Sunday, February 28, 2016

moving to mexico -- buying stuff

Some people come to Mexico to save money. And most of the people who move here do just that.

Assuming you are not attempting to re-create a northern lifestyle south of the border (moving to mexico -- food budget), almost anyone can cut the cost of living in my adopted country.

Housing is less expensive. Utilities are less expensive. Property taxes are less expensive. Food is an absolute bargain -- if you are not pretending that you are still in Kansas.

All of that is true. But, as in all things in life, utopia is nowhere.

At some point, I would like to do a study on the wholesale supply system in Mexico. Its operation, to be kind, is eccentric. One day, there will be stacks of a certain type of product. The next day, there is a vacant space wider than an Ozark smile.

Experience has taught me, the gap may very well be there for months. And, like mushrooms, the product will appear overnight with no warning -- and the cycle begins again.

I have asked several store owners in Melaque why that happens. The answer is always the same: the suppliers cannot provide a steady stream of any give merchandise. Therefore, when products show up, they are snatched off the shelf. Just like at Costco.

None of them has an answer why the suppliers have the re-replenishing problem.

With the exchange rate between the US dollar and the Mexican peso being so favorable for the dollar, I have been avoiding goods imported from up north. The price of imported American goods have gone up as the relative buying power of the peso has declined.  Almost doubling, in some instances. It costs about the same in the equivalent of US dollars. But it looks like a lot of pesos.

The only import purchase I cannot put off is the dog's food. Golden retrievers are notorious for having allergic reactions to food. Jiggs was on a special diet for his 13 years. Barco is no exception.

His original owners started him, and the rest of the litter, on Diamond Naturals lamb and rice puppy food -- manufactured in Missouri.  With that number of dogs in the local area eating that specific food, you would think it would be easy to find a veterinarian who carried a regular supply. You would be wrong.

I know of two local veterinarians who carry the Diamond brand. But none make large bags available. And none have the puppy food variety.

Part of that is price. The last large bag of food I bought for Barco on 7 January cost me $1,400 (MX) -- about $103 (US). That is rather steep for most dog owners here -- especially when the bag fed him for just over a month.

The other problem is supply. Buying dog food is a bit like have transactions with a drug dealer.

I need to buy my "stuff" from the distributor out of Guadalajara. He is in our local area once a week, but he does not always have a full selection with him on each trip.

When I need a delivery, I call him -- often leaving a message. We arrange a time for delivery (often a week or two later). When he is in town, we then call to set up a delivery point. A Pemex station is always convenient.

In Salem, I would make the same transaction by driving to Dr. Peetz's office (or Petsmart) and pick up a bag. The most difficult part of the deal was lugging the bag, and there was always a strapping young clerk to relieve me of that onerous duty.

It was convenient and boring. My new system may be more frustrating -- but it certainly affords me a greater adventure.  Even though saving money did not attract me to Mexico, chasing adventure did. Mission accomplished.

As a side note, some of you dog owners have suggested making my own food for Barco. The problem will be getting lamb. It is a rare commodity here. Even more rare than lamb and rice puppy food.

I wonder if goat would work? Barco is quite fond of the one remaining goat in the lot across the street. The other two are now birria.

Any ideas would be appreciated.

No comments: