Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Spending my Lempiras

People are always asking me how much money do I spend on different things compared to what I would spend in the US. So I thought I would post what I pay.

I have included the amount per month that I usually buy. There are things that I wish I could buy, but I just can't justify spending so much money on it. The money amount listed at the end of each item is how much it costs per item, not how much I spend in total.

For example an 8oz package of montery jack cheese runs 78L at the Mega grocery store. Which means it costs almost $10/pound. For 90L I can get 3 pounds of quesillo, which is a soft cheese that sort of is like mozzerella, but not quite. Or I can get 3 pounds of queso seco. Dry cheese. Yuck. Everyone in the house likes queso seco except for Andre and I. I much prefer quesillo.

Oh, and if it seems like I buy alot of food - I do. Lets do a recap of who eats in my household.

  • Lale - who eats the equivalent of 3 teenage boys.
  • Me - who eats normal
  • Andre - who eats the equivalent of 4 teenage boys
  • Sendy - the equivalent of 2 teenage boys
  • Jordan - normal
  • Mickey - normal
  • Isa - normal
  • Johan - the equivalent of 1 teenage boy - seriously.
  • Lana - normal
  • Levi - more than normal
  • Ari - eats a good deal as well.

So while there are 11 mouths that have food shoveled in, it is like I have to cook for 27 people. (because we all know that 1 teenage boy is the same as two normal people). Seriously. At each meal make approx 55 tortillas for everyone. That isnt including me, because I rarely eat tortillas. 38 of those are for 4 people.


on average, $1 = 18.87L

Water bill for the year = 240L

Replacement Chimbo (gas for the stove) (2/month) and it varies. I have paid anywhere from 176L to 215L. It all depends on the price of gas.

(5/month) Baby Formula 354L

(2/month) Ketchup (1 gallon) 123L

(1/month) Mayo (generic semi icky flavor brand) 40L

(1/month) Mustard 36L

(6/month) Hot Sauce = 15L

(2/month) Coffee (1lb bag Cafe Oro) = 34L

(1/month) Creamer (the BIG container) = 55L

(4/month) Margarine (5 sticks Issima brand) = 14L

(2/month) Oil (1 gallon) = 210L

(4/month) Manteca (think a tube of crisco. 1 Kilo) = 24L

(10/month) Hielo bags (20 bags) = 4.5L

(varies/month) Topogigio bags (30 bags) = 4.5L

(2/month) Flour (25lb bag) = 180L

(2/month) Maseca (50lb bag) = 290L

(4/month) Rice (25lb bag) = 230 <> (1/month) Rice (100lb bag) = 880L

(2/month) Spaghetti (5 lb sack) = 110L

(4/month) Diapers (50 diapers size XG Huggies) = 290

(1/month) Salt (Sal Fino 25lb bag) = 80L

(2/month) Sugar (2 fardos. 1 fardo = 40lbs) 220L

(15 chick/month) Chicken (frozen, 4-5 lbs each one) = 20L/lb

(1 big bag/month) Dog Food = 13L/lb or around 490L for the big bag - 40 lbs I think?

(12/month) Macaroni noodles (8 oz bag) = 8L

(3/month) Tomato Paste (12 pack case) = 80L

(5/month) Shampoo (crappy dollar store type, 1 liter) = 48L

(3/month) Conditioner (same crappy dollar store type, 1 liter) = 48L

Deodorant (Dove brand) = 80L

(1/month) Dishwashing soap (24 bar case) = 190L

Dishwashing soap (each) = 9L

(25/month) Laundry Soap (each) = 12L

(1/month) Laundry Soap (powder, medium bag) = 45L

(2/month) Bleach (1 gallon) = 38L

(2/month) Flash cleaning liquid (1 gallon) = 88L

(15lb/month) Hamburger meat = 40L/lb

Hamburger meat (more fat) = 25L/lb

(15lb/month) Meat (think roast) = 40L/lb

Beef tenderloin = 48L/lb

(varies) 3L of soda = 30L

veggies (250L/week)= 1000L

The deodorant I buy enough for everyone for the year here in the US, then either take it down with us, or shove it in the box we send down. This year I am doing the same thing with shampoo. I really miss my Pantene. And the price of the small pantene in Honduras is almost equal to the price of 1 liter of Pantene in the US.

