Being one of the most vibrant shopping hubs in Asia, Singapore is often known as a shopper’s paradise. From mega malls to atmospheric shopping streets, Singapore has got all of your shopping needs covered. An important thing to note is that brands found in the US or UK could be double the price in Singapore. But fret not, Singapore hosts the annual Great Singapore Sale (GSS) from June to August for those wanting to grab a bargain.
In more ways than one, Singapore allows us as Australian expats to live and spend at both ends of the spectrum, and thanks to increased competition in the market, technological improvements and greater demand for excellent produce, access to and prices for top-quality goods have been steadily improving. This week we explore some of the key shopping destinations, supermarket options and online produce destinations for you to explore.
First, let’s look at the key shopping areas in Singapore
Below are some of the key shopping areas depending on what you’re looking for.
Next, let’s look at the supermarket options
Supermarkets are situated in almost every mall across the island. It supplies residents with a ready source of items for daily needs. In recent years, online supermarkets are becoming more prominent where items are delivered directly to homes for convenience. The key supermarkets across the lion city include:
Giant has 61 stores in Singapore operating under different formats of different sizes and selections, which are the Hypermarket, the Supermarket and the Express. Giant offers online shopping for customers to have a quick and convenient way for grocery shopping.
Singapore’s largest retailer serving over half a million shoppers daily with over 130 outlets. NTUC FairPrice has different brands like FairPrice Finest and FairPrice Xtra. Fairprice Finest and Xtra tend to provide a more comparative offering to the likes of Woolworths and Coles that you may be used to.
Stores are primarily located in retail locations in heartlands of Singapore. Have both ‘wet’ and ‘dry’ shopping options, including a wide assortment of live and fresh produce. This can certainly be an experience worthwhile checking out for those new to Singapore.
Cold Storage has 3 brands – Cold Storage, Market Place and Jason’s The Gourmet Grocer across 61 stores that are situated island wide. Cold Storage brings quality and exclusive products from around the world to suit your needs as an expatriate. If you’re looking for that particular brand of Australian peanut butter or cracker biscuits, chances are you’ll have better luck finding it in a Cold Storage.
At 200,000 sq ft Mustafa Centre located at Syed Alwi Road is synonymous with cheap bargains and huge crowds. It is Singapore’s first 24-hour supermarket and department store where you’ll find anything from groceries, to pharmaceuticals, to jewellery, household goods, clothes, footwear and more.
With the rapid rise of online shopping across the globe, Singapore is not alone. We’ve seen the major chains listed above offering online grocery delivery, in addition to Redmart which can be worthwhile checking out.
How about fresh produce?
There are many superb options in Singapore when it comes to fresh produce, and plenty of destinations to visit. Below are a few of these options:
Quan Fa Organic Farm
Quan Fa Organic Farm uses ecological agrarian methods of farming and abstain from the use of pesticides and harmful fertilisers to produce fresh food crops.
Address: 35 Murai Farmway Singapore 709145
A farm that is situated in Lim Chu Kang, DairyFolks produce fresh milk with no added preservatives. They provide delivery service for their products as well.
Address: 5 Lim Chu Kang Lane 8A, Singapore 719608
The Organic Grocer
The Organic Grocer brings together the best organic brands from Singapore and around the world. They also provide online delivery service.
Address: 17 Mohamed Sultan Rd, Singapore 238966
Little Farms specialises in high quality ethically sourced produce, meats, seafood, dairy, grocery products and more. Delivery is available.
Address: 491 River Valley Road, #01-20 Singapore 248371
Let’s not forget the meat lovers among us
For meat lovers, Singapore does have a range of places that provide meat of excellent quality to satisfy your meat cravings. With the prices for top cuts of meat in Australia steadily increasing over the years, you’ll often find that many options in Singapore are either cheaper or on par with prices back at home. Thanks to greater competition and increasing demand for top quality meat, we are truly spoilt for choice. Below we’ve outlined some of the key options for Australian expats in Singapore:
Meat the Butcher
All the meats from Meat the Butcher are flown in fresh from the source and nothing is frozen to ensure a better taste and quality of the meat.
Address: 615 Bukit Timah Road, Singapore 269716
Huber’s is a family owned and operated business. The Huber family shares a common love for meats and an intense passion for quality. They bring superior products directly to consumers.
Address: -online only-
The Butcher has an array of Australian & New Zealand wines and delicatessen products, ranging from top quality cheeses to a vast array of mustards, chutneys, sauces & dressings down to Aussie pies & sausage rolls, seafood, organic meats and barbeques, complete the picture of a one-stop shopping experience for the discerning shopper.
