.
Sometimes things can be very hard to find and the selection will vary from week to week. It is always good to stock up on a favorite item when you find it because it won't be available when you "need" it.
We shop at 2 speciality import meat stores and everything is frozen (and expensive). There is a price mart (similar to Sams/Costco) that has fresh milk and coffee creamer and other items for less than the grocery store chains. We also buy all of our water (drinking and cooking) in the 5 gallon size. Oh, and don't expect to find any low- or fat-free items. They don't exist. The only milk we can get that isn't shelf-stable is imported from the US and whole/vitamin D milk. It costs about $17 a gallon. - Aug 2016
expensive. COLA does not cover the expenses. - May 2016
Most items are imported, therefore they are very expensive. Milk and imported fruits/vegetables are triple the price in the U.S. There is a Pricesmart here, which is similar to Costco, where you can get everything you need for cleaning and household supplies. - Jun 2015
Groceries are very expensive. A carton of strawberries is US$8, milk is US$14, a box of cereal is no less than US$5 and a yogurt is US$1.25. I spend a fortune! However, some things are cheap like bread and certain veggies. You can get a lot of familiar brands at the grocery store but you will pay a lot. Most people buy their meat from a store called Blooms where everything is frozen and shipped in from the U.S. It is not too pricey and the quality is ok. I would say shopping in general is terrible. Everything is double or triple the price and the quality stinks. You don't get inspired to cook anything when you food shop-you just get your things and get out! - May 2015
Everything is about 30% more expensive. Forget about eating strawberries and cherries. Apples run about US$1 each apple. You'll spend most of your money on food. Gas is cheap but there are not many places to drive on such a small island. - Aug 2014
Expensive and there's nowhere else to go. I travel outside of Port of Spain for food because it's slightly cheaper, but only slightly and I like the fresh air drive. - Dec 2013
Groceries were more expensive than in the U.S., as everything is imported. - Oct 2012
Groceries cost more than in the States - maybe +50%Local produce is very good and a good value. - Feb 2011
VERY expensive, probably double or triple US prices. - Jan 2011
Expensive. - May 2010
Most expats use Hi-Lo Grocery or PriceSmart (just like Costco). Food here is more expensive than in the U.S., as everything is imported. - Nov 2009
Groceries are relatively expensive, simply because Trinidad hardly grows anything any more; everything is imported. The stores are full of California fruits and veggies!! The supermarket selection is sporadic and not as consistently good as on some other islands: however, smaller markets such as Malabar Farms, Adam's Bagels, Peppercorns, and De Freitas Meats can make up the deficiences. There are several branches of the international discount store Price Smart and they have good prices on their typical jumbo sizes. There are very limited gas stations, surprising in an oil nation, and long lines. Household help is hard to find, but not expensive if you can find someone to do it. - Mar 2008