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    maxwell road food centre at Tanjong Pagar
    Maxwell Road Food Center at Tanjong Pagar

    Earlier this year, Singapore was ranked the world’s most expensive city for the second year running by the Economist Intelligence Unit. Transport, groceries, and even shopping cost more than they would in New York.

    But it’s not impossible to live here, especially if you’re armed with on how to maximise the value of each buck.

    1. Take Free Morning Train Rides to Town

    For early-risers, take advantage of the SMRT’s Travel Early, Travel Free programme that has been extended to 30 June 2016. You get to take train rides to the city for absolutely nothing if you tap out of the designated stations before 7:45am on weekdays.

    The 18 designated stations include Bayfront, Bras Basah, Bugis, Chinatown, City Hall, Clarke Quay, Dhoby Ghaut, Downtown, Esplanade, Lavender, Marina Bay, Orchard, Outram Park, Promenade, Raffles Place, Somerset, Tanjong Pagar and Telok Ayer.

    If you miss 7.45am by just a few minutes, you still get a 50 cents discount from your train fare.

    2. Buy the Off-Peak Pass

    SMRT has introduced an Adult Monthly Travel Card (AMTC), a personalised ez-link which allows us to buy travel concessions.

    Concession Pass Benefits  Cost 
    Adult Monthly Travel Pass (AMTP) Unlimited rides on basic bus services and trains $120
    Off-Peak Pass(OPP) Unlimited rides on basic bus services and trains during off-peak periods.Off-peak periods:

    • Start of service to 6.30am
    • Between 9am to 5pm
    • 7:30pm onwards
    • All day on weekends and public holidays
    $80

     

    The good thing about the off-peak pass is that it will apply for the entire journey as long as the trip starts during the off-peak periods. Furthermore, it’s applicable on weekends and holidays. Assuming you spend about $4a day on transport, you can save up to $40 a month.

    3. Eat at Hawker Centres

    One of the best things living in is our and the most authentic local food you can find is in our hawker centers where you can get some of the best meals in town for less than $3. Don’t be mistaken that you have to spend a bomb on lunch if you work in the CBD.

    Here’s a list of cheap and good hawker centers around town:

    Tanjong Pagar

    • Maxwell Road Food Centre
    • Amoy Street Food Centre
    • Tanjong Pagar Market and Food Centre

    Raffles Place

    • Golden Shoe Hawker Centre
    • Lau Pa Sat

    City Hall/ Dhoby Ghaut/ Bras Brasah

    • Raffles City Food Court
    • Waterloo Street Hawker Centre

    Lavendar

    • Golden Mile Food Centre
    maxwell market - roast meat
    A hearty plate of Char Siew rice is only $3 at Maxwell Road Food Centre

    4. Have Healthy Salads for Just $4.90

    If you are on a diet and trying to eat clean, try either of these salad shops: The Salad Corner or Sun Moon Salad. The queue can be as long as 30 minutes during lunch time. They serve very affordable and healthy salads, with portions big enough to last you till dinner. For just $4.90, you get a basic salad with five toppings of your choice. Just add an additional $1 for a meat to have more wholesome meal.

    The Salad Corner

    • Amoy Street Food Centre 01-41
    • Golden Shoe Hawker Centre 01-10
    • Tanjong Pagar Plaza 01-04

    Sun Moon Salad

    • Tanjong Pajar Plaza, 01-24

    5. Use a Credit Card when Dining at Restaurants

    Some credit cards, especially dining, offer discounts and reward points when you eat at partner restaurants. Take the American Express Platinum Credit Card for example: You’ll get 50% off when person dining for two, 33% for three, and so on at selected restaurants.

    If you’re out with friends, you can offer to pay first to chalk up reward points that you can convert to cashback or air miles.

    The OCBC 365 credit card is another card which offers great dining privileges, with 6% off for dining on weekends and 3% off for weekdays. Assuming you spend $100 on weekend dining and $50 on weekday dining a week, you can save more than $300 a year.

    If you’re looking to save on dining out, you’ll have to find the right credit card for you by using a loan calculator in Singapore.

    6. Shop Online

    With just $100, you can easily get 6-8 pieces of clothing when you shop online. You can easily get a dress on Taobao for less than $20, and Zalora sometimes offers big discounts on their site.

    Zalora offers free return service, which means that you can shop for cheap in the comfort of your own home without having to worry about getting low quality clothes as you can easily return them. Free shipping is also included with purchases above $40.

    Shopping on Taobao requires you to engage an agent such as 65daigou and Peeka to ship your goods over. Shipment takes about two weeks to arrive if you choose the cheapest option. 65daigou.com offers a “Buy For Me” option which will help settle any disputes you may have with the seller. The downside is that you will have to pay a 4-8% agent fee.

    Peeka rates are volume-based. S$6 for 3,000 cubic cm and below, which is equivalent to the size of three one-litre bottles. This means that you can buy as many stuff as you want and they will squeeze it into a tiny box for you. Delivery to your door-step is free of charge. Any disputes with the sellers are handled by Peeka.

