• The Real Supermarket Prices in Panama

    I’ve written a lot about supermarket shopping here in Panama, to include shopping tips and some of the differences you might find when shopping here. In this page, I just want to simply lay out the actual costs of groceries in Panama City. Now, keep in mind that prices change all the time and you might find some things to be a little more expensive or even less expensive, depending on which area of the country or even which neighborhood in the city you reside.

    For example, towns that are closer to the dairy farms will probably find milk to be a little more affordable. Also, as I’ve explained in my cost of living article and in other reports, these are the prices in a supermarket. You can pick up fresh produce, fish, and even chicken from vendors on the street in most towns and save a great deal of money.

    As the following chart mentions, all prices are in U.S. dollars. I apologize in advance for the constantly changing units of measurement. I go from ounces to grams to pounds to liters to quarts to milliliters to kilograms…all over the place. As you’ll see, there are a lot of items on this list, and the time it would take to break them all down into the same unit of measurement would just be ridiculous. So, I simply wrote down whatever was on the package. The following prices were taken from the Rey supermarket in Chanis on Jan. 10, 2014. 

    ItemBrandAdditional InfoSizePriceNotes
    DeodorantLady's Speed Stick45g$2.89Avg. price of deodorant seems to be $3.
    DeodorantMen's Speed Stick50g$2.89
    RazorsGillette Prestobarba35 pack$5.59
    ShampooHead and Shoulders2 in 1400ml $6.29
    Shampoo or ConditionerHerbal Essences 300ml$4.29
    Shampoo or conditionerDove400ml$6.19
    Bath SoapDial3 pack$2.29
    Bath SoapProtex3 pack$2.39
    Bath SoapPalmolive3 pack$2.15 Yes, Palmolive makes bath soap...and shampoo here
    ToothpasteColgateTotal 1275ml$2.79
    ToothpasteOral BComplete100ml$1.89
    Adult diapersPlentitudSize Medium20 pack$19.49
    Adult diapersTenaSize Large10 pack$10.49
    Feminine hygiene padsSabaDaily45 pack$2.89
    Feminine hygiene padsSabaOvernight10 pack$2.59
    Feminine hygieneKotex Overnight8 pack$1.79
    Feminine hygieneAlwaysReg. Dry Liners50 pack$4.79
    Paper towelsBrawny3 rolls$5.97
    Paper towelsBounty2 rolls$4.69
    Paper towelsScott Multiuso2 rolls$2.15
    Paper towelsDelux2 rolls$1.79
    Toilet paperFamilia AcolchadoMega4 rolls$2.79
    Toilet paperScottMega4 rolls$2.99
    Laundry DetergentPurex25 loads, liquid50oz$5.79
    Laundry DetergentTide26 loads, liquid50oz$10.69
    Laundry DetergentEsePowder1,260g$3.69
    BleachCloroxLiquid1 gallon$2.99
    Floor cleanerPine-Sol28oz or 709ml$2.39
    Floor cleanerFabuloso900ml$1.89
    Cleaning agentFormula 409946ml or 32oz$3.99
    Dish soapSipTub 1,000g$2.39It's common to use this tub of dish paste here
    Baby wipesHuggiesNatural Care56 pack$3.15
    Baby wipesNiveaSoft and Cream63 pack$4.59Who makes a 63 pack, honestly? How odd.
    DiapersPampersMedium size72 pack$18.89
    DiapersHuggiesActive, size 230 pack$13.15
    DiapersPampersBaby Dry, size 234 pack$11.19
    DiapersPequeñinSize 224 pack$7.15
    FormulaEnfamilPremium, Number 2900g$25.49
    FormulaSimilacNumber 1400g$13.99
    Baby FoodGerberBanana113g$.69
    Baby FoodGerberChicken and vegetable113g$.79
    Baby FoodBeech NutBanana113g.93
    Dog FoodPedigreeVital Protection2.2kg or 4.4lbs$7.99
    Dog FoodPurinaBeneful1.59kg or 3.5lbs$10.15
    Dog FoodHappy DogPuppy4kg or 8.8lbs$11.89
    Cat FoodWhiskas500g$2.89
    Cat FoodMeow MixSeafood Medley510g$3.15
    SugarSanta RosaWhite 5lbs$3.29
    SugarSanta RosaBrown5lbs$2.79
    Artificial SweetenerSplenda100 packets$6.96
    Artificial SweetenerNevella50 packets$2.94
    Artificial SweetenerEqual50 packets$2.79
    OatmealEl Molino Criollo1lb$1.55
    CerealApple Jacks17oz or 418g$6.49
    CerealHoney Bunches of Oatswith Almonds14.5oz or 411g$4.29
