10 Years of Blog Archive

Friday, October 28, 2011

5 Ways to Save Money in Cuenca

There are lots of great ways to save money and we used to take advantage of many of those money saving ideas, even when we lived in the states. One of those was to stock up on an item when it went on sale. Here the food is already so cheap there is no need to stock up. But we have found that where you shop does make a difference.

1)Negotiate -- If you learn to negotiate you’ll get the local prices. There is no reason why you should pay more for something if you live here.

2)Stay out of gringo only neighborhoods -- When renting or buying you’re going to get the best deal when you stay out of gringo areas. We live in a Ecuadorian neighborhood and our house is pretty nice for $250 a month and we have friendly Ecuadorian neighbors too.

3)Don’t own a car-- We found out today from a Ecuadorian that there are 4,500 taxi’s just in Cuenca--they are everywhere. And there are just about that many city buses. You don’t need a car here.

4)Eat in Ecuadorian Restaurants – For about $2 on average you can eat a healthful lunch. You’ll also get really great service. Ecuadorian wait staff are VERY efficient.

5)Buy fruits and veggies at the mercados—You will save a lot if you buy your produce at one of the three major mercados located in Cuenca rather than at the grocery store.

And remember: Learning just a little bit of Spanish is going to help you to save money because you’ll be able to negotiate better with the locals and you’ll feel more comfortable renting or buying in a local neighborhood, plus you’ll truly enjoy ALL that Cuenca has to offer.


  1. I have lived in Ecuador for 13 years, and find your information very good for first time visitors to get a good idea. Althought I do not live in Cuenca, some annoyances I have is when trying to do any sort of business, it takes FOREVER. And because I have a vehicle, many of the DRIVERS are terrible and the MECHANICS are mostly gougers, especially because I am WOMAN.
    It helps that my late husband was a mechanic!
    I DO LOVE ECUADOR, and have also lived frugally and am accustomed to the culture and climate etc.
    There are many lovely people here.

  2. What neighborhoods do you recommend for looking for a small house to rent in? I just moved here and started working. My boyfriend and dog will be joining in a month and we are looking for a place with a yard, but do not know enough about neighborhoods yet. Could you tell us a bit about what you discovered about the neighborhoods? Are there any you liked better than the others? Could you give a brief description of the areas you'd recommend? And are there any to avoid because they may be more dangerous? Thank you guys for doing this blog! I've been reading for over an hour and its very useful and engaging. =)

    1. Here's a helpful article.


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