If I told you I didn’t miss all the perks of an all inclusive resort at our month long vacation in Cabo, I would be lying. I did and am still not sure whether next time I want to go to an all inclusive resort or rent a place and cook our own food. As I suspected, eating out in Cabo San Lucas is not cheap because it is a popular tourist destination, first of all. Secondly, as a Canadian after I take an average dinner for 4 that costs roughly US$45 and multiply it by 1.3, it ends up costing CAD$60, not cheap at all. We allow this kind of treat at home once a month. Maybe if you are American, and it’s only 2 of you, and you are retired, the prices are OK as so many snowbirds told us. Us – we have a budget, and as much as I don’t like to pull “the immigrant card”, we have no inheritances coming so we do count our money, well I do – Alex not really.
So, we cooked at home a lot – the part I really didn’t get a break from on vacation. Alex promised to cook more and that we will take turns but we all know how that works, and I had no desire to fight about it all the time. Marriage is a compromise, in case you haven’t figured that one yet – you are either naive or haven’t had a couple of kids yet.
Eating healthy in Mexico turned out not that easy but not super hard either. In all fairness, I think it was harder because I had to get used to new products, read ingredients with my limited Spanish and because we felt relaxed. I didn’t find as many healthy familiar foods, but again to be fair Canadian Walmart is horrible for healthy food options as well. Neither good food is cheap in Mexico, not at all. You would think, right, because it is a 3rd world country where people make way less money but food isn’t cheap (however, I think I haven’t shopped where locals shop and Cabo could be not the wealthiest region). And frankly probably not popular as I saw all locals drinking soft drinks, eating bags of chips and street food, literally everyone on the beach. Anyone drinks water around here? When we were poor in Ukraine we had no money for pop, are you kidding me?! So it is a mystery to me why spend money on Coke and not a bunch of bananas…Anyways.
I usually had platters of cut up watermelon, papaya, cantaloupe and honeydew on hand. One of the hockey moms recommended buying already cut fruit in Walmart but again the price vs. how much fruit we eat didn’t work for me. Sure you can, very convenient, but US$1.5 for a 16 oz tub when you can buy a huge watermelon for US$5 is not my style. I rarely pay for the convenience.
Oatmeal (Coach’s oats from Costco) topped with yogurt, fruit and maple pumpkin seeds (from Costco too).
Cottage cheese with fruit, sour cream and pumpkin seeds.
Eggs (from farmers market) and avocado toast.
Cereal, bagels and croissants with cream cheese for kids. To find anything whole wheat or whole grain was nearly impossible in Costco and Walmart. Boys were ecstatic – white bread for breakfast, score! LOL
It was all delicious! I had more than usual dairy products but because I couldn’t find anything else. Dairy here is more delicious than at home, however to find organic is hard. Or to find Greek yogurt that doesn’t contain 15g of added sugar per serving is not possible in Walmart, plain yogurt. I haven’t seen that in ages in Canada – stripping yogurt of its fat and replacing flavour with sugar, such a dinosaur age.
I did miss Orgain protein powder in Costco when we first got in because kids were misbehaving. Darn it but oh well, know it exists.
Sandwiches. We were lazy, some days sandwich was thrown in with whatever, pieces of deli meat thrown together and not even cut, sometimes on bread or sometimes on corn tortillas – we had a lot of those. My kids ate their fair share of salami, and me too. We bought canned salmon, boiled eggs and corn, grape tomatoes made an amazing snack.
That time when Alex made me a sandwich with 3 (!) slices of Dave’s Killer Bread, smaller but still 3 of them!
I made soups, whenever I felt like and wasn’t tired (heat is SO exhausting). One time it was curry type with cabbage. Another time it was black bean soup with pozole type corn – very good.
Arugula and quinoa salad. I have never ever tasted such a tasty arugula than from the farmers market in Mexico!
Black bean and papaya salad with a boiled egg.
Sometimes it was dinner leftovers.
We got this fresh salsa at Walmart all the time. Saved a ton of time on chopping and making it.
First night we got in late. The restaurant nearby was extremely expensive ($US100) and fridge and pantry almost bare. I found a package of pasta and a jar of tomato sauce in the pantry, then ran to a nearby convenience store and got a package of Oaxaca cheese (extremely popular in Mexico, super tasty), vegetables and a bottle of wine. Voila, pasta dinner with salad for US$20 total, better than $100, right?!
We ate once in the pool restaurant/bar downstairs at all you can eat Mexican buffet. It was good – US$33, again not cheap for Mexico or Canadians.
Once a week we cooked fresh seafood we got from the fish truck on Fridays – scallops, shrimp, swordfish, sea bass and tuna. Here you see scallops, fried cactus (got it chopped from Walmart as a nice meaty side veggie – not bad) and salsa.
Another night I made the best seared tuna I got from the fish truck. So good!
We went out for tacos once. Because it was in a true Mexican neighbourhood, we paid US$28, otherwise it would have been $45.
Another night we went out and I had a grilled octopus – it was delicious.
Last night we splurged on a seafood night at the pool bar because the fridge was empty and we were just so tired of cooking by then.
Remember that purple cauliflower? I cooked it – it was super good!
Turkey burgers and edamame beans (from Costco), salsa, butternut squash and a salad.
Mashed potatoes with salami – had that lazy night too.
Garlic shrimp with brown rice and salad.
Spaghetti with turkey burgers.
And in case you are wondering, wine or beer every day. Yep. Not that much but a glass or two for sure. We are not dessert people but rather a glass of wine with dinner or lunch (on vacation) people. Compared to all “snowbirds” at the resort, we barely drank, seriously. And I still experienced a sense of guilt but now it is gone haha. Back to only on weekends wine we go.
So, that is what we did. Every dinner can’t be amazing unless you are a millionaire or whatever your other luck is, but it is definitely possible to eat more or less clean anywhere.