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Cost of living in Puerto Rico

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So you are considering moving to Puerto Rico, and one thing you have to really think about is the cost of living in Puerto Rico.  The cost of living in Puerto Rico is mostly expensive, at least when compared to many other places in the US. however it may not be as expensive as say New York City or San Francisco.

But, in all honesty, it is not cheap to live here, especially if you want to live with all the commodities that you are either used to or desire while living in a tropical island.

Quick version:

Cost of living in Puerto Rico is higher than the US. Mostly due to the fact that everything you buy costs more, from groceries to TVs and just about everything you would find at a store (with the exception of Puerto Rican Rum). Also, utilities, YIKES! Much more expensive in Puerto Rico, expect to pay over 25 cents per kilowatt here. Manual labor tends to be cheaper, such as gardeners, small house remodeling projects etc. Some things are not as badly priced but you get less value for your money such as slower internet for a set price when the same price would get you much faster internet in the sates.

If you would like more details on the cost of living in Puerto Rico keep reading below.

It seems that the cost of living in Puerto Rico is blamed mainly in how expensive the electricity is, which it is a factor, however keep in mind that most of the goods have to be imported via boat and the current US Law prohibits Puerto Rico from importing anything that doesn’t come from the US directly. So, not that this post requires me to discuss on that but I just want you to be aware so that you understand that there are many factors that affect and drive up the prices.

So what’s cheap and what’s expensive?

Well, manual labor tends to be cheaper that what I paid for in the US. For example, gardeners, independent plumbers and electricians, maybe small local auto repair shops, and even small remodeling jobs for the house, those sorts of things are generally cheaper than what I used to pay in the US. Having said that, auto parts may be slightly more expensive since it has to be imported in, also auto services at an authorized dealer may be slightly more expensive.  But for the most part, the manual labor in Puerto Rico is not as bad as everything else.

However when you think about the “cost of living in Puerto Rico”, you are thinking about how much you pay for utilities, groceries, etc. Those sorts of things are expensive, very expensive. I will use some numbers to show you, we hare a family of 4, which is mom, dad, and 2 small children. We conserve energy every way we can, we unplug what we are not using whether it is the TV or the microwave, we also use as much natural light as possible, and the A/C (small window unit) is only on at night when we go to bed. Also ALL of our appliances are energy star rated, bought no earlier than 2012. How much do we pay in electricity each month after all that? An average of $400 per month, some months we pay as much as $500, others we go down to about $350 (usually in the winter months). I’m talking we MELT in the summer months, it is HOT in our house, my thermometer has measured 96ºF inside my house, and we STILL pay that much.

How about water/sewer? Well, our latest bill came at just over $100 per month, we do not have any leaks, we do shower once a day and our dishwasher and clothes washing machine uses much less water than the average. Why is it so much? The water company (AAA) has been having some financial problems and the minimum prices were raised for all of those not living in public housing, so you pay the minimum basic which you would pay even if you used no water PLUS whatever amount of water you use.

How about goods and services?

Well, there are a few things in which the cost of living in Puerto Rico doesn’t seem like that much but you have to look closer, because you don’t get as much for the same price. For example, it’s like when the price of the peanut butter didn’t change but the jar is not as big as it used to be. Which is what happened here with the milk.

A “Gallon” of milk in Puerto Rico costs $5.79! That’s non-organic, antibiotic and hormone filled cow’s milk! What’s worse, the “gallon” of milk is actually 8 ounces smaller than a REAL gallon! So our gallon of milk is really 120 ounces as opposed to 128 ounces. A half gallon of milk costs $3.00. Oh and all milk costs the same whether it is skim, 1%, 2%, or whole milk. Goat’s milk and lactose free milk is even more expensive. Where to find organic milk? Please let me know, I haven’t been able to find any.

Services like the internet are also not TOO bad but the speeds you get are much slower than you are used to, this is another example on how the cost of living in Puerto Rico is more expensive than it looks. Example, you can get a “triple pack” with the cable company at a reasonable price, say $80 per month, but your cable will be basic, your internet won’t be dedicated to your house with shared speeds up to 15 Mbps (faster if you pay a lot more), and the telephone service will likely not include calls to the US (unless you pay more of course). I used to get more than that with faster internet in the states for a cheaper price. Want dedicated internet with the phone company? About $75 per month will get you up to 10 Mbps (more like 8 really) and a land line with calls to the US included.

