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BOTTOM LINE : In Mexico, You May Not Have to Peso Mucho

June 27, 1993|Bill Manson

With the coming of NAFTA, prices in Mexico and the United States will eventually even out, experts say. But, at least for now, there are still some bargains in Mexico. A semi-random sampling of prices above and below la linea:

LOS BREWSKIS TJ: A 32-ounce Caguama: $1.65 SD: A 12-ounce Budweiser at Danny's in Coronado: $1.75 (Warning: Caguama was sampled at the Musicians' Bar, where off-duty mariachis hang out. Prices in tourist bars might make you wish you were back at Danny's.)

SAFE SEX TJ: Lifestyle condoms, 12-pack: $4.08 SD: Lifestyle, 12-pack: $6-$11

AT THE DENTIST TJ: Basic extraction: $30 SD: Basic extraction: $65 (Cheapest of three dentists queried.) TJ: Basic root canal: $125 SD: Basic root canal: $260

BETTER BREATHING TJ: Beconase, a nasal spray: $4.73 SD: Beconase: $32.70 TJ: Ventolin, an asthma inhalant: $5.82 SD: Ventolin: $25.40

GETTING AROUND (local) TJ: Public bus: 40 cents SD: Public bus: $1.50

GETTING AROUND (long distance) Tijuana-Mexico City (2,341 miles): $57 San Diego-Chicago (2,363 miles): $135

WANNA LIVE THERE? TJ: Rent (for a three-bedroom, two-bath house): $450 a month SD: Rent (for a three-bedroom, two-bath house): $1,000 a month TJ: Buy (three-bedroom, two-bath house): $40,000 to $50,000 SD: Buy (three-bedroom, two-bath house): Shall we say at least $100,000?

SMELLING GOOD: TJ: Joy, concentrate: $83.60 at Maxim's on Revolucion SD: Joy, concentrate: $115 at a San Diego department store

SMELLING BAD: TJ: Cuban cigar: $5.75 SD: Cuban cigar: Illegal

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