It cost what?

A lot of people have been asking us what are the prices on things down here and what are the cost of the essientals. Like most places the cost of local services and products are relativily inexpensive as opposed to imported items. Of course if you shop around you will find who has the best prices and if you frequent them for a while they will start to give you discounts on their merchandise. Sometimes at first glance it seems like the prices here are a little high because the Belizean dollar is 2-1 based on the US dollar. For ease of understanding here I will base everything in US prices.



A trip to the open air market will get you enough of the freshest fruits and veggies you’ve ever seen for a week for around $10. Dairy products are what I would call average price of what you would find in the states and most everything you can think of they will have at one place or another. Overall meat prices are lower than you would find in the states and the quality is very good. T-bone steaks at the butcher run about $5.00/lb. and chicken, pork and lamb are also inexpensive. Our first grill night here we splurged and picked up two 30-day aged prime ribeye steaks and they set us back $15.00/lb. Delicious steaks but we will have to save those cuts for special ocassions.


We are trying hard not to use any canned or boxed food, but somethings you just can’t avoid. Most, but definently not all, food items can be found in Belize, but you will have to shop around or maybe even learn to substitute certain ingredients when needed. There are a lot of states brands available, but they tend to be on the expensive side. Brands found in Mexico or other off brands tend to be a lot cheaper. For instance we just bought a big box of off brand corn flakes for $2.00 (fruit every day for breakfast is great, but sometime you just need a little crunch). We have found things in the grocery stores that we never thought we would see here such as, Spaghetti-O’s, Slim Jims, canned squeeze cheese, Kraft Mac Cheese, Lipton tea bags and so much more. We have even found one store that imports Members Mark brand from Sam’s Club, but of course all these items come with a premium price that is almost double of what you would pay in the states. Although it is good to know that if I ever have a break down and need my can of squeeze cheese, it is available. Now I just have to look for Chicken ‘n Bisket crackers and I’ll be set. Basicily food prices here are very reasonable if you shop around and not just go to the main grocery stores looking for the name brands you are used to. Grocery shopping here is always an adventure trying to remember who and where you saw those certain items that you need. And it will usually take a few hours by the time you go to the butcher, fruit market, baker and then finish it up at the grocery store, plus chit chatting to everyone along the way.


Like anywhere going out to eat can be fairly expensive or almost nothing at all. Most lunches with chicken, burger, tacos, etc and a juice or soda will usuall set you back $5-$7. A real good dinner with a couple of beers will usually be around $10-$15. Of course meals can be found even cheaper and a lot more expensive depending on where you go and what you have. And just about any cuisine you can imagine can be found here in Belize.



Happy Hour stuff

Local beer is usually $2.00 in most restaurants and the few imported beers they do have are usually double of that. For happy hour you can usually find buckets of seven Belikin beers on ice for $11.


Basic rum drinks at happy hour I’ve seen for $1.25 and the speciality drinks up to about $10.00.  Of course the speciality drinks are usually a work of art with colored liquors and fruit carved animals. Local rum is definently the cheapest hard liquor to buy as all the others have to be imported and are stuck with a big duty tax. I have seen just about all types of liquor available here such as Jack Daniels, Grey Goose, Southern Comfort, Patron Tequila and everything else, it’s just that they get premium prices for them. If you head out for happy hour and stick to local beers and rum then at the end of the night your wallet will be happy too. As for buying drinks and bringing them home, we go directly to the beer distributer and trade in our empties for full ones, which end up costing about $1.25 a piece. I assume you have to go to the grocery store to buy hard liquor and I believe they are all about the same prices. There are duty free stores at the borders and airport where liquor is a lot cheaper. If you fly in, stop at the duty free store and grab a couple of cheap bottles and then go to the line that says something to declare and declare it, there is usually no one in that line and you get through a lot faster.


Services and such

I’ve said before that our water bill is $5.00 per month for unlimited use. They were going to install meters for all users, but the locals fought it so for now… no meters. Everyone we have talked to says that our village has the best water in the whole country and we beleive it. We have been drinking it since day one without any problems and it is really good water. Our property taxes are a total of $5.00 per year, which is unheard of. Our power bill has been very minimal so far, but after talking to other people who live here they say it should rarely be over $100 when we are in the bigger house running everything. Fuel here is expensive, diesel is around $5.00 gal and gas is around $5.75 gal. Since our truck is diesel and gets 30-32 per gallon, it’s not really that bad.

We had bought some drapes that were way too long for what we needed, but we put a clothes pin on the bottom and made them work. Then we find out from Ruben that his neighbor has a sewing machine and can fix them. She cut the drapes to length and double hemmed them, then they were delivered back to us all for $2.50. We saved the materiaI from the drapes to have our chairs upholstered and we can’t wait to see how much that will cost. I am putting up a shelf so that we can have a TV and DVD player for a little entertainment. We stopped at a small local wood shop to see if he has a piece of wood that is 1” x 8” x 30” and I tell him just something close it doesn’t need to be exactly that size. This very nice man cuts me a piece of beautiful hardwood to size and then planes it and sands it all while we wait and he only wants $3.00. He is an incredible wood worker and cabinet maker and we may use him to do our kitchen and doors when needed.


That’s a little summary of some of our expenses down here, hope this gives everyone an idea of some of the prices in Belize.

5 thoughts on “It cost what?”

  1. Wow! sounds very reasonable to live there. Looks like you don’t have to sacrifice much…just make a few adjustments.

    1. Everyday life is very affordable if you watch yourself. Once all the construction is done we will finally settle into a more comfortable lifestyle.

  2. That piece of wood is absolutely gorgeous. I can’t believe you got that plus labor for $3. Unreal!

  3. Hi!
    I finally got back in to make comments.
    Lots of information. What about Amazon?

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