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Thread: Food budget

  1. #26
    TRN's fiesty redhead catahoula fan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Food budget

    Find the distribuidora nearest you, ask around, seems as if every decent sized town has at least one (Jinotepe has 2). Pay a 100 cord deposit in the first case of bottles, then exchanges only cost 288 cords per 24 bottles. That's 12 cords per beer or 53 cents each.
    "Patience is a virtue, but persistence to the point of success is a blessing."

  2. #27

    Default Re: Food budget

    That's my kind of math !!!



    Quote Originally Posted by catahoula fan View Post
    Find the distribuidora nearest you, ask around, seems as if every decent sized town has at least one (Jinotepe has 2). Pay a 100 cord deposit in the first case of bottles, then exchanges only cost 288 cords per 24 bottles. That's 12 cords per beer or 53 cents each.
    I never said I was normal !

  3. #28

    Default Re: Food budget

    Ok guys, thanks for all the replies.

    I know its still roughly 10 months away, but I am trying to put together an overall budget for Nicaragua. At this point in time, the budget is set for Leon in particular, but realize where I end up staying put for a few months could change once I am actually there.

    Based on the input i have received...
    Rent: 250/month
    Food:180/month
    Entertainment: 100/month

    Total 530/month...

    I'm not quite sure what there is to do for entertainment in Nicaragua, but if its anything similar to other Latin American countries I think 100/month is a decent ball park figure.

    Seems very cheap, is there something I am missing? I do plan on bringing an old phone of mine down...if it works anything like it did in Costa Rica phone service will be quite inexpensive (local calls).

    Anyways, any comments on the basic outline of the budget will be quite appreciated. Please keep in mind proposed budget is for a single person.

  4. #29
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    Default Re: Food budget

    Transportation costs?? Laundry $$$$

  5. #30

    Default Re: Food budget

    Thanks, exactly the kind of response I was hoping for!

    any idea how much laundry costs?

  6. #31
    Viejo del Foro Just Plain John Wayne's Avatar
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    Default Re: Food budget

    Now laundry is a killer if you send it out to be done on this side.

    Clothes ruined with bleach, soap not gotten out properly, one suggestion..

    Buy a washing machine if you are going to be here a spel and have to much to do it by hand.
    To be called a "Has Been" I must surmise, is much Greater than to be called a "Nevah Been"... JW...



  7. #32
    The Bard of Jinotega MizBrown's Avatar
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    Default Re: Food budget

    Quote Originally Posted by methionine View Post
    Ok guys, thanks for all the replies.

    I know its still roughly 10 months away, but I am trying to put together an overall budget for Nicaragua. At this point in time, the budget is set for Leon in particular, but realize where I end up staying put for a few months could change once I am actually there.

    Based on the input i have received...
    Rent: 250/month
    Food:180/month
    Entertainment: 100/month


    Total 530/month...

    I'm not quite sure what there is to do for entertainment in Nicaragua, but if its anything similar to other Latin American countries I think 100/month is a decent ball park figure.

    Seems very cheap, is there something I am missing? I do plan on bringing an old phone of mine down...if it works anything like it did in Costa Rica phone service will be quite inexpensive (local calls).

    Anyways, any comments on the basic outline of the budget will be quite appreciated. Please keep in mind proposed budget is for a single person.
    Electricity isn't provided in most rentals and will vary remarkably depending on A/C, computer use, how many units are covered by a central meter in rental apartments or half houses. Water is something like $10. Trash -- I haven't paid a bill for that yet. Gas is something like six months on a good cooktop for C$390. If you don't plan to wash your clothes yourself (if the place doesn't have a lavadora -- a.k.a. cement sink with one large flat shallow section with ridges), you'll either send the clothes out or buy a washing machine.

    Unless the place is fully furnished, plan to buy a cooktop, a propane tank, a kitchen table and chairs, a refrigerator (forget the nonsense in Living like a Nica about not having one and sending the maid out to shop every day -- a refrigerator is damn cheaper and less hassle than a maid from all accounts of maids here), a bed, and some miscellaneous furniture. I wouldn't bother to bring down a container of household goods -- $3,000 will buy you very nice new stuff here in real woods and there's no such thing as a bonded moving company that will bring your things in all padded unless you pay to have the whole container delivered to your door and unpack it yourself but even that's after Customs goes through everything. Ditto for most kitchenware, but I think I mentioned bringing in good pots with lids.