Fruit, veggies, all more expensive, even if grown locally. TV’s, cars, toys, games, furniture, just everything about 10% or so more expensive, sometimes more sometimes a bit less or a markup than what you would expect in the states.

To add insult to injury, EVERYTHING is taxed! I’m talking even a bottle of water has tax, even the blood tests that you need for medical reasons has a “sello” which is another way the local government taxes you. Tax here is 7% for “sales and services” meaning that if it’s sold or if it is a service, regardless of what it is, it WILL be taxed!

Expect to pay more for the same things here. plain and simple. I honestly buy many things on Amazon Prime, take advantage of the free shipping, that way I can save some money.

Even though the cost of living in Puerto Rico is higher that one would prefer, keep in mind that it is not all bad, after all you are in a tropical island with warm weather and available beaches year round! That’s good right!? =)

Anyway, please let me know if you have any questions or comments regarding the cost of living in Puerto Rico!

Click here to go back home, from Cost of living in Puerto Rico

Jay-Webmaster

Author: Jay-Webmaster

Jay is an Atmospheric Physicist and Massage Therapist who was born and raised in Puerto Rico but went to college in the US before moving back to Puerto Rico. Creator of NewToPuertoRico.com and the new forum NewToPuertoRico.com/forum

28 Comments

  1. Hi,

    Thanks for all the helpful information!

    I am sorry if you covered this somewhere or if I missed it but I was wondering if you can comment on expecting a pay cut when moving to Puerto Rico.

    I am coming from NYC so my cost of living and average salary I think maybe somewhat skewed compared to the rest of the U.S.

    Would appreciate any help.

    Thank you,
    Brittany

    • Jay-Webmaster

      Hello Brittany!

      Well the pay cut here is very independent to the type of job you have and where it is. So it would be impossible for me to compare job markets per industry. But do expect a pay cut in most cases. In my line of work personally, I would make the same amount here that I would in the US, but this is specific to me, in the overwhelming majority of cases people in PR would make less money than their US counterparts. How much less? I don’t know, it depends on what you do for work. If you tell me what is your line of work I may be able to give you an estimate if I know someone that works on the field.

      Take Care!

  2. I’m having a super difficult time finding someone for auto repairs or preventative maintenance that is reliable and speaks English in the metro area. Any recommendations?

    • Jay-Webmaster

      If you are military or a federal employee, you can go to the auto care shop at the Ft. Buchanan base in Guaynabo. I’ve also had decent luck at PepBoys (there are several around). You can also look for the car dealers if you want, depending on the car make you can search for a dealership and they should be able to help you as well.

      Where have you looked and what places in the San Juan Metro?

  3. I will be moving to PR for a job at Fort Buchanan. I have never been to PR and speak only a little Spanish. Unfortunately I have less than a month to move and find a place. Do you have any advice or areas that you would suggest? (I have been told Dorado and Caguas).

    • Jay-Webmaster

      Hello Pinkie! Sorry for the late reply!!!

      Well, I don’t know everything that you are looking for, but unless you love long commutes and/or lots of traffic to and from work, I would NOT recommend either of those 2 cities! I mean they are nice by themselves and if you worked either in Dorado or Caguas then sure, go live there. But I’m actually VERY familiar with Ft. Buchanan and I must tell you that there will always be lots of traffic in and around the base.

      I would strongly suggest you look in Guaynabo or Bayamón first (if you want to be closer to work), Cataño is close too. Toa Baja wouldn’t be TOO bad but you have to start taking traffic into consideration there although it is not as bad as from Dorado which is a bit further west.

      North Guaynabo and North Bayamon would be my first choices, I would start looking outward from there if I can’t find anything.

      Good Luck!

  4. Hello and greetings,

    I am 28 years old I live in upstate New York currently and am finishing a degree in information systems! I currently work in maufacturing for nanotechnology. My girlfriend of 2 years was born and raised in Puerto Rico in San Sebastián on the west side. Her entire family is there and we both love it there. I have been looking for a job down there for months now and really haven’t had luck I’ve applied to over 20. We are flying down in January for SanSe 2016 , can’t frighten wait. So I’m wondering is it possible to get a job offer somewhere preferably on the west side of the island isabela is where we want to live. Also I wouldn’t want to rent I would want to buy a home. How much should your household income be for getting by and being able to purchase a home? I speak some Spanish but not fluently I know living amongst a Spanish community will help me gain fluency. We really want to live there to be close to family and the beautiful landscape but with the way things are going down there it seems almost impossible. The other day I saw a posting for a teacher at UPR that required a PhD and paid a meager 42000 a year. I know if I was making what I make now I’d move there in a heart beat which is about 42000 a year.