The veggies I buy either from the market in Tocoa, or from the veggie truck that comes by our house every Saturday morning. Usually - but not always, the veggie truck is cheaper than the market in Tocoa. The picture above shows what I bought from the veggie truck for less than 160L. Or between $7 and 8$. For that amount I got 5lbs of tomatoes, 3 heads of lettuce, 1 head of cabbage, 4 pounds of red onions, 5 pounds of potatoes, 3 pounds of carrots and 10 green peppers.
Speaking of food - Isa was looking at pictures of her cousins birthday party, which we werent able to make it to, and she asked me why only he had friends over his house for a party. We celebrated her birthday at home with a special dinner, a cake and just us family. We didnt have the money to do anything big, and I hate having a bunch of people over to the house anyways. So I told her, Isa, you have so many brothers and sisters that together they make enough people for a party. So not only did you have a party for your birthday, you have a party EVERY time you sit down and eat. Just think of how lucky you are to be able to have a party 3 times a day.
I dont know if she bought it or not though because she just sort of looked at me funny and walked away.


Live Simply Love Strongly said...

That is a LOT of food. Definately enough to classify as a party. I don't have people over very often so that I can avoid cooking that much food. You must be an expert in the kitchen!

Jennifer said...

HAHAHA an expert in the kitchen. NOT. Well the Honduran kitchen anyway. I am better in the American kitchen than the Honduran kitchen.

I try though. And I guess thats all that matters ;)

Cindy in California said...

Very interesting and informative. Thank you for taking the time to share this. I admire you so much!

I can certainly see how you go through this much food with so many people...especially those who eat like teenage boys!

I have one question...what do you do with 25 lbs. of salt each month?

I think you're smart to have certain things brought or sent from the US. I know how expensive drug store items are in Honduras. A few "luxuries" are definately worth it.

Jennifer said...

Well I finally bought the salt in the 25 lb sack (it has 50 1/2 pound bags in it) late November, and there was still some when I left - although I don't know how much is/was left. I bought the 25 pound bag because it costs 80L for it, or I can buy the container of Mortons salt, and that costs 18L for each one. Way cheaper to buy the 25 pound bag. I can get a 25 pound bag of salt, but its like wet salt (I hate to use that kind) and its only 40L.

But my husband likes to grab a bunch of it for the cows and horses. Although he prefers the wet coarser salt. (Which reminds me I should add that to the list above, because I will be buying that for him to use so he wont use all of mine) And while I use some in cooking, the older boys use a ton of it. They like to sit there and eat tortillas and salt and butter (yuck!) as a snack. Or they will eat lemons, and oranges with salt and cumin (yuck!). I keep telling them that they will have a heart attack before the year is over with as much salt as they use, but does anyone listen to me? And since I came back to the US I found out its ME who has the high blood pressure all of a sudden.

Olancho Bound Gringa said...

OMG, girl! That's all I can say. I can't believe the amount but when I think about the teenagers, I understand. You must be in the kitchen all day long. Federico seems to think that Catacamas food is cheaper,but I guess I'll find out soon enough.

Doña Masita said...

Dear Jennifer, you're such a devoted mom! It's really nice to see how moms do whatever for their kids in pursue of their health and joy. Congratulations! Best wishes for 2010.

Doña Masita,

chicadedios25 said...

Wow - thank you so much for posting this. Carlos has been begging me to ask some of you guys that live in Honduras to tell him the prices of some everyday items so he could see for himself the change in before and after the economy crisis. Thank you millions!

Olancho Bound Gringa said...

Hey girl!

Am I reading this correct? Are you going thru a 100lbs of rice in a month?