So this article is mainly about food prices in Singapore. I am always getting reports that you can’t buy cheaply and well in Singapore. Well, what can I say? Maybe that this cannot be true, as the high number of locals shows, many of whom earn only a fraction of what e.g. expats get.
But we don’t get any further with this topic. Here I compare the prices of different markets in Singapore. Then it’s easy to see, the shopping place plays a significant role. For example, the quality of the food in other shops is often not necessarily worse than in the Australian supermarket (Little Farm). Traders who need food here on the island buy it from wholesalers.
All right, but one thing first. If someone is not willing to try something new and insists only on buying food from the home country, has never heard of stocking or cook badly, then it is advisable to solve these problems first. Because one thing is for sure: In Singapore you can go out for cheap eating as well as buy cheap food, as long as you have some basic knowledge. “First aid”-suggestions and tips for fast savings come below.
In Singapore, expats often prefer the Australian supermarket (Little Farm), the New Zealand supermarket (Cold Storage), Fairprice and Fairprice Finest and Giant. There are always offers and it’s worth comparing them. If you really want to save money, visit the wet markets of the city with fresh and cheaper food (e.g. in the Tekka Center, Mustafa or Tiong Bahru).
But first a comparison of general costs between Singapore, Germany and Denmark…
Comparison of cost of living:
|Index Germany||Index Denmark||Index Singapore|
|Cost of living index (without rent)||66.62||83.75||80.93|
Explanation: The parameters are based on the values for New York City. All New York parameters are 100 (%). This means that if, for example, the rent index of a city is 80 %, it is 20 % below the New York index.
– SGD (Singapore Dollar) –
Comparison of food from different Singaporean supermarkets:
|Item||Little Farm||Giant||Fairprice Finest|
|500g Australian broccoli||7.98 SGD||2.90 SGD||5.60 SGD|
|Organic Mushroom White Button 200g||10.64 SGD||3.90 SGD||/ (no Organic)|
|1 Stück Granny Smith Apple||2.48 (Australien)||0.45 SGD (New Zealand)||0.45 SGD (South Africa)|
|Nutella 220g||5.98 SGD||3.46 SGD||3.46 SGD|
|Organic Coconut Oel 100 ml||3.22 SGD||4.45 SGD||2.89 SGD|
|Organic Milk 1 Ltr.||6.98 SGD (Barambah)||3.95 SGD (Arla)||3.65 SGD|
|Organic Brown Rice 1kg||9.48 SGD||4.90 SGD||4.90 SGD|
|Organic Tofu 300g||6.38 SGD||1.00 SGD||1.20 SGD|
|Minced Beef 300g||8.98 SGD||5.45 SGD||3.51 SGD|
|Organic Tuna Flakes 150g||5.66 SGD||/ (no Organic)||3.05 SGD|
|Organic Butter 250g||9.98 SGD||/ (no Organic)||5.95 SGD|
With these numbers it’s easy to see that it can be very expensive, but does not have to be. As a result, you may easily spend 40-80 SGD (or even more) more, than it should be when you go shopping groceries. I’ve tried it with Cold Storage and Fairprice and paid at the end nearly 45 SGD more in Cold Storage for groceries. That would be maybe not so worst, but this was only food for three days (Dinner) for two persons and some cleaning items.
Differences of over 50% are not uncommon. For example, 200g of Galbani Parmigiano Reggiano DOP (Italy) at Fairprice Finest costs 15.95 SGD and at Giant you can buy 200g of Parmesan Perfect Italiano (Australia) for 7.96 SGD. So better watch out 😉 .
It always depends on what priority/time factor you give it. But even with less time and knowledge, you can save easily. For this I have collected a few tips and tricks…
Tips und Tricks:
First, because this is often happen: Use the internet to learn more how to do your household job. There are a lot of sides and videos. Do me a favor: Please, blame not others for your unknowings. I know, it’s easier but it’ll not help you much abroad.
Buy on markets and negotiate a discount for larger quantities. Stock keeping, i.e. buying for several days, requires good planning and prevents lose a lot of money. If, for example, there is vegetable gratin with rice on one day, then there can be a vegetable pie with salad on the next day. Or serve vegetable leftovers wrapped in pancakes.
From pancakes you can conjure up delicious dishes. They can be filled in various ways (e.g. with mushrooms) and served with a freshly cooked tomato sauce. As a casserole layered in the oven or cold for the small hunger in between.
Cooked salads from carrots, beans, cauliflower, lentils taste excellent chilled. Simply cook vegetables until soft to the bite and season with onion cubes, salt, pepper, vinegar and oil. Decorate with the green of the spring onions as a substitute for chives. But vegetables can also be used as a raw vegetable salad. From carrot and apple salad to red cabbage and pomegranate salad to Chinese cabbage salad, there are many recipes on the Internet.
Cut older bread and toast into cubes, fry in olive oil until crispy and use as croutons in the salad. Can also be frozen as a cube and sautéed if required. Croutons can also be enhanced with herbs and garlic.
Cook less meat and fish (approx. 150 g for two people maximum). More vegetables. Increase the protein content with tofu and pulses such as white beans or lentils. If meat, then rather poultry or pig. Mix meat e.g. with couscous (e.g. stuffed peppers). Small cuts make “more” meat than large pieces. And a whole chicken is cheaper than chicken breast or the like 😉 and is enough for at least two meals (4 pers.) – e.g. vegetable soup with chicken and rice/noodles, chicken fricassee or Nasi Goreng (find recipe here) or the like. If you cook the whole chicken, you also get a very healthy soup. The cooked chicken meat can also be turned in egg and coconut flakes and fried. In addition sweet potato chips from the oven homemade.
Buy fruit and vegetables from the region. Imported goods from USA, Australia etc. are much more expensive.
Ever heard of “cauliflower rice”? That comes from the Low Carb direction. To it simply a cauliflower with the grater work on. I sometimes use it as a substitute for minced meat. With it you can fill paprika and zucchini (courgetti) or cook a delicious Bolognese sauce. Also with a vegetable lasagne between zucchini and eggplant slices this is very tasty.
Do not buy finished products such as frozen pizza, rolls, meat patties etc.. Making it yourself saves a lot of money.
Hands off when buying feta, mozzarella, cheese itself and European yoghurt, quark, etc. Yoghurt and quark may be made by yourself (there are plenty of instructions on the Internet). By the way, you can also make your own cream cheese with quark at 😉 and use it to make many delicious spreads.
Muesli from ingredients such as roasted oat flakes, linseed, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, dried fruits, etc. mix yourself. It’s not cheap, but the quantity you get at the end is more than four times as much as the one you can buy.
Children want noodles? Make it yourself! Pasta dough needs only a few cheap local ingredients. Then roll it out, cut it into strips, hang it on a line to dry, done! The dough can also be used to make filled ravioli. If the children help, it’s much more fun.
Sweet drinks? Make your own iced tea (black or red tea, lemon, syrup) or buy lemon concentrate and mix it with water and syrup – maybe a few peppermint leaves with it? 😉
All you need to make your own ice cream is frozen fruit, silk tofu, a little lemon juice and sugar/syrup. Everything in the Blender and enjoy fresh 😊.
On the recipes page there is Curry chicken for only 10.80 SGD (4 people) or Nasi Goreng for only 5.41 SGD (4 people).
Do you have any other tips? Write them to me, then I’ll add them here – with your name 😊, if you like.