17 Things You Can Buy Cheaper In Mexico

One exciting thing about traveling to other countries is finding items that you use every day for cheaper. Often this is because they produce it locally or because they utilize different materials. 

Some of these products and goods you can bring back home to use in your everyday life. At times you will know a good bargain when you see it because there will be a surplus of tourists stocking up on it!

Next time you take a trip to Mexico, keep an eye out for good deals. To help you in that exploration, here is a list of things you can buy cheaper in Mexico.

What Is Cheap In Mexico?

A photo of several different Mexican bank notes on a white background

Throughout Mexico, you will find areas that are known for particular items. Many people buy leather goods while on vacation, and those items are most readily found in Leon, Mexico. On the other hand, a lot of people flock to Taxco for high-quality, inexpensive silver. 

Depending on what location you are traveling to in Mexico, you will be able to purchase some high-quality items for a fraction of what you’d pay in the United States. Some of these include:

  1. Vanilla
  2. Leather
  3. Pottery
  4. Medical Assistance
  5. Groceries
  6. Dining Out
  7. Silver
  8. Rent
  9. Medication
  10. Automobiles
  11. Clothing
  12. Services
  13. Entertainment
  14. Alcohol
  15. Coffee
  16. Cigarettes
  17. Education

Vanilla

Mexico is the native habitat for vanilla and is where it was first cultivated. Per the National Geographic,

“Vanilla is a native of South and Central America and the Caribbean, and the first people to have cultivated it seem to have been the Totonacs of Mexico’s east coast. The Aztecs acquired vanilla when they conquered the Totonacs in the 15th Century; the Spanish, in turn, got it when they conquered the Aztecs.” 

Finding vanilla today in Mexico is simple, as they sell it in many places throughout the country. You will discover various brands for sale in markets, convenience stores, roadside stalls, and even duty-free shops. 

While shopping for vanilla, be sure to keep a keen eye on the ingredients. To ensure that you are getting a high-quality version, look for the bottle to have the words: “Does Not Contain Coumarin.” Coumarin is an ingredient that can cause liver damage to animals and should therefore be avoided. 

To find the best ingredients, look for Haba de Vainilla (Vanilla Bean) as the very first ingredient. This research will help you acquire pure vanilla instead of an extract. 

Leather

A photo of a dozen leather bracelets made in Mexico

As previously stated, the best place to get high-quality leather is in Leon, Mexico. Many travelers have found many items for sale at the Zona Piel shopping center that resides in central Leon. 

The area is historically known for its cattle raising. However, the city did not halt their efforts with that, and they continued to create leather goods out of the cattle hide. Because of that, Leon is known as the shoe capital of the world. Many of their stores cater to leatherwork, and the markets are home to many shops with cobblers and shoemakers. 

With a surplus of different items available, visitors and locals alike are bound to find the perfect leather goods that they hope for.

Related: Cost of Living in Mexico

Pottery

The art of crafting with pottery is the most popular method in Mexico. All over the country, you will find pockets of potters that use clays specific to their region. For example, Puebla is an area that commonly uses the Talavera clay, whereas Oaxaca frequently uses regional black clay. 

Because the clay used in the pottery crafts is specific to the region, its cost is low. As a result, the selling price is lower. Tourists worldwide come to Mexico to purchase one-of-a-kind pieces for themselves and as gifts.

Many crafters in Mexico create their pieces individually, even down to painting unique details by hand. Due to many potters in Mexico, you have a wide variety of choices when picking your pattern, color, and type of pottery. 

Not only can you purchase many beautiful pieces of pottery on your trip, but you can also watch the item’s creation process. Many areas offer tours of the workshops that artisans use to create their works of art. 

Related: Legalizing Cars in Mexico

Medical Assistance

Combining a vacation and a medical procedure is becoming more and more common as time goes on. Even getting your teeth cleaned without insurance is less than a copay or deductible in the United States. 

Because of the significant price difference, many foreigners travel to Mexico for cosmetic procedures, infertility treatment, and even bariatric surgery. Quite often, tourists come out of the medical vacation with a large amount of money saved – even after paying for airfare and accommodations! 

Groceries

An image showing different foods in front of a Mexican flag. The foods include bread, chicken, milk, chocolate, eggs, and lettuce

Tourists traveling to Mexico are often shocked at the low cost of groceries in the supermarkets and outdoor shopping centers. The cost of eggs, meat, vegetables, and paper products is far less than what Americans pay in the USA. Prices continue to decrease if you purchase them from a local farmer or roadside market. 

But what about dairy products? How much is a gallon of milk in Mexico? This price will vary depending on location within the country but is often comparable or less than the cost in the USA.

Dining Out

Going to a restaurant can be costly, but this is not often the case when visiting Mexico. Restaurants there frequently offer meals consisting of several courses for the cost of a happy meal in the United States. 

Not only is this beneficial for tourists that are on vacation in Mexico, but the low cost also allows residents to engage in dining out on a more frequent basis. In a country that has many living in poverty, access to cheap food is highly desirable. 

Silver

When you plan a vacation to Mexico, be sure to carve out time to check out the silver jewelry. The most popular area to purchase high-quality silver for low prices is in Taxco. The hefty price difference allows people to buy in more significant quantities. You can even bring some back for gifts!

As with most situations, just be cautious when purchasing that you are getting the authentic product. Most places will be legitimate, but at times you will run into one that isn’t honest about what they are selling. 

