There is no doubt that consumer prices have been on the rise in Singapore.
In fact, our core inflation increased at an all-time high rate of 2.4% in January this year. You might have noticed that the prices of essential grocery items such as eggs and vegetables are higher now than you remember them being in previous years.
Have the prices of other essential items increased as well? And where can you go to find the cheapest products and deals?
Average Prices of Essential Items in Singapore
To answer these questions, we have compiled a list of over 20 basic essential items and compared their prices across 5 major supermarkets in Singapore: NTUC, Cold Storage, Giant, Sheng Siong, and RedMart.
These essential items span across categories such as food products (vegetables, dairy, meat, etc.), and other basic household items such as laundry and home care products.
|NTUC||Cold Storage||Giant||Sheng Siong||RedMart|
|Vegetables & Fruits|
|Tomato (500g - 600g)||$1.50||$1.65||$1.90||$1.10||$1.65|
|Spinach (200g - 250g)||$1.60||$2.25||$0.90||$1.65||$2.15|
|Potato (800g - 1kg)||$1.05||$3.40||$1.10||$2.50||$1.75|
|Fuji apples (5 - 6pcs)||$3.95||$3||$2.50||$2.95||$4.95|
|Banana (800g - 1kg)||$3.95||$5.50||$2.88/1.2kg||$2.75||$2.35|
|Full cream milk (1L)||$1.75||$2.50||$1.95||$2.25||$2.30|
|Skim milk (1L)||$1.75||$2.60||$1.95||$2.40||$2.40|
|Soya milk (1L)||$1.95||$1.95||$1.95||$1.95||$2.25|
|Coffee & Tea Products|
|Tea bags (100 pc)||$5.65||$4.95||$4.95||$7.85||$5.65|
|Nescafe 3-in-1 (32 to 35pcs)||$6.15||$6.15||$6.15||$5.95||$6.15|
|Liquid detergent (4 - 4.4L)||$9.65||$11.45||$7.85||$8.95||$8.95|
|Vegetable oil (2l)||$5.30||$5.75||$6||$5.85||$5.50|
|White rice 5kg||$6.85||$12.80||$7.30||$6.50||$10.20|
|White bread (500g - 600g)||$1.40||$1.70||$1.15||$1.60||$1.30|
|Fine sugar (1kg)||$1.50||$1.75||$1.50||$1.50||$1.42|
|Fine salt (500g)||$0.42||$0.50||$0.50||$0.45||$0.50|
|Instant noodles (Myojo chicken tanmen 81g)||$2.20||$2.20||$2.20||$2.20||$2.20|
|Spare pork ribs (500g)||$6||$6||$6||$10.40||$5.91|
|Rice vermicelli (400g)||$1.15||$1.30||$1.15||$1.15||$1.40|
|Light soy sauce (500 - 660ml)||$3.20 (660ml)||$1.50 (500ml)||$1.00 (500ml)||$1.50 (500ml)||$1.95 (500ml)|
|Kitchen towels (6pcs)||$4.15||$4.60||$3.30||$4.40||$4.95|
According to our comparison, NTUC Fairprice and Giant have some of the cheapest prices for essential items, while Cold Storage has the steepest prices for these products.
DFI retail group, which manages the Cold Storage and Giant supermarkets, has acknowledged that the prices of eggs have increased by almost 25% since 2021.
A study conducted by CNA revealed that the price of a pack of 30 eggs has increased from just S$4.75 at FairPrice in early 2021 to S$7.20 in March 2022. Our research shows that this price has jumped once again to reach S$7.50 as of April 2022.
Statistics show that Singaporeans consume an average of roughly 388 eggs per year. While this would have cost around S$61.40 annually before 2021, this same rate of consumption would now cost Singaporeans an estimated $97 per year, which shows an increase of over S$30 per capita.
Similarly, the price of fresh fruits and vegetables such as tomatoes and spinach have also increased slightly since the previous year across all supermarkets.
Why Are Prices Rising?
There is a myriad of reasons contributing to this price increase. As inflation rates rise amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, manufacturers and retailers are also having to deal with labour shortages, higher transport and rental costs, and other weather-related disruptions that lead to an inevitable increase in the prices of imported goods.
Furthermore, the conflict unfolding between Ukraine and Russia – both of whom are major wheat and food grain exporters – has put an additional strain on global food supply. This has been a major reason for the drastic increase in the price of eggs.
However, it’s not all bad news: the prices of certain products such as imported Fuji apples have dropped instead, meaning that there isn’t a uniform increase in prices across all products.
Read Also: Petrol Prices Expected to Increase Due to Russia-Ukraine War; Here’s What It Means For You
How Can You Save on Essentials?
Although our core inflation rates have eased in the past couple of months, it is likely that food prices will either continue rising or at least maintain themselves at the current rate in the months to come.
In addition to taking note of the supermarkets which offer the cheapest rates, there are two other ways for you to save on your daily essential expenses.
1. Supermarket Discounts
Supermarkets in Singapore have been rolling out initiatives to support customers during this period of price hikes in order to steer clear of transferring the increasing production or other retail costs to them.
FairPrice’s Stretch Your Dollar Programme
NTUC’s FairPrice has continued its Stretch Your Dollar programme, through which it offers a 5% discount on a specified list of 100 essential items every Friday. Scheduling your weekly grocery shopping to the end of the working week can be an easy way for you to cut a little cost on your essential expenditures.
It also has an array of special discount schemes that offer special rates for customers part of certain categories, such as the Pioneer and Merdeka generations. These discount schemes apply from Mondays to Thursdays.
|Monday||3% Pioneer Discount Scheme|
|Tuesday||2% Seniors Discount Scheme|
|Wednesday||3% Pioneer & Merdeka Discount Scheme|
|Thursday||3% for CHAS Blue cardholders|
|Friday||5% ‘Stretch Your Dollar’ Discount Scheme|
Giant’s Lower Prices That Last Initiative
Similarly, Giant has also come forward with special discounts to help customers deal with the rising costs of inflation. Giant now sells a curated list of over 600 daily essentials at a discounted price that is up to 22% cheaper. This way, customers do not feel the burden of the increasing prices of these products.
2. Cashback Credit Cards
Cashback credit cards are another easy way for consumers to earn cash rebates on their regular grocery or other spending, which can help to offset the generally increasing prices of essential products.
With high reward rates for categories of everyday spending, the POSB Everyday is a perfect cashback credit card for families looking to earn back from their essential expenditure – such as groceries, household care products, and even dining or commuting.
Citi Cash Back Card
The Citi Cash Back Card offers up to 8% cash rebates for groceries and other daily spending. When combined with the other discounts offered by supermarkets themselves, this could lead to a huge relief on your wallet.
Essential products are items we buy regularly and cannot go without, which means that even a slight price hike for a few of these products can really add up to a considerable amount.
However, looking out for the cheapest prices, best discounts, and other easy ways to save can be a big help to your wallet.
Essential items were identified by the lists provided by major supermarkets such as FairPrice and Giant. The prices of 23 of these essential items (roughly 1 or 2 products from each category) at each of 5 major supermarkets in Singapore were obtained from their respective websites and compiled into the table seen above. In the case that the supermarkets offered different brands of the same product, the lowest price for the products which were the most similar in description and quantity to the products offered by the other supermarkets were chosen.