Shopping for Food

How much do things cost in Hopkins? It depends. Do you want to live exactly the way you did or do you want to incorporate local-living into your lifestyle? If you’re set in your ways, in reality, things could cost more than you anticipated.

Will and I live in many ways like locals, meaning we purchase local foods and drinks, rather than imported ones. We eat plantain and cassava chips instead of Doritos and Cheetos. If you go to the fruit and vegetable stand and buy tropical fruits grown in Belize, like mangos, pineapples, and bananas its much less expensive than if you purchase imported strawberries, blueberries, and carrots in a bag. (Berries are not grown in Belize.) While we have an abundance of carrots, peeled and packaged carrots are not processed in Belize, so those are imported from the states making them expensive.

Will and I also supplement our foods with our garden and trees. We have three different kinds of guava trees and a mango tree that we get our fruit from, saving us from purchasing those items. We also grow many herbs like basil, mint, and thyme.

Here’s the difference in going to the vegetable stand and buying local verses imported items.

Our bill (in Belize dollars):                                             Another person in lines:

10 bananas-$1                                                                   imported strawberries-$12

Pineapple-$3                                                                     imported baby carrots in a bag-8

Starfruit-$1                                                                         pineapple-$3

4 limes-$1                                                                           imported cranberries-$14

1lb of green peppers-$2                                                bunch of mint-$5

2lbs of tomatoes-$6                                                        bunch of basil-$4

Large Avocado-$3                                                            imported mushrooms-$6

2 bunches of cilantro-$1                                                bag of Doritos-$9

Cassava chips-$1

Total-$19BZ                                                                        Total-$61BZ

We buy our fish direct from the fishermen when they come in and they charge $5BZ per pound, and you pick your fish. Meaning there is no price difference for a hog fish, grouper, snapper, or barracuda. We have fresh eggs and chicken delivered to us weekly. While chicken would not be my protein of choice, I prefer eating what is easy-to-source, fresh, and tastes good. Therefore, I have eaten more chicken in the past few years than in my entire life. I am a red meat girl, so when see lamb or good beef, we purchase it. Turkey appears impossible to find, but it is a favorite of mine too.

When we go out, we tend to frequent local restaurants in the village that have better priced menu than the resort-style spots, or restaurants located in the resort-area.

In a village restaurant:                                                                   Resort/North American-style:

Fish with sides-$12-$15BZ                                                            Fish with sides-$24-$44

Stew Chicken with sides-$8BZ                                                     Chicken-$15-$25

Burrito-$3-$4                                                                                     Burrito-$10-$20

Burger-$4-$10                                                                                   Burger-$15-$25

The same price gaps exist with drinks, including alcohol. Drink the local rum and drinks are significantly cheaper than imported spirits like bourbon or scotch. Buying the locally-made Marie Sharp’s fruit punch is a better value than Gatorade. If you’re interested in drinking and eating Belizean products, cost is relatively inexpensive. But things can be surprisingly expensive if you want to live in Belize, but eat and drink the products from somewhere else.



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