Rent

Living in parts of Mexico is much cheaper than in the United States. Depending on where you choose to reside, some populated areas charge the same amount for renting a four-bedroom, three-bath home as what you would pay for a studio apartment in most USA areas. 

Many expats appreciate the reduced rent as it is night and day from America and allows them to experience more of the country with the additional funds. Although large portions of Mexico are sparse in population with minimal utilities and luxuries, these costs are not associated with those regions. Many of these rates are available even in large cities within Mexico.

Medication

A photograph of a number of colorful pharmaceutical pills that have fallen from a glass jar

You can acquire both over-the-counter and prescription medications for a lower price in Mexico. This situation is similar in other countries as well due to government regulations on pricing. Many people, not just tourists, will routinely purchase their medications from Mexico or other countries to afford the needed drugs. 

Purchasing medication for a headache in a supermarket is also cheaper in Mexico than in the USA. The makeup of the different drugs is the same, but the cost is significantly reduced. 

Automobiles

While not all makes and models are more affordable in Mexico, you can purchase some for a lower rate than in the USA. Additionally, Mexico has some models available for sale that are not offered in other countries, most at a low cost. Some Mexican’s can even purchase a vehicle with a credit card due to the low price. 

Another perk of car shopping in Mexico is that there is no haggling on price. It is a law that they have to display the total cost of the car just as if it were a price tag. This move eliminates many issues that can arise during the sales process and makes the transaction smoother. 

Clothing

During your time in Mexico, you will be able to find a large amount of clothing, both locally made and brand name, for a lower price. The low price will depend on what area of Mexico you are located within. Higher populated areas or commercial districts will be notoriously high, sometimes 2-3x higher than what you will pay elsewhere.

At times, the cost difference can be due to climate. Although a winter coat can be in high demand in Michigan, it isn’t as much a need in Mexico. When the market is high, things tend to cost more. In times when it is less, the cost decreases. 

As you shop, be careful of knock-off brands. In highly touristy areas, it is common to come across booths and markets that sell lookalike clothing that resembles designer pieces.

Services

In the United States, when a household appliance or vehicle breaks down, anxiety tends to escalate. The cost associated with just a simple house call or problem evaluation is often detrimental to your budget. This stress can lead you to attempt to remedy the problem yourself instead of calling a professional. 

But this is not the case in Mexico. To have a local serviceman come to check out an issue is cheaper than an Uber ride in America. Having the ability to secure manual assistance during times like this is life-saving and time-effective. Having it cost so little is even better. 

Entertainment

A photo of a mariarchi band, showing several musicians playing guitars while dressed in Mariarchi outfits

These days, going to a movie in the USA can almost break the bank. Between the tickets, food, parking, and fees, it’s almost more expensive than it’s worth. However, in Mexico, the price is much less. The cost of a movie ticket in Mexico is on average less than what a bag of theater candy costs for Americans. 

This cost is very attractive to foreigners who visit Mexico. However, it is common for those who live in the country. The low price makes movies more accessible to families and low-income earners. 

Alcohol

A lot of people associate Tequila with Mexico because that is what the country is known for globally. However, you can purchase a large assortment of alcohol for a low price while visiting. Many Americans will buy their favorite kinds to take home with them, as well as some new varieties to give to friends and family. 

These costs don’t just apply to the large bottles of alcohol that you purchase at liquor stores. You can also access these prices in the bars themselves. The cost of beer and mixed drinks is much cheaper in Mexican bars than in the USA. This lower cost is appreciated by locals and tourists alike. 

Coffee

Although there are countries close to Mexico known for their coffee beans, Mexico is not at the top of the list. There are some regions in the country where it is more prevalent than others, but the country isn’t a mass producer of the product.

However, given the regions within the country that do supply it and the proximity to top-producing countries, it is possible to get high-quality coffee for a lower price while on your trip to Mexico. You can often find your favorite beans for a lower price in Mexico.

This price can also affect your Starbucks trips, as your latte will be a little bit cheaper than what you are used to paying in America. 

Cigarettes

Many people know that the cost of smoking in the United States gets more expensive by the day. With new taxes and legislation, the price of a pack rises frequently.

In Mexico, the cost of a 20 pack of cigarettes is much less than what you will find in the USA. This price is due to more relaxed regulations and taxes. For an American to buy a pack of cigarettes while visiting Mexico, it would be at least half the cost of what they pay at home. 

Education

Many in the United States struggle to cover the cost of preschool and private school for their children. In Mexico, the charge is profoundly reduced. The amount that parents pay in tuition monthly at a private preschool or primary school is the equivalent of what an American parent pays per week. 

Although this price does not apply to daycare costs, the country provides similar assistance programs to the USA. These options provide cost reduction for families in poverty and single mothers. 

Is Mexico Cheap For Shopping?

In most aspects, yes, it is. There is a wide variety of items that you can purchase in-country for a reduced amount. 

Traveling allows you to find items that you use frequently or are intrigued by a lower price than what you pay back home. These opportunities will enable you to take advantage of items that are locally produced and manufactured. 

Although you are likely to find a few gems on your excursion, you will not see things you can buy cheaper in Mexico for everything on your wishlist. For example, is gold cheaper in Mexico? The answer is not really. There may be areas where it costs a bit less, but it won’t necessarily be of good quality. However, if you are looking for silver, Mexico is your place. 

Next time you take a trip to Mexico, look at items you have often admired from a distance and investigate – are things cheaper in Mexico? You may be surprised by what you find. 

Is there anything we missed? Please let us know in the comments below 

Related: Buying Property in Mexico as a Foreigner