Do the stores there have a good supply of frozen food items?

I'm wondering about the grocery shopping in Costa Rica.  I've never really learned how to cook & have relied on Marie Calendar & other brands for my meals.  Do the stores there have a good supply of frozen food items?

Thanks

No...very little selection is available. And if there was imported frozen food from the USA, it would be cost prohibitive, for most folk. 'Regular, 'imported food' is much more expensive, than in the USA.

Hello tereso5,

Welcome on board  :)

Since the new members thread where you initially posted is only for introduction of new members, i moved your post and the feedback you had on the Costa Rica forum so that you can better interact.

Best of luck,
Bhavna

Thank you very much!  Looks like it will be restaurants for me then.

No, very little

Restaurants can be expensive depending on where you live and what you'll enjoy eating. Some are higher than your average "date-night" restaurant in the U.S. Yes, I can cook and cook well . . . but doing so in Costa Rica with limited groceries is a challenge. I'm about to post some simple, no-brainer recipes on my blog . . . so enjoy, and don't fear cooking on Costa Rica. Also, in the larger towns (even Nicoya), you'll find a decent selection of frozen foods (decent, not great). Certainly, San Jose can keep you in frozen dinners (Wal-Mart).

If you can boil water you can have egg-salad or hot dogs. If you can open a tin and smash some items in a bowl, you can have tuna salad. If you can heat a skillet, you can have hamburgers. We live in Samara and our monthly food budget for two hungry adults who eat at home almost 100% of the time is $425 -- and we do splurge on many food items such as ice cream, frozen French fries, and bakery items.

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Oh boy! You have a big problem. Yes, the super market where I live has a lot of frozen food available, but you won't like them much if you have gotten used to Marie's stuff. If you want to enjoy life here you better learn to cook because there is not one good restaurant in the whole of this country. To survive here you will have to eat Tico food or cook it yourself. Good luck!

NO not very much .  There is very little variety in shopping here and conveniences as frozen dinners is not one of them

Getting better every year. More and more frozen products. When I came here 35 years ago there was very little in the grocery stores. Ahora se encuentra de todo.

Christopher Howard
www.liveincostarica.com

Not so much frozen food in the small pulperías,  but your bigger grocery stores like pali, mega super,  mas x menos will have such items. I learned that you go to the carniceria for fresh meat, verduria for fresh vegetables and fruit. You'll get fresher, better products for a cheaper price. You can always freeze them yourself. The meat and vegetables, fruits you're going to get a a so called one stop big grocery store are poor quality, more expensive.  It takes a little more time and research to find the best butchers and veggie vendors in your area,  but well worth it and they will bless you as a repeat customer.

The Mas X Menos supermarket (many towns have them at least in the Central and Western Central Valley like here in San Ramon) has quite a bit of frozen food. Not sure how good it is, and it's no Trader Joes for sure. But I have seen things like tater tots, fries, pizzas, and other frozen "staples". As to fancy dinners, I kinda doubt it but not sure as I don't buy frozen food.

It's frozen food, how good is it really  when it's frozen and not fresh? Buy fresh vegetables, meat and then freeze it. Normally we just buy enough for a few days and then go get more or freeze items. Much healthier and tastier.

He said in the first post that he doesn't know how to cook.

Good time to learn.

wow where do you live ?
i have watched in the 32 years of living here the Central valley supermarkets like here in Heredia. such as Walmart and
'Auto Mercado" " Pricemart"  similar to Costco. ( become swamped with LOTS of frozen and imported foods...
FORGET UGLY DANGEROUS SAN JOSE.. NO DEALS AND DANGEROUS TO SHOP THERE,
And for the budget shopper and bargain hunters ME,ME,ME we have a huge very cheap "Pequena Mundo"  lots imported from USA and other countries..like  Name  brand imported PEANUT BUTTER FOR $3 large size
i laugh when in read here people squealing about the high price they pay for peanut butter .(I bet they live in a Gringo Gulch, where prices are geared to same
.That newbie would have a blast finding imported meals ..and
USA imported canned meals.
He/she can just heat up and  BINGO A "feast LOL

