Singapore Life Hacks // Tips and Tricks for Singapore

31 Proven Singapore Life Hacks

Welcome to the ultimate Singapore Life Hacks blog. 

Here at LTL Mandarin School, we love a good life hack. We have 20 great life Hacks for China, and we thought, why not expand on this with a Singapore Life Hacks edition?!

We have loads of other helpful materials for Singapore such one week in Singapore, Singapore on a budget, money, history and more!

Now let’s dive into the finer details of making your life in the Little Red Dot a little more comfortable with these 31 Singapore Life Hacks.

Singapore Life Hacks #1 Bakeries Late Night Sale

The late-night, everything must go, bakery sales are quite popular in Singapore! A great way to save money is to ask your local bakeries if they have any end-of-day promotions

Typically around closing time bakeries will sell everything they have for 50% off. If they have any loaves of bread left, you’ve hit the jackpot

You won’t get this quality of bread for this price anywhere else in Singapore. 

Bakery Shop - Singapore Life Hacks

2. Become friends with an Auntie

Elderly Singaporeans are respectfully called Aunties and Uncles.

Becoming friends with one of them can reap big rewards. 

For instance, showing off a little bit of Mandarin at your local convenience store or being a regular at one of the stalls in the hawker centre might earn you a free coke or extra dumpling in your wonton noodles.

Singapore Life Hacks #3 Bike-Sharing

While public transport and taxis are quite a cheap option for getting around, they might not always be available. 

If you’re travelling a distance too far to walk, it’s worth considering having the bike-sharing apps in your phone such as Mobike (orange bikes), SG Bike (red & white) or Anywheel (green).

Prices vary amongst the brands, however, sometimes you won’t have the luxury of choice when trying to find a bike so be sure to have all three apps downloaded and connected to a bank card.

  • Mobike: $0.99 per 20 minutes
  • SG Bike: Free for the first 30 minutes, $0.03 for each subsequent minute
  • Anywheel: $0.50 per 30 minutes

4. Buy Items Directly From China

Buying things in Singapore can get expensive. There must be a better way!? Well, there is thankfully.

This Life Hack isn’t exclusive to Singapore, but that doesn’t make it any less useful to people in Singapore.

Next time you’re looking to buy an expensive product, it’s worth checking out what’s on offer on websites like eBay and buying directly from China.

5. Buy Items in Bulk on Alibaba

Similarly to buying more expensive products directly from wholesalers, sometimes it’s the smaller things that can add up!

Buying everyday items like toilet paper, light bulbs, soap in bulk and saving a few dollars on each item can save you hundreds of dollars in a year!

BONUS HACK: If you can speak Mandarin tell the sellers you’re a wholesaler in Singapore and would like a sample of their product. You’ll have to pay for shipping, but might be able to score yourself some free stuff!

6. Buy Used Items on Carousell

Today, over 5 million ex-pats are living in Singapore.

A lot of these ex-pats come to Singapore with nothing, buy all the comforts to make it home and decide to sell it all before they go. 

ULTIMATE Singapore Life Hack: Some ex-pats just give away their belongings due to a lack of time or motivation. 

Check out the second-hand groups on Facebook or the Carousell website to pick up some of the tremendous second-hand items. 

Singapore Life Hacks #7 Cold Storage after 9pm

Got some late-night hunger cravings?

The popular supermarket Cold Storage sells all its sushi, roast meat and packed fruit for 50% OFF after 9 pm. GO, GO, GO!

8. Cook as Often as You Can

Having lived in China and now Singapore I’ve found this rule has flipped on me. Typically, I could order a large amount of Chinese food for much cheaper than what I would have paid had I cooked myself. 

Singapore, the opposite is true. Cooking at home will almost certainly be cheaper than eating out. There are two main reasons for this:

  1. Everything is imported
  2. Taxes
Cooking in Singapore - Singapore life hacks

My biggest frustration with Singapore is not noticing the ‘++’ on the menu. Plus-Plus means, the price of your food and drinks PLUS 10% service fee PLUS a 7% goods and services tax (GST). 

Yea! The bills at the end of the night are never pretty, so cook as much as you can at home. 

9. Do Not Call (DNC) Registry 

Singapore’s telecommunications companies like to recycle phone numbers.

Unfortunately, this might mean some strange phone calls from people looking for their friends and telemarketers!

There’s nothing you can do about the friends with the wrong number, but, there is something you can do about the telemarketers! 

Singapore Life Hack: Put your number on the Do Not Call (DNC) Registry.

Singapore Life Hacks #10 Drink Local Kopi

At every Hawker Center in Singapore, there’s a drinks vendor.

Inside, he/she’ll be selling some cold drinks, fresh sugar cane juice and my personal favourite:

Kopi for $1.20

Kopi is a traditional coffee local to Singapore and Malaysia. It’s very caffeinated and can be served with milk and sugar.

