Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Moving to Puerto Rico: Importing Your Food and Personal Care

I have found that it really helps to buy some groceries online. I buy pasta, flour, sugar, spices, cereal, dried beans, rolled oats and many other things from Amazon. Vita Cost is a favorite of mine for personal care items. There are so many options to get quality products, often a lower price, and tax-free. How is this possible? Because we are part of the US Postal System. If it wasn't for that, the international shipping would be prohibitive. So, if you are contemplating a move to a Caribbean island, this is one big advantage to living in Puerto Rico.

A few companies that I use that ship to Puerto Rico:
  • Amazon: Amazon Prime members get free standard shipping to Puerto Rico. This is my go to site for most everything I purchase online, but it also is great for finding specific foods. I buy organic, whole grain flour in 25lb bags and get free shipping! The Subscribe and Save program is a great way to save money (15% off) and still find the products you knew and loved before moving to Puerto Rico.
  • Vita Cost: 30-50% cheaper than local natural food stores; Set & Save Program gives additional 10% off; Shipping: $9.99 flat rate to PR, no minimum purchase necessary.
  • US Wellness Meats: this is a very good company to buy pasture-raised meats from. Shipping: $7.50 per order, overnight via FedEx.
  • Mountain Rose Herbs: Buy infrequently with larger amounts to get discounts up to 25% off. Ships to PR using USPS Priority Mail.
  • King Arthur Flour: add $9.50 to standard rates.
Find a friend in the US to help you out! Do you have a friend or relative near a Trader Joe's that is willing to ship it to you? You'll save a bundle on certain items, like peanut butter and chocolate. See this post.

If you do end up living in Puerto Rico and shop online, be prepared to call many companies and place your order over the phone because Puerto Rico won't be listed as a state in the pull-down menu when you are checking out (or it is listed as international). Quite often I need to call and educate them that they can ship to Puerto Rico for the same price as shipping to another state! You'd be surprised at how often you'll run into this. Another thing to remember - always choose Puerto Rico as the state, with US as the country. Never put Puerto Rico as a country. Then you will almost always get a normal shipping rate.


  1. Have every tried All Star Health on line? They have $5.95 flat rate shipping, too.

    1. I haven't heard of this company. I'll be sure to check that out. Thank you!


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