Costa Rica Shopping

How to save on your appliance purchase in Costa Rica

How to save on your appliance purchase in Costa Rica​When buying appliances in Costa Rica, you can expect to pay a lot more than what you pay in another country. Fortunately, there is a way you can save a lot on your appliance purchase in Costa Rica: Deposito Libre Comercial Golfito or the Golfito Duty Free Zone.

When you buy a house from GoDutch Realty, it is very well possible the house doesn’t come with the appliances. Also, if you rent unfurnished and long term, you might be interested in saving on your appliance purchase.

The importation of goods into Costa Rica is regulated by the tax authorities and classified by product type. For example, refrigerators not only carry a 42.83% import tax but also a 13% sales tax. It is possible, for a resident or citizen, to make an appliance purchase totally tax free.

To take advantage of a duty free option, you have to go to the Golfito Tax Free Zone. When you move to Costa Rica and you bring appliances in your container with household goods, you will always pay that same tax. So don’t think you can get away from paying the tax by bringing your own.

Señorita Bonita – trendy and charming Atenas boutique

Señorita Bonita – trendy and charming Atenas boutiqueAre you a high-end shopper who worships BCBG, Chico’s or MK or looking for a great deal on sunglasses? For sure there’s something for you at Señorita Bonita, the new charming Atenas boutique.

Watch it now, ladies in Atenas! Fed up of driving all the way to Escazu or Alajuela to buy trendy women’s apparel? Now you can do your shopping in Atenas and buy a handbag, accessories, lingerie, perfume and dressy casual women’s clothing in an Atenas boutique. Ladies who live in Escazu or anywhere else in Costa Rica, are of course also very welcome to check them out.

Why am I writing about it? Because Jenny O’Neil and husband Joe Allen moved to Atenas this year and Jenny can’t sit still. Jenny was done refinishing the home in Atenas that they bought from GoDutch Realty agents Marian Veltman and Rudy Matthews. So she had to move on to the next project Señorita Bonita, a trendy and charming Atenas boutique.

How to save money on liquor in Costa Rica

How to save money on liquor in Costa Rica ⌂ photo by Signbiblio

If you don’t drink any liquor before you move to Costa Rica, there are several reasons you could start doing so pretty soon. 

It can be pretty warm some days and for many there is nothing nicer than a piña colada when you’re sitting next to your pool. 

Others, like me, prefer a rum ‘n coke when I have great company.

Depending on your ability to adjust to your new life in Costa Rica, or on your personality type, you might be needing a stiff drink, because you can’t put up with it anymore. 

Of course there are other reasons to start drinking if you’re not already an alcoholic when you move here, but then I suggest a visit to a bilingual shrink. 

Alcohol, or liquor, can be quite expensive in Costa Rica, depending a lot on what you drink and how much. 

6 Handy Costa Rica grocery shopping tips

6 Handy Costa Rica grocery shopping tipsEvery culture has different ways of doing things and as soon as you move to Costa Rica, you will find out that a lot of things are different than they were back home. Sometimes we just assume things are done our way (and we think of course it's the best way) and they're not, we don't even find out until it's too late.

But wasn’t that the first reason you moved here? You wanted things to be different, right? 

Grocery shopping is one of those things that’s quite different from what you are used to and there is to learn a lot about it.  Especially when you go Grocery shopping in Costa Rica, you should be aware of several issues that are quite a bit different from back home.

Some who read my weekly blogs have probably figured some of these issues already out, but I hope I can help at least some of you with these 6 Handy Grocery Shopping Tips.

There is no Black Friday in Costa Rica real estate yet

There is no Black Friday in Costa Rica real estate yetWho would have guessed that we have Black Friday in Costa Rica now too? Last Friday, I saw no Black Friday signs on any Costa Rica real estate offices. I have asked a couple of sellers but they didn’t think I was serious. Or they weren’t motivated enough.

Maybe next year we will find sellers more willing to give a Black Friday 30 – 50% deduction on their property. I will do so on my real estate commission if the sellers cooperate too. So watch out for our newsletter in November!

Most businesses in Costa Rica call it that: Black Friday, few call it Viernes Negro. That’s how we are becoming gringolized now in Costa Rica. You’ll find a zillion advertising boards, signs and other marketing materials in English. Not to make it easier for you but because it sounds fancier than it does in Spanish.

Why is MacGyvering a must in Costa Rica?