    • Jay-Webmaster

      Hello Dan!

      Well, first of all I wanted to say that I am very glad you both like it down here! It truly is a nice place! San Sebastián and the whole NW section of PR is nice.

      The truth is that jobs here do not pay as much as the same job elsewhere, particularly when compared to the US. Yes, PhD’s would make about that per year, maybe a bit more after a while. In order to know how much you can afford you have to check your particular situation, such as Credit Card debt, student loans, etc.

      Housing in the NW-PR is not particularly expensive, especially if you go further inland into the mountains/more rural areas. Spanish is a MUST! Please learn Spanish!

      Finding a job is also hard, especially when you are not here. We are a very face to face culture and we rarely do interviews via phone or skype, normally the person has to be present at the time of the interview. Not always, but more often that not that is the case.

      If your girlfriend is also going to work, you should have enough combined income to have a house, assuming little to no debt, otherwise 42k will be difficult, although possible, but really difficult. The good thing about buying a home vs renting is that you get a huge tax credit on the interest of the mortgage, something you don’t get when you rent. However keep in mind that services such as electricity are expensive here!

      SanSe it a lot of fun! Hope you enjoy it!!!!

      If I were you, I would look online for jobs and follow up on your applications. Call them and ask, be aggressive. Will you spend any time in NW-PR while you are here? If so, schedule visits and tell them you will be there during this time.

      Here’s a link to a few job openings in PR http://www.trabajo.pr.gov/pdf/44954-Empleos%20OCTUBRE%202015.pdf

      Check it out.

      I wish you the best of luck! Please don’t hesitate to ask if you have questions!

      -Jay

  5. I have an opportunity to move to Dorado in PR with my wife and 2 year old son.
    I am offered USD 56000 per annum. Is it enough to live in dorado with family.
    I would be getting approx USD 3500 per month after tax.
    How much would I be able to save if we don’t have a very lavish life style.

    • Jay-Webmaster

      Hello!

      Sorry for the late reply! Tropical Storm Erika got me a little behind schedule here!

      Well, I know many people that can live on less money. However it won’t be without its sacrifices. The truth is that living here is expensive, and Dorado is not the cheapest place, although not the most expensive either.

      It’ll depend on how much you end up paying for rent, previous debt, car payments, etc.

      Also, you may not have a lavish lifestyle but what do you consider a lavish lifestyle? I personally cannot afford to go out to eat very often at all, even a simple trip around the island or going to the movie theaters has to be scheduled weeks in advance to make sure I have the money to pay for gas for the car. So, there’s a difference between not having a lavish lifestyle and basically struggling to be able to afford an occasional treat.

      If you are currently debt free then you should be fine with that amount of money. But if you have car payments, student loans, significant credit card debt or other debt, then you will struggle. BUT, you can do it! I’m just saying that you might struggle. A “gallon” (120 oz) of milk here is $6 and the sales tax is currently 11.5% until at least April 30th 2016, so that should give you an idea on how expensive it can get.

      But yes, you can do it, I do, but I strongly advise you to be thrifty and look for sales everywhere at the grocery stores. Using manufacturer’s coupons here is accepted but it is a hassle, the manager of the store has to approve every single coupon and sign it off, and sometimes the printed coupons are not accepted, on top of that some stores don’t even accept any for of coupon, but stores like Walmart does accept the coupons.

      I personally do not regret moving here one bit, in fact I’m very happy here, even with how expensive things are. You can do it, but it’ll really depend on your spending habits.

      Take Care!

      • Thank you for the reply! Well currently I live in Doha which is super expensive.
        How about childcare and healthcare services expense. In Doha it’s minimal like almost for free.

        Is surviving without a car challenging? If you could help me with some websites to find out about housing , used car options etc would be great!!

        I am very keen on moving and experiencing the island culture.

        Thank you for all the help! It’s a very useful site!

        • Jay-Webmaster

          Wow Doha! That’s awesome! The closest I’ve gotten to Doha was a couple of years ago when a Qatar airways airplane had to do an emergency landing here in San Juan for some major repairs! LOL I’ve heard it’s really beautiful there!

          Well, as far as child care and healthcare, neither of them are free, and depending on your healthcare plan, it could be cheap or not. Will your employer provide a healthcare plan? Healthcare here is not as expensive as in the U.S. but it is not free, and it can get expensive if you need lots of medications.

