Living in San Diego is expensive and statistics from the global database, Numbeo, proved it. The cost of living index in San Diego is estimated to be 93.22% higher than in Tijuana.
One person generates expenses of up to $17 thousand 525 MXN per month, while a family of four spends $62 thousand 875 MXN per month, this without counting the rents of apartments.
Due to the high costs of some products, Americans and residents take advantage of the cross-border city and buy hard-to-find food in the US, or that have higher prices in SD.
If you are one of them, you better know what products you are allowed to cross the border gate. Also, remember that you must declare each of the products you are crossing, since not doing so you could pay a fine of up to $10,000 USD.
On the website of the United States Office of Customs and Border Protection (CBP), you can find information regarding food that you can cross, for personal use only.
- Condiments such as tomato sauce (ketchup), mustard, mayonnaise, Marmite and Vegemite and prepared sauces that do not contain meat.
- Olive oil and other vegetable oils
- Breads, cookies, cakes, granola bars, cereal and other baked and processed products
- Sweets and chocolate
- Cheeses - Solid cheese (hard or semi-hard, not containing meat); Butter, butter oil, cultured dairy products such as yogurt and sour cream. Feta cheese, Brie, Camembert, brine cheese, Mozzarella and Buffalo mozzarella. Liquid cheese (such as cottage cheese or ricotta cheese) and cheese that is poured as milk cream.
- Canned products and products in vacuum-packed jars (except those containing meat or chicken products) for personal use.
- Fish - they are allowed in personal quantities: shrimp, abalone and other seafood and can be fresh, frozen, dried, smoked, canned or cooked
- Dried fruits - products such as apricots, barberry, raisins, dates, figs, currants, peaches, plums and tomatillos are admissible according to the USDA Handbook of Processed and Miscellaneous Products, table 3-69.
- Liquid milk and dairy products intended to be used by infants or young children, are admissible if the amount that is brought is reasonable or it is obvious that it is only for a few days.
- Powdered drinks sealed in their original package and with the list of ingredients in English. Although it is at the discretion of the CBP Agriculture Specialist.
- Commercially canned juices.
- Tea commercially packaged and ready to be boiled, soaked in liquid or heated in microwave oven.
- Roasted or unroasted coffee, if it does not contain attached pulp.
- Spices and Condiments - most dried spices are allowed except for orange, lemon, green lime and other leaves, citrus seeds, lemongrass, and various vegetable seeds and fruit seeds
- Honey - honey in honeycomb, royal jelly, bee bread, or propolis, if not intended to be fed to bees.
- Noodles and ramen that do not contain egg or meat products in species packages
- White rice, basmati rice, brown rice, husk rice, refined rice, rice flour and other products that do not contain husk.
-Flour- wheat, rice, oat and cornmeal
-Mushrooms -fresh, dried and above the ground parts that are clean and free of soil
-Nuts- All nuts are allowed if they have been boiled, cooked, ground, oven dried, pureed, roasted, or steamed. Other nuts may be allowed if they are free from their husks (the shell remains), such as almonds, betel nuts, Brazil nuts, cashews, coquilla nuts, filberts (hazelnuts), Java olives, kara nuts, gingko nuts, macadamias, pecans, pili nuts, pine nuts (pinon nuts), pistachios, and walnuts.
-Bakery items, candy, chocolate, and dry mixes containing dairy and egg ingredients [such as baking mixes, cocoa mixes, drink mixes, instant cake mixes, instant pudding mixes, liquid drink mixes containing reconstituted dry milk or dry milk products (including those that contain sugar), potato flakes, and infant formula] commercially labeled and presented in final finished packaging are generally admissible.
Fruits and Vegetables:
Every fruit or vegetable must be declared to a CBP Agriculture Specialist or CBP Officer and must be presented for inspection - regardless of its admissibility status. Fresh fruits and vegetables need to be clean and may be prohibited if they have insects or diseases.
Aloe- above ground parts
Coconuts-husks must have been completely removed and cannot have sprouted
Garlic- peeled cloves
Ginger- clean roots
St. John's bread- pod
Tamarind bean pod
Water chestnut- corm or nut only
Animal Products and Animal By-Products:
- Pork must be commercially canned and labeled in closed materials. Pork and pork products are not acceptable if they come from Mexico, except for pork cooked in a minimum portion for a personal meal.
More info at CBP official website.