    Medical expenses -- yes, you can go to the free clinic but you'll still pay for medicines. Figure on saving $15 to $30 a month for a medical fund. Most doctor's visits plus meds will cost about what co-pays go for in the US, but Leon could be more expensive.

    Depending on how fit you are, consider adding in a bicycle or perhaps a motorcycle.

    Clothes -- some things are cheaper, some things aren't particularly. What you bring down will be good for around a year if it's fairly new, but you'll eventually have to buy shoes, pants and tops. You don't need a formal suit at all, but you should have some long pants as well as shorts (shorts tend to be at home wear for guys). Cost is going to depend on how happy you are with shopping at the USA used clothes bins in the local market.

    If you're coming down as a pensionado, you have to spend at least US $600 a month here. Keep receipts as Intur/Migration do spot checks on that.

    Is internet going to be part of your entertainment (circa $35 to 55 a month for 3G modems which require having a residency cedula)? The cheap way is to make a deal with a hotel with WiFi and pay them something like C$20 for an hour and a half or two hours of their service unless you have to go on line every day.

    Phone service is something like $10 a month for a landline and strange floating amounts for pre-paid cellular. The landline or a cellular subscription will require having a cedula and landlord's permission for a land line. The prices for pre-pago (buying the credit you need) are actually comparable with First World prices. No Virgin Mobile here, unfortunately.

  8. #33
    Dog Whisperer cookshow's Avatar
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    Default Re: Food budget

    Good advice from Mizz Brown, but experiences may vary. Learn to live with many shades of gray instead of Black and White. Cedula is required?, but often not needed to get internet and phone.

    Bring shoes if you have a favorite kind, good sneakers will cost you a fortune and hard to find your size.
    ‎"You know what you say when people tell you you can't do something? Fool, shut your mouth up!"
    Ernie K Doe

  9. #34
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    Default Re: Food budget

    Quote Originally Posted by MizBrown View Post
    Electricity isn't provided in most rentals and will vary remarkably depending on A/C, computer use, how many units are covered by a central meter in rental apartments or half houses. Water is something like $10. Trash -- I haven't paid a bill for that yet. Gas is something like six months on a good cooktop for C$390. If you don't plan to wash your clothes yourself (if the place doesn't have a lavadora -- a.k.a. cement sink with one large flat shallow section with ridges), you'll either send the clothes out or buy a washing machine.

    Unless the place is fully furnished, plan to buy a cooktop, a propane tank, a kitchen table and chairs, a refrigerator (forget the nonsense in Living like a Nica about not having one and sending the maid out to shop every day -- a refrigerator is damn cheaper and less hassle than a maid from all accounts of maids here), a bed, and some miscellaneous furniture. I wouldn't bother to bring down a container of household goods -- $3,000 will buy you very nice new stuff here in real woods and there's no such thing as a bonded moving company that will bring your things in all padded unless you pay to have the whole container delivered to your door and unpack it yourself but even that's after Customs goes through everything. Ditto for most kitchenware, but I think I mentioned bringing in good pots with lids.

    Medical expenses -- yes, you can go to the free clinic but you'll still pay for medicines. Figure on saving $15 to $30 a month for a medical fund. Most doctor's visits plus meds will cost about what co-pays go for in the US, but Leon could be more expensive.

    Depending on how fit you are, consider adding in a bicycle or perhaps a motorcycle.

    Clothes -- some things are cheaper, some things aren't particularly. What you bring down will be good for around a year if it's fairly new, but you'll eventually have to buy shoes, pants and tops. You don't need a formal suit at all, but you should have some long pants as well as shorts (shorts tend to be at home wear for guys). Cost is going to depend on how happy you are with shopping at the USA used clothes bins in the local market.

    If you're coming down as a pensionado, you have to spend at least US $600 a month here. Keep receipts as Intur/Migration do spot checks on that.

    Is internet going to be part of your entertainment (circa $35 to 55 a month for 3G modems which require having a residency cedula)? The cheap way is to make a deal with a hotel with WiFi and pay them something like C$20 for an hour and a half or two hours of their service unless you have to go on line every day.

