In a UOB poll with Singaporeans aged between 18 and 55, people intended to spend an average of $2,503 on Chinese New Year last year. A budget in the thousands is undeniably a hefty amount for most of us.
Price hikes on everything, from goodies to clothing, haircuts and car rentals as early as two months before the Chinese new year is a norm and a headache. Luckily, we got your backs and your wallets with quick tips to help cushion these crazy prices.
Here are 3 areas you can save on!
Getting cheaper Chinese New Year (CNY) goodies
Woodlands Industrial Park
Every year, we hear about cheap traditional Chinese new year goodies, Bak Kwa, steamboat ingredients and so on going at outlet prices in this legendary industrial park. It’s true!
Notable shops include Fragrance Foodstuff Pte Ltd (60 Woodlands Terrace, S738466), where Bak Kwa is sold at around $44/kg instead of the usual $50++/kg at shopping mall outlets. Take note, they close on weekends!
In the same area, a five-minute walk can get you to DJ Bakery’s exclusive factory discount bazaar (6 Woodlands Terrace, S738431) which sells all the classic traditional CNY cookies, egg rolls and kueh bankit you need, from $11 compared to the usual $15++ in stores. Good news, it opens from 8am to 9pm daily.
If you are a fan, you can also find the Bengawan Solo Factory Outlet for discounts on your usual kuehs, Fassler Gourmet for fresh steamboat seafood ingredients, J&C Bakery and other smaller companies along the way for cheap nian gaos and other goodies.
The fastest way to get to the area via public transport is to take a bus from Admiralty Mrt!
Cross the borders into Johor Bahru’s City Square Mall (the mall you can walk in to right after crossing the customs) where you can get all the goodies you need for an average of $10-12 at their Chinese New Year fair. Spanning the entire Atrium at Level 1, the fair is open from 18 January to 14 February, plenty of time for you to get your goodies at a good price.
Notable brands include《齐家》Qi Jia, Flour Mago, The Cookies General 《启饼将军》and so on.
I personally tried the matcha goodies from Mama Nyonya and they are pretty good! One box costs $11, cheaper compared to $15-20 elsewhere in Singapore.
Bright side of the weekend travel? Cheap café food and hair cuts!
Which bring us to our next tip:
A humanely priced haircut for CNY
Chinese New Year is the time everyone wants to be fancy with their perms and dyes.
The cheapest prices we have sieved out from City Square Mall would be from the popular Thomas & Guys salon (J4-02 & 03). A fancy perm and cut for ladies will only cost you about $83 compared to $150++ minimally in Singapore, and a full-length Aveda organic hair dye will cost you only about $130, compared to $200++. Protrim, the salon right beside it also offers similar prices.
But of course, if a simple haircut is what you are looking for, just head around your trusty neighbourhood.
One in the east that offers friendly, quality service would be Aries Hair Studio at Katong plaza (#01-20). Usual haircuts which include a hair wash and a friendly chat goes at $14 for males and $18 for females. Auntie told me that price hikes this month will only be an additional $2 this week and $4 nearing Chinese New Year. Decent, I admit.
Getting that #OOTD
Our last hack? Save money your OOTD by going unconventional.
Thinking of getting a new $80 shirt from Zara, Topshop or A&F? Hop on the trends and try some funky styles this year instead!
Naiise, Temasek Clothing, Zazzle and Spreadshirt sell quirky Chinese New Year themed shirts from $15 that you can throw on top of an old pair of pants or skirt. No one notices your bottoms anyway.
For aesthetics, we recommend Naiise and Temasek Clothing. But, these are also the designs that go for higher prices than the rest at $28-$30. T
Ah ma will be intrigued and aunties will laugh, successfully distracted from asking you kaypoh questions like if you’re going to get married.
Got you covered, Huat ah!