An Amazing Coupon Nannie fan and former resident of Truro, Nova Scotia, Chrissy Yorke Whitenect ; recently moved to Mexico with her family!! Did you know they don’t have coupons there? Imagine! I asked Chrissy about food prices there since there has been tons of articles in Canada about raising food prices. I know I was curious to know the difference in cost, Was it cheaper to eat healthier here or there? What are wages like in comparison? I asked Chrissy if she would mind writing a post for us to share the comparison:) She was happy too!!
I just returned from a shopping trip at Walmart for groceries. I only shop for one so it isn’t a huge order. In fact, it isn’t an expensive order either, although around here, Walmart is not the cheapest place to buy food. The most expensive item I bought was an 8 pack of burgers for $4.54, and a 6 pack of cold beer for $3.07. Ok, cheap but not the healthiest choice. I also bought fruit and veggies. My avocado cost $0.42, a bunch of bananas cost $0.67 and the cauliflower I am happy to report was only $1.82. No, I did not travel back in time. I simply headed south to Mexico where overall, food is much less expensive than food in Canada.
But is it more affordable for someone to eat healthy in Mexico? My answer would be yes. Many fruit and vegetables are grown in the country and are therefore cheaper to transport. Coconuts, known as a new “superfood” grow in the backyard of almost every home. In Cancun, the area I call home, fishing is one of, if not the top food source. Incredibly cheap and so tasty, I have yet to pay for any fish. My neighbors fish daily and share the haul with everyone. Fishermen sell their catch of the day on the roadside similar to the fishermen in Nova Scotia towns. The big difference here is the fish hangs until purchased while in NS they are kept cool, on ice.
Although white bread and wheat bread are sold at the larger grocery stores, most people eat tortillas here which are a low cal, high fibre option. Many people make their own, but they are sold pre-made as well. Snacks like potato chips are expensive. I paid almost $6.00 for a family sized bag of chips. Pop is $1.45 for a 1.5 litre bottle of store brand.
Unfortunately, apples are not the best quality here. Imported from USA, they are soft and bruised by the time they make it to market which totally turns me off.
A big problem I personally found in Nova Scotia was I would tend to over buy fruit and veg when it is on sale and created waste. Here, I buy a few days worth and there are fruit markets everywhere so I can easily purchase more. The prices are always going to be low.
Milk is a fair price, I paid $0.87 for 1 litre, but at another store I paid $0.64/litre. A small bag of pasta costs $0.28, a small container of spaghetti sauce is $1.07. I think most people make their own sauces and salsas here. I even treated myself to a 10 pack of sushi for $2.40.
So overall, fruit and veggies, milk, meat, eggs and breads are cheaper than in Canada. In this article, all prices are converted to Canadian). So yes, eating healthier is more affordable. The prices of things like chocolate bars, chips, pop etc are expensive.
This is of course based on Canadian price standards and wages. Can locals getting paid local wages afford to eat well? Average rent here ranges from $200/month for a bachelor apartment or studio apartment to $2000.00+ for a high end luxury apartment on the beach.
A teacher earns approximately $585.00/month.
A hotel worker typically earns $235/month.
Minimum wage is $5.35 A DAY.
If a person does not have a paying job they may create work by selling sandwiches from their car or buggy, helping people back out into traffic for tips, or bagging groceries. I was surprised to learn the baggers are not paid by the stores they bag in, but survive on tips alone.
In my opinion, low income people in Canada can afford the edibles – cheap processed “food” that is full of calories, fats, sugar and preservatives, but have a difficult time affording real food. In Mexico the poorest people grow vegetables and fruit, fish, and make their own food . Edibles are a rare thing. They eat rice, tortillas, vegetables and coconuts and generally appear to have healthier choices available to them.