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Estimating Food Costs??

New York
4 posts
Estimating Food Costs??

I am interested in staying in Cabarete in something other than the All Inclusive resorts. I don't really need help finding lodging (at least at the moment). What I really need is an estimate on food costs per day, per person if possible. There are other people traveling with me that think it is more cost effective to go AI. I would like general numbers on food costs to compare with AI.

My plan is to stock the rental unit with breakfast and lunch items as well as liquor, beer, and the fixings. My intention would be go to out for dinner and entertainment most nights.

Can someone give me a food cost estimate?

Sosua, Dominican...
Destination Expert
for Puerto Plata, Sosua, Dominican Republic
Level Contributor
18,298 posts
351 reviews
1. Re: Estimating Food Costs??

Are you asking about total food costs including the food stocked in the condo and dinner + Entertainment. Or are you just asking about the costs for the dinner and entertainment?

BObK

Cabarete, Dominican...
Level Contributor
779 posts
27 reviews
2. Re: Estimating Food Costs??

There is another DE, Expat-in-Cabarete who has an excellent knowledge of what groceries cost.

I'd like to weigh in with the best reason for not going A.I.; Cabarete is a gem of a town. The beach is full of restaurants that sit beneath lantern strung palm trees at night. Off the beach, there are many other good eating places and you can eat an evening meal at one of Cabarete's most popular chicken grills (Jose Parilla - or 'Chicken Man') for $7 per person for example. Check the page on the Cabarete forum about restaurants. Evening meals will cost anything from $7 to $25 per head depending on the upscale factor of the restaurant.

You can rent a great condo in Ocean Dream, Ocean One or Harmony as the ocean front or near ocean front premier places. There are other cheaper options for condos.

It is safe in Cabarete and places like Iguana Mama or Fun Tours can organize any number of great day trips for you.

I can tell you that fruit and eggs are dirt cheap, a loaf of excellent bread at Dicks bakery (fresh every morning) is around 40 pesos or $1 more or less, In the supermarkets, Presidente (an excellent) beer costs 32 pesos and a bottle of decent wine is 225 pesos for a Chilean chardonnay.

Persuade them to stay out of the characterless AI's and enjoy Cabarete!

Cabarete, Dominican...
Destination Expert
for Cabarete
Level Contributor
47,480 posts
288 reviews
3. Re: Estimating Food Costs??

Hi jpmDR,

If you could give us an idea of your ideal breakfast and lunch, I may give it a try to give you a ball park estimate. But without knowing your eating preferences and habits it's rather hard. What do you usually eat for breakfast and lunch?

Silvia

Santo Domingo...
Level Contributor
6,723 posts
25 reviews
4. Re: Estimating Food Costs??

Maybe if you give us a list of things you wish to buy..... then we'll be able to give you the most aproximate costs!

New York
4 posts
5. Re: Estimating Food Costs??

Yes, I am looking for the total cost per day per person. But, anything that will help me estimate that number would be helpful.

The AI people in the group are used to hearing that the prices is 'such and such' which includes airfare, food, hotel, drinks, (including alcohol), most entertainment and tips. They like the idea (abet erroneously) that there are no other costs except for souvenirs, voluntary excursions, and possibly a few extras. As unrealistic as it is, I need some sort of estimate to give them as their total cost. I can account for the airfare and condo rental but I have no idea how to approach the rest. I will try to provide more guidance about their choices but I'm in the same boat as you trying to figuring it out.

Ok - the first problem I see is the alcohol. At AI they can drink all they want. To compare it, I need the prices of beer and alcohol to have in the house as well as the cost for it in local establishments for later in the evening. Most of them are in their mid to late 20's (unlike me who is decades older) so consider they drink a lot. I think this will be the hardest to estimate. Then, there are the snacks and dips, etc. to go with it.

As far as food in the house/condo goes, I thought of getting coffee, cereal, milk, rolls, bread for toast, butter, and sweet type buns as the main staples for breakfast. I imagine there should also be some eggs and bacon or sausages to have occasionally.

For lunch, sandwich meats and cheeses on bread or rolls along with the condiments I believe would be the staple. Having hamburger meat and hot dogs to throw on the grill would be good for lunch or an inexpensive dinner occasionally.

