Sunday, May 20, 2012

What Did It Cost?

What did last winter in Mexico cost compared to the previous year when we stayed in the USA? Good question!
ITEM 2010/11 USA 2011/12 Mexico COMMENTS
Fuel (Car) 494 212 We drove the motorhome more and the car less in MX
Fuel (Motorhome) 4302 4503 Cheaper gas in MX but we drove much further in MX
Propane 113 126
Dining 3770 1843 Gulf Coast restaurants! We probably dined out almost as much in MX but restaurants are cheaper there.
Entertainment 1077 95 New Orleans, Beale St, Key West, Cruise Ship, etc.
Groceries (inc. Liquor) 3606 3896 Everything we buy in a grocery store. Soap, replacement drinking glasses, books, etc.
Admissions & Tours 155 26
RV Parks 3080 3077 RV Parks are cheaper in MX but we boondocked much more in USA (Walmarts, etc.). Free parking for one month at friends in FL.
Hotels 422 0 Key West hotel for four nights (that took some shopping!)
Taxis, buses 68 22
Tolls 5 845 Mexican toll roads
Travel (Other) 808 152 Cruise to the Bahamas
Cell Phone 331 180 We use Skype more in Mexico
$18,231 $14,977 $107.25/day in USA and $88.10 in Mexico

Wow! That is a little shocking! We visited a lot of famous cities in the USA and tried out some expensive, famous restaurants. The side trip to the Bahamas was fun but a little costly. The USA required a few expensive RV parks ($60/night in both New Orleans and Savannah) while Mexico RV parks average $20/night. Gas is much cheaper in Mexico but we put a lot more miles on down there.

If the weather was a little warmer on the USA side of the border we would probably spend more time there but I just do not like the cold and it got down to freezing on too many nights and some days it was actually colder that it was back home! If we did stay NOB we would have to find a bit of a cheaper way to do it but how can you drive all the way to Savannah, GA and NOT go to Paula Dean’s (or try the beignets in New Orleans)

We also went a little nuts on entertainment in the USA year. I am a blues music fan and had to visit all the clubs in Clarksdale and Memphis. Normally our “entertainment” is going out for dinner and appears as a “dining” expense. New Orleans’ Bourbon Street is also something everyone has to experience once in a lifetime!

The Canadian dollar was worth slightly more in the Mexico year so that probably cut expenses by about 4% that year.

Not included in the above is maintenance and repairs on the vehicles which is about $1000 in both years and medical insurance which was almost $1500 each year.

NOTE: I made a huge addition error the first time I posted this so the difference is now not quite so shocking! Thanks for pointing it out, Kevin! One of the things that saved us a lot of money in the USA year was being able to park for a whole month at our friend’s place in Florida where RV parks are extremely expensive.


  1. Even more shocking is your $8000 addition error! :-)

  2. No wonder it was shocking! Which side/ Let me find my calculator!

  3. OK, I fixed it. I knew it did not seem right but I did not check the addition.

  4. I'm sure you've found it by now somewhere in the left hand column.

    I can't figure out the $600 per month on groceries, but I know you have to take the booze out of that figure. But you guys eat out twice a day...almost. We hardly ever eat out and yet we spend only $200 per month on groceries while in Mexico. We drink a lot and we're only $100 a month on booze, so I wouldn't think you're any more than that. We just can't figure how you spend so much. But then maybe you can't figure out how we spend so little.

    Thanks for posting the figures, I wish more people would do that.

  5. I stared at that grocery cost for a long time. It includes everything we buy in grocery stores. We do eat well and tend to grab the more costly brands and varieties of food and we entertain a lot. But yes, it is a lot and you are right, I cannot fathom how two people can eat on $200 a month.

  6. Croft
    I wonder what the net cost would be if you compared to the expenses you would have at home. Granted, you are spending more on the road, but some of your expenses would be the same if you stayed home. Or do you find that is not significant enough?
    Bill in Nebr.

  7. Great numbers, and great to pocket about 4000 in savings.

    We are hard-pressed to spend 200 dollars a month on groceries too. We don't buy red meat but once or twice a month and drink cheap wines and cheap vodka.

    Traveling in Texas this month I am shocked at how expensive everything is. Boy, they really nickel and dime you to death. Everything is extra, I never heard of paying for water or air at a gas station not to mention the price of fuel. Coming up the 281 from South Padre Island to San Antonio (where we are now) the price never dropped below 3.70 a gallon and I have to pump it myself.

  8. Good post. I am surprised at the numbers being so similar. I will get mine done soon as we get moved.