When traveling on vacation, food can be a huge expense and something you need to consider for your overall vacation budget. Whether you plan to eat out at restaurants, eat a casual meal with the locals, cook your own food or a combination of all three, I have all the information you need to know how much you should budget for food.
What is the cost of food in Grenada? For staple food items, such as fruits, vegetables, rice, eggs, meat, and bread, you can expect to pay less than in the US. Beer and wine are also quite inexpensive. Items such as milk, cheese, and other imports are high. Restaurants range in price, but many quality ones are just as much or higher than US equivalents.
Being on an island, even when overall living costs are lower, has an impact on food costs. Having to import items to the island drives up prices. Grenada is also a very popular tourist destination, which will drive the cost of food at restaurants higher. In this article, we examine food costs at both grocery stores and restaurants so you can choose based on your budget.
Did you know Grenada is actually comprised of 3 main islands and a bunch of tiny ones? Check out my article Number of Islands in Grenada including the Tiny Ones.
Cost of Groceries in Grenada
Going out to eat at restaurants for every meal can add up quickly! You can avoid busting your food budget by buying food and making your own meals. If you’re staying at a hotel, apartment or villa that has a kitchen or kitchenette, preparing your own meals can be a breeze.
I researched the cost of buying groceries in Grenada so you can get an idea of what types of meals you can prepare and budget for.
Here are some common foods that someone would want to have on vacation and the costs (in USD) associated with these items.
|Food or Beverage Item||Average Cost in Grenada|
|Eggs||$3.50 / dozen|
|Cereal (Name Brand)||$7.40 (This is an expensive item that can be cheaper if you buy local brand)|
|Pasta||$1.50 / package|
|Market Fish||$3/pound (You are on an island, so quality fish is plentiful and affordable)|
|Loaf of Bread||$1.30|
|Apples||$1.95/pound (Local produce will be one of the least expensive items to buy)|
|Citrus||$1.50/pound (Available year-round)|
|Pineapple||$5.50 each (in-season for a quality pineapple)|
|Mangoes||$0.50 each (This will fluctuate based on size and the time of year)|
|Avocado||$1.10/pound (This is a steal for avocados, which are typically much higher elsewhere)|
|Mayo||$7.50 – 30 oz. (Smaller containers will be less expensive but not always available)|
|Ketchup||$5.50 – 34 oz.|
|Chips||$1.50/bag (This will depend on the size and brand of the chips you choose)|
|Milk||$7/gallon (This is one of the more expensive items you can purchase on the island)|
|Coffee||$8 – 8 oz. (This price will depend on the brand you buy)|
| Bottled water ||$1 – 1.5 L|
|Beer||$1.50 – 0.5L Domestic (Imported beer will be slightly more expensive, about $0.50 on average)|
|Alcohol||$25/bottle (This will depend on the type of alcohol and quality. Rum is very cheap)|
|Soda||$1.50 – 12 oz. (Larger bottles will be more cost-efficient)|
|Juice||$2.50 – 1 L|
You can easily walk into a grocery store and use your cell phone’s calculator to figure out how expensive the items are when shopping. The conversion from the Eastern Caribbean Dollar to the United States Dollar is around EC $ 2.70 for every $1. Just have to divide the cost of the food item by 2.7 to find out how much this item costs in US dollars.
It is important to note that tap water is safe to drink, so you can bring a reusable water bottle if you do not want to purchase water throughout your trip. For some of these more expensive non-perishable items, you should consider bringing them – if you have room in your luggage. Name brand items will be more expensive than local as they have to be imported.
How to Save Money on Food
The price list above should help allow you to compare prices back home to what you should expect to pay for certain items in Grenada.
Cut down on food costs and take advantage of these items on your trip:
- Fruits and Vegetables: As we noted, produce is one of the cheapest food items you can get on the island. Not only does it taste good, but it is good for you and easy to prepare. The fruit is ready to eat, and vegetables require very little preparation. Grenadians rely on a produce-rich diet for both cost and health.
- Fresh Fish: You can feed a family of four easily with fresh fish for less than $10. Fresh tuna is a great example of this. The fish in Grenada is plentiful, high quality, and good for you! If you can prepare fish, you should definitely take advantage of making it yourself to keep costs down and to enjoy a local staple. You can also find smoked fish in markets at a great price. Meat is typically less expensive in the markets than in the grocery stores.
- Bread: Buying bread and baked goods from local bakeries will be much less expensive than you are used to paying for it at home.
- Alcohol: If you’re like me and enjoy an occasional cocktail, fret not. Grenada can quench your thirst at pretty decent prices! Imported beer, wine, and spirits will be more expensive than domestic products, but these are still at competitive prices. Domestic beer and rum should be added to your list as you will get to try local beverages and pay very little for them. Grenada is known for its rum production. Some recommended brands include Clarke’s Court Old Grog and Westerhall Plantation.
Bring Food from Home
Maybe you’ll be staying in Grenada for an extended period, or you can’t live without a particular food while you’re on vacation. If this is the case, you should consider bringing those foods from home because they may not be available on the island, or are very expensive to purchase. Just make sure you have enough room in your suitcase!
Here are some items to consider bringing from home that are either very expensive to purchase in Grenada or you may not be able to find.
- Peanut Butter: The peanut butter options are limited, expensive, and only comes in very small jars.
- Coffee: If you want quality coffee, it is one of the more expensive things to buy in Grenada. Grounds come in small packages, so if you are a coffee enthusiast, bring it from home.
- Granola or Protein Bars: The selection will be limited, and they are incredibly expensive compared to prices you may be used to. This might be a good snack to have for outdoor activities in Grenada.
