Budget-friendly Buffets in Singapore – Part 1: Chinese & Vegetarian Cuisine

Budget-friendly buffets, all priced around $15 or less!

While these buffets may not have the same offerings or variety that a buffet at a five-star hotel would have, you can still find great food, decent variety, and be able to have your fill without breaking the bank. You won’t need a voucher or a 1-for-1 credit card promotion, as these buffets are all around $15 or less. For some other buffets, such as “The Line” at Shangri-La or “Carousel” at Royal Plaza, you will have to spend three to four times the amount, but that doesn’t usually result in three to four times better quality in food.


How to Find the Best Dining Deals using Voucher Sites

Dining deals are everywhere if you look for them.

When dining out, my husband and I usually take advantage of 1-for-1 deals (through credit cards or membership cards like NTUC and SAFRA) or group buying vouchers sites, such as Groupon SG and Deal. Other sites I’ve purchased from include StreetDeal, Voucherlicious, and SuperDeals by InSing. For the past 5 years, I’ve used over 200 voucher deals, including some when I travel back to the States (Groupon and Living Social are popular there). Not every deal is a good value (most in my opinion are not), and there are many in which you have to pay very close attention to the fine print (some will charge additional GST, service, and other compulsory fees; some will restrict dining hours, days, and menu items; and nearly all of them will have expiration dates). There are a lot of advantages to buying dining or even activity vouchers through these sites. Besides the cost savings (usually around 50%), using vouchers has made it easier for me to plan on where we dine on the weekends, we’re always trying new and different cuisines, and it often takes us to new places that we’d never knew existed. It gets us out of our comfort zone, leads us to discover other interesting shops, restaurants, parks, and neighborhoods. But there are things to watch out for. Here are some issues and problems to consider: (more…)

Prescription Glasses & Eyewear for Only $10

good vision is priceless
Good vision is priceless!

I’m in my mid-30s and my vision has recently been changing, in fact, it’s been improving. Because the power of my lenses are often now too strong, I find myself needing to update my prescription every 6 months to 1 year. This can be very costly, as I would need to buy new glasses each time. Fortunately, I found a site where I can get great looking, affordable prescription glasses for about S$10! I’ve been ordering from this site for almost 6 years, and can attest to the company’s reliability, and the accuracy and quality of their products. At first I was skeptical, but each time I received my order, I would have the optometrist verify it. Out of curiosity, I sometimes would ask the optometrist how much a similar pair would cost me, and he would usually show me a pair that was over S$200. (more…)

What You’ll Find at New2U Thrift Store

New2U Thrift Store during their end-of-the-month sale.

I have a friend in the States named Michael who is a multimillionaire. When attending formal events, he can definitely make an impression, as he is typically one of the best dressed people in the room. He is often mistaken for a celebrity or a model. You’ll never guess that he, like me, grew up in poverty. You’ll also never guess that 90% of his outfits (as well as 90% of mine) were purchased second-hand, most commonly from thrift stores. People always wonder why he doesn’t just pay full price and buy whatever he wants at a typical department store. After all, he can definitely afford it. But Michael, like many other multimillionaires, lives a fairly conservative lifestyle. You’ve probably heard that Warren Buffet still lives in the same house he bought in 1958 for $31,500. Just because these individuals make 100 or 10,000 times more than your average Joe, doesn’t mean that they spend that much more. Most of their money gets invested back into their business or other profit-generating opportunity. These people are constantly looking for value in all things, getting the most and the very best from the least amount spent or invested. That’s how they started on their path to becoming rich in the first place. (more…)

Why I Hate Coach, Prada, Chanel, Gucci, Longchamp, and Louis Vuitton Designer Handbags

Designer handbags are commonly seen at Daiso.

I have never seen so many designer bags until I moved here. They are surprisingly ubiquitous, popular among the youth, the elderly, working adults, and metrosexual males. I’ve even seen them carried by ladies in full-length burkas. Despite their high price tag, they are so common here. You don’t have to be at Orchard or the CBD to spot them, you’ll find them even while shopping at Daiso! So why do I hate them? (more…)

Listen to Free Audiobooks on your Mobile Device or Computer While Becoming Rich

Listen to free audiobooks anytime, anywhere.

Tom Corley spent many years observing the habits of the ultra rich and compared them to that of the poor. He wrote about it in his book “Rich Habits – The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals“. His belief is that if you adopt some of these wealthy habits, you can dramatically improve your life that will lead you to uncover more success or opportunities down the road. One of his findings was that 63% of wealthy people listen to audiobooks during  their commute to work, versus only 5% of the poor. Since most people in Singapore use public transport and don’t need to concentrate on traffic signals and patterns, it’s a great opportunity to adopt this “rich habit” rather than to be entertained with music, television dramas, or Candy Crush. (more…)

How to Save Time Preparing a Homemade Meal

Food preparation can be quick, easy, and delicious if you have the right tools.

When I ask people why they don’t cook their own meals, the first reason they usually give is not having enough time to cook. However, I would argue that dining out can take just as much time, if not more when you factor in travel time. But I have do use some methods and techniques that greatly increase efficiency and productivity in my kitchen. And with this one kitchen appliance, I can whip up a quick, delicious, and healthy meal and not be reaching for junk food when I’m hungry. Without any pre-preparation, I can also cook an entire multi-course meal for 20 guests in less than two hours time. How is this possible? (more…)

Why Cheap Meals May End Up Costing You More

What’s the real cost of cheap food?

In our “food paradise” nation, there is no shortage of choice and variety when it comes to food. Wherever you are, you’re only a few step away from a food court or restaurant. Despite the abundance of good-tasting food, I do more home cooking here than I ever have done in all my years living in the States. There are two main reasons for this. (more…)

Free (or Low-Cost) Things to Do on Valentine’s Day (updated)

Cheap dates for cheapskates.

I haven’t really found a restaurant or venue with a special Valentine’s Day meal that is, what I would consider, value-conscious. It seems that most places just by virtue of adding the three words, “Valentine’s Day Special” double their prices while giving you maybe just slightly more than their usual offerings. But I have found several free events and activities, for those who want to do something other than (or in addition to) having a nice meal. Here are my top suggestions for free or inexpensive things to do on Valentine’s Day or during the following weekend. (more…)

Are Gym Memberships in Singapore Worth the Price?

lady at gym
Fitness centres are great, but they come with a high price tag.

Gym memberships in Singapore usually cost over $150 a month. People will tell me that they feel it’s not a high price to pay for health, but that assumes you can’t achieve good health in a less expensive way. Here’s how I do it without an expensive gym membership: (more…)