6 Shopping Hacks To Maximise Your Savings

Tips to spend less and get the most bang for your buck.

By Sasha Gonzales        6 December 2022

Whether it’s groceries, household items, clothes or services, you may have noticed that prices have risen substantially in recent months. While there’s not much any of us can do about inflation, we don’t necessarily have to put up with higher costs or forgo buying what we want or need. All we have to do is shop smarter. This means keeping an eye out for bargains, choosing certain brands or types of products over others, and shopping in unexpected places. Get started with these six tips – and then watch your savings grow.

1. Head to the discount stores

Need toiletries and personal care items? Skip the big-name pharmacies and supermarkets and make a beeline for value-dollar stores or even your neighbourhood provision shop. Here, you’ll find heavily discounted items like razors, shampoo, body wash, deodorant and cotton products, from popular brands as well as generic or less well-known ones.

2. Purchase a family membership

During the school holidays, you might be planning a few outings with the kids. Why not get an annual membership pass for your family? These passes offer a host of benefits, from unlimited admission throughout the year and discounted entry fees, to food deals, free parking, VIP invitations to exclusive events and new attractions, and more. Best of all, you can use these passes throughout the year or multiple times. Attractions offering such passes and memberships include National Gallery Singapore, Night Safari, Singapore Zoo, Gardens by the Bay, River Wonders Singapore and ArtScience Museum.

SAFRA members enjoy a wide variety of shopping perks and discounts – have you signed up for your complimentary SAFRA membership yet? As part of the NS55 Recognition Package, all NSF and NSmen receive a complimentary 1-year SAFRA membership. Existing SAFRA members MUST register to enjoy a 1-year membership extension. Registration closes 31 December 2022, so don’t miss out!

Also as part of NS55 promotions, membership starts at just $40 (U.P. $120) for 3 years! More info here: safra.sg/membership/ns55-recognition-package-singapore

3. Bring a shopping list

Making a shopping list – and sticking to it – keeps you focused and disciplined when you go grocery shopping, so you avoid making unnecessary purchases. It also saves you time, because you won’t be wandering around the supermarket aimlessly or need to make extra trips in case you forget something. If you shop with a list, you could save as much as 65% on your final grocery bill. Want to save even more? Set a budget before going out.

Still haven’t used your NS55 credits? Don’t miss these bargains.

4. Join a shopping or wholesale club or programme

If you have a big family or like to buy in bulk, it might be worthwhile getting a membership at a bulk store or wholesale retailer. Simply pay a membership or annual fee to enjoy great deals on thousands of products, like frozen food, electronics, household goods, and health and beauty products. As well as being cheaper, some stores also give you access to member-only events and products. The Warehouse Club at FairPrice Hub at Joo Koon, for instance, offers deals of up to 50% off plus exclusive items and brands you can’t find anywhere else.  

Get fresh, locally-farmed barramundi from Kühlbarra delivered to your doorstep – SAFRA members and 11B holders enjoy 20% off with a minimum $120 spend. More info here: safra.sg/promotions/Kuhlbarra

5. Buy local where possible

Skip the imported meat, fruit and veggies and opt for locally grown or sourced products instead. Apart from being fresher and more nutritious (because they took less time to reach your supermarket after being harvested), they’re cheaper too, since they didn’t cost much to be transported from the farm. As you make your way through the produce section, look out for the item’s place of origin, which is usually printed next to the price. Great local veggies include kang kong (water spinach), kai lan, kale, lady’s finger (okra), brinjal, peppers and lettuce. 

Don’t stop at the fresh stuff, though – baked goods, dairy products and frozen convenience meals all tend to be cheaper if they were produced locally.

Here are more tips to lower your food bills and save money.

6. Be a deal hunter

Before you book a haircut, hair colour or other grooming service, check out the salon’s website or group-buy websites for promotions and discounts. Many banks, too, offer rewards and dining and shopping deals for their customers. 

Other ways to be a savvy shopper: Choose store brands over well-known ones as they tend to be cheaper but are still of a good quality; buy products on the lower shelves, rather than those at eye-level, because they’re more affordable; spend a bit of time researching end-of-season sales and look through shopping catalogues for special buys and buy-one-get-one-free offers (there are good buys everywhere if you look carefully); and, if you shop at the wet market, go after 11am, when vendors are getting ready to close and often mark down any perishable produce that they haven’t sold.  

Check out safra.sg/promotions for a whole host of special deals and promotions available to SAFRA members and NSmen!

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