San Miguel de Allende is All Dressed Up for the Day of the Dead

San Miguel de Allende is All Dressed Up for the Day of the Dead

We hit the road again in October, returning to the Mexican highlands.  For the next 3 months (or longer?) we are renting a house in San Miguel de Allende, the best city in the world according to the reader’s of Conde Nast’s Traveler magazine

We arrived at the airport in León early in the morning on Oct 1st with way more luggage than we’ve traveled with previously.  Since we were planning on staying in one place for a time, we brought a high power blender and an electric guitar with us.  The customs people gave us a sideways glance but just waved us through

We had a shuttle waiting, and 90 minutes later we were brought directly to the door of our rental house.  Returning to Mexico feels a lot like coming home.  The people and the food are incredible, and we are glad to be back

All of the details of our expenses are shared below in various formats and depth. Questions? Please use the comments section to add to the conversation

October 2013 Spending

  • Housing – We rented a 3 bedroom palace for 13,000 pesos/month (~$1000), an easy 5 minute walk to everything. It is more space than we need, but we are certain many friends are going to come visit (although none have as of yet.)
  • Healthcare – We continue to pay the monthly premium on our HDHP plan of $233, even though we never plan to use it.  We will be making changes to this before the end of the year due to the ACA.  I expect this expense to decrease as a result.  We also had our annual teeth cleaning at a local dentist
  • Groceries – We stocked up on staples, for example a giant 2L bottle of soy sauce.  Total spending was $430 (~$7/person/day.)  We usually drink a green smoothie daily, made of organic fruits and greens, eat fresh veggie omelets, and lunches or dinners of meat and vegetables.  We also experimented with some hand crafted cheeses from the local organic market
  • Dining Out – October was nearly the cheapest dining out month yet, but it lost that title by $4.  We ate at least one meal out all but 4 days this month, yet our bill was only $437 ($7/person/day.)  Our most expensive meal was 290 pesos total ($22) for steak and stuffed peppers.  Our best meal was pork tacos on the street for $4.50
  • Alcohol – Early in the month, we bought a 12-pack of Negra Modelo and 2 bottles of wine for home.  We still have 1 bottle of wine left.  We brought a bottle of tequila and 2 bottles of wine to a dinner party, as we like to be gracious guests.  We also had a few nights out to listen to live music that involved a bit of alcohol consumption.  In total, we spent $122
  • Entertainment – Winnie has been taking a jewelry making class, 9 hours a week.  3 weeks of tuition was $228, along with $50 for silver and $35 for various stones.  I’ve been taking guitar lessons from a local jazz player for 300 pesos (~$23) a lesson.  We each had an hour long heavenly full body massage.  With tip, 450 pesos per person (~$35)
  • Miscellaneous – We stocked up on soap, shampoo, shaving supplies, laundry soap, etc… and bought a lot of random crap, including a yoga mat, guitar picks, kitchen scissors, a tea steeper, and Halloween candy to give to the niños. We also got a cell phone, some clothing, and gave a massage gift certificate to some friends, and bought some dog treats for a friend’s dog that we were watching for a few days
  • Other – I bought a 15 W practice amplifier for guitar practice at a local consignment shop for 1200 pesos (~$92.)  I feel I can safely assume that few travelers would include a guitar amp in their budget, and will likely return it to the consignment shop for future sale when we move on
DetailsOctober 2013Notes
LocationMexicoSan Miguel de Allende, Mexico
Housing$999We rented a 3 bedroom palace for 13,000 pesos/month, an easy 5 minute walk to everything. It is more space than we need, but we are certain a lot of friends are going to come visit.
Healthcare$294Monthly HDHP Premium: $233
Dental Cleaning: 400 pesos each (~$30)
Transportation$84Shuttle from León airport (BJX) to SMA: $66 with tip
Local buses: 5 pesos ($0.40)
Local taxi: 30 pesos ($2.30)
Includes stocking up on staples, e.g. a 2L bottle of soy sauce
Dining Out$437$7/person/day
Entertainment$519Jewelry class: $228
Silver & stones: $85
Guitar lessons: $92
Massage: $70
Misc$234Local cell phone: 300 pesos ($26)
SIM for 2nd phone: 100 pesos (~$8)
Gift of massage: $62
Winnie's wardrobe:
Shoes: 200 pesos (~15)
Apron: 100 pesos (~$7.75)
Hand-dyed shirt: 200 pesos (~$15)

Spending compares closely to our previous visit to Mexico in all categories except Entertainment and Miscellaneous.  November should be similar to October

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