Cost of living 2018 in Dominican Republic

Hello everyone,

As per our annual tradition, we invite you to share your experiences and tell us more about the average prices of products and services in your town/city/area, so that we have updated information regarding cost of living and inflation in Dominican Republic.

Thanks to your contribution, future expats in Dominican Republic will be more informed and will be able to refine their budget and better prepare for their big move.

How much does it cost to rent an apartment or a house in Dominican Republic?

How much does it cost to buy an apartment or a house in Dominican Republic?

How much do you pay on average for public transportation (bus, subway, train, tram, taxi)?

How much do you pay for basic food items such as rice, bread, and pasta?

What is your monthly budget for groceries?

How much does it cost to see a doctor/dentist/physician/specialist in Dominican Republic?

How much do you pay for health insurance per month?

How much does childcare cost on average per month?

What is your child's schooling budget per month?

How much does it cost to fill up your car’s fuel tank?

How much do you pay for electricity/gas/water etc., per month?

How much do you pay for your internet and phone subscription?

How much do you pay for your lunch pack on weekdays?

How much do you pay for an espresso coffee?

How much do you pay for a cinema ticket?

How much does a gym membership cost in Dominican Republic?

Thank you for sharing your experience.

Priscilla

These topics have been covered here in multiple other threads.  I will try to answer some of this later.

Bob K

AND all of this will depend WHERE you live and HOW you live.  Here are my current updates:

Location -  upscale neighborhood in Santo Domingo

How much does it cost to rent an apartment or a house in Dominican Republic? 3 bedroom 3 bathroom apartment - 4th floor with underground parking and security 24/7  35,000RD

How much does it cost to buy an apartment or a house in Dominican Republic?  Ridiculous question!

How much do you pay on average for public transportation (bus, subway, train, tram, taxi)?   Subway is  20RD for one direction.  Bus or gua gua depends on  duration.  Bus Santo Domingo to Puerto Plata  380 RD

How much do you pay for basic food items such as rice, bread, and pasta? Depends white rice is cheap,  brown rice is expensive.  Pasta - depends on quality from 18RD a pound to well over 100RD

What is your monthly budget for groceries?  Single person who doesn't cook -  US 100 a month to  US 150 a month

How much does it cost to see a doctor/dentist/physician/specialist in Dominican Republic?  Again it depends -  without insurance specialist is  2,000RD,  generalist  1,000 RD.

How much do you pay for health insurance per month?  Current inside a group plan  2,400 RD includes prescription and dental plan

How much does childcare cost on average per month? No idea.

What is your child's schooling budget per month?

How much does it cost to fill up your car’s fuel tank? 2,200 RD but I have a small car.  This is gasoline.

How much do you pay for electricity/gas/water etc., per month? Electricity with  electric hot water and 2 air conditioners monthly about  3,200 RD.  I dont pay the others

How much do you pay for your internet and phone subscription? I have a package - 20 down, 3 up,  landline of 500 minutes,  HD cable with 2 boxes,  3,200 RD a month

How much do you pay for your lunch pack on weekdays?

How much do you pay for an espresso coffee? I dont

How much do you pay for a cinema ticket? 75 RD to 150 RD depending on day of the week.

How much does a gym membership cost in Dominican Republic? 1,000RD to 3,000 RD a month.

Hair salon -  wash and blow dry - 250RD
Manicure - 200RD
Pedicure - 300 RD

Cell Phone -  200
minutes a month plus FULL data - 1,030 RD tax in.

Here are some thing that I find more expensive here: milk, youghurt, cheese, beer, wine, and even ground coffee. Also most manufactured goods, which means almost everything 8n the world,  TV, fridge, etc

Rule of thumb is -  If it is imported its way more expensive here.

Since we are an island almost everything is imported.

Things that are labor intensive tend to be less expensive - services etc.

Food is much cheaper here if you stay away from imported brands (like Miracle whip :)  ) and stick to the local products.  Coffee at (dark roast) in grano, I like grinding my beans every day for the freshest coffee, at $5.15 US a pound cannot be beat or found back in the US.  Milk at $1 US a quart is cheaper here as are eggs, butter, veggies, and the list goes on and on.  I have said it before but our grocery bill here is about 40% less then in the US>.
Bob K

I agree Bob!!!!  Local produce etc will save you a great deal on your grocery bills.  Then you have some budget for the extras,  yes like miracle whip and CHOCOLATE....... which is expensive here.  But there is some new  local chocolate that really is to die for!

The coffee here is inexpensive when compared to good coffee in North America.  It rocks!  I love Dominican coffee.  BUT be careful what you buy, much of what is marketed as local coffee is imported and bagged here! It is not local coffee.