Kopi Drink - Singapore Life Hacks

If you’re only drinking coffee for the caffeine and were going to spend $7 at Starbucks anyway, you might a well save yourself $5.80 and get a much stronger hit from the local hawker centre.

11. Hawker Centers

We mentioned that cooking at home will almost always be cheaper than eating out.

That would be entirely true if it weren’t for Hawker Centers. 

Hawker Centers are open-air food courts that house dozens of food stalls offering a wide variety of cuisines.

Prices for a meal can range between $2 – $10 depending on size and style. Typically you’ll be spending around $5 for a meal.

Hawker Center SG

BONUS: If you’re willing to give-up the Airconditioning and the sports playing behind the bar, a Hawker Center is the perfect place to get a cold beer and hang-out with friends.

While most hawker food stalls are shutting down for the night, some of the drink vendors will stay open a few more hours serving beers. 

Incredibly, some Hawker Shop owners have taken to brewing their very own beer! You’ll find no cheaper, on-tap beer than at one of these Hawker bars. 

Singapore Life Hacks #12 EZ-pass

We’ve covered this topic already on our Singapore metro blog, but, it’s worth mentioning again. Getting public transport in Singapore is by far the cheapest way to get around excluding walking. 

For getting around Singapore, the best thing to do it to get yourself an Ezlink card to swipe on and off any bus or train in Singapore.

The Singapore government subsidises public transport to try and make the roads a little quieter. It is a small country, after all. 

While the buses and trains are spectacularly clean, consistent and air-conditioned, they do get quite overwhelming during peak hour. The government incentives riders to travel during offpeak by making fares cheaper. 

Enjoy 50c off your ride if you get on before 7.45 am

BONUS HACK: Register your EXlink card, so if lost, you can transfer the funds to another card.

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Our Complete Guide to the 122 Metro Stations of Singapore (2022 Update)

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13. Flea Party at Lucky Plaza

Are you inspired by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ Thrift Shop song?

Then you might want to check out a Flea Party in Singapore!

Swap out your old clothes for new ones at Luck Plaza during one of their Flea Parties.

You’ll find all of last seasons name brand clothes for a fraction of the price.

14. Free Supermarket Delivery

There are several supermarkets offering delivery in Singapore.

Redmart was one of the first in Singapore and provides an impressive catalogue of shopping items. 

For S$5.99 per month, you can join their ‘Live Up’ program and enjoy exclusive discounts PLUS free delivery.

15. GST-absorbed prices at Changi Airport

Singapore’s Changi Aiport is ranked as the number #1 airport in the world year after year.

Recently, they added the shopping mall to the Airport called Jewel, which has the worlds largest indoor waterfall.

Singapore’s Changi Airport is so renowned that a lot of shoppers aren’t even getting flights! They’re people who came just for the shopping and dining.

changi airport waterfall

Most shops at Changi are offering GST-absorbed prices, meaning you don’t pay the full 7% GST. 

Singapore Life Hacks #16 Get a PAssion card

It seems like every single shop, supermarket, restaurant, man and his dog will ask you if you have a passion card when paying for something. For a good reason too!

PAssion cards are a Debit Card that offers savings, rewards and privileges at over 2,500 places islandwide.

Plus it can be used as an EZ-link card for public transport as well!

17. Go Vegetarian / Vegan

If there were ever a good time to become a vegan or vegetarian, now would be a good time.

As mentioned, everything is imported to Singapore. The further a particular product is away from Singapore, the heftier the price tag. 

Most red meat and dairy products are coming from Australia meaning they can get expensive.

The exception for the high price is with seafood, chicken and eggs.

18. Golden Village Cheap Tuesdays

Enjoy going to the cinema? Then you’ll lobe Golden Village on Tuesday! Members can buy tickets for $6.50!

Sign-up on their website, download the app and turn Tuesday night into a cheap date night!

Singapore Life Hacks #19 Grab Taxi

The best way to get a taxi is to download the Grab App. You can order a standard cab or a ride-sharing car.

Both options are pretty cheap, but ride-sharing is the more affordable option.

There is an option to ‘pay with cash’ if you don’t have a bank card ready for both Taxies and ride-sharing. 

20. Hanging out in Libraries

Singapore can get hot! There’s no sugar-coating it.

Paying for Air-conditioning can get expensive if you’re hanging around the house all day.

Thankfully, there is no shortage of great chill-out spaces like malls, cafes and libraries to meet friends or get some work done and save some money on your next electricity bill.

21. Health Screening for $15

All general practitioners in Singapore offer health screenings in different packages depending on how in-depth you want to go.

Most are quite competitive with their offerings, but one stands out amongst the rest. 

