The only people who think they’re getting a good deal on S$22 for 2 small pizzas at Domino’s are those who have never lived in an ang moh country like Australia, where pizzas are more reasonably priced at AUD 5 (S$4.77) a piece.
The cheapest bacon I could find at NTUC FairPrice is $3.95/200g, barely 6 or 7 rashers. Over in the US, bacon comes in larger packs and a typical retail price is US$3.73/340g ($5.10) at Walmart.
It’s pretty hard to get a handle on average wedding costs in Singapore, but this article pegs it at $30,000 to $50,000. In contrast, the UK’s average of £14,740 ($25,539.10) looks almost modest.
Photo: Straits Times
Yup, can verify that the iPhone XS 64GB costs $1,649 on Apple Store Singapore, $300 more than the US$999 ($1366.99) price in the US. The fact that Singaporeans still snap iPhones up despite the markup makes even less sense.
I remember feeling pretty smug that I found a bunch of “cheap” gyms in Singapore charging “only” $80 to $100/month. Imagine my dismay when I realised that the market rate in a city like London is less than £20/month ($34.66).
It’s indeed true that tickets start from $79 onwards for Phantom of the Opera at MBS – that’s nearly twice that of the starting price of £25 ($43.36) at Her Majesty’s Theatre in London.
Ramen is basically hawker food in Japan, so prices of basic bowls can be as low as ¥400 to ¥900 ($5.07 to $11.41). Even the famous Ichiran ramen costs just ¥890 ($11.26). Over in Singapore, basic ramen bowls start at $11 and go up to $15. And it probably tastes worse to boot.
A tea macchiato costs $2.90 at Koi in Singapore, while its counterpart 50 Lan in Taipei (the original Koi) charges just NT$40 ($1.74). Although it’s probably a blessing in disguise that the prices of sugary beverages aren’t as low as they are in Taiwan, otherwise we’ll never B.E.A.T diabetes.
Another fatty indulgence that costs way more in Singapore than other developed countries is cheese. A 226g block of cheddar will set you back $5.91, despite costing just £1.55 ($2.69) at Tesco in the UK.
World Cup Subscription
Did you know that Singapore is one of the few countries where you actually have to pay to watch the FIFA World Cup? I didn’t… The only other first world country with a paid subscription is Hong Kong, where the early bird subscription rate of HK$280 ($48.88) is nearly half that of Singapore’s $94.16.
Photo: Straits Times
You might feel like those $60 probiotics Guardian are super worth it (because health = wealth). But in the US, you can get pretty much the same thing for just US$20 ($27.37). What the hell?
Hey, I would be outraged, too, had I paid $139.90 for a pair of Levi’s 501 jeans, only to find them retailing for US$32.24 to US$79.50 ($44.13 to $108.82) on Amazon US.
While I didn’t find a huge difference in the prices of diapers in Singapore vs other countries, the real killer is infant formula, which is insanely expensive here.
It’s typical to pay >$50 for a tin here (samples: $52.60 for 800g Nestle Nan Optipro, $55 for 900g Aptamil), whereas the exact product would cost only A$22 ($21.01, Nestle Nan Optipro) or A$24.80 ($23.68, Aptamil) in Australia. If wet nurses ever made a comeback, it’d be in Singapore.
A tub of good old Haagen Dazs ice cream costs a mere US$3.88 ($5.31) at Walmart in the US, whereas it’s $14.50 ($9.43 on offer) in Singapore.
Bubble tea being more expensive in Singapore than Taiwan? That I can accept. But why does ice cream have to be twice the price in Singapore than in the US? SMH…
As if owning and maintaining a car wasn’t expensive enough, I also learnt that pumping petrol in Singapore is more expensive than even ‘Merica. In Singapore, you have to cough up $2.27/litre onwards, whereas in the US it’s more like US$0.65 to US$0.95/litre ($0.89 to $1.30).
While Londoners are all up in arms over the fact that a pint now costs as much as £5.19 ($9), over in Singapore, we think any happy hour price below $10/pint is “dirt cheap”. Sad, really.
(Text: Clara Lim, MoneySmart / Additional reporting: Natalya Molok)