    Phone service is something like $10 a month for a landline and strange floating amounts for pre-paid cellular. The landline or a cellular subscription will require having a cedula and landlord's permission for a land line. The prices for pre-pago (buying the credit you need) are actually comparable with First World prices. No Virgin Mobile here, unfortunately.
    "shorts tend to be at home wear for guys" ...............mom always told me i was different. that's the only time i wear pants(harem pants from india). everywhere else it's always surf shorts. and formal surf shorts for dining out.

  10. #35
    Dog Whisperer cookshow's Avatar
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    Default Re: Food budget

    On this side if you see someone wearing pants than you know someone make dead.

    As they say here, long pants are for Spaniards (Mainlanders) and old man.
    ‎"You know what you say when people tell you you can't do something? Fool, shut your mouth up!"
    Ernie K Doe

  11. #36
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    Default Re: Food budget

    Pants??? I never even wore those in Canada,lol Well in Saskatchewan yes, but not Victoria,lol

    I have been told Electricity is very $$$$, like 10X what it costs in the USA!

    We were able to get Claro Cable TV and Cable Internet with no Carnet (Cedulla) just a copy of our passport/visa! We work at the USA Embassy, so not sure if that makes a difference. For cable TV and Cable Internet we pay $38 usd a month.

    Expect to pay Gringo prices Unless you look Local,lol For example, my Domestica paid 40 cordobas for a very long cab ride! Her and I took the cab to get groceries last week, like maybe 1.5 miles and paid 130 cordobas!! And that was after she complained! I speak no spanish, I def get Gringo price,lol

    Watch ur pockets!! had those nice little kids try and put their hands in my pockets in the Huebros Market!

    If u have a car, I have been told it is well worth the 20 cordobas to have someone watch it!! I'm sure the #1 business in Nic is guards!! Every parking lot seems to have them!

    Capaccinnos are very good, but a bit pricey, I think I paid 61 cordobas the other day. I guess still cheaper than the USA! 10X better tasting though.

    Beer is cheap! I think at the grocery store a single can of Tona is like 17 Cordoba's! (22.5 cordobas is $1 approx)

    I have found very few people speak English here in Managua!! I have travled a lot of the world during my Cdn Military days and had better luck in other countries finding English speaking people!!

    Cheers

  12. #37
    The Bard of Jinotega MizBrown's Avatar
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    Default Re: Food budget

    Quote Originally Posted by cookshow View Post
    Good advice from Mizz Brown, but experiences may vary. Learn to live with many shades of gray instead of Black and White. Cedula is required?, but often not needed to get internet and phone.

    Bring shoes if you have a favorite kind, good sneakers will cost you a fortune and hard to find your size.
    Yeah, what he said. Cedulas aren't required by anyone for pre-paid service. They were in Jinotega for a 3G modem on a monthly contract. Also, your landlord may be willing to put services in his or her name, and may have wireless already, or someone near by may have wireless. Or your Movistar people are more reasonable than my local Claro people.

    If you're female, the shoes here are fine, sneakers just in men's styles, unless you need something bigger than a size 42/Women's 11. Bootmakers can make things to fit in Jinotega or Esteli for circa $50 for a pair of boots, not necessarily with real hide leather (comes on rolls, probably processed leather product of some kind). I understand Leon used to have such craftsmen, but if they don't now, make a trip to either Esteli or Jinotega.

    Nicaragua is a process country -- how well you enjoy the ride is more important than arrival at a conclusion.

  13. #38
    Dog Whisperer cookshow's Avatar
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    Default Re: Food budget

    Quote Originally Posted by MizBrown View Post
    Yeah, what he said. Cedulas aren't required by anyone for pre-paid service. They were in Jinotega for a 3G modem on a monthly contract. Also, your landlord may be willing to put services in his or her name, and may have wireless already, or someone near by may have wireless. Or your Movistar people are more reasonable than my local Claro people.

    If you're female, the shoes here are fine, sneakers just in men's styles, unless you need something bigger than a size 42/Women's 11. Bootmakers can make things to fit in Jinotega or Esteli for circa $50 for a pair of boots, not necessarily with real hide leather (comes on rolls, probably processed leather product of some kind). I understand Leon used to have such craftsmen, but if they don't now, make a trip to either Esteli or Jinotega.

