Living in Singapore is expensive and according to CNN it is currently the most expensive city to live in as an expat! I remember going to a Cold Storage supermarket when I first moved here and was shocked to see a box of Crunchy Nut Cornflakes for nearly S$12 – around 3 times the price that it is back in the UK! Now that I’ve been living here for around 5 years, I’ve gradually over the years found shops where I can buy all my daily essentials at prices that aren’t so ridiculously high and comparative to what I’m used to back home so I’ve listed these shops below which I hope you’ll find useful if you’re new to Singapore and just can’t bring yourself to spend absurd amounts on groceries and other necessities.
One of my favourite places to shop in, Phoon Huat has several branches around Singapore with their biggest outlet in Buona Vista. They’re primarily a store that sells baking supplies but you can also find other food items there such as pasta, cereal and crisps at prices that you won’t find cheaper elsewhere in Singapore. Examples of some of the great value prices are S$2 for a 250g block of Irish butter, S$3.40 for 250g dark chocolate, S$1.30 for a 500g bag of icing sugar and $6 for 500g of shredded cheddar cheese.
With 19 outlets all over Singapore you may have already come across myCK department store. This is where you’ll find the cheapest toiletries that are far cheaper than shopping in Watsons or Guardian or any of the supermarkets. Very rarely Giant supermarket or Watsons may have a multi-buy promotion where it works out cheaper than buying an individual product in myCK but otherwise shopping at myCK will usually be cheaper. They also have monthly promotions with huge discounts where for example you can get a 750g bottle of Dove body wash for $3.80 and a 330ml bottle of Loreal Shampoo for only $3.50.
Besides toiletries they also sell some snacks, household items and clothes at discount prices.
With outlets islandwide, ValuDollar and ABC which are both owned by Radha Exports carry snacks, toiletries and household items from all over the world at low prices. A bar of Cadbury’s chocolate can be as low as $1.95 and $3.95 for a jar of Nutella.
Fairprice and Giant are the cheaper supermarket chains in Singapore but I’ve found products in Redmart online supermarket to either match or be cheaper than Fairprice and Giant. They also have a storewide price match guarantee with Fairprice so if you find a lower regular selling price on an identical, in-stock item online store or in-store within 7 days of buying it from RedMart, they will pay you back double the difference! Also an added bonus of shopping online on Redmart is that you don’t have to lug your shopping home as delivery is free if you spend only S$49 or more compared to Fairprice and Giant where you have to spend at least S$200 and they don’t deliver fresh, chilled or frozen products either. Check out my review of Redmart for more information.
Similar to a pound shop in the UK or dollar shop in the US, the Daiso is a huge S$2 chain store from Japan that sells everything under the sun including cosmetics, kitchenware, tableware, gardening products, stationary, craft supplies, Japanese food and snacks and much more! Unlike what you would normally find in a pound or dollar shop back home, all the items that the Daiso carry are of high quality to Japan standards with a lot of the products actually manufactured in Japan.
With thousands of items, many of which are under S$2, ShopInSEA is Singapore’s online dollar shop that sells everything from kitchenware to cosmetics. Delivery is free if you spend over S$50 otherwise it’s only S$4.99 and although it does take around 1-2 weeks for your order to arrive, with prices that low it is definitely worth the wait. Also you can get 12% off your purchase using the promo code OMG12 or S$5 off when you spend S$30 using the promo code OMG5.
Hope you’ve found this list helpful, I’ll be adding to it if I find any more shops. Please feel free to leave a comment below with your own shopping tips for daily essentials!