Day #34: Cost of Shopping in Colombia | The Diary Game 07/02/20


I ran over to my computer to download my pictures, and had a heart attack! My memory card hadn't been in my camera. UGH! It was a total horse kick to my day, because the pictures I had framed, were everything I wanted to show YOU about my city. Tomorrow, I will be going out early, to try to retake - or even improve upon, the pictures that I thought I had taken today.

For now, I am going to review the cost of our shopping in Manizales, Colombia today.

Dear Diary - Most Things We Buy Are Very Cheap!

With the exception of imported, non-bootleg clothes, and electronics, most of our costs are quite affordable, if you have even a meager "dollar" income. Even most people, who earn the minimum wage (~$250/mo), at the very least, can pay for a room, their food, and a few beers at the weekend.

Current Exchange Rate Dollars to Colombian Pesos Today: $0.20 SD (STEEM dollars) = $1.00 USD = 3,650 COP To keep it easy, I am going to use an exchange rate of $1.00 USD = 3,000 COP, which is the average rate.

We decided that 2020 is our year to cut down on being digitally tracked, and monitored. My mom and I bought a simple old school brick phone that will allow calls to come in, and go out, plus text messages. As basic as a country bumpkin, but these phone types also get superior coverage to most other types of cell phones, especially out in the countryside or pueblos, because they work well under GSM, 3G, 4G etc. #KeepItSimpleStupid

Cost: 65,000 COP = $21.60 USD = $108 SD Sim Card, with seven days of unlimited calling and text: 5,000 COP = $1.67 = $8.35 SD

I ordered an erector set for my son to build his own "Fort" or playhouse, on Amazon. All you have to do is put the frame together and throw a light sheet over it and now I have a fun little play house for my son. Today, I bought 1.4 m x 3 m of cotton print cloth. (m = meters) in this fun blue color.

Cost: 38,500 COP = $12.83 USD = $64 SD

We visited my favorite coffee and Local Products shop - still open despite the Plandemic, called Origen Caldas. The program behind Origen Caldas, is a departmental government sponsored shop. Only, products grown in the Department of Caldas, Colombia are sold in this shop. You can find locally produced honey, pollen and royal jelly cough remedies from a dozen different towns here in Caldas.

More than a dozen different local coffee brands, including organic. Traditional candies from their respective towns of origin, including carmel stuffed figs, bocadillo de banana (banana treats), dulce de miel (honey sweets), corchos de Neira (a sweet cow foot gelatin in a marshmallow-like presentation), bocadillo de guayaba (guava) and locally made chocolate.

We bought panela (unrefined brown sugar in blocks), honey, bocadillos de banana, a gourmet cappuccino and corn chip snack for my son.

Cost: 28,000 COP = $9.33 USD = $47 SD

Manizales is the most efficient city in Colombia for transport. The metro-cable, costs 2,000 pesos, with a rechargable card. Buses cost 2,050 COP for red/blue buses, and 2,150 COP for Gran Caldas/Green Bus. Taxi's start at 4,000 COP but typically cost between 7 - 10,000 COP to get around in.

Transport Cost for 3 People: 12,150 COP = $4.05 USD = $20 SD

After arriving back at our house, the fruit guy came by in the street, and I was able to buy one ripe avocado and two ripe plantains, or maduros.

Cost: 2,000 COP = $0.67 USD = $13 SD

Total: 145,650 COP = $48.55 USD = $242 SD

On average our expenditures are not exorbitant. We buy a lot of raw products like meat, cheese eggs. Flour, sugar, nuts, dates, and spices, which are then mixed, and baked, into muffins, pancakes, or cookies. Imports, and pre-packaged, or processed foods, are not a common part of our shopping list either. For protein drinks, we buy frozen fruit pulp, and berries.

On another occasion, I will review current prices of fruits, vegetables, and meats.

Dear Reader, Be sure to check in with me tomorrow afternoon, for a photo tour of El Centro, or Downtown, Manizales in the Coffee Region of Colombia. If we have similar lighting to what I lost from this morning, then you will see some beautiful light contrasts. Our architecture is a mish mash of old, and new buildings, which tell the story of a charming old city which was founded in 1849.

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