A Girl's Guide / Food & Restaurants

How to Save Money and Time Grocery Shopping

I like grocery shopping. I always did but I was afraid of being labelled an Auntie so I kept it as my little secret. I like visiting supermarkets during off-peak periods, blasting my music while blissfully strolling down the isle, going through the products and ingredients while dreaming about dishes that I will someday try to make. It’s quite therapeutic and I can spend hours on end deciding on the best quality, the best value and day dreaming. But alas, Covid happened.

Supermarkets were almost always busy, there was no time and space to stroll, you got to grab what you need and get out. And don’t get me started with the Panic Buyers. Rows and rows of shelves were empty and the queues were just atrociously long. So I started to gradually switch to shopping for my groceries online. It turns out that I quite enjoy it.

Why Shop Online?

You no longer have to fight the crowds, wait in long lines, leave the comfort of your home to get groceries and other necessities and have them delivered right to your doorstep. You can do it all while juggling working from home, household chores and listening to music. It’s much easier to compare prices between supermarkets online versus physically walking from store to store which I use to do. Online grocery shopping may not be for everyone and I get it but saving money and time is. Here are some tips on how I shop for groceries to save money and time by incorporating both physical and online shopping.

1. Plan Your Meals and Stock Take

The key to saving money on your groceries is to plan out your meals and regularly check if any produce are expired or empty. Once you get the hang of it, you will know which products don’t get used much and buy less or stop buying it and which products are well used, then make those a staple in your grocery list.

2. Don’t Buy Products That You Don’t Need

This is easier said than done because I’m guilty of doing this too then I’ll regret it afterwards when I won’t use these fancy sauces till they are reaching their expiry date. I also avoid buying items in discount packs if I don’t need 3 bottles when I really only need one to avoid overstock and letting it sit in my cabinet for months to collect dust.

3. Buy Heavy Items Online

I always avoid buying heavy milk cartons, large bottles of soft drinks, cooking oil and eggs because they are so heavy and a hassle to carry home from the supermarket. With online shopping, I can simply add them to cart and have them delivered to my doorstep.

4. Buy Canned Food and Frozen Produce

I love fresh seafood but let’s face it, it’s a hassle to go to the market every morning, clean them, cut them and all that fuss, we don’t have time for that. Frozen and canned food also lasts longer and is far less expensive.

Where Do You Shop for Groceries?

The physical supermarkets that I patronise are Sheng Siong, Giant, NTUC Fairprice, Cold Storage and Ang Mo Supermarket. Here is a brief breakdown of the pros and cons of each of these supermarkets.

Sheng Siong

Prices are much more affordable than most supermarkets even for fresh meat, seafood and vegetables and I do not need to worry if other supermarkets will be having cheaper offers, Sheng Siong usually has the best.

Ang Mo

I’m very fortunate to have an Ang Mo Supermarket across my block and the prices there are the cheapest. The fruits and vegetable are sold individually so I don’t have to buy more than I need to cook for the day. Major downside though is that they don’t accept Paywave and Credit Cards so it makes it hard for budgeting.

Giant

Giant has got to be one of my favourites because their supermarkets are, as the name suggests, huge and they carry a wide variety of brands and products that most local supermarkets don’t hence, I can spend hours deciding. There are not many outlets left but I’m lucky to have one near my area although its quite a distance to walk to. Go to Giant when you want to browse if you have the time.

NTUC Fairprice

I only go to NTUC because of it’s convenience; it’s just across the MRT station and my block with sheltered walkway. The prices are ok but I can get better prices from Sheng Siong and Ang Mo.

Cold Storage

I know quite a number of people who avoid Cold Storage because their prices are higher than most local supermarkets but Cold Storage has quite a good selection of produce and ingredients for western cuisines, cheese, dips, bread, biscuits, meat and wine.

RedMart

Although most of the above mentioned supermarkets are available online now, I mainly shop at RedMart for their low delivery charges and wide variety compared to these other supermarkets.

Delivery Fee:

SGD $5.99 for scheduled delivery.

SGD $3.99 for saver delivery.

Free delivery for orders over S$60.

No minimum order. No service fee.

Online Grocery Shopping List

Here is an example of my Online Grocery Shopping List. My priority is to add heavy items, products that sell out quickly in stores and products that you cannot find in our local supermarkets.

Frenche Roast Tiramisu Latte SGD$5.90

Frenche Roast Iced Latte SGD$5.90

Meiji Low Fat Milk (2L) SGD$5.95

Cocomax Coconut Water (1L) SGD$4.20

Fresh Eggs (15pcs) SGD$3.10

Colavita Mediterranean Extra Virgin Olive Oil (500ml) SGD$9.80

La Chinata Spanish Sun Dried Tomatoes SGD$7.50

Catch Chilean Mussel Frozen SGD$4.95

Delphi Chunky Guacamole Gluten Free Dip SGD$7.50

Delphi Hummus Gluten Free Dip SGD$5.95

Royal Umbrella Rice (1kg) SGD$3.80

Okome Short Grain Rice (1kg) SGD$3.40

Total: $67.95

Thing to Note – My household consists of only myself, husband, our dog and the occasional family members that visit. I don’t order everything on this list every month and I mix and match to accumulate $60 with other items so I will have less things to carry back should I have to get anything from the supermarket. I don’t cook every day and when I do, we can do without rice or I enjoy cooking pasta and Mediterranean dishes. So adjust your list according to the number of people in your household and your preference. Every household is different and so is your monthly budget and grocery list.

Here are some interesting trivia about Grocery Shopping in Singapore by ShopBack.

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Reference:
RedMart
Sheng Siong
NTUC Fairprice
Giant Singapore
Cold Storage

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