So DEPENDING ON WHERE YOU LIVE, YOU CAN FIND JUST ABOUT EVERYTHING and no Khol you do not pay  a fortune in OUR AREAS,. COME ON  DOWN TO Heredia and i will take you food shopping for free.(the ride not the food) ..... I would like to see your face when you see what WE pay.

i live in the hills of HEREDIA a charming town  ( not many on this site even know it exists..although it was once the Capitol.)..
Well thats from following'  the crowd of Gringos. i . left them in   USA  so did not come to Costa Rico looking for them.
They move to a foreign country and cannot stop following  THE ARROWED signs ..saying "GRINGOS this way"
Same with restaurants whomever said high priced YES we also have them for special dates.. but all are high priced if you live in the "Zoo" ( Escazu, ) or ,Santa Ana  Grecia. Jaco, Guanacaste,  etc...or other GRINGO GULCHES.  But in our area,  FOR $6 we get FRESH breaded or Garlic Chicken or
talapia or Corvina with salad and juice with  (even in my honor my friend the owner made her yummy recipe of Vegetarian rice-instead of plain ) plus  crispy cooked veggies with fancy  rice and a freshly squeezed juice ( oh the delivery charge is a big one dollar) the "soda".cafe is .clean cozy and delicious...

THAT is why i get so ticked when i read here SOME saying you need $3000 per month to live here What a load of BS,
many manage very well on  $1,000 and not eating like paupers,,just chose the right areas...good luck and YES you can find LOTS of frozen food in our area..
try Heredia  and in the Hills 10 mins away....we also have the BEST Climate .EVEN THE LOCALS SAY THAT ..AND THEY
LONG TO LIVE IN CONCEPCION DE SAN RAFAEL...whatever you read here....NOT like beaches and Atenas  which isWAY too hot to breathe..Ahh all this and fresh air to boot...OH AND DON'T BUY VEGGIES OR FRUIT IN ANY STORE We have Sunday farmers markets in both villages 5 mins from my farm .cant get fresher or cheaper prices than farmers markets..( Named FERIAS here )

pebs :

wow where do you live ?
i have watched in the 32 years of living here the Central valley supermarkets like here in Heredia. such as Walmart and
'Auto Mercado" " Pricemart"  similar to Costco. ( become swamped with LOTS of frozen and imported foods...
FORGET UGLY DANGEROUS SAN JOSE.. NO DEALS AND DANGEROUS TO SHOP THERE,
And for the budget shopper and bargain hunters ME,ME,ME we have a huge very cheap "Pequena Mundo"  lots imported from USA and other countries..like  Name  brand imported PEANUT BUTTER FOR $3 large size
i laugh when in read here people squealing about the high price they pay for peanut butter .(I bet they live in a Gringo Gulch, where prices are geared to same
.That newbie would have a blast finding imported meals ..and
USA imported canned meals.
He/she can just heat up and  BINGO A "feast LOL

So DEPENDING ON WHERE YOU LIVE, YOU CAN FIND JUST ABOUT EVERYTHING and no Khol you do not pay  a fortune in OUR AREAS,. COME ON  DOWN TO Heredia and i will take you food shopping for free.(the ride not the food) ..... I would like to see your face when you see what WE pay.

i live in the hills of HEREDIA a charming town  ( not many on this site even know it exists..although it was once the Capitol.)..
Well thats from following'  the crowd of Gringos. i . left them in   USA  so did not come to Costa Rico looking for them.
They move to a foreign country and cannot stop following  THE ARROWED signs ..saying "GRINGOS this way"
Same with restaurants whomever said high priced YES we also have them for special dates.. but all are high priced if you live in the "Zoo" ( Escazu, ) or ,Santa Ana  Grecia. Jaco, Guanacaste,  etc...or other GRINGO GULCHES.  But in our area,  FOR $6 we get FRESH breaded or Garlic Chicken or
talapia or Corvina with salad and juice with  (even in my honor my friend the owner made her yummy recipe of Vegetarian rice-instead of plain ) plus  crispy cooked veggies with fancy  rice and a freshly squeezed juice ( oh the delivery charge is a big one dollar) the "soda".cafe is .clean cozy and delicious...

