Value of $4.50 in Costa Rica

Value of $4.50 in Costa Rica for an U.S. expat in 2012

There are a lot and I mean a lot of things here in Costa Rica that are more expensive than in the U.S. Most of you can go to the local Walmart and pick up a new coffee maker for $9.99. Now it may be a basic Proctor Silex but you will get a good 4 years out of it. That exact same model with a small defect, like it’s really loud when brewing, will cost me anywhere from $25 to $35 dollars. It is because it is considered a convenience item. I could just heat up the water and pour it through the grounds in one of these bad boys (Sock Coffeemakers) and not have to buy one.

making coffee costa rica

Coffee Sock Contraptions

The gas to pick to pick up said coffee maker is at $5.50 a gallon right now and the car, our beloved 1990 Isuzu Trooper, gets about 13 miles to the gallon. We have discussed buying a smaller car to save on gas but cars are one of the most expensive items sold here so we could never see the benefit of the gas savings! Plus our Trooper runs really well and you never know what you might get when you purchase a used car, especially in a country where more people pay a bribe to get their license than actually take the test. It’s true, police have raids on license centers and make busts on the people behind the counter.

isuzu trooper

1990 Isuzu Trooper

 Value of $4.50

BUT what I can get for $4.50 is an amazing amount of stuff I really need.

5 Ears of corn
4 Cucumbers
1 Papaya
16 Tomatoes
20 Carrots


Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

We have most of this stuff in the ground right now but it is not ready to harvest yet.

I am including our Cucumber Sauce recipe for no reason what so ever. Once a week we make Gyro’s and this sauce is the icing.
1 Cup Plain Yogurt
1 Cup Sour Cream
1 Small Onion
4 Garlic Cloves (we use a lot)
1 Tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
1 Small Cucumber (peeled and deseeded)
1 Tbsp Lime Juice
I add everything, except the sour cream and yogurt, to the blender get it all nice and blended and then mix ALL together. I make it in the morning and put it in the fridge, so by the evening it’s all yummy!

4 comments on “Value of $4.50 in Costa Rica”

  1. Mabel Urena Reply

    I am so entertained with your adventure! I am from Costa Rica and right now I live on Michigan, the things you explain are so useful even to someone like me,away from homeland for a decade! Now that I feel so fed up with this weather and my lifestyle here I am again wishing an adventure like yours,to brake free for something better, I do not feel offended of anything that you comment,it sounds so true and with good intentions,since I have been away for so long this information is key on understanding some things from a diferent point of view,my family there is always so encouraging of my plans to return to C.R,I am just so glad that you are there first to give us the heads up,siempre para adelante, y para atras ni para agarrar impulso,mucha suerte.

  2. Pingback: Buying a Farm in Costa Rica | Things to Think About|10 Degrees Above

  3. Joseph Reply

    Hi Barry & Kim. Just found your site. I love it. My family and I will move to Costa Rica in 2014. Just saving $$$ ’til then. We are looking to live on the caribe side of CR. Question: Is there an equivalent of Lowes or Home Depot there? I think that’s what I’ll miss the most. That and pecans. Do they have pecans in CR? Thanks!

  4. nan Reply

    gyros…..yummmm I may have to hit Findley once and week in honor of you 🙂 Thanks for the recipe! Miss you both!

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