How I Saved $25 In A Week Just By Doing The Following
With inflation on everyone’s minds (precisely 54% of Singaporeans, as discovered by a study conducted by YouGov recently), we are all looking for ways to stretch our dollar and maintain our purchasing power.
Core inflation rose to a 13-year high recently, hitting 5.1% year-on-year in August 2022. What does this mean for the average Singaporean? Assuming a weekly expenditure of $250 per week, one would have to spend an extra $13 per week compared to the same period last year. Brb, gonna go one corner and cry.
With no signs of this wave of inflation relenting just yet, I set out to find ways that I can reduce my weekly spending just by making a few simple everyday lifestyle changes.
Get Iced Beverages without Paying the Price
Being a regular drinker of kopi c peng siew dai, it’s almost unthinkable for me to alter my coffee preferences only to save a couple of bucks. But what if I told you that you can still have your favourite iced beverage while saving money?
Here’s my tip: instead of ordering your usual iced version of kopi or teh, tapao the hot version instead and add ice at home or from your office refrigerator. Using this method, I managed to save on average, 50 cents a day. That translated into $0.50 x 5 days = $2.50 per week!
Savings to-date: $2.50
Bring your own container (and reduce the need for single-use plastic!)
The spotlight has been on how prices of hawker fare have increased materially over the last few months, but has anyone noticed how the price of takeaway containers has gone up too? From being free of charge or negligible (10 or 20 cents), these containers now range anywhere from 30 to 50 cents nowadays! Very chor ah!
These costs pile up quickly especially if you buy takeaway food regularly, so it definitely helps to bring your own container to tapao. I managed to save $1.50 on takeaway costs just for lunch alone ($0.30 x 5 meals).
Savings to-date: $4.00
The early bird gets the transport discount
If there’s one silver lining out of Covid-19, it is companies allowing more flexibility in employees’ work schedules. Instead of squeezing in with the rush hour crowd, there’s now an option to commute earlier to work to avoid both the morning and evening deluge of commuters. What’s better is that you also get to save $0.50 on your trip if you tap in at the MRT before 7:45 am. That comes up to $2.50 worth of savings for a week!
Savings to-date: $6.50
Take advantage of closing time discounts
From sushi sets to rotisserie chicken to bakery fare, businesses are keen to clear their daily stock as much as possible and this represents an opportunity for consumers to rake in some savings on food that they would normally be buying at regular price.
For instance, it’s quite common for bakeries to offer 1-for-1 deals or 30-50% discounts on everything 1-2 hours before closing time. By delaying my trip to the bakery by an hour or so, I managed to bring my household’s daily breakfast cost of $4 down by 30%, which translates to around $8.40 worth of savings per week.
Savings to-date: $15.00
Plan your meals based on what’s on sale
If you’re looking to save money, don’t make a grocery run without being prepared. If you shop on a whim, you’re very likely to come home with a more expensive basket than you budgeted for at the checkout counter. The first step to life hacking grocery shopping is to devise a grocery list prior to your shopping trips. Take it one step further by only planning your meals around what’s on sale.
To do that, you can visit the “Promotions” or “Weekly Deals” page on your favourite supermarket or retailer’s website. Another tip is to buy fresh produce that’s in season as prices tend to be lower. After adopting this practice, I realised that my weekly grocery bill dipped by $10.
And that brings my total savings to $25 per week! This proves that it doesn’t take a drastic lifestyle change to mitigate inflationary pressures on our purchasing power.
Want more tips? Here are other ways to trim personal spending.