Need help in Puerto Plata

My family just moved to Puerto Plata. They are renting in a decent area, the problem they are running in to is everything is super expensive. Everything they have purchased so is so much more compared to United States. I was wondering what would be the best place to buy groceries and other household items. I don’t understand how any local who make 6000 pesos per month could afford to live there. Yesterday they bought some groceries, they only had few things and the bill was 4000 Pesos. That’s seems way too much. Any help would be greatly appreciated.


Go to the new Mall, La Sirena. It is located in the oceandrive called Malecon.

Are they actually in Puerto Plata or in Sosua/Cabarete? This will make a difference as the markets in these towns are much more expensive. In Puerto Plata itself La Sirena is a good place for extensive food shopping, but can be expensive especially if buying imported items (US products). Buying local brands will save some.  Also buying fruits and veggies from open air markets (big one in PP) or from small stands and off the local trucks makes it a lot cheaper.  For some household items and cloths (cheap) try Casa Nelson and Tiende Jimminez in PP.
We also tend to take a trip (1 hour from Puerto Plata) to Santiago every month or so for shopping especaillly at Price Mart (very similar to BJs or Costco in the US)
As your friend meets and interacts with some of the local Expats and Dominicans they will quickly learn where to shop to save money.
I would say our cost of living is 40% cheaper then in the US and we live well down here.

Bob K

they are in Puerto Plata... thanks for all your responses. Is there any place to buy cheaper meat/sea food.

I've lived in the Dominican Republic on the northern shores for about a year. The supermarket prices went up overnight about 4 or 5 yrs ago. The secret is to eat like the Dominican's do. Rice is seen at every meal. Beans are also a staple. Food produce which has to be imported especially fresh produce can break the bank. Mango's & other fruit grows all over the island but fruit & vegetables we in the USA take for granted may not be grown at all. The quality of the produce which comes to market is no where near what American's can find in their supermarkets. Its very important to be able to speak Spanish as most of the population outside Santa Domingo, Santiago only speak Spanish.

We have a fruit and vegetable market  as well - sells things I don't even recognize.  Also  we have  seafood markets, fish markets and  butchers.    YOur family needs to find some people who can  show them around - someone not looking to  make  10%on all their purchases.

Also  remember  the Pulga  - or  flea  market.   It is Tuesday and Thursday,  any motoconcho  driver or taxi driver knows where it is.

It all depends on what one wishes to eat. I too was totally confused by how could Dominicans even live with their income of less than $500 USD per month, I couldn't.  But I did find that if I bought my veggies from a truck tha cruised thru the neighborhood every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday that they were abot half the cost of buying them from the supermarkets. Also a fruit truck came at irregular intervals.  But not being a vegetarian I also needed meat which I bought at Jose Luis instead of from La Sirena where it was about 70% of what the mermaid (La Sirena) charged.  My eggs which I ate 3 a day came from my Haitian neighbor who delivered them for 5 pesos each. Heading out of town just before the gates of the Coca Cola plant on the right side of the street (before Farmacia Cristal) there is a fruit stand. He has many things for half of what the mermaid charges also, but a lot of ties his fruit is turning and the veggies too.  CHeck them over carefully.
It takes a bit more than $1000 per month to live in Puerto Plata.
Best of luck.

Honey this thread is from 2011.    :D

If you only buy the imported items or the items you can't get at the colmados  you food cost will be much lower. Meats from the neighborhood butcher is much cheaper. But for bacon and ground beef I use Jose Luis. The original store not the one on 27th of febrero. La sirena is always at least 20% higher than anywhere else.
Of course the best way to save is to know all the different prices for things. That way no matter where you end up you'll know if you're getting the best deal.

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