7 tips to save big on your daily expenses

PHOTOGRAPH: Kaspars Grinvalds, 123rf.com

1 Shop with a groceries list
Always write down what you need to buy beforehand, either on paper or on your smartphone. Having a list keeps you from buying on impulse – you don’t end up wandering the supermarket aisles stumbling upon things you want to buy but don’t need.


2 Only shop when you’re full
When you shop on an empty stomach, your hunger can influence what you grab from the shelves. Before you know it, you might end up with bars of chocolate and packs of instant noodles you never intended to buy.


3 Use a basket and not a shopping cart
Lugging a heavy basket around the supermarket is a pain, which is why it deters you from buying more than you need. Unless you are buying big items such as boxes of tissue, or big bottles of drinks, aim to fit all of your shopping into one basket. This helps to limit your spending.


Read more: RECIPE: Pork Ribs Mee Sua in a tasty broth


4 Buy house brands
You won’t be compromising on product quality. Supermarket house-brand items are cheaper than name-brand items not because they are inferior, but because the manufacturers save on advertising and other intermediary costs and can then pass on these savings to consumers.   


5 Sign up for a Warehouse Club membership
The members-only Warehouse Club by Fairprice, located at 1 Joo Koon Circle, promises discounts of roughly 20 per cent on products that come in bulk quantities compares to what’s usually carried by supermarkets. For example, cornflakes may be sold in 1.7kg bags rather than 300g boxes. 

At $50 per year for membership, you can make bulk buys in the form of value packs to save on groceries and household essentials, particularly for non-perishable goods like detergent and toilet paper.


6 Use credit cards with rebates
Many credit card companies have tie up with the major supermarkets in Singapore. For example, the UOB Delight Card gives you up to 8 per cent cash rebates at Cold Storage and Giant, and offers special discounts on selected items. 

Do your research to find out which credit card offers the best fit for your needs. Some cards offer reward points and other benefits like free delivery for online purchases.


7 Freeze your food 
Reduce wastage by freezing fresh produce so it can be kept longer. Raw fruits and vegetables can last up to a year, while meat can be kept for three to six months in the freezer.

Prepare meals in bulk and freeze them in portions to be reheated. For some inspiration, turn to our Food section for recipes you can cook to freeze, and reheat later on.