You will save money when you grocery shop in Ecuador. Prices for local products are often substantially below those in North America. This is a result of the lower cost of living in Ecuador. The average monthly salary in Cuenca is $753.00 a month, with many earning $450.00 a month. Some items are subsidized by the government; others are priced lower in order to accommodate the low average salary.
Alicia Erickson has researched food costs in six major Cuenca stores in April 2022 (https://yapatree.com/cuenca-grocery-shopping-options-compare-lower-cost-of-living/). Her figures below are based on one pound, except where noted.
Pineapple $1.00 (1)
Box Wine $5.00
Eggs (30) $3.50
Milk (1L) $0.70
W. Bread $1.00 (loaf)
Honey $1.00 (small jar)
Comparisons with the Mercados
Local Tiendas 28% higher
SuperMaxi 61% higher
Other large stores 29%-55% higher
Last week at my Mercado, I bought a head of lettuce and a cauliflower, 3 green peppers, 3 white onions, 2 cucumbers, 1 humongous zucchini, 2 carrots for a total of $3.50!
Clearly, shopping in the mercados is the most cost-effective way to obtain groceries. Hence, their popularity.
Fact: Unrefrigerated milk is sold in cartons on the shelf
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