Costa Rica Cost of Living Update: Jar of Imported Bertolli Spaghetti Sauce— $3.90

If you want to stay on a budget, do not buy a jar of imported tomato sauce. This is a high priced item that I refuse to purchase, which is why Rob is the fun guy when he shops. When I asked why he bought it, all he said was, “It’s good.” My husband has absolutely no issue indulging his Italian appetite when he craves something.

Purchasing this is such a rarity that there was a herald of arms announcing the sauce when Rob arrived home. There may also have been trumpets, but all I could hear was my father’s voice declaring I’ll be homeless by Friday if I continue being irresponsible with my money.

Does a jar of good tomato sauce bring you joy like it does my husband? If the answer is no, move to Costa Rica. Things you normally ate in the States are too expensive here, so when you do purchase them, it’s like Mardi Gras. I promise to toss beads at you when you buy that really good mozzarella cheese.

So this video is me making an inexpensive Happier Mango Salad, one in which I screw up pretty good. This gives you great insight to my skills in the kitchen. I’m surprised I haven’t starved yet.

This mango salad is guaranteed to make you feel a little happier. And a little happier is better than any jar of expensive tomato sauce.


Happier Mango Salad 

(4 Servings)

Can of Hearts of Palm

Pound Lettuce

1/4 – 1/2 cup walnuts


2 Avocados

One Red Onion


3 Tablespoons Olive Oil

2 Tablespoons White Vinegar

1 Tablespoon Honey (optional)


Cut mango and score fruit from skin. Mix in a blender until smooth, add dressing and mix for a few more seconds.

Cut up remaining items and mix. Top with dressing.

Good luck with cutting the mango. It was not my finest moment.