Intelligent Grocery Shopping for a new life in Costa Rica

For many families who have successfully made the move to Costa Rica it is often the first few years that are the hardest.
Missing your creature comforts from home can often lead to you raking up extortionate grocery bills at the local supermarket

So what’s a family to do?

It’s time to start embracing the Costa Rican culture and stop seeking out those overpriced imported goods. After a certain degree of trial and error I can happily tell you that my family shopping bill is no more than $600 a month.

So how’s this possible?

Let me make a quick confession – in the first few years of my new life in Costa Rica I continued to seek out groceries from home.

From the peanut butter, chocolate treats and a range of other goods, I bought these pricey items on a weekly basis and am the first to admit these tendencies stemmed from a little homesickness.

Of course, Dominical, Costa Rica is now my home and it’s hard to believe that I insisted on buying imported goods for so long – especially considering what I know now. With such an abundance of home grown produce available at much cheaper prices I can now gladly say that there are very few things I yearn for.

From shopping at the local farmers markets, buying fresh fish and meat from local butchers and fisherman and buying locally produced goods – this is healthy living at its best.

We hardly ever eat fast food anymore – we’ve traded up and got ourselves a much healthier lifestyle where we eat plenty of vegetables and mouthwatering tropical fruits. A typical breakfast in the Hollander household consists of fresh fruit smoothies, homemade tortillas and fresh eggs from the 9 chickens we have running around our verdant back yard.

We still buy a select few U.S products that include cheese, Italian Faro Grain or gluten free products. The cheapest items in our basket are fresh vegetables, seafood, fruits, beans and bread –which are often the most overpriced articles in a U.S grocery store.

And the main advantages of family life in Costa Rica?

That we have one! I’m happy to say that our family spends quality time together, we shop, and we cook and have fun on a regular basis.

To put it simply living in Costa Rica gives my family the opportunity to enjoy a better lifestyle, a country where healthy living is so abundant it literally grows on trees.

James Drews

James Drews

Vice President, Sales. Age 43 Prior to co-founding VESTA GROUP, James moved to Costa Rica in 1996 and began his real estate career here by co-founding Dominical Realty. In 2001, the company obtained a Coldwell Banker independent franchise, and three years later partnered with another Coldwell Banker franchise in Costa Rica to become Vesta Group, the Master-Franchise-holder for the entire country. As a member of the Global Association of Realtors and the U.S.-based National Association of Realtors, the Master Franchise has already grown to ten (10) offices throughout the country, with several more currently in process. James is married to a Costa Rican, and proud father of 3 daughters ages 7,10, and 20. James, is well respected among the local and foreign community, and carries high ethical standards, and a hard working family man that seeks to provide his customers with the best level of service possible. James goes out of his way to seek out new frontiers that are ahead of the wave, and specializes in rural and remote farmland, developing land and collecting legacy type of properties. Surfing big waves, fishing, hiking, and travel are favorite pastimes. Daily goal is a new discovery. Approaching 20 years of living in Costa Rica, James knows his territory well, and has much love for his new country and it's people, and will guide you well, and share his resources and local knowle​d​ge with you to make your new venture successful.​ ​