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Cost of living in Belize – 2015

Hi all,

We invite you to talk about the cost of living in Belize in 2015, with an updated price listing.

Don't forget to mention in which city of Belize you are living in.

How much does it cost to live in Belize?

> accommodation prices

> public transportation fares (tube, bus etc.)

> food prices (your monthly budget)

> health prices (for those who need medical insurance)

> education prices (if you need to pay)

> energy prices (oil, electricity)

> common bills (Internet, television, telephone, mobile phone)

> price for a good menu in a traditional restaurant

> price for a coffee or a drink

> price for cinema tickets

Do not hesitate to add items to this list! ;)

Thank you in advance for your participation.

I live in Corozal.    We have lived in a small concrete, 1 story house in the bush for a year and then moved to a big 2 story by the sea.    The small house had a well and city water.  The big house has only city water.    The small house in the bush with the flat concrete roof was an oven without AC.  When I ran all 3 AC units 24/7 the electricity bill was $1000.   That was last July when we had a friend who had cancer staying with us for a month.    A more typical bill was about $4-600.   Our water bill was less than $9 a month.   In the big house our water and electricity (no well & no A/C) is around $200 a month.   Food costs are entirely dependent on what is desired and if it is cooked at home or eaten out.   A vegie pizza at the highest priced place in town is $24.   A slice of cheese pizza from the bakery is $2.   Chicken is good and cheap, beef is not so good and high (relative to chicken).  I admit that I do not practice economy when buying food.   I get what I want.   Cook when I like and eat out when I do not wish to cook.  I rarely buy any USA mixes or prepared packaged food.  I have always been a scratch cook, not using mixes etc.   The food items imported from the USA seem high to me but I do not recollect prices.    Local cheddar cheese is 1/2 the price of Kraft cheddar cheese.  Local is $12.85 a pound.    gasoline is $8.15 a gallon.     

We have been looking to buy a house or lots.  Lots vary from $6k to $250k USD depending on how close to the sea and the center of town.   $6k in Santa Rita heights with water and electric in the street.   $8k in alta mira within a block of city services,  $50k in Finca Solana 1 1/2 block from sea.   $250 for a huge lot with sea frontage in the business district.    Houses range from $350k USD, 2 story with water frontage in town to $65k for tiny 2 br with a zinc roof.    Out in the country, a nice 3 br in Ranchito was $45k (needed minor fence work, & was a distress sale).     In the country 2 miles north of town, a huge, very nice house, needing nothing on 4 lots with fruit trees was $300k.    It is odd but when dealing with Gringos all property prices are quoted in USD.    It is my opinion, only my opinion, that there are so many places for sale now that cash offers for half the listed price would be accepted.  People leave due to health reasons and are stuck with houses they paid too much for.  It is taking 2 years and huge price cuts to sell houses at this time.   It is a buyers market.

Fantastic information! Thank you for taking the time to share.

We recently purchased on Ambergris Caye, living there part time, and renting our condo our when not there.  As I'm sure you've read, things are much more expensive on the island, compared to the mainland.  However, prices are comparable to back home (Dallas area).  Dinner out for two will cost $25-30 at most restaurants in Tourist areas.  Eating at local, mom and pop places is much cheaper and food is as good if not better.
San Pedro is definitely a tourist area, but the island is lovely, the people friendly and you can be as involved as you want in all the activities available, or choose to enjoy the slower lifestyle out of the hustle and bustle of downtown.

Coming from the US, where grocery shopping entails a trip to SAMs and a couple hundred dollars, it's nice to be on the island and really pay attention to what you are buying and how much is actually wasted.  On the island, we can walk across the street to the produce stand and buy what we need for the day.  We ride our bikes to the marina downtown and buy fish every couple days, fresh tortillas from the factory....again buying what we actually need and not just stocking the fridge.

Yes, items we typically get at home are expensive....Doritos, Jif peanut butter and velvetta cheese are ridiculously expensive.  so glad we have broken that processed food habit.  We eat better, we feel better and are much happier!    Yes, there are things we do without on the island, but what we get in return is well worth the trade!

Good luck with your research!

Hey there -

I live on Ambergris Caye, 5 miles or so north of San Pedro town

-Monthly rent for my private casita is $300us (not typical, I got an amazing deal here)
Water, electricity, cable (if I wanted it, which I don't) are all included in the rent.

-I usually ride my bike to town, but the water taxi only cost me $4us each way (for non-residents, the price would be $8us each way)

-I spend, roughly, $250-$350us/month on food - that includes grocery shopping and take-out at least 4 times a week

-I don't have health insurance - and when I needed stitches in my toe last year, my total bill from the private doctor (there is a free clinic here, as well) for the visit, the stitches, and the tetanus shot was $25us

-I spend $45us/month for internet service and roughly $20us/month for phone credit

-You can get a gigantic plate of stewed chicken with rice and beans and potato salad for $5us.

