I never used to buy in bulk because I like to shop. If you buy in bulk, you don’t get to go to the grocery store as often. But if you want gringo goods in Costa Rica, Pricesmart (PS) has the biggest selection, and they only sell in bulk.
They sell everything: washers, dryers, tvs, huge workout stations, sets of 500 ink pens, a package of 100 spoons, socks, towels, pillows, toilet paper, dog food in 50lb bags, groceries galore.
Oh. Before I forget. Check expiration dates on gringo grocery items in Costa Rica. They are often expired or damn near. I suspect a developing nation might be shipped seconds and almost-expired goods from arrogant first-world nations. Hey, I’m probably paranoid. Check expiration dates anyway.
While the goods may be cheaper at PS than anywhere else, it’s still not cheap. If you are buying gringo goods, you are paying duty which often translates to double what you pay in the states. Buying bulk helps mitigate the sticker shock.
Here’s what I paid:
3 jugs of PS brand bleach (in the big blue box): $7 (Probably coulda gotten this cheaper at Auto Mercado.)
Huge jar of ground black pepper: $16 (The regular size was $5 so this was well worth it. Can you believe the boys made fun of me?)
Big bags of Splenda: $12 each (Yeah, pricey.)
Planters peanuts: $10 (Nuts are sooooo expensive: a small bag of almonds is $10 and they are usually rancid so I’ve just stopped buying them. Ticos don’t eat nuts. Or peanut butter.)
Jug ‘o Mayo: $5
BBQ sauce: $5
Sugar: $3 (Sugar is cheap here.)
Coffee: $5 (Coffee is cheap here, too.)
The 4 containers of blue stuff with oxy in it, top left of bleach box, next to the coffee, is what we use to wash dishes. It’s like a blue paste. Just over a buck each. Comes in orange and green, too. But only the blue has the oxy stuff in it. With the boys washing the dishes, you need all the help you can get.
Oh, one more thing. See the marshmallows (only $3 for this great big bag)? Xavier said, "What are you doing buying marshmallows? They are junk! They don’t have the life-saving qualities of chocolate." Really.
I missed having peanut butter the first time we went to Costa Rica, so the second time I made sure to bring a jar. Surprise, surprise, few places we stayed had toasters. sigh, tuna on crackers for breakfast with pinto is just not my thing.
It’s funny the things you think you can’t live without… or live with… then you find you can. Thank God!!!
Things you can do with marshmallows….
Marshmallow gun: http://www.instructables.com/id/
The gun is too cool.
I’m a peanut butter addict. My first grocery shopping in CR included a jar of peanut butter, thought I bought the cheap tico brand. Bad idea. It was grainy and thick and not at all creamy. Now I buy the gringo brand which, to be honest, isn’t that expensive. Wonder if they have huge tubs at Pricemart?