    CerealFruity Pebbles11oz or 311g$3.89
    CerealZucaritas Panamanian name for Frosted Flakes510g$4.15
    CerealHoney Nut CheeriosThe Nestle version12.2oz or 347g$4.29
    BreadTasty ChoiceWhite BreadLg loaf 600g$1.80
    BreadTasty ChoiceWheat BreadLg loaf 600g$2.00
    BreadBimboWheat BreadLg loaf 700g$2.00
    ChipsDoritos7oz or 197.4g$3.79
    ChipsLays Sour Cream and Onion6.5oz or 184.2g$3.19
    FlourGold Mills5lbs$2.69
    PancakesAunt JemimaButtermilk Complete907g$3.69
    RiceDel Oro5lbs$3.25
    RiceBlue Ribbon5lbs$8.79
    Ramen Noodle SoupMaruchan85g typical ramen pack of soup$.27Ramen is dirt cheap, even in Panama
    SaltPanasal2lbs$.26This is a bag of salt, not in a shaker
    MayonnaiseMiracle Whip15oz$2.49
    Red Kidney BeansNutritos1lb$1.45
    Red Kidney BeansAmapola1lb$1.39
    Cooking OilPure WessonCanola64oz or 2qts$8.39
    Cooking OilWestcottVegetable48oz or 1.5qts$4.79
    Cooking OilWestcottCanola48oz or 1.5qts$5.49
    Canned VegetablesLigoMixed vegetables15oz$1.29
    Canned VegetablesLigoCorn15oz$1.25
    Canned VegetablesDel MonteCorn15oz$1.09
    KetchupMaggi794g$2.69local brand
    Spaghetti SauceRaguMushroom23.9oz jar$3.59Reg size jar
    Spaghetti SaucePregoMushroom24oz jar$4.39
    Spaghetti SauceLigoMushroom24oz can$1.79
    SpaghettiAgnesi500g or 17.6oz $1.85
    SpaghettiLa Suprema454g$.85
    SpaghettiLa Parmigiana454g$.83
    Mac and CheeseKraftRegular box7.5oz$1.19
    Mac and CheeseVelveetaRegular box12oz$3.59
    Saltine CrackersPremium453g or 1lb$3.89
    Saltine CrackersSaltin Noel309g$1.55
    CookiesNilla Wafers311g$3.29
    Ice CreamBreyers1.5qt or 1.41lb$9.69
    Ice CreamBlue Bunny1.5qt or 1.41lb$10.19
    Ice CreamEstrella Azul.5 gallon$3.89
    ButterBlue Bonnet45oz$5.39
    CheeseBordenShredded mild cheddar8oz or 2 cups$4.29
    CheeseBorden American slices24 slices$3.95
    CheeseKraftAmerican slices12 slices$3.89
    EggsToledanoMedium size1 dozen$2.29
    EggsMeloMedium size1 dozen$2.19
    EggsMeloJumbo size1 dozen$2.29
    TunaPort SideIn water5oz or 142g can$1.35
    TunaStarkistIn vegetable oil6oz or 170g can$2.39
    TunaCalvoIn vegetable oil5.6 oz or 160g can$1.95
    Hot dogsKiener10 pack$2.29
    Hot dogsArmourFrankfurters10 pack$2.39
    Hot dogsHormelFrankfurters10 pack$2.89
    MeatLow-fat ground beef$8.19/kg
    MeatRopa Vieja$6.49/kg
    MeatPulpa negra$7.20/kg
    FishCorvina fillete$9.15/kg
    Red grapes$3.85/kg
    Pears, regular$2.69/kg
    Apples, gala$2.89/kg
    Oranges, fancy$4.29/kg
    Green Pepper$3.29/kg
    Green Onion$9.98/kg
    Yellow Onion$1.99/kg
    White Onion$3.25/kg
    SodaCoca Cola2 liter$1.99
    MilkLa Chiricana32oz or 1qt$1.29
    MilkDos PinosDekactomy, lactose-free1L $1.69
    MilkDoro1 Gallon$4.89
    CoffeeCafe DuranRegular425g$5.19
    CoffeeCafe SittonRegular425g$5.19
    CoffeeCafe Palo AltoRegular212g$3.39
    CoffeeNescafeInstant200g (large)$8.69
    CoffeeCafe DuranInstant170g (large)$7.89
    JuiceDel MonteVarious946ml$1.29
    JuiceOld OrchardGrapeHalf gallon or 64oz$4.39
    JuiceTropicanaOrange59oz, 1.75L, or 1.8qt$4.49
    JuiceEstrella AzulOrange1 gallon$4.69
    BeerPanama and Panama LightLocal12oz can/bottle$.57 can, $.88 bottle
    BeerAtlasLocal12oz can/bottle$.57 can, $.88 bottle
    BeerBalboaLocal12oz can/bottle$.57 can, $.88 bottle
    BeerCoors Light12oz can$.69
    Beer Presidente12oz can/bottle$.88
    BeerHamms12oz can $.65
    BeerMiller12oz can$.87
    BeerBudweiser12oz can$.88
    BeerCorona12oz can/bottle$1.29
    Beer Old Milwaukee12oz can$.59
    BeerHeineken12oz can/bottle$.85 can, $.88 bottle
    WineCarlo RossiRed/white/etc.1.5L$7.39Sorry I only know the cheap stuff
    WineArbor MistVarious750ml$4.15
    RumRon Abuelo1L$9.99
    RumBacardi White980ml$10.69
    SecoSeco Herrerano1L$8.39
    WhiskeyJim Beam750ml$18.69
    WhiskeyJack Daniels1L29.79

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12 Responsesso far.