          Childcare is not cheap either. Will your kids go to school? That’s another thing, it’s hard for me to recommend the local public schools over the private ones. Not that the public schools are THAT bad, but honestly, they just don’t seem to have the budget compared to what you would see in the U.S. or other countries.

          Yes, surviving without a car is a challenge, public transit is not so good, especially if you want to go from Dorado all the way to the San Juan area, not to mention that you would be doing yourself a disservice by not being able to travel around the island and see everything this island has to offer!

          Hope this helps!

  6. hello I am a single mom and currently live in Massachusetts.
    My daughter is 5 yrs old and is Irish, Polish, ( my side ), and half Puerto Rican. I want to know her family in P.R. and they all live there including her grandmother and grandfather. She is there only grandchild. I just received my section 8 voucher , after being on the waiting list since my daughter Was 3 months old . My voucher is nationwide including Puerto Rico. Unfortunately she isn’t bilingual and neither is her family there. I really want my daughter to know her family and want us both to become bilingual .
    This is why I’m considering moving to P.R. . Her grandparents live in Manati. She has many cousins there I would like for her to know.
    Can you give me some advice, please?
    Thank you sincerely,
    Crystal

    • Jay-Webmaster

      Hello Crystal!

      My best advice would be not to think about to too much and just move!

      If you really want something just go for it. Finding a job here may prove to be difficult, especially if you don’t know Spanish, but where there’s a will there’s a way.

      It sounds like you would have a lot of family support, they will help in your transition.

      All the best!
      Jay

  7. Hi,
    This site is full of great info! I am looking to get some advice on a possible move to Dorado. I am 29 years old and considering moving to Dorado for a job. I have a wife and a 2 year old. I am looking for info on cost of living, safety, do I need a car, is there a public transportation system? I have been to San Juan many times but never to Dorado so any advice would be great. Also, I don’t speak Spanish. Thanks for any help.
    -Mark

    • Jay-Webmaster

      Hello Mark!

      Well moving to Puerto Rico will be a change to say the least! Make sure you read my latest post in which I describe 5 things you need to know about living in Puerto Rico. =)

      My advice based on what you said? Dorado is very nice and it has very decent beaches. I would consider Dorado a bit safer than San Juan. Cost of living is pretty high and it could get worse, so keep that in mind. However like this article says, not everything is expensive. The public transit from Dorado to San Juan is extremely inefficient and not worth the hassle, you should get a car. Traffic to and from Dorado and San Juan can be brutal, if you have some flexibility in your work schedule I would start my shift no later than 6AM, leaving Dorado no later than 530 AM. I drove from Dorado to San Juan a few weeks at 615 AM or so and I got to San Juan after 7 AM. The same goes for the afternoon, leaving at 2 PM from San Juan is OK, 3PM is pushing it, traffic starts to get pretty bad after that.

      Please learn at least the most basic Spanish. Even if it is a word here and a word there. Download the Duolingo App and practice. Trust me, you will struggle at times of you know no Spanish. Worst case scenario, ask a neighbor to help when setting things up but life will be a lot easier if you know at least some Spanish.

      Take Care!

  8. Gd afternoon. Well, my wife and I are also planning to retire in Purto Rico in a few years. Our family has land in Las Piedra. Living for our grandfather, uncles, aunts is not really that bad and most of them are also retired. Do you think it would be expensive for two retirees to live in Puerto Rico?

    • Jay-Webmaster

      Well, the cost of living here is fairly high I must admit. You can see my page on the Cost Of Living in Puerto Rico for more details.

      However it really depends on how you adjust based on those costs. For example, Las Piedras is not the warmest place in Puerto Rico, so chances are you can just have a fan going as opposed to A/C, which will save you lots of money considering electricity is so expensive here. Also, there is a new tax being proposed in which will raise sales and services tax (known here as IVA) from 7% to 16% plus a 1% municipal tax! Yes, that’s right sales tax 16%!

      But some things are except, for example unprocessed foods and ingredients to cook, so if you eat mainly fruit and veggies then you will not have to pay that 16% IVA that is being proposed and likely pass. Medicines and medical equipment, among other things are also exempt, but most things will be susceptible to that 16% tax.

      So it is not cheap living here, but with some adjustments you can make it happen, not everything is expensive though, so it all depends on your specific needs, your budget and how well you can adjust.

      Generally speaking it can be done yes, but if you are one to buy lots of things then it might get expensive. We are heavily taxed, and also a new gasoline tax just passed that will raise the price of gasoline about 15 cents per gallon. So, we are getting taxed heavily, however if you are married, you are tax exempt on your income up to $80,000. So it is not all bad, since you’ll only pay taxes on income for that taxable income that surpasses the $80,000 (at least that’s what’s being proposed with the new 16% IVA).

      Read the post on the Cost of Living in Puerto Rico, maybe that’ll give you a better idea.

      Take Care!

  9. Hello, this website is very useful but maybe Im putting my question in the wrong section. Im not to sure. So I am 21 years old and have just moved to Caguas, Puerto Rico recently. I am studying at la inter metro but am having a difficult time adapting. I speak spanish but am often lost in the slang of the people here, Most of the time i just smile and nod and hope i can use context clues to figure out what they’re saying. I have gotten my permit here but still no car which makes it difficult to travel around. The buses are slow compared to home (Philadelphia) and they dont run all night, at least the ones that will bring me back home. I am having trouble finding work as I am tired of being inside my house all day. Any advice on work or new hobbies to pick up now that im here. What do you know about things to do here in caguas, im not to far from las catilianas mall if that helps you with location. I really appreciate all the help i can get and all the new friends i can make.

    Thank you

    • Jay-Webmaster

      Hello Lakshmi:

      Well, unfortunately Caguas is a bit “removed” from most of the things in the metro, I can understand the frustration. There are groups for just about any hobby out there but you really have to look hard for them. Do you like running or cycling? There are many running clubs as well as cycling clubs. Really for many different sports you may find a club, I think there’s a running club in Caguas called “Roadrunner’s club” you don’t have to be a runner, you can be a beginner and just get out there, you just have to look and find some clubs, there are several. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if the majority of more specific clubs are in other municipalities like Guaynabo, San Juan, and Bayamon. The truth is that it is difficult to get out there and do things without a car, but honestly the people here are very nice and just about any club or organization will allow you to get involved and meet people, if you need help, there will be people out there to help you in a more personal level.

      The buses? Yes they suck a little, unless you live right in San Juan (Isla Verde, Condado, Miramar etc.) it can be hard to be without a car, I really wish I had better advice for the transportation issue but this is a complaint that I hear over and over again. Having said that, I believe there’s a train in the works which will go from Caguas to San Juan (novotren) so things may get better soon!

      Do you have neighbors? Do you talk to random people? We actually met one of our best friends in a doctor’s office waiting room! This lady was complimenting my wife’s heels and before we knew it she wrote her name and number in a piece of paper and that’s it! We talked for about 10 minutes in the waiting room and a few days later we were having dinner at her house.

      You’d be surprised how approachable and open to meet people are here. Give it a try!

    • “I speak spanish but am often lost in the slang of the people here, Most of the time i just smile and nod and hope i can use context clues to figure out what they’re saying.”
      Every country has slang; just be candid and tell people to please explain what you don’t understand in their Spanish so you can learn, and they will gladly abide. It’s the only way to learn faster than torturing yourself trying to figure it out.

      The action happens mostly in San Juan (Condado, Old San Juan) and Isla Verde (Carolina -near the airport). But it was good advice given to you below that, if you don’t have a car yet, try to join groups that perform activities together. Also, try to find a singles club. I know there is one that has events in San Juan but maybe there are “chapters” throughout the island. Who knows?

      Even though Puerto Ricans can be very friendly, I wouldn’t advice you to be too trusting either – don’t let your guard down, evil people are everywhere disguised in sheep’s clothes. Please be very careful and meet with others in public places and make sure you have a safe way to go back home. Trust your gut, if you don’t feel “safe” in an environment or around certain people, just follow your instinct and leave as soon as possible. Your gut instinct is basically “fear” giving you a nudge to assess the situation with more attention to details.

      Other advice: you can’t live in PR without a car. Buy one as soon as possible because it will get you everywhere on your own terms, that means without depending on strangers, which is scary. Don’t give away that you are all alone in PR and don’t share your personal info (phone #, address, etc.) easily – again, it’s better to agree to meet people in public places.

      In fact, I don’t live in PR anymore but I think that there is still Shannon’s Pub in San Juan that is a haven for English-speaking patrons. I remember that young people from cruises stopping for a night went there. But you need to check if still exists; it may be a good place to visit when you get your car. If you try to find clubs where Americans and other tourists hang out, it will be like the best of two worlds for you, but those places will be near Old San Juan or Isla Verde for sure.

