If you want to expatriate to Mexico to find an affordable cost of living then there is one thing you must do--Go Native!
Now, this is not as scary as you might think. I am not talking about living in the jungles of Puerto Vallarta and hoping the locals will show you how to beat your clothes clean on the rocks "down to the river", (I've seen some Mexicans still doing this).
What I am saying is that you must adopt, as much as you are able, the spending habits of a middle class Mexican family. A middle class family of four lives on about $400.00 USD a month.
I don't mean that you should be living on so little also. You can live cheaply here if you assimilate some of the habits of the locals.
One area where you can save money is in your food bill. Shopping at the local supermarket will cost you much more than if you follow your neighbor to the local markets to buy your food. Many of the local farmers sell their produce in stands at far cheaper prices than the supermarket, which has a huge overhead.
Another area of money saving is eating out. You will mostly see upper-middle-class-looking Mexicans eating out regularly in the local restaurants. The menu prices here are so reasonable that eating out is a Go Native form of entertaining friends. In fact, you are more likely to receive an invitation to a restaurant as a guest before (if ever) being invited to someone's home for dinner.
My wife and I could feed four adults for what it would cost us, as a couple, to eat out in the States. You can get a huge steak dinner, with all the trimmings, and drink for less than $6.00 USD each. Though we see many Mexicans in restaurants, we do know some who never eat out. But, I would have to say it is a cheap form of entertainment and a custom worth adopting.
One area in which I refuse to go native is in some of their traditional dishes, particularly pig's head. One day, we were in the local supermarket when I saw a store flier with a pig's head pictured in the meat section. They had its mouth turned up into a smile! I found this horror in the meat department and have suffered Post Traumatic Pig Head Stress Disorder since!
I live in constant terror of receiving an invitation to someone's house and he or she will serve pig head as the meat dish. Can you just imagine this? There you are at the dinner table sniffing what smells like a pork roast. They bring a covered pan to the table only to reveal the head of a smiling pig staring at you (the eyes are still in its head, by the way).
And just what do you ask for? Is it like asking for dark or white meat when Dad's carving the Thanksgiving turkey? Which part of the hideous beast is the best meat? Is it the ears (they eat a lot of those here), the neck, or perhaps the snout is the most succulent!
"Oh, that snout looks really good today. Snout please!"
Anyway, if you Go Native as much as you can (except for pig's head), you will be able to save a large sum in your daily living expenses.
"Tha?Tha?That's all folks!"
Expatriates Doug and Cindi Bower have successfully expatriated to Mexico, learning through trial and error how to do it from the conception of the initial idea to driving up to their new home in another country. Now the potential expatriate can benefit from their more than three years of pre-expat research to their more than two years of actually living in Mexico. The Plain Truth about Living in Mexico answers the potential expatriate's questions by leading them through the process from the beginning to the end. In this comprehensive guide, you will learn not only how-to expatriate but will learn what to expect, in daily life, before coming to Mexico.
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