  1. sarge says:

    Love the Blog and will be following regularly. This Mid-West Winter has been atrocious, 30″ of snow in January alone and Below Zero temps. Way too Cold for this Old Man. I’d be there in a NY minute by I have a better half who doesn’t want to leave the grandkids. Working on a 3 month hiatus for next Jan-Feb-Mar. at least an extended stay for vacation.

    • Chris says:

      Thanks Sarge. As much as I miss that Mid-West winter, I can’t even imagine going through what you guys have been going through. Hopefully you can convince your wife to move on down. Are you guys in the same state and your grandkids? I ask because for some people, Panama is closer than some of the states. My mom lives in San Diego and we were living in Chicago and then Columbus, Ohio. I think Panama is closer to San Diego than both of those places. Thanks for checking out our website and please do follow us as I have plans to add so much content to the site.

      Thanks again, Sarge.


      • sarge says:

        Yes, we are ALL in Indiana within 2 hours of each other. We moved from the city to a farm like rural life but still close enough to the central city and grandkids. Love the Spring, Summer and Fall here But the increasing Bitter Winters are tuff for me. I like to remain active, heat with wood, maintenance & caring for farm animals is very difficult in these temps. I find myself a virtual couch potato and do Not like that inactivity.

        • Chris says:

          Uff, I can imagine. I like the winter, but I’m lazy in the winter too. I can’t imagine having to go out and work in the freezing temperatures. I remember taking the train to work in Chicago. I swear Chicago was colder than Alaska. Instant pain in the forehead when that wind kicked in. God bless you and hang in there, Sarge!

  2. sheryl says:

    Thanks so much Chris. This is super helpful! My husband and I are researching Panama as a future place to live and your blog has been immensely helpful!

    Thank you!


    • Chris says:

      Thanks Sheryl, I’m glad you’re finding the site useful. That’s what it’s all about. Thanks for checking out the site and for taking the time to comment 🙂

  3. Cynthia Washburn says:

    These prices are about the same or more than prices in Vancouver Canada. I don’t know how the locals afford it. Fortunately, I’ve already decided that I can’t live with the lack of infrastructure in Panama so the high grocery prices just confirm that decision.

    • Chris says:

      Yeah, food isn’t all that cheap in Panama, but it’s incredibly affordable if you buy from the fresh produce markets and fishermen. There’s so much opportunity to eat better here. Sorry to hear you’re turning away from Panama, Cynthia. The infrastructure isn’t that bad at all though.

  4. Al McCullough says:

    Hi Chris, curious, you mention Gillete blades, what kind? Gillette Fusion, Mach3? Also, I’ve read there are Costco/bulk type stores in Panama, are the prices quite different there?

    • Chris says:

      Hey Al,

      Thanks for your comment. The Gillette razors that I listed are called Prestobarba 3. I was thinking they might be the same as Mach 3, but Mach 3 has the detachable blades, right? These are just regular built on blades, I think with 3 blades. And yes to your other question. Pricesmart is the member shopping store here, similar to Costco. I wrote a post about shopping there awhile back. Prices are better there on some items. You can buy big tubs of butter for a lot less expensive than you’d find in a regular supermarket. A dozen donuts is $3.99. Juice is one of the best bargains at Pricesmart. A 2-pack of the big Mott’s apple juice costs about $11. You can find my post about Pricesmart at the following link:http://www.panamaforreal.com/pricesmart-member-shopping-in-panama/. I might need to save it as a Nuts & Bolts page. That’s the bad thing about blog posts, they keep moving down and eventually get buried.

      • Al McCullough says:

        Yeah, Mach3 is detachable, but I think I’ve seen those kind you’re referring to as well. They’re good for a couple of shaves. And here in Canada they sell them at Costco, similarly priced too – just over a buck a razor. Looks like the real savings in the cost of living is produce (fresh from market) and rent outside the city.

        • Chris says:

          Yeah, produce is definitely where you save money and if you hit the weekend markets you can usually find rice too. Plus, the quality isn’t always great, but if you shop in the bargain shopping areas you can find items for the home and some clothes for dirt cheap. Panama is a learning process. When you first move here, and it happens to us all, you spend a lot because you’re just happy to see items/brands you recognize. After you’ve been here awhile you start to learn the shortcuts, where to pick up bargains, and stuff like that. Panama is kind of like the U.S. in the 50s. Trying to pick up all your items at one place isn’t usually the most cost effective. Here it’s common to get your produce in the market, seafood at the seafood market, bread at the bakery you like, juice at PriceSmart…at least that’s how I’ve found it to be. You just learn where to go. For example, my father-in-law likes to go directly to the chicken factories, like Melo, to pick up chicken. It’s cheaper that way. Or he goes to some meat store to get his ham. I’ll try to figure all this out and write about it at some point.

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