I think those who live in the western parts of Singapore are blessed with having easy access to cheaper groceries. I will just highlight two places in the west that i visit every now and then, all the way from Hougang, to buy cheap groceries. Standard disclaimer: this is not a paid review. When i say groceries, i mean food in more or less the raw form, not ready or semi-ready-made food, which is what you’ll find at Woodlands Terrace, the other location that seems popular for “cheap” food.
The first place is QB Food. This place is quite popular with Expats as they sell airflown beef, and various kinds of meat and cheeses. Due to some legal requirement, you will have to place an online order before you pay them a visit (or you can do so there and then). You can just make a random order of any item as you can still pick up any item you want.
You may be able to spot a few familiar brands here – “Johnsonville” sausages and “Tradition” cheeses. These are sold in Fairprice and Cold Storage supermarkets, and QB Food is the distributor, so, obviously, they have it much cheaper. The Johnsonville sausages are $10.50 at Cold Storage and $7.90 at QB Food. Tradition cheeses are $5.30 at Cold Storage and $4 at QB Food. There are also the “Laughing Cow” cheese slices – $4.45 at Cold Storage vs $2.20 at QB Food. By the way, $2.20 for 10 slices of premium cheese is a lot cheaper than anything you can find at the supermarket (typically $4 or more for 12 slices).
The other items i like to buy here are bacon ($2 for 150g), ham ($12.9 for 1kg) and pork soft bone which is great for soup ($5.50 per kg). The frozen pork sold here are imported from Brazil, Denmark or Germany, and they taste better than Indonesian pork. They work great when you don’t really need fresh pork, which still does offer superior texture.
I stock up on many of these items, especially for breakfast, every time i make a trip down. They do deliver as well if you can chalk up $200 worth of purchase (consolidate with friends).
The other place i like to visit is Big Box (Update: unfortunately Big Box is now gone). I always thought they would operate like the Big-box stores in the US, requiring paid membership to enjoy discounts, but apparently that model doesn’t work in Singapore. You can just walk into Big Box and buy anything like in any other supermarkets.
I found that their prices are truly lower than the other local supermarkets. Case in point – Maling luncheon meat. These are typically sold at $2.50 at the supermarkets ($2.35 when on promotion), but Big Box had them for $2.05. Bulk discount is also given on most of the items, when you buy 2 or more. I found just about everything to be cheaper here, including fresh vegetables. Moreover, you can enjoy free parking when spending $20 or more on a weekday ($50 on a weekend).
Hopefully Big Box will do well (they somehow don’t seem to, i don’t know why) and open up another branch here in the North East!
Update: try Hentick, just a stone throw from QB Food. They regularly offer 12-20% discounts on their Qoo10 shop.