    7. Save on Groceries with NTUC Plus! Card

    The NTUC Plus! Card allows you to earn LinkPoints on your groceries at a hundred NTUC FairPrice outlets. You can also earn LinkPoints when you make taxi bookings with Comfort and CityCab Taxi, purchase OCBC Banking Solutions, or NTUC Income’s insurance or trading with Lim & Tan Securities.

    You earn 1 LinkPoint for every dollar spent and 150 LinkPoints can be converted to S$1. Assuming you spend about $200 on groceries a month, you would have saved $16. Only a one-time membership fee of $10 is required.

    8. Workout for Free at ActiveSG gyms

    In a bid to encourage people to stay fit, ActiveSG is giving $100 cash credit which can be used at any of their 16 ActiveSG Sport Centres for either the gym, pool, or badminton courts. All you have to do is to sign up for your free ActiveSG membership before 31 December 2015. $100 cash credit last for a year from the point of registration.

    While you do not enjoy the newer facilities as in private gyms, you can still get your workout done effectively in these ActiveSG gyms. Approach the trainers whenever you need help and they are more than willing to guide you on how to use the equipment.

    9. Apply for Community Assist Scheme to Lower your Medical Care Expenses

    The Community Health Assist Scheme (CHAS) allows Singaporeans from lower and middle-income households to receive subsidies for medical and dental care at participating GPs and dental clinics near their home. To qualify, the monthly household income per person must be less than $1,800.

    Conclusion

    So there you have it. There are still many ways you can lower the cost of your spending if you just do a bit of homework and find creative ways to stretch your dollar in Singapore!

    This article was first published on FifthPerson.com

    Allyson Dulnuan is a seasoned writer who writes about money, saving & spending, and . She also writes for SingSaver.com.sg, a free price comparison site in Singapore.

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      Redbank bar & grill

      The story of Redbank Bar & Grill started with a perfectly grilled piece of steak. Hitting it off at a barbecue outing, avid home cook John Stevens and friend Matt Connors bonded over a succulent slab of beef that fired up conversations on the quality and price of American in . And it did not take long for the two Americans to take the plunge and set up their vision of an American-styled and bar and named it RedBank Bar & Grill.

      “We talked about tailgating for Sunday football games. This is always a special time to grill and share great dishes. And then it occurred to us, why not recreate the experience here!” – John, co-owner

      Although there are already a good mix of American-styled restaurant in Singapore like Jerry’s BBQ & Grill, Big Bern’s American Grill and Smokey’s BBQ, owner John believes that his concept of offering quality American fare at pocket friendly prices plus the telecast of major sporting events will bring an unique American dining experience to diners here in Singapore.

      The kitchen is helmed by Chef Nicolas, who has 18 years of culinary experience at steak houses and seafood restaurants. His style, passion and flair for cooking steaks struck a chord with John who needed someone with the professional techniques and consistency to add to his home-style cooking methods. “I honed most of my grilling skills from my days in Corsica sizzling steaks and seafood by the beach. Like John and Matt I have yet to find a classic American grill restaurant here that is up to standard with reasonable pricing. This venture with them gives me the perfect excuse to be a part of,” said Chef Nicolas.

      RedBank Bar & Grill offers classic dishes prepared in traditional methods that have been passed down for generations in John’s family. The menu features crowd pleasers like Maryland soft shell crab, Virginia-style crab cake, oyster biscuit, and New York-style steaks.

      Redbank bar & grill
      Virginia-style Oyster Biscuits

      Redbank uses the famed Josper charcoal grill to impart an outdoorsy barbecue flavour for its many signature grilled dishes, including its RB grain-fed Tomahawk steak. Each grilled meat comes with a side of fries while the seafood and poultry mains are paired with rice pilaf or fries. Other side orders include mac & cheese, hush puppies (or cornbread ball) and home-style coleslaw.

      The bar serves an extensive range of America classic cocktails like Live the American Dream, Golden Cadillac and Blue Hawaiian as well as popular spirits and liquors. Redbank also features U.S. craft beers and independent small batch labels along with a selection of wine from Californian vineyards.

      Located at Claymore Connect in Road, Redbank can sit 100 diners indoors while its al fresco patio can host up to 50 diners. Expect to fork out and average of around $20 for lunch and $50 for dinner.

      RedBank Bar & Grill

      442 -02 Orchard Road, Singapore 238879
      Tel: +65-6694-5376
      Opening hours: Mon to Sun – 12 noon to 12 midnight
      Happy hours: 3pm to 8pm

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        The is back this year with more new and exciting treats to look forward to. We’re talking 2,000kg of seafood, 20,000 fresh oysters and 15,000 pizzas!

        Held between 14 – 16 August, the 3-day extravaganza at Marina Bay Sands will feature over 30 masterclasses by , exclusive tasting of fine whiskies and the opportunity to savour fine dishes from restaurants like Adrift, CUT by Wolfgang Puck and Waku Ghin. The year’s Epicurean Market will also see the debut of another celebrity chef restaurant – Spago by Wolfgang Puck at Marina Bay Sands.

