Whenever I talk about moving back to Hawaii, one of the first things people bring up is the cost of living. "How can you live there, everything is so expensive!" Well, personally, I disagree. I have picked a list of everyday things that I would buy in Hawaii - compare the price and let me know if you think its expensive. All items are in $US.
Grande Latte at Starbucks: $3.80
Gallon of Milk: $6.99 (ok, that is a little expensive)
Compact Rental Car for 1 day: $32.99
Dinner for 2 at Alan Wong's: $250
Breakfast for 2 at Eggs 'n' Things: $10.00
Entry to Hanauma Bay: $5
Bus Ticket: $2
1 Corona at the Barefoot Bar: $5.95
Gallon of Gas: $2.60
Pineapple: 79c per pound
750ml bottle of Tanqueray Gin: $17.99
I think the confusion around the cost of living in Hawaii is not about the price of items, rather that salaries in general are a lot lower than the average mainland wage, making things appear more expensive. But, if you are travelling to Hawaii for vacation, it may not be as expensive as you think. A tip for keeping costs down include buying snacks and drinks at the grocery store, vs. at the hotel convenience stores. ABC Stores have a big selection of items at reasonable prices too, you can get everything there from sunscreen to macadamia nuts, so try them first before heading to the store where you are staying. There is an ABC store on almost every street corner in Waikiki, so you shouldn't have too much trouble finding what you need!