A Beginner’s Guide to Singapore’s Grocery Stores

19 February 2016
<p>P.S. Trolley's here are not free. (Generally will pay $1 to use.) And don't forget your reusable bags! </p>

P.S. Trolley's here are not free. (Generally will pay $1 to use.) And don't forget your reusable bags! 

When we first arrived in Singapore, heading out to the grocery stores every day was both a blessing and a curse. A blessing because at least it got me out of the house! A curse because I found myself in a grocery store every single bleeping day.

While I still find myself in grocery stores more often than I prefer (partly because my failure to plan well), I’ve got a rundown of all the major stores and which is best for what items.

 

FairPrice

You’re going to spend more on groceries here than at home. Accept it and move on. As it’s name suggests however, FairPrice has fair prices and most of the things you probably need. Their selection of fresh fruits and vegetables is good, they have a decent selection of organic products, fresh fish, meats, and alcohol. The difference between FairPrice Finest stores FairPrice stores? The “Finest” branches are larger with more selection. Delivery available.

 

Giant

Also competitively priced, Giant stores are all over the island with some huge “hyper-markets” and smaller traditional grocery stores. If you’re not fussed by Western brand names, this is good go-to store as they have nearly everything you need, (it just may be an unfamiliar brand). The hyper-markets are great for cheap household items (if you don’t have time to trek out to Ikea). Delivery available.

 

Sheng Siong

Longtime Singapore expats will probably mention this as one of their favourite grocery stores. The are generally the cheapest with great quality produce, meats and fish (like frogs and lobsters). They carry Western and organic brands and stock all the same kinds of items you’ll find at the other grocery chains (toiletries, cleaning supplies, etc.). There are plenty of them dotted around the island but generally tucked “off the beaten path.”

 

Cold Storage

The prices are higher but you’re almost guaranteed to find a treat from home you were sure you wouldn’t be able to get in Singapore. Stores are well kept and vary in size — the larger outlets will have extensive bakeries, deli counters and pizza bars. Probably not the best shop for the bulk of your groceries, this is a great place for specialty items or odds and ends. Delivery available.  

 

Marketplace

If you’re missing WholeFoods, this is your store. Unapologetically more expensive, this “upscale” store is for those seeking a grocery shopping experience. Many have a fresh salad bar and sushi station. They have a wide selection of Western brands, organic produce, alcohol and generally found in favourite expat ‘hoods.

 

RedMart

Ready to skip the store entirely, log on or get the RedMart app. Arguably the most convenient way to shop in Singapore, this online only grocery store increases its selection weekly and now even includes home decor, electronics and gardening supplies. Delivery is free for orders over $50.

 

Mustafa

Unfamiliar with this Singapore icon? Read this. A grocery store within a mega everything-you-could-possibly-need-to-survive store, Mustafa also has cheap produce and loads of items to stock your kitchen.  

By Kathleen Siddell, February 2016
Photo: 123rf.com

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