All of these things involve very little cooking and I believe that part to be pretty accurate. I'm trying to work with round numbers so I'm pricing for 10 people over 10 days. There could be a few more or less people, and a few more or less days in the end. What every way I approach it, I will divide it by 10 to give each individual what he/she wants - the average total cost of the trip for them. Yikes! Help!

Sosua, Dominican...
Destination Expert
for Puerto Plata, Sosua, Dominican Republic
Level Contributor
18,298 posts
351 reviews
6. Re: Estimating Food Costs??

Bottom line is cost of AI vacation = $$

Cost of living off the AI = $$$$ (because of ETOH)

Experience of living off the AI = $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ (actually is pirceless)

BObK

Cabarete, Dominican...
Level Contributor
779 posts
27 reviews
7. Re: Estimating Food Costs??

Well said BObK :) There's no comparison. I would add that in the AI's you will get crap beer, wine and spirits too, rather than being able to have decent quality drinks.

The food is also notoriously ordinary.

Cabarete, Dominican...
Level Contributor
779 posts
27 reviews
8. Re: Estimating Food Costs??

I'm interested to pursue this, if only to encourage people out of those characterless resorts and to get to enjoy a great town like Cabarete. Even more so if a lot of your group are in their 20's! Cabarete will be heaven for them.

Here's what I think you will need for 10 people;

Breakfast; 4/5 loaves of bread = $4/$5

carton of eggs (24 eggs) $2-$3

Pineapples, bananas, oranges, etc. $8

Bacon - bought loose by the 1lb is around $5 per 1lb.

tray of tomatoes $2

Milk 2 liters - $3

cereal like Cornflakes around $6 a packet

Cheese like Cracker barrel cheddar, around $6 for 10oz.

Allow another $10-$15 USD for the sauces, condiments (if you don't bring some with you) and $8 for tea/coffee/sugar.

That means breakfast is a total of $55-$61 - $5 / $6 dollars each to eat very well.

Lunch - regular ham is around $4 per 1lb. Cheese we already mentioned. A regular pack of Doritos is 15 pesos or 50 cents. Bread rolls are about 20-30 cents each. Pasta is $1-$2 a regular sized bag. A simple lunch could be $3 or $4 US each.

Dinner - if you want to cook yourself, pasta, chicken, rice are all very cheap here. I would suggest around $7 per head.

If you want to go out to eat - most beach side restaurants have 2 for 1 deals before 8pm - that is drinks too. Eze bar on the beach in Cabarete has chicken skewers with coconut steamed rice and grilled vegetables as an example, for 350 pesos or $10 US.

There are many cheap dining places in Cabarete - you just need to know where they are. There are also places like Maraja and Bliss where you can splash out at $30 per head (starter and main course) and have a delicious meal in lush surroundings.

Drinking; as I said before a Presidente is $1 if bought by the case. A bottle of Frontera red or white wines (2 liters) is 550 pesos or $16US. This has around 10 glasses per bottle. A bottle of the cheap rum (white Brugal) is around 200 pesos per liter ($6). Coke/sprite is around 150 pesos for 2 liters. You could make a lot of Cuba Libres or Santo Libres for $10; we once worked out that a C.L. or S.L. costs around 40 cents. I don't know how much they drink on a regular day, but lets guess that they have 7 beers each and 3 glasses of wine + 3 rum and cokes - that would be around $13 per day on alcohol.

On a cheap day, eating in, you might spend around $33 USD per head.

On an expensive day, $63 USD per head.

It is hard to make a precise judgement as I don't know how much your gang really eat or drink, but I hope that my information helps.

There are several large condos/villas in and around Cabarete that can sleep 10 persons + some cheaper and good budget hotels. Good luck with your quest to get out of AI.

New York
4 posts
9. Re: Estimating Food Costs??

Thanks for your invaluable information. I'm sure I can put together something very persuasive. I'll keep you informed as the plans develop. Here's hoping I can show them the light!

Charlotte, North...
Level Contributor
1,314 posts
19 reviews
10. Re: Estimating Food Costs??

We aren't really into AIs to begin with but when we booked a suite with a kitchen in Cabarete I assumed I'd be cooking B+L to save $. When we got there we found that the food was so cheap it wasn't worth my time to prepare meals myself. You'll miss out on an amazing town with great food and culture if you do the AI.

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