Over 16 years most of the increase in food costs has occurred because of a huge increase in taxes on the local products. Imported stuff has risen even more. OVERALL, THE GENERAL COST OF FOOD IS MUCH LESS THAN IN n.a.. lOCAL pORK & CHICKEN IS EXCELLENT, THE BEEF SUCKS.( RANGE FED, NO FEED LOTS) Please forgive the capitals, almost blind & it takes a long time to type words. I'll take 9 lashes if Planner doesn't chastise me. The produce here is unequaled & cheap. Eating here is a pleasure when everything tastes so good.

Hahaha you are forgiven my dear!!!

Thank you, was sort of looking forward to a gentle tongue lashing, all nine of them.

Somebody said a dollar a quart for milk was cheap. Two months ago I paid $1.88 for a whole gallon in upstate NY, and it was resh, not uht.  Coffee at $5 a pound?  How about those giant cans of it for 7?   A grande of beer for 100pesos? How about a 12pack for $7 or 8....,two months ago.   Wine? Forget about it.

When comparing it has to be relevant. Those giant cans of coffee are not the same quality. The pound of coffee here is way better quality in my opinion.

The milk here is disgusting at any price. Lol. I will take the other over this any day at any price. Cheaper is definitely better.

Agree on wine - very expensive as.is pretty much everything that is not rum.

Of course all the illegal knock off designer brands are cheap here! Well as long as you don't look too close.

Can't comment on the beer -  eeeyuck.  :lol:

You guys are bumming me out 😉... How many jars of Miracle Whip shall I bring in February! And, it sounds like I need to bring vino too! Presidente is cheap...Cafe Bustelo is not too expensive there....

Don't worry the pros outweigh the cons. Just think what your are saving on cost of heating your house, winter tires, boots, coats etc!!

See you feel better already!

And never frozen white crap that falls from the skies :)
Bob K

Not true Bob sometimes people throw ice cubes around...... its almost frozen white crap.

Costs CANNOT be the major variable for living in the dr.

Absolutely agree!

Bob, you mentioned it's been covered before, but I was unable to find that forum.

So, just for fun..... How much is the Cheap Chardonnay in Sosua? --- Can you buy it by the box?

--- I am currently in Australia, and I can buy a 4 liter Box of very drinkable Chardonnay for about $12 (which is a little more than 5 Bottles of wine) so figure about $2.50 a bottle.  (Beer and Hard Liquor is expensive here)

Launica
There are multiple threads that include costs here on the forum.  Use the search function.
And now it is covered here again
Bob K

I have not seen box wines here.  However lots of wine from Chile, Italy, Spain and some from US.
Cheap  Chardonnay will run from $5-$7 a bottle here in Sosua.  Best place is Super Pola where just about every week some good wine sales can be had.

Bob K

Almost all wine is imported and not cheap.

A cheap bottle is easily 5 to 7 dollars. Good wine is much more. I saw boxed wine a few times but did not note the price.

Here most stick to local made rum which is various degrees of taste and price! But all still way less.than imported alcohol.

7 year old rum, 700ml is between $5.50 to $6.00.  ( Columbus ) Made by Barcelo Ind. Often on sale, a good every day rum. It is not an equal to a Cruzan "Single Barrel" rum.  Coca Cola is bottled here & is a little sweeter than U.S. made. 2 liter bottle is about $0.87.

the tinker40 :

7 year old rum, 700ml is between $5.50 to $6.00.  ( Columbus ) Made by Barcelo Ind. Often on sale, a good every day rum. It is not an equal to a Cruzan "Single Barrel" rum.  Coca Cola is bottled here & is a little sweeter than U.S. made. 2 liter bottle is about $0.87.

Do they make a 'Diet Coke' ?

Yes, if you like all thse added chemicals. It's not for me. Lite beer isn't euther. Lite beer is like screwing in a canoe, Its fu%#ing near water!

Diet coke, diet Pepsi, diet 7up are available here routinely.

Sometimes you can find diet ginger ale and diet root beer!

One of the main savings I see in DR is the health insurance....I want to retire when my husband does and he is 6 yrs older than me, so if we stay in the US we will be paying about $700 per month for me (and that's whether I go to doctor or not, extra co-pays if I need to go) that's over $8,000 per year, it's rediculous!! And we do love that fish and veggies will be plentiful and and less expensive... We are Presidente drinkers so that's real easy to find :-)

Kat I would not make the cost of medical insurance the reason to live here.  You need to come and try the place out for a couple of months and forget the medical insurance savings.  Besides the medical care here, depending on where you are, ranges from adequate (for most things) to absolutely third world (terrible care).

We have lived here for 12 years and the most important medical insurance we have is...EVACUATION insurance in case one of us needs "advanced" medical care.

