Why I Started Blogging

omy Singapore Blog Awards Ceremony
The nation’s award winning bloggers under one roof.

I was recently invited to attend the Singapore Blog Awards Ceremony where the nation’s most popular and most followed bloggers gathered to celebrate and honour each other’s achievements. The awards categories included “Best Food Blog”, “Best Beauty Blog”, “Best Family Blog”, “Best Travel Blog”, “Best Lifestyle Blog”, and “Best Fashion Blog” among others. As this is my first attempt at blogging, although I was not recognized during the ceremony, I still felt very honoured to have been invited to such a prestigious event. It made me reflect on why I started this endeavor in the first place.


Can Afford a Gym Membership? Join One of Many Free Group Fitness Classes Instead

group workouts hpb
HPB’s “Sundays in the Park” programme is a frugal way to stay fit and healthy.

If you ever wanted to try Zumba, kickboxing, or Bollywood, Bhangra and Kpop dancing, but didn’t want to commit to a series of classes at a CC or gym, the Health Promotion Board is offering a free programme called “Sundays @ the Park” at Choa Chu Kang and Sembawang Park every Sunday morning from now through Oct 5.


To Smokers: Who Wants to be a Millionaire?

quit smoking
Quitting isn’t easy, but it is possible with the right mindset, plan, and support system.

Having lived most of my life in California, where it is illegal to smoke in your own vehicle (in the presence of children), in bars, and even in your own home if you live in certain cities (e.g., San Rafael), when I moved here, I had to make a huge adjustment. It seemed that everywhere I went, there were always smokers nearby. I try my best to stay away from them, having suffered some of the health effects of secondhand smoke from my early childhood. According to the Health Promotion Board (HPB), the number of smokers has increased alarmingly to about 1 in 6 adults. The cost to society (healthcare, hospitalization, loss productivity, early death) is a staggering number, but what exactly is the cost to the individual? And what are some ways to quit or help someone to quit?


How You Can Feel Better About the Singapore CPF

singapore central provident fund
3 ways to feel better and more secure about your CPF account.

I’ve heard a lot of concerns and complaints recently about the Singapore CPF. It seems that there are three main camps of concerned people – those who think their CPF is not generating enough returns (they believe that CPF is cheating them from earning higher returns, and that they can do better if they invested the money themselves); those who believe CPF is too restrictive or confusing (they do not like the regulations and rules, particularly the ones on meeting the minimum sum), and those who flat-out think the CPF is operating like a ponzi scheme. Regardless of which camp the concerned citizens belong to, nearly all of them have one thing in common – they want access and full control over their “hard-earned money” and they want it now. (more…)

A Frugal Way to be Happy, Have Better Health & Live a More Fulfilling Life

act of kindness
A simple, quick, and frugal way to brighten your day.

Before going for retail therapy, spa therapy, or talk therapy, there may be a better and less expensive way of brightening up your day. Although free, it involves some gumption, courage, and vulnerability. It’s something that worked well for me in the States, but I wasn’t sure if it would work here in Singapore. So I wanted to test my theory and conduct a little experiment… (more…)

Where to Find a Cheap Western Lunch Buffet for under $15

javier's rotisserie & salad bar
Where to get a healthy lunch buffet for under $15 nett.

Adding to the list of budget-friendly buffets (see my previous posts here and here), Javier’s Rotisserie & Salad Bar now offers a $11.90 (nett) salad bar buffet with an add-on main course for an additional $3 (nett). Located at City Square Mall, the buffet is available on weekdays between 11:30am and 5pm, excluding public holidays.


4 Reasons why Donating Blood is Frugal & Beneficial to You

giving blood
Giving blood is as good for you as it is for the recipient.

We’ve all heard that donating blood can save up to 3 lives and can help in research and studies. Patients with anemia, cancer, bone marrow disorders, and those who need blood transfusions depend on the generosity of blood donors. What you might not know is that donating also is very beneficial to the donor. Here are 4 health benefits of donating blood.


The New Sharing Economy: How You Can Save Money and the Environment at the Same Time

The more we share, the more we have.
The more we share, the more we have.

We were all taught at a young age to share with others, yet as we became adults, individual ownership and being self-sufficient were considered more desirable and noteworthy. As a person who lived the American lifestyle, I feel ashamed to have owned items that were only used a few times a year – such as power tools, a sewing machine, a ladder, snowboards, bicycles, and a guest bedroom. These things served more time gathering dust than being put to use. On a per-use basis, not only did I pay an exorbitant price for them, but they added to my carbon footprint and took up valuable resources and storage space. At that time, I didn’t realize how wasteful it was, until I read a statistic that said if everyone in the world lived like an American, we would need more than 4 earths, and that one American consumed as much energy as 31 Indians and 370 Ethiopians. Thankfully, I have changed my ways, and more and more people are coming around to this new paradigm of sharing, which is helping to save money, time, resources, and above all, the environment. (more…)

Furniture Stores with Better Quality and Prices than Ikea

Hock Siong
Find high quality furniture for your home at steep discounts.

Ever wonder what happens to the furniture in show rooms, offices, schools and hotels? My first experience in shopping for second-hand furniture was at a time when there was no Craigslist (not in my area at least), and print classified ads (as opposed to online ads) were still the norm. I was living in a university dormitory when I discovered that the furniture there, which were made of solid oak, was replaced every 7 years even if it was still in great condition. That made me wonder about other furniture and equipment, and this led me to the campus warehouse, which sold everything from furniture to laboratory equipment, lighting fixtures, televisions, and computers (you can even find CT scanners, electrophoresis machines, and welding equipment for sale). Since the warehouse space was quite limited, everything was priced to sell quickly. I’ve recently visited their web page and you can still find office chairs for $10 and desks for $35. For those who don’t like to browse online listings or deal with unknown sellers of questionable reputation, but like to see and touch their items and have a large selection of other items to choose from, you’re in luck because such places do exist here in Singapore.