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Thursday, May 21, 2015

A Glimpse of Some Costs of Living Merida, Mexico

Here's is a glimpse of some of the costs of living in Merida, Mexico (in pesos unless noted).

3100.00     1 Bedroom apartment, furnished with wifi, water, trash, & parking*
260.00         Electric bill for 2 months (bill varies upon usage)

7.00             Public Bus fare - one way
40.00           Short cab ride within one zone

Food Costs:
Below is a table of sample food prices. I am unable to fine tune my grocery prices by comparison shopping at a variety of grocery stores and markets because I do not have a car and have mobility issues.

So, my choices are nearby tiendas (mom and pop stores), Walmart, and a Mexican grocery store. In centro, there is a Mexican food market where prices are less, plus north of centro are Sam's Club and Costco as well as other grocery stores.

Product selection varies from source to source. I tend to go to the larger grocery stores because they have many of the items I want like Ginger ale.

Eating Out:
As with any city, you have a wide range of cuisines and costs. I can go to a nearby Italian restaurant and have a wonderful dinner for $150-$250 including a beverage, dessert and tip. But, mostly I go to a variety of cafes where I can have a great meal with a beverage from about $70.00-$120.00 including tip. (Note, I tip 20%.)

Plus, there are many cafes and economica cocinas that offer Servico a Domicilio. I recommend this highly for lunch at least once a week because I can usually make two meals out of one and the cost is reasonable. Below a lunch delivered by Cafe de Origen for $70 (including tip). The meal includes: main dish, rice, salad, soup, corn tortillas, dressings/sauces and a real fruit juice beverage.

Cafe de Origen's chef creates wonderful menu choices with a vegetarian influence and uses delicate seasonings and sauces.

Phone Service:
I use Magic Jack and Skype for international calls. Magic Jack's plans have changed but costs roughly $50.00US a year for service. I add $25.00US to Skype about once a year depending on usage.

In Merida, you buy a physical cell phone from various telephone companies and add pesos for a pay-as-you-go service. Calls are about $1peso for a voice minute or a text message. There are monthly plans, but I don't have the costs on those, yet. I don't use my cell that much, but I pay about $100.00 pesos about every two months only to preserve my remaining minutes. Cell phone service is something I am still investigating.

Lavenderia Services:
I get my clothes, linens, towels etc. washed, dried, folded and bagged about once a month for $120-$240 depending on weight and type of items.

Pharmacies and Doctor's Visits:
Below are sample costs for some common pharmacy items:

44.00     Natural tears, generic
29.11     Aspirin, 100mg (child)
46.40     Ibuprofen, 400mg
52.50     Ibuprofen, 200mg
118.00   Adult vitamins
60.00     Eco Bug Spray

As with food shopping, farmacias are plentiful in Merida including Farmacias de Similares which sells generics. It pays to shop around for medicines not just for price but availability.

Doctor's visits usually cost about $500.00-$700.00.

Now, I could live cheaper but feel I have found a happy medium between cost and comfort.

*If you rent or own a home in Merida, you pay for water, internet, and trash services.

Note: I will update this post over time to reflect changes, more items and costs.

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