Cost of living – How much do you need for grocery?

Living in Singapore can be expensive, cheap or a mixture of both. This has to do with quality, but also with where and what you buy. Here you can find an overview of the cost of living in Singapore.

For example, there is 2.5 kg of rice with 50% whole grain for 6.50 SGD and half a litre of soy sauce for about 5 SGD.
On the other hand you have to calculate with approx. 10 SGD for 200 g Hummus. But here you can simply buy a can of chickpeas and puree them yourself with Tahin paste (sesame paste), oil and spices. Even cheaper with dried chickpeas, but you have to soak them for one night. Recipes are available on the Internet.

Unlike Europeans, Asians go very often out to eat. Some eat three times a day outside. This is because there are offers for almost every purse. From the cheap 2-3 SGD meals in simple Hawker Centers up to approx. 300 SGD expensive menus in nobler and/or western Restaurants. In simple Hawker Centers like the Tekka Center in Little India you could eat for about 8 – 10 SGD all day long.

The people here like to have food delivered by app and cook at most their own rice. Or prepare some vegetables/salad as a side dish if they don’t order it. You have certainly seen the many suppliers on their scooters (e.g. Deliveroo, Food Panda, GrabFood). You can also call a restaurant of your choice or go right by, order something and take it with you. Also cheap are dishes from the rice cooker, but see of it below.

Many Europeans have difficulties to change. Of course you can also eat exclusively European food in Singapore, but that will cost you a lot. Good cheese is not to be got under 10 SGD for a piece. Just as butter and sausage as we know it, cost a lot money. Cherries from the USA cost around 23 SGD a kilo. But bananas and papaya are cheap.

Look here at FairPrice how the prices are in the supermarket. In the Cold Storage – you find many shops in the city centre, you will find practically all the food you would like as a foreigner. Here you will also find fresh fish, meat, organic food, gluten and dairy free alternatives, etc. Similar to Denmark, Singapore has to import a lot and for this reason many foods are expensive.

It’s often difficult for us to completely do without all the usual Food. Especially with Children, this is often exhausting. In contrast to Denmark and Germany, Eating outside is usually cheaper than cooking yourself. During the day, light dishes such as fruit, soup and salad are more suitable because of the heat, In the evening, Rice or noodles with lots of vegetables and Maybe chicken or fish. Beef is expensive compared to chicken. You can offer different flavours (Curry, coconut, sweet/sour etc.) so it should hardly be boring.

But let’s start with breakfast at home…

European:
Bread/roll, butter, sausage, cheese, etc. Cereals with milk, egg, chocolate spread and jam, possibly orange juice, quark/yoghurt, fruit, coffee, cocoa.

Asian:
Coffee, tea, salad, raw vegetables, corn cooked, hard-boiled eggs/scrambled eggs, soup/porridge, tofu, baozi, rice cake, kaya toast (toast with butter and kaya spread made of coconut and eggs) plus two very softly boiled “fried eggs” or variations of the toast e.g. with peanut butter, cheese etc.

You can buy this outside. Kaya toasts are available from about 1,80 SGD/1,17 € and with two eggs and coffee/tea you pay about 4,20 SGD (2,75 €).

Possible mixed breakfast:

Raw vegetables (cucumbers, carrots, tomatoes…) – here you can also add humus or eggplant puree, scrambled eggs, wholemeal toast, butter, jam, muesli (self-mixed from wholemeal oat flakes, linseed, raisins and nuts) and milk, plus fruit.

You see, with a few small changes you can create a good mixture. In Giant Markets, but also in Fairprice Finest Shops, you will find almost everything you need. So it doesn’t have to be an expensive Australian supermarket for every day.

Try too:

  • Fried noodles mixed with breadcrumbs and sugar. It goes well with compote/fruit salad.
  • Flour tortilla (8 pieces approx. 5 SGD) with humus, cucumber pieces, salad, fried tofu in strips, tomato slices or with salad, tuna, mayonnaise, corn and cucumber pieces. There are hardly any limits to the imagination for fillings.

Nobody wants to spend long evenings in the kitchen and so I recommend you some quick dishes for the rice cooker. How about stuffed peppers? Or look for a recipe book at Amazon or recipes on the internet. The rice cookers you can buy cheap in different sizes. Make sure that there is a steam insert and than you can cook a complete meal with one pot. But you can also use it to prepare omelettes and apple pie.

Persian style rice dish

Recipe for two people main meal
Ingredients:
Half butternut pumpkin in small cubes
240 g rice
80 g raisins
80 g Cashew nuts
Garlic, onion, ginger
Turmeric, Aniseeds, Coriander Seeds, Chili
_________________________________
1 can coconut milk, 240 ml water
salt, broth powder

Preparation:
Fry all ingredients briefly in a pan. Then mix with the coconut milk, water, broth powder and salt in the rice pot. Set to “boil”. When the pot changes to “warm”, the meal is ready.


Fish is generally cheap. Fish fingers and breaded fish fillet for e.g. fish burgers can be found in the frozen counter. 200 g fresh Norwegian salmon costs approx. 6 SGD/3,80 €.

European food, which is almost only demanded by foreigners, is relatively expensive, but if you buy “Asian”, or what Asians also like to buy, you can save well. Look out for fruit (Bananas, Pomelo…) and vegetables (Sweet potato, Chinese cabbage…) from Malaysia and Vietnam.

With a good mixture and planning when shopping, you should pay an average of 10 – 15 € per person/day without give up too much from your culture. So about 300 – 450 € per week for four persons. There are discounts everywere. You find this in the Internet und in Newspapers. Membership Cards are also a good way to save money.

 

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