How to Save on Your Groceries at NTUC, Giant, Sheng Siong & Cold Storage

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With self checkout, memberships, credit cards, and senior discounts, how much can you save on groceries?

As a former “extreme couponer”, I’ve had to find other ways to offset my grocery bills ever since I moved to Singapore. Surprisingly, there are many tricks and strategies to accomplish this. The savings you get aren’t as “extreme” as using multiple stackable coupons (like in the US), but these strategies are far less time intensive than clipping, sorting, and organising little pieces of paper. And with the slow-growing economy and wages, every little bit counts! Here are some ways to offset your grocery expenses at the various supermarkets in Singapore: (more…)

Thoughtful & Frugal Gifts Ideas for Christmas

Where to get cheap gifts without appearing to be cheap.

There are times when buying second-hand is not really an option; office or holiday gift exchanges are one of them. Here are my top picks for frugal gifts, all around $25. I’ve chosen these based on their thoughtfulness, utility, and value. As a gift giver, I don’t want to appear “cheap”. But I also don’t want to give something that is useless and creates more “stuff” in this world. Many of these are gifts that I’ve personally given to others, including in-laws and office colleagues. Today is also a good day to do some online shopping as many shops have a massive 12-12 Sale. (more…)

The Best Year-End Investments for 2015

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What will you do with your 13th month bonus that your future self will thank you for?

We’re nearing the end of the year. And in addition to holiday celebrations and get-togethers, many of us also look forward to the AWS (a.k.a. 13th month bonus). As an American, the AWS still surprises me, as it is a business practice that is specific only to this region. Though it is not required that a company pay AWS, many people count on it and will even earmark the spending of it, instead of treating it as a discretionary bonus that varies depending on company earnings and economic conditions. If you don’t depend on the AWS to make ends meet, and you already have a sufficient emergency fund and are debt-free (with the exception of a mortgage), here are some suggestions on how to invest your AWS: (more…)

No Wallet? No Card? No ATM? No Problem!

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No cash, card, or nearby ATM? No problem! Just use your mobile to pay for groceries.

Dash Pay is a convenient mobile cash (mCash) account that lets you pay businesses (such as NTUC Fairprice, Cheers, Watsons, 7-Eleven, Comfort Taxi, Food Republic, BreadTalk, and KFC) using your mobile phone. You pay by using NFC or by entering a Business Counter Code. This means no longer needing to carry cash or cards, or looking for the nearest ATM. All you need is your phone. There is also no admin fee and you can even earn rewards. Like DBS PayLah! (another mCash account), you can also send money directly to other users, which can be useful when splitting the dining bill. (more…)

Best Kept Secret: A Food Haven that is Affordable

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An affordable Food Haven in the West with a buffet under $15 nett.

As a nation, we have a reputation of being a food haven. But unlike many of the other food havens in the world, while you can find very exotic and expensive restaurants here, you can also find plenty of quality inexpensive and affordable restaurants. And you don’t have to sacrifice variety, at least not at Food Haven (the restaurant).

Aptly named, this restaurant has an affordable a la carte menu that is very popular and serves huge, generous portions. On top of that, they also have a very affordable weekday and Sunday buffet ($12.80+, $14.80+; no GST). So why don’t more people know about it? It’s a bit hidden, as it is located at the Staff Centre of Singapore Polytechnic, but it is open to the public. (more…)

A $1 Million Jackpot with Your Name on It?

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Here’s where unclaimed money goes when the beneficiaries can’t be found.

Just in the last two months, two of my friends have had to help settle a family member’s estate. Both of them were the primary or sole beneficiaries of the estate. For one friend, this was expected; for the other, it was a complete surprise. Every now and then, you’ll hear about some millionaire who left everything to an unsuspecting person or even a stranger. A common question that arises is how will you know if you are a beneficiary of such an estate? And if reasonable efforts were made to contact these unsuspecting beneficiaries, but they were nowhere to be found, what happens to all the unclaimed money? (more…)

Why Pay for Magazine & Newspaper Subscriptions?

Where can you find the largest magazine & newspaper stand in Singapore?

When I was younger, I used to enjoy getting things by post; as an adult, I quickly realised that the letter box is more often filled with bills, useless advertisements, or urgent notices rather than actual letters (or at least the ones that are pleasant and joyful). Perhaps that’s why many people subscribe to magazines or newspapers. It’s like having a dear old friend visiting you on a regular basis. But I found magazine and newspaper subscriptions to be quite expensive here. That is, until I found out that you can get them for free (digitally) through the NLB. (more…)