We can really stretch dollar by shopping in JB

SINGAPORE - When he went to Johor Baru (JB) to shop for groceries and household items last Tuesday, he managed to enjoy about $20 in savings.

Mr Khalid M, 33, who works in sales, said the rate back then was RM2.58 for every $1.

Now that the Malaysian ringgit has dropped even further, he intends to return to JB to shop this weekend to enjoy even more savings.

Comparing prices between JB and Singapore
  • All comparisons are done based on an exchange rate of RM2.61 for S$1. This was the rate The New Paper received on Wednesday before going to Malaysia.
  • Giant Hypermarket in Tampines: S$1.89
Giant Hypermarket at Southern City in Johor Baru (JB): RM2.98 (S$1.14)<br>
Savings: S$0.75</b>
  • Giant Hypermarket (Tampines): S$36.50<br>
Giant Hypermarket (JB): RM59.99 (S$22.98)<br><b>
Savings: S$13.52</b>
  • Giant Hypermarket (Tampines): S$5.95<br>
Giant Hypermarket (JB): RM15.19 (S$5.82)<br><b>
Savings: S$0.13</b>
  • Giant Hypermarket (Tampines): S$5.65<br>
Giant Hypermarket (JB): RM9.99 (S$3.83)<br><b>
Savings: S$1.82</b>
  • Giant Hypermarket (Tampines): S$2.05<br>
Giant Hypermarket (JB): RM3.79 (S$1.45)<br><b>
Savings: S$0.60</b>
  • Giant Hypermarket (Tampines): S$3.45<br>
Giant Hypermarket (JB): RM8.79 (S$3.37)<br><b>
Savings: S$0.08</b>
  • Giant Hypermarket (Tampines): S$3.05<br>
Giant Hypermarket (JB): RM7.89 (S$3.02) <br><b>
Savings: S$0.03 </b>
  • Giant Hypermarket (Tampines): S$9.80<br>
Giant Hypermarket (JB): RM19.89 (S$7.62)<br><b>
Savings: S$2.18</b>
  • Giant Hypermarket (Tampines): S$6.95<br>
Giant Hypermarket (JB): RM10.5 (S$3.97)<br><b>
Savings: S$2.98</b>

Secretary of the Money Changers Association Singapore Mohamad Rafeeq Mohamad Yusoof told The New Paper on Wednesday that the rate has been hovering at 2.62 since Tuesday.

He said long queues at money changers are also expected over the next few days. (See report on facing page.)

Mr Khalid, who drives from Singapore to JB twice a month to shop, said he will make a beeline to Tesco supermarket in Tebrau, about a 15-minute ride from the Causeway, to buy groceries and household items.

The bachelor, who lives with his parents in Tampines, usually goes there on weekdays with his mother.

But with the recent drop in the value of the Malaysian ringgit, he intends to brave the crowds this weekend and take advantage of the situation.

He also goes to JB to service his car once every four months.

Mr Khalid said while it can cost more than $100 to do so in Singapore, the same service across the Causeway usually costs about RM230 (S$88), and this was before the record-low exchange rate.

28 ways to spend less money immediately
  • Stop paying GST and service charge for food you can prepare at home.
  • There is probably food you forgot existed in there.
  • Bulk buy items you use often from wholesale centres or places which sell more for less.
  • Instead of canned food, spend your money on fresh produce and dried foods as these tend to cost less.
  • Especially if you can't taste the difference.
  • These are usually expensive and are less healthy than fresh food bought from the foodcourt.
  • Overbuying leads to a waste of food and money. If you buy too much, you tend to forget what you bought and will not even realise it exists until it is expired.
  • Cook meals that can be frozen like stew or other slow cooker items. These can be frozen and eaten for up to a week, saving you lots of money on dining out!
  • Coffee is a big waste of money when you find yourself having to drink it every day. Save money and make your own instead of buying ridiculously priced versions in restaurants and cafes.
  • Eat healthy and save money by bringing home-cooked food to work.
  • Drink from the tap or boil it instead of buying bottled mineral water.
  • Take down notes for every purchase you make. This will allow you to evaluate your spending habits, and helps you curb your spending before it gets too out of hand.
  • Set practical goals and work towards them so that it becomes easier for you to cut out unnecessary purchases in your life. For instance, if you aim to save $50,000 within 18 months, you will take clear steps to work toward that goal by working harder as well as cutting out extra expenses like expensive meals and travels.
  • Choose products that will last over those that are trendy or just cheap. A cheap pair of shoes will cost you more if you have to keep buying new ones to replace your broken pairs.
  • If you earn $20 an hour, think of how many hours you have to work to pay off that swanky new iPhone you want to buy but may not need.
  • Before spending money, think about how the purchase is going to impact your life. Will you be sacrificing a lot just to obtain something that will only bring you temporary happiness once in awhile?
  • Reduce the number of times you let yourself indulge in a month. Work towards a set number and stop yourself from indulging once you hit your monthly quota.
  • Make it a point to move 50% of your salary into a savings account immediately after you receive your pay for the month.
  • Don't risk having to pay needless fees.
  • There is no point buying a pair of jogging shoes if you know you are not going to go running unless somebody drags out you by the hair. Spend money on things you will spend considerable amount of time on.
  • Think through your wants and desires for at least 2 days before deciding whether or not to buy them.
  • If you don't have much time to watch TV, cut out your cable subscription and rent DVDs when you feel like watching movies instead. If you are finding it difficult to cut cable out of your life, cut down the number of channels you subscribe to and get a cheaper package instead.
  • Unless you read every page word-for-word, many of these magazines are a waste of money. Read them at the library or buy them only when you really want to instead. Also check out online subscription rates and opt to read papers online instead.
  • Take a look at your phone bill and find out what you spend most money on. Shop around with telcos and find out which plan best fits your phone usage habits so you can get a cheaper deal.
  • If you can't bear to sell your car, or are unable to, think of ways you can save money by walking more or taking public transport. Drive only on Sundays and holidays when there are no ERP charges and parking at many places will cost you a one-entry rate.
  • No need to buy books if you can find them in the library - for free!
  • You can either buy more from outlet shops or stock up when there are major discounts given. Many lifestyle and convenience shops have monthly discount days where discounts are given on everyday necessities. Take the chance to shop on these days and buy enough to last you till the next discount day held.
  • Get fit and save money by riding the bicycle instead of spending money on transport.

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