    Nicaragua is a process country -- how well you enjoy the ride is more important than arrival at a conclusion.

    I was not talking about prepaid.

    Experiences may vary.
    ‎"You know what you say when people tell you you can't do something? Fool, shut your mouth up!"
    Ernie K Doe

  14. #39
    Viejo del Foro Just Plain John Wayne's Avatar
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    Default Re: Food budget

    Quote Originally Posted by cookshow View Post
    On this side if you see someone wearing pants than you know someone make dead.

    As they say here, long pants are for Spaniards (Mainlanders) and old man.
    I was just told today that the workers here cannot use short pants or long sleeved shirts orders of MITRAB

    I am going to let them be the ones to tell the workers that...
    To be called a "Has Been" I must surmise, is much Greater than to be called a "Nevah Been"... JW...



  15. #40

    Default Re: Food budget

    Quote Originally Posted by MizBrown View Post
    Electricity isn't provided in most rentals and will vary remarkably depending on A/C, computer use, how many units are covered by a central meter in rental apartments or half houses. Water is something like $10. Trash -- I haven't paid a bill for that yet. Gas is something like six months on a good cooktop for C$390. If you don't plan to wash your clothes yourself (if the place doesn't have a lavadora -- a.k.a. cement sink with one large flat shallow section with ridges), you'll either send the clothes out or buy a washing machine.

    Unless the place is fully furnished, plan to buy a cooktop, a propane tank, a kitchen table and chairs, a refrigerator (forget the nonsense in Living like a Nica about not having one and sending the maid out to shop every day -- a refrigerator is damn cheaper and less hassle than a maid from all accounts of maids here), a bed, and some miscellaneous furniture. I wouldn't bother to bring down a container of household goods -- $3,000 will buy you very nice new stuff here in real woods and there's no such thing as a bonded moving company that will bring your things in all padded unless you pay to have the whole container delivered to your door and unpack it yourself but even that's after Customs goes through everything. Ditto for most kitchenware, but I think I mentioned bringing in good pots with lids.

    Medical expenses -- yes, you can go to the free clinic but you'll still pay for medicines. Figure on saving $15 to $30 a month for a medical fund. Most doctor's visits plus meds will cost about what co-pays go for in the US, but Leon could be more expensive.

    Depending on how fit you are, consider adding in a bicycle or perhaps a motorcycle.

    Clothes -- some things are cheaper, some things aren't particularly. What you bring down will be good for around a year if it's fairly new, but you'll eventually have to buy shoes, pants and tops. You don't need a formal suit at all, but you should have some long pants as well as shorts (shorts tend to be at home wear for guys). Cost is going to depend on how happy you are with shopping at the USA used clothes bins in the local market.

    If you're coming down as a pensionado, you have to spend at least US $600 a month here. Keep receipts as Intur/Migration do spot checks on that.

    Is internet going to be part of your entertainment (circa $35 to 55 a month for 3G modems which require having a residency cedula)? The cheap way is to make a deal with a hotel with WiFi and pay them something like C$20 for an hour and a half or two hours of their service unless you have to go on line every day.

    Phone service is something like $10 a month for a landline and strange floating amounts for pre-paid cellular. The landline or a cellular subscription will require having a cedula and landlord's permission for a land line. The prices for pre-pago (buying the credit you need) are actually comparable with First World prices. No Virgin Mobile here, unfortunately.
    Thanks alot, good suggestions.

    The thing about washing/drying and furniture is that I am not actually moving to Nicaragua, I will only be there for roughly 3 months.

  16. #41
    Dog Whisperer cookshow's Avatar
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    Default Re: Food budget

    Granada has several wash and dry places, using machines, one place is a laundermat where you can do it yourself, other areas may have the same. You can find someone to do your laundry on a Pila, but be advised it can be hard on clothes. Keep in mind it is HOT in some parts of the country and you will be changing clothes often if you are spending much time outside.
    ‎"You know what you say when people tell you you can't do something? Fool, shut your mouth up!"
    Ernie K Doe

  17. #42
    The Bard of Jinotega MizBrown's Avatar
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    Default Re: Food budget

    Quote Originally Posted by methionine View Post
    Thanks alot, good suggestions.