Why is McGyvering a must in Costa Rica?In this blog, I’d like to recount an experience I had recently that is indicative of the way you’ll find product availability in this country. My story is about buying lumber. It is not particularly important taken at its face, but it exemplifies why “MacGyvering” is so prevalent, even a way of life here, why you may sometimes wonder why Ticos are resigned to settling for the second-best solution and, perhaps, why Costa Ricans can be counted among the world’s most patient people.

If you were to buy wood for a project in North America, you’d most likely head to the lumberyard or big box building materials store. There you would find a wide selection of all kinds, sizes and lengths of lumber. Except for EPA, there aren’t many big box stores in Costa Rica and the local ferreterias will typically have even fewer choices, some carry no lumber at all.

Low cost of labor makes it affordable in Costa Rica

Low labor cost makes it affordable in Costa RicaIn this blog, I will cover some specific examples of shopping for items and services that are inexpensive by comparison between Costa Rica and North America. Pretty much every inexpensive good or service mentioned in this blog is a result of Costa Rica having such a low cost of labor. There are many more solutions that involve a high percentage of labor compared with a smaller percentage of raw materials; putting the resulting cost below that of getting it made or repaired farther up North.

In the States, we always wished that we could afford a housekeeper. We just never could find a way to fit it into our budget, even if only twice a month. Here we are retired in Costa Rica and it wouldn’t it be nice to finally be able to give my wife and me a break, eliminate the sweat and drudgery, and free up our time for more creative and productive endeavors—well, we can and do. Not just twice a month, but Kathy comes every week for a monthly expense of less than one domestic helper’s visit in the States.

Shopping for new and used clothing in Costa Rica

TICONUEVO | JUNE 26, 2014

Shopping for clothing in Costa RicaIn this blog, I will cover shopping for new and used clothing as well as leather. Some of those are inexpensive by comparison between Costa Rica and North America. Pretty much every inexpensive good or service mentioned in this blog is a result of Costa Rica having such a low cost of labor.

There are many more solutions that involve a high percentage of labor compared with a smaller percentage of raw materials; putting the resulting cost below that of getting it made or repaired farther up North.

While I believe that there are few, if any, leather tanning facilities Costa Rica, factory made and handmade leather goods can be very affordable when compared to comparable leather items in the States. I had custom-fitted western-style leather boots handmade, which included decorative stitching plus clones of my prescription orthopedics. My wife had custom-fitted leather boots handmade with decorative leather lacing and decorative stitching. Each pair cost us $175.00. Similar custom boots, if you could even find handmade boots, would easily double or triple in cost in North America.

Shopping for an Healthy Diet in Costa Rica

Shopping for an Healthy Diet in Costa Rica

In this blog, I’m going to cover some healthy food that is in abundance and an inexpensive way to have a healthy diet.

So, let’s eat. I’ll also mention several other specific examples of where to save money and in a few cases, it means go native.

I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned viveros (nurseries) previously, but flowers and plants purchased at viveros are, pardon the pun, dirt cheap in Costa Rica. This is probably because you can stick almost any type of cutting or seed in the ground and if it gets water, it’s going to grow. You are not stuck with having a selection of merely ornamental plants and trees, viveros have a vast selection of fruit-bearing choices also. And, not only are plants inexpensive, they grow to maturity much faster in Costa Rica—maybe 20 to 50% faster than a similar plant or tree in the States. So, you’ll start harvesting edibles much sooner than you might expect and you're ready for a healthy diet.

A word of caution: look out for plants’ and flowers’ natural enemies. There are several enemies of growing things, but grasshoppers and leaf-cutter ants (a colony can travel from as far away as 150 meters and strip a large plant or a small tree of all living leaves and/or flowers in a night) are the largest.

The cost of home and car ownership in Costa Rica

TICONUEVO | JUNE 14, 2014

The Cost of Ownership in Costa RicaLet’s continue last week’s discussion of bargains: inexpensive and/or plentiful things you’ll discover in Costa Rica.

Our last utility to mention is water. It is delivered to us from the local municipality and is just a whole lot less expensive than in the States.

We had to water our acre like crazy during the dry season this year to give the recently planted landscaping a chance to take root and our bill was “outrageously high” (around $60 a month), but I know folks in our town that pay on an average of about $8.00 a month all year long.

In summary, utilities by and large are less costly than in North America.

Pages