Orange Health is a rewards program created by NTUC that offers a BMI, blood pressure, fasting blood glucose and cholesterol test for just $15.

Singapore Life Hacks #22 Non-Peak Dining 

Restaurants in Singapore will reward you for dining with them during non-peak dining hours.

To find out which restaurants do so and at what hours, download the ‘eatigo’ app and get up to 50% off your next early dinner!

23. Plan your trips Citymapper

CityMapper is an app that works across multiple cities, but, does particularly well in Singapore.

It does a much better job than Apple and Google Maps at displaying all your options for going somewhere, prices and estimated travel time.

Save time and money with the Citymapper app.

24. Portable Chargers

Phone out of battery? It’s not evident at first, but you have a few options when you’re out in Singapore with a dead phone. 

Some concierges in malls will be able to help you temporarily to get your phone back on, BUT, incredibly the concierge in ION Mall will give you a portable charger while you shop. All you need to do is leave them some identification (drivers licence, passport) .

Phone Charger

You’re next best option is to find a free or paid charging station, available in most shopping malls.

Singapore Life Hacks #25 Public Gyms

In almost every neighbourhood in Singapore, you’ll find a space designated to outdoor workout equipment.

Considering how expensive gym memberships can be in Singapore, it’s worth considering the savings of outdoor exercise. 

26. Scoot Price Alerts

Scoot is a budget airline owned by Singapore airlines. Singapore is in a prime location for quick flights to anywhere in south-east Asia. When you book with Scoot, you can get a ‘bare-bones’ ticket with no food, no entertainment, one bag and you’re on your way. 

With Scoot Price Alerts you’ll get last-minute deals to destinations all across Asia sent right to your inbox.

Scoot Price Alerts

Living in Singapore with Scoot Price Alerts turned on will allow you to discover most of south-east Asia spontaneously and on a budget. 

27. Telegram Channels 

Telegram is a messaging app that is quite popular in Singapore.

Not only can you message your friends, but you can also join groups to stay up to date on particular topics such as daily promotions, MRT, Government, food, art, leisure and more!

Search ‘Telegram Groups Singapore’ to find the latest and greatest groups to be apart of on Telegram. 

Singapore Life Hacks #28 Walk to Sentosa 

Sentosa is an island connected to Singapore packed full of restaurants, bars, hotels and attractions like Universal Studios, beaches, waterparks and more!

While things can get expensive, starting with the $4 monorail or taxi ride, you can avoid all charges to Sentosa by simply walking over the bridge, beginning at Vivo City mall.

The monorail is then FREE on the way back! 

Then once you’re at Sentosa, the beaches are also FREE!

So pack a bag with some food, drinks, sunscreen and speakers and enjoy a day out in one of Singapore’s most popular destinations, completely free of charge.

29. Wholesale Items

If you’re like me, you’re going to get snacky from time to time. Sadly someone with a snacky lifestyle is going to be paying a lot of money at the supermarket in Singapore.

Thankfully, there’s a simple solution.

Check out the Albert Centre Wholesale Market on Queen Street!

Inside you’ll find things like nuts, grains, dried fruits and more all at wholesale prices. Purchase your snacks by weight, in bulk and never look back!

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30. WIFI booster

A WIFI booster was not something I knew about until coming to Singapore.

The reason being, WIFI can travel through most walls quite easily, but, not in Singapore. 

Singapore home’s walls typically concrete, which is excellent for keeping your home cool in a tropical climate, not so good if you want good wifi throughout your house.

WIFI Booster

Thankfully there’s a cheap solution, WIFI boosters.

A WIFI booster only needs to be plugged into a power outlet and connected to your main router, and your phone will be back to full strength in no time. 

31. Withdraw Cash From Any 7/11

Sometimes lines at ATMs in Singapore can get pretty long.

If you need some quick cash, you can withdraw from any 7/11 islandwide. 

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Singapore Life Hacks – FAQ’s

What are some Singapore Life Hacks Apps?

Some apps to make your life easier in Singapore are CityMapper, Grab, Deliveroo, Shopee, Popcorn and DBS PayLah!

How to save money in Singapore?

Some ways to save money in Singapore are to live in a HDB, eat-in Hawker centres and do free things for entertainment such as going to parks, beaches and libraries.

See our full list of 15 things to do in Singapore on a budget.

What are some free things to do in Singapore?

All of Singapore’s national parks and beaches offer a great free day out.

Plus go check out some of the FREE libraries and museums to escape the heat in the middle of the day.

How do I get discounts and deals in Singapore?

Getting the Telegram app and following some ‘discount’ groups in Singapore is a great way to save money.

Also, check out the ‘Eatigo’ app for offers on dining at non-peak hours in restaurants.

Finally, having a PAssion Debit Card will get you savings, rewards and privileges at over 2,500 places islandwide

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