- Nuts and Dried Fruit: These are costly as they are primarily imported and a luxury. Nuts are an expensive item almost anywhere, and this is particularly true in Grenada.
- Your favorite snacks: While some staple brands will be the same as far as snacks go, the selection will be much smaller and more expensive. Try branching out by trying some local snacks that are unique to Grenada and less expensive.
- Ethnic foods: Specialty items from around the world are usually harder to find on the island, especially Asian items. The available items are limited, and the quality may not be the same as you are used to. You will be paying more for these products as they are not as popular and deemed “specialty.” Consider bringing these things with you (such as soy sauce).
- Quinoa: If you are all about grains, items such as quinoa are very expensive and limited compared to prices you would expect back home. If you can’t live without items such as quinoa or couscous, we suggest bringing it in the suitcase!
No matter where you are, making the food yourself is usually the cheaper option when traveling. This can save you money to splurge on more experiences, make your meals out more special, or make your budget more manageable for the entire trip.
Where to Buy Groceries in Grenada
There are numerous options for buying groceries on the island with different benefits and drawbacks. Some of your grocery options include:
- Grocery Chains: There are several grocery stores on the island to choose from that offer almost all the items you will need on your stay. They have IGA stores that are found in the United States, as well. This is the easiest and most reliable option for buying groceries on the island.
- Fish Markets: St. George’s Fish Market (or Grenada Fish Market) is a popular place to buy fresh fish. It is also an experience in itself getting to interact with local fishermen. Even if you do not buy fish, it is a cool place to check out.
- Farmers Markets: You can support local farmers by buying fresh produce from many farmer’s markets or stands around the island. These fruits and vegetables are locally sourced and can be one of the least expensive types of food you buy on your trip. Be careful of pricing as some may try and take advantage of tourists, unlike at a grocery store.
- Bakeries: You will have access to fresh and inexpensive bread compared to processed bread you’ll find at the grocery store.
Make sure you have Eastern Caribbean Dollars for the fish markets and farmers’ markets. It’s probably a safe bet to use this at the grocery store as well, although major grocery stores will most likely be able to take your credit cards.
Dining Out in Grenada
You’re on vacation so of course, you’ll want to dine out occasionally. Let’s find out what eating out costs in Grenada. The good news is there are restaurants for every budget.
Below I listed different types of meals that you can have while in Grenada at a variety of price points. Prices are based on a single meal per person.
|Fast Food||$4 (This is based on a meal at McDonald’s)|
|Street Vendors||$6 (This is probably your cheapest meal out that isn’t fast food)|
|Local Grenadian Food||$10|
You will be paying more for food when you eat out, especially at nicer restaurants. This pricing is pretty similar to US restaurants, which is high, considering the overall pricing and standard of living on the island.
On a more granular level, below are prices for common food items you may want while out and about.
|Hamburger (Mid-Range Restaurant)||$7.50|
|Pizza||$14 (depends on size, type, etc.)|
|Street Vendor BBQ||$4|
|Buffet Restaurants||$6 (fluctuates based on the weight of plate)|
|Cocktails||$6 (alcohol is one of the cheaper goods)|
|Coffee||$3-4 (depending on the type you get)|
|Soda||$2 – 12 oz.|
Breakfast and lunch items are going to be less expensive than your dinner menus. This is typical no matter where you are traveling to. Preparing your own meals for a portion of the trip will give you some more wiggle room to eat out when you want to try something new or just don’t feel like cooking. After all, you’re on vacation!
Additional Tips for Keeping Food Costs Down
- Check with your accommodations. If you are staying in a villa or apartment, find out if the kitchen is already stocked with common items such as spices, coffee, and condiments. Checking beforehand could save you some money from having to bring these items yourself. On the subject of spices, find out How Grenada Became Known as “The Spice Isle”.
- Buy local: Usually, markets with local vendors will be less expensive than for the same products in the grocery stores. Walk around and price shop if you’ll be staying for a while and want to get the best deal.
- Try local cuisine: Usually, local foods will be cheaper than higher-end or non-Grenadian themed restaurants. Some dishes you should try while you are there include oil down (stew) and roti (wrap filled with meat or veggies). Chocolate is also a specialty of Grenada, and you should definitely try it!
- Taxes and Tips Not Generally Included: Although this isn’t necessarily a cost-saving measure, it can affect your food budget and something you should be aware of. When you eat out at a restaurant, keep in mind that taxes and tips are not included in the food price. This can drive the bill up substantially. Check to see if the tip is included, which is usually around 10%. It is customary to tip in Grenada.
You’re obviously a cost-conscious traveler so maybe you’d be interested in my article How to Avoid Exploding your Cell Phone Bill when Traveling to Grenada.
Managing the Cost of Food in Grenada
Food is one of the most expensive aspects of any vacation. When visiting an island, like Grenada, the cost of food can be even higher given the need to import many food items. To keep your budget from blowing up, check out the grocery stores and the local food markets. You can get almost everything you need for less than a meal out.
If you eat like a local – sticking primarily to fruits, vegetables, fish, rice, and bread – you can save a lot of money on food. Not to mention. trying these local ingredients will also enhance your experience while staying on the island. Don’t forget, the cheap rum too!
Roadside street vendors and food trucks are a fun way to sample the local cuisine – and are available for every budget. As you plan your trip to the beautiful Caribbean island of Grenada, consider alternating between cooking and eating out to make your food budget more manageable.
Still on the fence about whether Grenada is even worth visiting? Check out 20 Reasons Grenada is Totally Worth It.