Address: 3 Temasek Boulevard #02-472 Singapore 038988 (restaurant)
Holland village, Parkway Parade & River Valley (Retail)
Oh Deli has an array of gourmet food products such as truffle mustard, organic extra virgin olive oils, jams, relishes, chutneys, sauces and dressings, fruit wines, etc., there is something for every foodie out there.
Address: 421 East Coast Road, Singapore 429008
The Meat Club
The Meat Club offers Singapore residents fresh, restaurant quality, Australian beef and lamb delivered to your door.
Address: -online only-
Foodie Market Place
Foodie Market Place can be an excellent source of lower cost meats, cheese and other specialty grocery items. You can check out their locations on the island.
Address: 225 Outram Rd, Singapore 169038
Address: 313 Tanjong Katong, Singapore 437096
Fresh and frozen meats and cheeses, available for delivery.
Address: 8 Chin Bee Crescent, Jurong, Singapore, 619893
Are there wet markets in Singapore..?
If you’re feeling more adventurous, wet markets in Singapore offer the cheapest groceries with a special local charm to them. For locals, heading to a wet market is a daily or weekly part of life, for procuring fresh produce and dry provisions. Increasingly, it has become a destination of cultural interest for tourists, and even a choice of grocery shopping for foreigners residing in Singapore.
The largest wet market in Singapore with almost 300 stalls.
Address: 665 Buffalo Rd, 1F Tekka Centre, Singapore 210665
Opening Hours: 6:30am – 5pm
This wet market is well-stocked with Chinese cooking ingredients, and a go-to place for fish and seafood as well as exotic meats.
Address: 335 Smith Street, Chinatown Complex, Singapore 050335
Opening Hours: 8am – 12noon
A popular destination for ingredients typically used in Malay dishes.You can also find some Middle Eastern spices.
Address: 1 Geylang Serai, Singapore 402001
Opening Hours: 6:30am – 12noon
Offers western fresh produce (such as Australian and New Zealand beef) at easily half the price of supermarkets.
Address: 30 Seng Poh Road, Singapore 168898
Marine Parade Wet Market
Conveniently located opposite Parkway Parade, it’s the number one grocery stop for those living in the East. It has over 140 stalls selling everything from fresh meat to flowers.
Address: Blk 84 Marine Parade Central
Opening Hours: early morning – 12noon
This is a wholesale fish market for those trawling for the freshest seafood hauled from local fish dealers, in-shore vessels, fish farms and some importers. Get there really early and gain access by exchanging your ID at the security post before entering the market place.
How is alcohol priced in Singapore..?
Alcohol can be purchased at numerous places in Singapore, ranging from beers sold at hawker centres to convenient stores. Tax on alcohol in Singapore is at S$88 per litre. This means that your bottle of wine that might be $20 in Australia is likely to cost extra in Singapore.
Unlike in Australia, alcohol is accessible across most retail outlets including both grocery stores and convenience stores across the island. Despite the convenience of getting alcohol, there are laws in Singapore that restrict the sale/purchase of alcohol between the hours of 10:30pm and 7am. Drinking is also banned in all public places from 10.30pm to 7am.
Designated Liquor Control Zones like Little India and Geylang have stricter rules due to a higher risk of public disorder associated with excessive drinking. Public drinking in such areas is banned from 7am on Saturday to 7am on Mondays. The ban also applies to the eve of a public holiday to 7am after the holiday.
The above law only applies to drinking in public and sale of takeaway alcohol. People can continue to drink at licensed premises.
For Australian expats in Singapore, the city remains an excellent choice for culinary options, ranging from some of the finest steaks and freshest seafood in the world, to the local Bak kut teh at the hawkers’ market. In my opinion, this is just one of the many aspects that makes Singapore an excellent choice for Australians to live and work.
If you have a tip when it comes to shopping in Singapore, feel free to send it in or add it in the comments below.
To Your Financial Success!
Jarrad Brown is an Australian-trained and qualified Fee-Based Financial Planner with Australian Expatriate Group of Global Financial Consultants Pte Ltd providing specialist financial advice and portfolio management services to Australian professionals in Singapore. Jarrad Brown is an Authorised Representative of Global Financial Consultants Pte Ltd – No: 200305462G | MAS License No: FA100035-3
Australian Expatriate Group is a division of Global Financial Consultants in Singapore providing specialist advice to Australians living abroad.
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