Smart Ways And Tips On Groceries
I keep getting a lot of 'Hey bro, where do you get cheap meat, eggs, sweet potatoes?' This post is for you! Living in a fast paced Singapore, working 6 days a week and only have a few hours at night, I would usually do my grocery shopping which can last me at least 2 weeks. Of course, if your lifestyle allows you to do daily grocery shopping, go ahead!
I usually get my fish, oats, eggs, rice, cooking oil, sweet potatoes at NTUC. I will share the in depth of the latter items.
Before we get started, you need to know there are three types of NTUC in Singapore. There is normal Fairprice, Fairprice Extra and Fairprice Finest. I always get my groceries from Finest/extra as they have items which are similar to Cold Storage's. Some Finest and Extra NTUC you must check it out are Clementi Mall, Marine Parade, Jurong Point, 100AM Amara, JEM Jurong East. For more information, you can download the full PDF store location @ http://www.fairprice.com.sg/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/AjaxStoreLocatorDisplayView?storeId=10001.
Sweet potatoes You will usually find golden-yellow(Japanese or Vietnamese), orange(Indonesia) and purple inner flesh being sold in NTUC. Colours doesn't matter. Eg. Orange means they contain more beta-carotene which will be used as Vitamin A in your body as compared to yellow ones. Marine Parade NTUC Finest once sold Taiwan sweet Potatoes which are really sweet and tasty. You can check it out! Maximum storage is about 3 weeks. After that, it will start to rot and go bad. Hence, Calculate your weekly or fortnightly consumption and buy one time. I seriously do not like to carry these sweet potatoes alongside with my other groceries. Seng Siong will always have the yellow and orange sweet potatoes but they are usually dirty on the outside. You need to wash them before you boil / bake them. NTUC has almost the same quality as Cold Storage's. Their sweet potatoes are slightly more cleaner but you still need to wash them.
Eggs How can I do without eggs! Most easiest food to prepare on earth! I ever talked to an egg delivery man once at NTUC for a good 30 minutes about 'Chew' brand eggs. He told me the insights which changed my mind about buying expensive eggs(I will write about eggs in the near future). My recommendation is- just go for the 'Pasar' brown carton eggs. Of course, if you have the cash, you can buy the more expensive eggs. Usually eggs will not be fresh after 1 week plus even though the expiry date is stated on the package. The way to tell if your eggs are turning bad is to crack an egg; if the egg yolk breaks easily, it is time to consume them fast. Another alternative is to actually store them in the fridge. Try not to purchase those 30 eggs in a tray because they are from Malaysia and not from 'Chew'. Hence, the smell of 1 single egg when cracked smells. Every 'Chew' egg has a print on the egg itself. This information was given by the egg delivery guy. Almost all supermarkets in Singapore sell the same eggs. Hence, nothing much to compare.
Oats I choose the instant oats which is in red and white packaging(Quaker Brand). Captain brand is fine too. I really have no preference in the brand itself. I do not choose the Blue packaging because it requires time to cook.
Cooking Oil Too many controversies about cooking oil. For me, I don't use any oil to cook. I only pour them over the food when the cooking is done. Any oil is fine but avoid those vegetable oil at all cost. I would recommend the following oil: coconut oil, olive oil, grapeseed oil, avocado oil. Prices for these cooking oil are almost the same in all supermarkets.
Fish and seafood NTUC sells a wide variety of frozen fish and seafood. I recommend you to go to the big outlets which are extra or finest NTUC. Other supermarkets does have other varieties too. Do check and compare.
Poultry (Chicken, Beef, Mutton) If you know me, I don't eat Chicken, especially chicken breasts. Well, but I do eat chicken wings. That is what I usually eat once every weekend. All supermarkets sell different kind of brands and they are always on offer which you can buy them and store in your freezer.
For Mutton wise, I usually buy them for snacks if I pay a visit to ZAC Butchery. It is a must to buy their T-bone lamb and Lamb leg butterfly. Juicy isn't it?
For beef, I didn't go any supermarket to buy because the meat are always too hard and when cooked, they got an unpleasant smell. I would go to ZAC Butchery. I used to go to there every 2 weeks. Nowadays, I have my beef delivered to my house. They got free delivery if you buy over $150 worth of products. Their products are Halal and staffs are friendly. I usually order 10kg of 99% grass-fed, fat-free minced beef, 2kg of Angus Ribeye steak and 2kg beef cubes(For stewing) for my wife's daily consumption. Monthly spending on meat is about S$400-S$500. It is actually more cheaper than you think. Just take 250g of meat/50g of protein and compare to the portion you find outside at hawker.
Yes, there is a huge difference between grass-fed and grain-fed beef. Big thank you to @Muhammad Ismail, my body grew and since we forged this friendship. (I will have a post on grass-fed beef in the near future).
ZAC Butchery has a few outlets islandwide but main Factory is at Woodlands. I used to go to Changi Road outlet but now, they just shifted to Figaro Street. You can look for @ahmad shahril if you visit Figaro Street.
I choose over NTUC, Sheng Siong and Giant as than to Cold Storage due to its price. Every supermarket has its own prices on some items and certain outlet has certain items. Like recently, I just found out that Giant sells the same exact Halibut which NTUC sells, at $3.90 for 300g instead of $4.90. Then, Seng Siong once sold $1 coconut water for 300ml! You got to go explore yourself.
Grocery shopping is really a hit and run thingy. Good stuff, grab and store at home. Buy them in bulk to save!
To end off this post, I have consolidated some tips for you to consider for your next grocery shopping.
Tip no.1- Discounts and offers Time to time, you will have amazing offers/discounts. If you got a friggin' big freezer compartment, this tip is really good for you. Once in a while, you will have special offers eg. $3.90 for 300g halibut fillet instead of $4.90. Usually, I will empty the halibut from that place. That will last me for one good month. Watch out for scallops and Squids too! Got to open your eyes when you go shopping, all right?
Tip no.2- Bring your own grocery bag NTUC discount you $0.10 off your total bill if you bring your own shopping bags. Shopping bags can arrange your food more neatly and you can carry them without feeling exhausted if you are walking a long distance with them.
Tip no. 3- A meal before grocery shopping This is real. As you are hungry while shopping, you will tend to buy all the nonsense; sweet, sugary stuff will end up in your basket for no reason! It happened to me before. You don't want to spend extra.
Tip no. 4- Credit card rebates Check your credit cards or any membership cards which sometimes provide you rebates. An example will be Sheng Siong Card if you shop there often. You can even use your parents'.
Tip no. 5- Beat the crazy crowd I still remember I woke up 7am every Saturday to do my grocery shopping back in 2012. During that time, although it was noisy, it was not so sardine packed like now. Hence, wake up early to do your shopping.
Tip no. 6- Beat the crazy queue NTUC and Seng Siong actually have this system where you scan and pay your items yourself instead of waiting in a long queue.
Now, happy grocery shopping!
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Your Fitness Coach, Amirrudin Ong