      Good luck!

  10. Thanks for your blog. It is very informative!

    Quick question. Does amazon delivers in Puerto Rico? That would be huge for us.

    Thank you.

    • Jay-Webmaster

      Omar:

      Yes Amazon deliver MOST items to Puerto Rico. There are several items that for some reason do not ship here. I do have Prime and I use their streaming services, but one thing, the “Free” shipping with Prime is NOT the 2-day shipping but the regular 3-7 day shipping instead.

      But more often than not they do ship, just not as quick and some things they don’t ship here.

  11. I live in Puerto Rico and my electric averages around $30 (thirty).
    We live in a rural area at about 2,400′ above sea level, so we don’t need or have air conditioning. We cook with gas. We have an older self-defrosting refrigerator, and a washing machine – no drier.
    I think we get a cheaper rate because this area is considered agricultural (we have 38 acres). Also I think some / most of our electricity is hydroelectric from a dam.
    We live very cheaply here. A $22 propane tank has lasted us as much as 3 months.
    The information about the price of milk is right. I also have looked for organic milk with no luck. While it is true groceries are a little more here, so many things are a lot less, like a car mechanic.
    I love Puerto Rico – the people are friendlier than anywhere I have been.

    • Jay-Webmaster

      Hello Barb!

      Well, it is hard for me to believe that the price of electricity is based on location, with the exception of the public housing a.k.a “The Projects”. I do have friends that live in the heart of San Juan and pay around $40 to $55 per month. They however do have an electric stove and also both a washer and dryer, but they also do not use A/C (they melt).

      Yes, most of the people in the interior part of the island use the hydro-electric dam from the Dos Bocas lake. That shouldn’t matter though, I actually went to the Dos Bocas dam one time and talked to the operators and employees of the electrical company, they explained to me why the electricity was so expensive and also showed me everything they do, which is a lot!

      As far as the cheaper stuff in PR, yes the car mechanics are cheaper, I wrote “small auto repair shops” in my entry but that’s basically what I meant.

      I am so glad you love PR! Often times we feel like the odd people out because so many people have so many bad things to say and can’t wait to get out! But we do love it here, the people are great and there are many great things about PR that some people just don’t care to see!

      I wish I lived 2400′ above sea level! Hopefully someday I can afford a house up there!

      Thank you so much for your comment and for your love of our little island! =)

  12. Hi,
    This is a nice detailed post. I’m a fallow blogger. I’ve been researching Puerto Rico as a relocation destination for a while and I’m always interested in cost of living.
    So, where I’m confused, and I’m hoping you can help me, is the utilities. Every account I’ve read agrees that food is pretty expensive and so are utilities. Where they differ though is in how expensive. In your post you said $400-500/mo for electric – ouch! Does that vary by location? I’ve seen others say that it’s $200-250/mo, so I’m totally confused. They are both expensive but one is clearly a lot more than the other.
    We are planning our move in Nov. and are heading for the Western side of PR. Which area do you live in?
    I’d love to connect and swap stories.

    • Jay-Webmaster

      Joanna,

      People say that electricity varies by location but I don’t think that’s the case. The only people who pay less for electricity are those in public housing. We pay 400-500 because of the family size and lifestyle. We never eat out so we cook every day for every meal, we also exercise regularly and so do our young children, so there it lots of laundry. (We are a family of 4)

      You may pay less if you are out of the house more often or don’t have to do as much laundry. The people next door to me are also a family of 4 and they pay about the same as I do.

    • Electricity is high because you will not find gas ranges in PR unless you buy the gas tanks separately, so cooking daily creates the high cost of electricity. I don’t think that utilities could be cheaper according to location, it’s a set price per usage.

      Food is expensive because most is brought into the island, and even things grown (like coffee) or processed (like milk) there, could be expensive as well due to their own utility cost manufacturing allocation.

      High cost of food and utilities is always a big problem in any small island. But then, you don’t have to buy coats, boots, scarves, gloves, and hats to cover up during winter. 🙂

      Joanna, expect services everywhere to be slow; people are extremely laid back in PR. Solving problems over the phone in PR? Not really. You have to solve them in person 99% of the time. Traffic is terrible, even outside of the Metro area (San Juan-Carolina-Guaynabo-Bayamon). And the weather is becoming hotter and more humid as years pass by… But they have great food (watch out for gaining weight easily) and great traditions and festivities all year long.

      Good luck with your move, and keep us posted as you get acclimated to PR! 🙂

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