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Cost of Living in Tucson AZ

The Cost of Living in Tucson, AZ

Updated on March 29, 2022


Tucson always seems to live in the shadow of its older sibling, Phoenix (and the Phoenix area), but ask just about anyone who lives in Tuscon and they will pin your ears back with all the great reasons one should live in Arizona's second largest metro area. Here are a few of the reasons we've managed to collect:

Benefits of Living in Tucson, AZ

Food is Affordable

The Cuisine is terrific, and affordable. Even the nicer restaurants trend toward below the average cost of a typical meal anywhere else in the United States. While a standard meal at a nicer (but not necessarily upscale) restaurant runs on average about $50 per couple, in Tucson that price drops to $42. And while the variety of available cuisine drifts toward Tex/Mex, Tucson does enjoy a thoroughly diverse menu of available styles of food that will rival that of any mid-sized city in the US.

Beer is Cheaper

The coffee costs more, but the beer is cheaper. On average, that latte you get at the 'Fancy Coffee Drive Thru' coffee shop costs about twenty cents more than the national average, but the beer costs less in Tucson, so there's that.

Groceries Cost Less

The groceries tend to cost less, and they don't come from so far away. Tucson enjoys lower prices in terms of basic grocery staples; milk, rice, fish, eggs, etc. And what's more, they tend to come from California as well as local growers, while even California tends to import its produce. This doesn't make much sense to us, but we're not the ones in charge of these decisions. Despite its desert location, Tucsonis a major stop on the Southern Highway (also known as The Ten), and enjoys getting some of the produce that's on its way to the other southern states. Location is everything when it comes to groceries.

Inexpensive Public Transportation

Public transport costs less than half of most other places. And while the monthly passes are only a third less, those one way trips on the local bus will cost only 50% of what it costs anywhere else. SunTran gets average ratings on Yelp (but perhaps to its credit, it does not get poor ratings overall), so the customers don't necessarily rave about the service, but a lot of folks would rather pay less than get better transportation. We'll let you decide which one you prefer, though we recommend staying away from the taxis as they tend to be expensive.

Low Heating Bills

If you already live in Tucson, you have to pay a bit more on average for your utilities, but you enjoy a milder climate that doesn't require the heater to run all day. That air conditioner might be another matter, but even in the summer months, the truly hot weather tend to stay away until late June. Tucson imports its electricity, and that tends to run up costs.

Cheaper Gyms

If you're a gym rat, your monthly fees for the local fitness club are at least $10 a month cheaper than the national average, so while your air conditioner might run up your bill, staying healthy will not.

How Does the Cost of Living in Tucson AZ Stack Up to other Cities?

Housing is Cheaper

It's housing where the costs tend to be the most effective. Rent on a one bedroom apartment will run a Tucson resident about $635 a month, whereas the national average is almost twice that at about $1100 for the same time period. You can adjust each additional bedroom accordingly in terms of the cost of living. The beauty of this is that salaries on average are not much lower than they are nationally, which means you get more cost effect for your earned dollar than most other cities in the United States. But your salary, while it can be calculated in terms of average, is probably the most fluctuating aspect of the cost of living in Tucson, AZ. Generally it;'s assumed that you would not move to that city unless you had a job waiting, and salaries are more driven by the industry they occupy rather than the location. This means it's all about the job you have, and not the place you live when calculating salary.

More Motorcycles

But there is so much about Tucson that's not necessarily about other places that make it such a unique place to live. Tucson is most definitely a motorcycle town, with more bikes per capita than anywhere else int he United States. If you have a motorcycle, or just love motorcycles, then you're likely to feel right at home in Tucson (and make lots of new friends with common interests).

Great Cowboy Culture

Tucson celebrates its cowboy culture every year with La Fiesta De Los Vaqueros every February. The annual celebration, held every February, includes a major rodeo event, a parade (the country's largest non-motorized parade, in point of fact), and all things cowboy.

Tour De Tucson

Did we mention bikes? The non-motorized kind is celebrated in Tucson every year with the 'Tour De Tucson'; a 107 mile bicycle rally event in November. Competitors come from all over the world to compete in the prestigious race. It's such a major deal that Outside Magazine selected Tucsonas America's Best Bike Town.

Epic Scenery

We mentioned the desert environment, but did you know that mountainous alpine climates are just a short bike ride away? Tucson boasts some of the best kept scenic secrets in the entirety of the Southwest, and you'll often hear locals talking with pride about how Phoenix wishes they had some of that in their backyard.

Hipster Town

And if you're into the trendier scenes, but don't want to live in Portland or San Francisco, Tucson has turned into quite the hipster mecca, with a local culture that is rapidly become a place to rival that of any in the Northwest (where scientists have determined is the origin of the hipster species).

We at CASH 1 think Tucson is a great town no matter what your lifestyle and hobbies, and we want you to know that whether you already live there, or are thinking about moving there and you need a financial boost to help out, we have services in Arizona that can match your financial needs with larger title loans in Arizona or title loans near in Phoenix. Call, click, or stop by one of our Phoenix area locations.