THAT is why i get so ticked when i read here SOME saying you need $3000 per month to live here What a load of BS,
many manage very well on  $1,000 and not eating like paupers,,just chose the right areas...good luck and YES you can find LOTS of frozen food in our area..
try Heredia  and in the Hills 10 mins away....we also have the BEST Climate .EVEN THE LOCALS SAY THAT ..AND THEY
LONG TO LIVE IN CONCEPCION DE SAN RAFAEL...whatever you read here....NOT like beaches and Atenas  which isWAY too hot to breathe..Ahh all this and fresh air to boot...OH AND DON'T BUY VEGGIES OR FRUIT IN ANY STORE We have Sunday farmers markets in both villages 5 mins from my farm .cant get fresher or cheaper prices than farmers markets..( Named FERIAS here )

I am pretty sure prices in your Heredia are not that different than prices here in San Ramon.
I'll show you mine if you'll show me yours.
I suggest we take some photos of supermarket receipts showing things like milk, eggs, cream cheese, and other staples and see if there's a big difference in your Heredia as compared to here in San Ramon. Several of the people here on this forum live in San Ramon area or Palmares so it will show if there's a big difference or not.
It may well be somewhat cheaper on Heredia because it's closer to San Jose but I would not expect to see many big differences.
At the feria they don't give receipts so that's another story but I will assure all that here at our feria we get very good prices on vegetables and fruits.

As to how much one spends per month on groceries this varies a lot from person to person or family to family.
I, for one, "splurge" on food. I try to eat healthy food and often spend extra for whole wheat and whole grain products like bread and whole wheat tortillas and I buy canned Mexican salsa because I love it and I'm too lazy to make my own... I buy things like pumpkin seeds and almonds which are expensive here in Costa Rica as compared to Trader Joes in the USA. Etc.

I find that prices of food here in Costa Rica - overall - are about the same as in the USA. However I do not eat meat or fish so not sure about those. I do eat cheese and cheese is about the same here as in the USA except if you get the imported stuff which obviously costs more. There are local cheeses here which are very good and now I'm finding even cheddar and jack in packages at the supermarket (Maxi Pali) for a good price.

I truly enjoyed your post. I am moving to Costa Rica in 2020 and I have read many blogs and posts trying to get a feel for what I should expect about shopping, housing cost, etc. I feel that you have a direct and honest opinion about living in Costa Rica, and I would like to connect and learn more.

I've lived in Costa Rica fulltime for 9 years in almost all the provinces and many towns. I'm married to a tica and her family knows everything about everywhere. I have lots of tico friends and expat buddies. Feel free to ask me anything, been there, done that and know how the system really works.

Thank you.

No problem. I still live in Costa. We travel back and forth for business. I drove to Costa from California  in 2003. Hell of a trip, don't recommend it to anyone now with the cartels in Mexico. I was 29 years old at the time. Spoke very little Spanish, no cell phones or Google maps... it was an adventure I'll never forget.

Good Idea I will try to start saving  my receipts especially from Pequena Mundo Almost opposite Price Mart in Heredia..and just past the  one story Shaped like a castle MALL ..Charming MUCH nicer than Mall San Pedro...l Anyone Dont M me have no time to come here going through yearly Medical exams too busy ,,but I do answer emails that say PERSONAL....
extrapetsATgmail.com   Of course replace the AT with the signal...
Good Luck  My message explained where I have lived over 32 years ...after trying a month just about most places in CR...Climate Price and LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION was my final decision

XIAN I am surprised that being married to a Tica. she did not warn ou of the HELL it is to DRIVE to CR???
Oh and .They do NOT know everything MY Tica friends ask ME where to get bargains... just saying most think they know ot ll LOL after 32 years I am more Tica than they they do not even ask for discounts which I have been getting for YEARS..so.... being married to a Tica does not make you more knowledgable...only very rarely... Been there done that...

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