    The thing about washing/drying and furniture is that I am not actually moving to Nicaragua, I will only be there for roughly 3 months.
    Rentals with furniture may be higher. If you keep an eye on the Ben Linder List, here, and the Other Other Place, you may find people leaving who are selling furniture. Think of it as renting -- then sell it on when you leave (used furniture here tends to be extremely ratty from local sources).

    If your place has a lavadora, you can wash by hand, or see if Leon has a laundromat (Jinotega doesn't have one now and the previous one cost more than sending laundry out was what I heard).

  18. #43
    The Bard of Jinotega MizBrown's Avatar
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    Default Re: Food budget

    Quote Originally Posted by cookshow View Post
    I was not talking about prepaid.

    Experiences may vary.


    I also suspect that the more Spanish you know, at least on the Pacific coast, the more you can negotiate. Getting through the process I got through took having an interpreter on the phone for the Spanish for "bank statements."

  19. #44
    The Bard of Jinotega MizBrown's Avatar
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    Default Re: Food budget

    Quote Originally Posted by anna View Post
    Pants??? I never even wore those in Canada,lol Well in Saskatchewan yes, but not Victoria,lol

    I have been told Electricity is very $$$$, like 10X what it costs in the USA!

    Watch ur pockets!! had those nice little kids try and put their hands in my pockets in the Huebros Market!

    I have found very few people speak English here in Managua!! I have travled a lot of the world during my Cdn Military days and had better luck in other countries finding English speaking people!!

    Cheers
    (snips)

    Electric rates varies depending on how much you use. There's a minimal subsidized rate for up to so much useage per month -- basically, a light in each room, not on all the time, a refrigerator, and a TV that's not on all the time will be cheap and within the subsidized range. Running A/C goes into the non-cheap range.

    Billing is set to encourage electrification and to discourage massive consumption.

    I think people should plan to learn Spanish (enough Spanish to get by in the market isn't that difficult) or plan to hire interpreters here.

  20. #45
    Dog Whisperer cookshow's Avatar
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    Default Re: Food budget

    I am starting to believe that it has more to do with the phases of the Moon, than Spanish.
    ‎"You know what you say when people tell you you can't do something? Fool, shut your mouth up!"
    Ernie K Doe

  21. #46

    Default Re: Food budget

    I was hoping for a table, 2 chairs, a mattress and maybe a board to put the mattress on (so it is slightly elevated).

    Maybe a small couch, but I wont be staying long...

  22. #47
    Dog Whisperer cookshow's Avatar
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    Default Re: Food budget

    Do Not Let Your Heart be Troubled, you will do just fine, and probably get a few new stories while finding these few simple items.

    Enjoy it, that really is what it is all about.
    ‎"You know what you say when people tell you you can't do something? Fool, shut your mouth up!"
    Ernie K Doe

  23. #48

    Default Re: Food budget

    Quote Originally Posted by MizBrown View Post
    (snips)

    Electric rates varies depending on how much you use. There's a minimal subsidized rate for up to so much useage per month -- basically, a light in each room, not on all the time, a refrigerator, and a TV that's not on all the time will be cheap and within the subsidized range. Running A/C goes into the non-cheap range.

    Billing is set to encourage electrification and to discourage massive consumption.

    I think people should plan to learn Spanish (enough Spanish to get by in the market isn't that difficult) or plan to hire interpreters here.
    When I drive to the beach...there are at least 3 places where barbed wire leads from transformers...to??? If I am not mistaken, over 20% of the energy is simply not paid for...iso much for "encorage electricfication and consumption"...instead it discourages conservation and a problem (higher rates) for those who pay the bills...and thus a serious problem for economic growth...the true path for the poor to move up the ladder of economic devevelopment

    pp
    pp

  24. #49
    Para aquí para acá Jonh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Food budget

    Oh but PP, you don't understand. Free electricity encourages electrification and consumption. Plus, it encourages risk-taking and the learning of new skills such as electrical service installations and undercover work. All very good skills for anyone to have.

  25. #50
    Viejo del Foro Daddy-YO's Avatar
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    Default Re: Food budget

    Right on! Power to the People!
    I never met a Semite I didn't like.

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