        Adrift - King Crab Melt
        Adrift – King Crab Melt
        Pizzeria Mozza - Margherita
        Pizzeria Mozza – Margherita

        Having attended last year’s Epicurean Market, our favourite part of the 3-day food festival was the time spent shopping at the Farmer’s Market. This is where you can sample and buy a wide range of fresh produce such as seasonal fruit and organic salads as well as gourmet food like cheese, chocolates and premium coffee. Our loot of artisanal chocolates, coffee beans, creamy blocks of cheese and freshly shaven proscuitto (dry, cured ham) didn’t come cheap but we thoroughly enjoyed them. Having freshly shucked oysters was also pretty awesome too, although the long wait for the shucking was a downer. Hopefully, there’ll be more staff on hand at this year’s event.

        If you’re into rare wines, then don’t miss the Wine Zone at this year’s fair. We hear that some 30 suppliers including The Oak Cellars, Monopole, Wine Culture and KOT Selections will be showcasing some of the finest and rarest wines sourced from around the world. And if you think you know your wine, we’ll see you at the blind tasting competition at the wine booths.

        epicurean market 2015
        Waku Gihn Pastries

        The 3-day access pass (14-16 August) to Epicurean Market 2015 costs $28. It includes 2 premium red wine glasses by Schott Zwiesel valued at S$38, and admission to the After Party on 14 and 15 August. Get your tickets here.

        Epicurean Market Opening 2014
        Epicurean Market Opening 2014

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          Street Food Recipes

          Why put up with snooty hawkers and long queues when you can recreate some Asia’s best street food at home? Get cooking this weekend!

          1. Penang fried kway teow

          Penang char kway teow

          Source: Rasa Malaysia

          Add large prawns for extra kick. Recipe here.

          2. Japanese okonomiyaki

          okonomiyaki

          Source: Just One Cookbook

          Learn how to make it here.

          3. Hainanese Chicken rice

          chicken rice

          Source: Steamy Kitchen

          A dish close to Singaporeans’ hearts. Recipe here.

          4. Crispy pork belly (Siu Yuk)

          siu yuk

          Source: Rasa Malaysia

          Get ‘crackling’ here.

          5. Vietnamese fresh rice rolls

          VietnameseShrimpRoll

          Source: Just As Delish

          Start rolling here.

          6. Thai papaya salad

          thai-green-papaya-salad

          Source: eatingthaifood.com

          Some tang and spice to fire up your appetite. Start tossing here.

          7. Korean-style crispy and crunchy fried chicken

          korean spicy chicken

          Source: Maangchi

          Get recipe.


          Asia-inspired chicken wing recipes

          For more irresistible Asian style chicken wings, check out this story


          8. Madura (Indonesian) style chicken saté

          Sate-Ayam-Madura

          Source: Indonesia Eats

          Recipe here.

          9. Taiwanese oyster mee sua

          Watch the recipe here.

          10. Cendol with gula melacca

          cendol

          Source: Anncoo Journal

          Learn how to make the dessert here.

          11. Nasi lemak

          nasi_lemak_recipe

          Source: Kampung Singapura

          Recipe here.

          12. Mango sticky rice

          mango-on-sticky-rice

          Source: Thai Table

          Recipe here.

           

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            Asia-inspired chicken wing recipes

            There’s nothing quite as satisfying as biting into a piece of the world’s most familiar comfort food – chicken wings. No wonder they are such a crowd-pleaser at parties. If you are indeed planning a bash, your guests are in for a treat with these eight Asia-inspired chicken wing recipes.

            1. Salt and Pepper Chicken Wings

            Chicken wing recipes: Salt and Pepper Chicken Wings
            Source: kirbiecravings.com

            Recipe here.

            2. Crispy Baked Asian Chicken Wings

            From Just Taste. Recipe here.

            3. Spicy Thai Chicken Wings

            Chicken wing recipes: Spicy Thai Chicken Wings
            Source: Rasa Malaysia

            Recipe here.

            4. Momofuku Style Chicken Wings

            Chicken wing recipes: Momofuku style chicken wings
            Source: Steamy Kitchen

            Recipe here.

            5. Sticky Sesame Chicken Wings

            Chicken wing recipes: Sticky Sesame Chicken Wings
            Source: Yum sugar

            Recipe here.

            6. Asian Fried Chicken Wings

            chicken wing recipes: Asian fried chicken wings
            Source: Instructables.com

            Recipe here.

            7. Crispy and crunchy Korean fried chicken (Dakgangjeong)

            From Maangchi. Recipe here.

            8. The Best Korean Fried Chicken from Alton Brown

            Chicken wing recipes: Korean fried chicken
            Source: Serious Eats

            Here’s another take on Korean chicken wings from Alton Brown. For hardcore fans of Korean style wings, you can always trust this man to deliver good eats. Recipe here.