And NOTE your husbands medicare coverage will not do him any good here as it does not cover him here.  IF he has a great supplemental part B coverage he might qualify for a 60 day coverage in a foreign country.  So once again medical insurance should not be the driving force to move here.

Bob K

It should be one of many many considerations! And for many it's a big one!

Considerations what?
The cost of insurance OR the level of health care.   
Bob K

All of the above.  AND my comment really was agreeing with you - there are so many things to consider when  looking to move here.

Insurance and medical care are big items for many.  Then there are a thousand other things to consider.

Here is what I recommend -  decide what your  deal breakers are, go research those.  Got them covered, now you look at all the thousands of other 'things' that make life better or worse for you here. BUT if your deal breakers are covered then you are good to go.

For many health care access,  cost etc can be deal breakers.
For some it is access to great golf.
For some its is being close to the ocean
For some it is schools for their kids.

You get my point. For me -  access to great latin dancing,  health care,  work that I love doing.  Those were my deal breakers. Everything else is details for me.

Planner/Bob

There are many other reasons besides health insurance for our interest in living the DR, and Bob no we do not plan on using Medicare as we are well aware it's not accepted, we both plan on getting local/private health ins with the evacuation plan when we live there. We are both healthy now with no issues, but well aware that anything can happen in the future.

We have been researching the DR and several other islands for years seeing which one is for us.  We have traveled all over the Caribbean for the past 30 years and know we love the slower lifestyle, the people, the tropical weather and the ocean (we live in SW Florida so we are used to hot conditions and hurricanes). There is no paradise on this earth, it's a matter of looking at the pros/cons of the decisions I make....and the pros/cons have to be based on YOURSELF (and whoever is moving with you) because we talk to people every week and some think "Wow that sounds like an adventure!" and others look at us like "Are you out of your minds!  It's clearly not for everyone.

We owned a condo in Punta Cana but sold it and are now looking for a single family villa possibly going to check out Sousa too.  We will definitely try it for a while (at least 5 years) and if we really miss the rat race, the taxes and the political BS we will begin the next adventure of life and move back to the US, it's only 2-1/2 hrs away to FL :-)  I appreciate your concern, I have gotten great advice and many questions answered on this forum :-).   

(Note: sorry if this posts twice, I am still having trouble with this site, since August I have not been getting an email every time someone posts on the DR forum, I have to manually go into the Expat.com site to see what people are talking about and to see if people respond to me...it's been a real pain but the Customer Support says everything on their end looks good and Google/Microsoft can't seem to figure it out either, (and I don't have the site blocked).....I miss being in the loop!  :-)))  If anyone else has experienced this let me know how you solved it .  Thanks!

Your thinking & methods are on target. I had an experience with this site also. After posting more than a thousand posts it no longer recognized me. I had forgotten my pass word. I had to re-apply with a new user name & PW. But alas no prior posts returned. I used to be Gypsy401 and/or the Tuba. Maybe you shall have to emulate my path. PM Planner, she has been a huge help to me.  Welcome & good luck.  Keep a sense of humor,.... it helps.

Ok thanks! I was thinking I may have to delete my account and open a new one (I would still keep my name as Kat but just change the number to something else instead of Kat11) but would obviously have the same email address so hoping its got nothing to do with the email address, I haven't had any other issue with my email.  I'll let everyone know once I start getting emails from Expat.com again....I really miss them!

Kat you are working with a great plan.  I wish others who have moved here had done their homework.
It is unfortunate but after living here for a while you will forget and not miss for a nano second the rat race life of the  US or the political BS.  However the damn taxes will still haunt you :)

Bob K

Forgot to tell you that i had to open a new account for this site, but kept my regular e-mail account. I just get this site on the new one. So you don't have to tell your contacts about the new address. A bit of a pain in the ass, however, better than hemmeroids. See what Planner says,PM her about it.

One of the several reasons we are planning to live part time in US and part time in RD is so we can keep and utilize our health insurance and eventual Medicare. We do plan to get Evac insurance. And, I am sure there will be times when coming back to the US won't be practical. But hopefully, with some planning, we can make it work.

One other reason is Indy Car. Lololol.. my husband can't imagine missing the Indy 500 and a couple other races he goes to. I am sure I will enjoy my solo time on Sosua beach during that time. 😎👍

Looks like you all are doing it right.  Keep researching and asking questions. 

If I can help with tech issues let me know!!!

Hi Christie, That sounds great!!..I wish we could do that (spilt our time) but we are trying to retire a little early, my Husband will be 62 and I'll be 56 when we move so he wouldn't qualify for Medicare yet anyway and there is no way we would be able to fork over $1300+ per month on health ins to stay in US and that's without even going to a Doctor. Also we have 3 kitty's so I think once we get them to the DR were staying lol! I am dreading the day we are moving with lots of luggage and 3 cat carriers omg!!

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