Growing an Edible Garden – Where to Start?

Here are some of the easiest edible plants to grow in Singapore.
Here are some of the easiest edible plants to grow in Singapore. (sweet potato leaves transplanted to soil)

Perhaps it’s due to rising food costs, concerns over food security, or the fear of contaminated or pesticide-laden food, that there has been a lot of interest recently among city dwellers in starting small-scale edible gardens. As someone who has spent many years living in a rural countryside, I certainly miss the (literal) fruits of my labor. My edible garden (in the States) once had pineapple guavas, grapefruits, oranges, persimmons, mint, basil, Chinese parsley, ginkgo biloba, almonds, and red amaranth.

It can be quite challenging growing an edible garden here in Singapore with such limited space, particularly if you do not have a balcony, roof, or yard. For those who are completely new to the concept and are unsure whether they have a green thumb, here are some easy, fool-proof, and frugal tips on how to start your very own edible garden. (more…)

Rediscover Singapore with Free Local Tours

SG heart map
Come celebrate and rediscover the places that define Singapore as our home.

Singapore Heart Map, an SG50 programme launched last November, invited Singaporeans to share their memories of special places they hold dear to their hearts. Over the last 6 months, more than 80,000 personal stories of places were contributed by Singaporeans from all walks of life. The 80,000 stories shared were displayed in a first-ever crowd-sourced collective map of the most endearing and cherished places of our nation. Over the next 3 months, there will be free guided tours of many of these cherished places. This is a great opportunity to rediscover Singapore, make new friends, and create new memories. (more…)

Earn Perx Points When You Travel using ANY Public Transport

Yet another reason to take public transport.

I wrote last week that you can get cash rewards through the Travel Smart Rewards Programme. In addition, you can also get Perx Points through the new EZ-Link Rewards Scheme (sorry, NETS FlashPay cards don’t qualify). Like Travel Smart Rewards, Perx is free to join. Perx is a loyalty platform that incentivizes users to collect chops from merchants to unlock rewards. All merchant cards, including EZ-Link, are stored and easily accessible to you through their free app (so you don’t have to worry about applying for, forgetting or losing your loyalty card from a merchant that is on their platform). These programmes, in addition to the extension of free pre-peak travel (before 7.45am on weekdays) to 18 designated MRT Stations, is another reason why it’s awesomely frugal to take public transport. (more…)

Earn Cash Rewards when you Travel on the MRT & LRT

The next time you top up your card, you might find a little surprise.

The Travel Smart Rewards programme is one of the best kept secrets in Singapore. It’s free to join and you get paid for doing what you normally do anyway (i.e., ride the trains). All you have to do is sign up on their website and enter your name, email and Cepas card number (only adult EZ-Link cards, adult NETS Flashpay cards, University/Polytechnic/ITE concession cards, and Senior Citizen concession cards are eligible). Please note that only one card can be registered per user. (more…)

Make Your Own Fluoride-Free Toothpaste – It’s Easy!

-photo by Mandy Jouan
No cavities or sensitivity after 3 years of using this fluoride-free toothpaste!
(photo by Mandy Jouan)

More than 3 years ago I saw a documentary on the dangers and side effects of fluoride by the Fluoride Action Network, which, along with my own additional research, made me question the benefits of commercial fluoridated toothpaste. I stopped using commercial toothpaste after that. And have since been using my own homemade toothpaste and the Philips Sonicare toothbrush to brush my teeth. My dentist just gave me a clean bill of health. He even said my gums and teeth have never looked healthier. The recipe I use is easy, quick to make, and very inexpensive. (more…)

Set Sail on the Marina Bay for FREE

sailing2
Want stress relief? Why not go sailing?

I had the amazing opportunity to sail on a DBS sailboat (the same one that will be used at the SEA games) as part of the DBS Marina Sailing Programme, organised in partnership with the Singapore Sailing Federation (SSF). Launched in 2013, this programme gives the public the chance to learn some basics about sailing, experience the Marina Bay from a different perspective, and enjoy a 40-minute scenic and exciting ride. (more…)

A Free Workout for Every Day of the Week

hpb workout
There are tons of free workouts at malls, near workplaces, and even at private gyms.

Staying fit, healthy, and flexible doesn’t mean you have to buy a gym membership. There are plenty of free workouts island-wide that I’ve written about in the past, including Health Promotion Board’s Sunrise in the City and Sundays in the Park Programmes. You can also apply for and use your free $100 ActiveSG credits for entry to any of the 16 ActiveSG Gyms (a list of them is here). On top of that, here are a few more ways to get fit the frugal way. (more…)