-A cheap cup of coffee would be about $1.50us, but there are places to splurge on $5 flavored, fancy coffees

-There is a movie theater on the island, but I've never been there so I can't tell you the price of a ticket. (Cheaper than in the States, though, for sure)

The only other things i really spend money on are drinks (beer is $2.50us at most places; $1.75 if you buy from the Chinese bodegas - local rum drinks are also $2.50us at most places) and weed...

To LTMFBH,

300 for a place sounds great...  I'm arriving in May and was thinking I'd be looking at $550-800.  I'm looking for a simple, quiet, place for one.  Am I in the right range?  I have chatted with a realtor, but hope to connect with as many people as I can for assistance.  Thanks,

Rob

Hi Rob

You should be able to find something decent for $500-$800, for sure. My first rental here was a beachfront, 2 bedroom 2 bath condo for $800, just south of town. The place is called Perla Escondita and they usually have availability. That WAS four years ago, though - I wouldn't be surprised if the rent is now $900+ - but there are smaller ones, and if you don't need to be right on the beach the price drops down a bit on the lagoon side.
Good luck!

Thanks!!!!  That range will be peachy.
Also, enjoyed looking at your blog today...

Good Evening! I would like to know about the 420? I have asked an its seems a subject to be avoided. From AZ, just booked are flight! Yeah!

Tickets at the two-screen Paradise Theater in San Pedro run $10 BZD. Popcorn is $3 BZD for a small bag (sorry, no tubs 'o' popcorn or soda ...). Movie quality and sound are good. Movies are screened Friday through Sunday at 7 and 9 p.m.
The interior is just as you would expect to find in a US movie theater and the owner is a good guy who has been known hold up the start of a movie for you so you can run and get popcorn or go to the bathroom. If you express an interest in a certain movie, it sometimes shows up in the theater a week or two later.
I'd recommend wearing bug repellent on your legs because sometimes those tiny ankle-bitters show up and can ruin your concentration.
All-in-all, a very good experience for the money! (And as far as I can tell, it is the only movie house in the entire country!)

Thanks for that information.

:top:
Hi there,
I was wondering about something that I don't want to post online for all eyes to see, can you send me a private message so I can send one back with my question?
Regards,
Carol
carol.fredenburg[at]gmail.com

hello my name is roland and i will be moving to corozal in august. one of my concerns is getting some good buds down there. what is the quality like,what r the prices ,how hard is it to get. if u can please let me know id greatly appreciate it thanks for ur time

Post deleted

Illegal, but available.
Usually not the prettiest- but it's cheap and does its job.
Better stuff, US grade, comes around - expect to pay US prices for it.
:)

I don't know Corozal quality or prices - but I imagine the local buds are available and should be cheap

We are interested  in Placencia village area- is anyone familiar with all the costs of living there? We've visited the 6 years and trying to decide if we want to or can afford to retire there. We spoke to one couple and they spend about $35,000 a year for everything but travel back to US. That seems high and I know they have a beautiful home that is paid for and they live with no A/C .... Curious of a breakdown with no house payment- including hurricane ins. ,utilities,cell phone,
Thank you..

If that is $35,000 USD that is $2,917/month they must be living really high on the Hog. ;)
Lots of meals and beverages out in higher priced venues.

Local food prepared at home is not expensive. Basic water bill in Placencia is $5 USD for first 1k gallon and trash. My electric bill last year (I was there for December and April-July this year) never went over $74 USD no A/C. Cell phone of course depends on how much you talk. Internet cable was abut $45 usd, and I have a VOIP phone for calls to/from the USA. Walked and rode bike around village occasional cab up the peninsula, rented a car several times for sight seeing trips. Including about $750 for house payment and insurance I am pretty sure I never came  to $2,000/month and we ate out a lot.

Thank you for info- I was told hurricane insurance is about $10k a year so I thinking that's why it was such a high number. We can live here in Central TX for that much- was hoping it would be way less there for full time. We 've been 6 years in a row but only get a week at a time. Thanks again

LOL hurricane insurance... :joking: 
Once you actually talk to an insurance agent in Belize and find out how little added coverage hurricane insurance gets you over their regular insurance, you might just opt for their version of regular insurance or not buy property in flood/surge prone areas. Like many things in Belize, home insurance coverage is very different than folks are used to in the USA.

Thank you for your input and dang good to know...

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