Cost Of Living In Cabo

So, is it really cheaper here?
BY: ANITA BREAK

There was a recent article in the GG by Bill Foldes entitled “Is it cheaper to live in Mexico than the US ?”. There were lots of percentage ratios presented, and general savings in different áreas in Mexico were pointed out. I enjoyed the article but felt there was no local first person accounting. Here I present what I pay living in Cabo.

My four bedroom home in Houston cost me 87K, 30 years ago. I was paying around 5K in property taxes.

Twenty years ago I bought my property about six miles out of downtown Cabo for $125,000. today it`s worth about 250K. “Casa Santa Fe” is a three story and looks like it should be in New Mexico. It was the first home I looked at, and I looked at it in the evening and went back the next morning and bought it. I won´t say, I stole it, but , I made a great deal and haven´t regretted it since.

My 2018 house taxes were figured at  $113. USD. But , because I have a senior citizen card, I got a 50% discount. You have got to love the property taxes here. Crappy education and pot holes aside, we get away with paying very little 

That Senior citizen card also gets me half off my wáter bill and drivers license renewal.

Okay, so property taxes are low, but, what about utilities. My electric bill came last week and I would have paid  $21.83. But that was for two months. If you compare that with yours, and doubt mine, remember electrictiy costs are tiered, with your Gringo neighborhoods paying way more than us in the barrio.

How about cooking gas? I get a 35 kilo tank (delivered and installed) for $44 which lasts in the summer for five months (wáter heater is shut-off) so, gas costs me $8.89 per month. In the winter time when the wáter heater is on I only get four months for $11.

Hey! Lets not forget the wáter bill I have exstensive greenery on a 1408 square meter lot. (plants, flowers, palms and trees) and I wáter twice a week for one to one and a half hours. With that being said, my wáter bill is around 100 pesos or $5.50 per month.

How about eating out? I went to Solomon´s Landing restaurant last week and sat at the bar, next to two of my pals. They both had the filet mignon dinner with loaded baked potato and asparagus with green beans at $29.00 total for both. One was using his “Passport Card” which makes it two for the price of one. So, with each paying half, it comes to $14.50. The Passport card cost 80 bucks, good for a year, and up to six  people can use it at a seating. (www.loscabospsport.com_

My favorite breakfast on the cheap is the cafetería at Soriana´s grocery store. The big box store opens at 7:00 am but, not till 7:30am. is the steam table completely filled and ready to go. I order the desayuno, which is a large coffee pastry, five tortillas, frijoles, chilaquiles, and scrambled eggs with ham chunks. You get 3-4 eggs (bright yellow, no milk) and so chunky, you have to break them up with a knife.

I have some wrapped to go for the the second morning. So, initially my cost is $2.50 USD, (tax included and no tipping) But, with three meals, it breaks down to 83 cents a meal.

For a more bucks-up experience go to Villa Serena. Located on a bluff overlooking the ocean in a green area with those views to die for. They have two breakfast specials that are inexpensive at a Little more than $3. You get rasion toast, egg dishes with black frijoles in a pastry shell, hash browns and pico de gallo. Or you can splurge on the the shrimp omlette at 135 pesos or 7.50 usd.

Remember though, coffee will kill you. Most restaurants charge two to three dollars. I order a glass of ice wáter because it´s complimentary at all restaurants. However; bottled wáter is the same price as coffe or a little lower. Watch out for Fuji Brand of wáter. Some places Will bring this premium Brand without asking becausse Fiji puts them on commission. It is way way over priced. I mean, how good can wáter taste?

And how are the prices at Wal-Mart, Chedraui, La Comer and Soriana ( Mexican big box stores). Meat is expensive, along with canned goods or anything in boxes, made in the US.

I recently saw some jeans in Soriana grocery store for $7. When I took them to the check out, I was floored, when they told me, there was an additional discount (today only of 60% (I kid you not). So, the jeans cost me $2.63. Laundering and pressing them costs me $2.33.

I drink Schwepps Ginger Ale for 53 cents a liter. A large tube of crest toothpaste is $1.11.

 Is it expensive to go out? Not if you know where you’re going. I often go to Solomon´s Landing right on the marina. Dinner can be pricey but if you sit at the bar you get really good deals on beer, wine, and bar bites. At the bar, not down on the floor, Solomon’s has the cheapest prices in Mexico, maybe in the entire world. Where else can you get a decent red or White wine in a 9” standard, stem glass, with the pour from a measured glass carafe full to the neck. I understand he gets only four and a half to five glasses per bottle. This costs 3.00 including the dreaded 16% sales tax).

My girlfriend had a bottle pf beer and I had the glass of red wine. From the bar menu, we ordered grilled chicken pesto salad, calmari Kentucky pork ribs, and Blackened tuna. It was all delicios! So, two beverages, four food items and the tab was 16.00 dollars.

Pharmacies are in two categories. With name brands, such as Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, Squibb, etc. Or go away from the tourist zone and to Similares or Wal-Mart

These are not causual every day prices a tourist Will find. I have spent years down here finding these plaes. There are certainly a lot of things expensive (just go shopping at luxury Avenue or pull in to a gas station or at just about  any restaurant in town, you´ll pay pretty close to US. prices.

I get $1209 from Social Security and $2600 a year from an IRA and ocasionally (once a year), I call my bróker and ask for five grand. It´s not a lot of money, but, to be honest, I feel like a king in Cabo.