When we went to the local grocery store for the first time (Cold Storage) we felt as if we spent a similar amount of money compared to our usual St. Louis shopping trips but got about half as much food. So, I decided to do an actual comparison to see just how much more expensive (or maybe even cheaper!) certain foods are in Singapore. The US prices were obtained in early January, 2013 in Reasor’s grocery store in Tulsa, OK and the Singapore prices are from August, 2013. I have used the Aug. 3rd, 2013 exchange rate of 1 SGD = 0.78653 USD.
Note: I have done my best to make the compared items equal by weight by usually converting the Singapore weight to the US equivalent and adjusting the price accordingly. Not all items are exactly identical, but sometimes the US item is not available in Singapore so I have tried to use the next best fit.
US prices are on the left with Singapore prices on the right. All prices below the photos are in USD and the percentage is the Singapore price compared to the US price.
|$0.59/lemon||$0.63/lemon||$4.59/16 oz||$17.02/16 oz|
|$3.99/5 oz||$6.02/5 oz||$3.19/20 oz||$3.63/20 oz|
|$5.55/16 oz||$12.55/16 oz||$3.29/package||$9.36/package|
|$1.99/16 oz||$9.42/16 oz||$1.39/8 oz||$3.49/8 oz|
|$2.49/box||$4.76/box||$2.23/24 oz||$1.57/24 oz|
|$1.67/24 oz||$4.09/24 oz||$8.99/25.5 oz||$16.61/25.5 oz|
|$0.99/14.5oz||$1.85/14.5oz||$3.39/18 oz||$7.24/18 oz|
|$3.19/32 oz||$11.64/32 oz||$1.55/10.5oz||$1.15/10.5oz|
|$2.30/4 lb||$2.70/4 lb||$0.99/box||$2.04/box|
|$2.83/38 oz||$7.32/38 oz||$2.69/5 oz||$4.96/5 oz|
|$2.99/12 oz||$7.83/12 oz||$4.99/48oz||$10.42/48oz|
|$2.29/.5 gal||$4.42/.5 gal||$0.59/6 oz||$2.87/6 oz|
|$2.99/9oz||$9.20/9oz||$2.79/7 oz||$6.85/7 oz|
|$2.00/8.9oz||$5.48/8.9oz||$2.50/20.5 oz||$6.89/20.5 oz|
|$3.00/9oz||$4.96/9oz||$1.59/6.4 oz||$2.63/6.4 oz|
|$1.00/2L||$2.04/2L||$4.00/12 pack||$6.33/12 pack|
|$0.21/500mL||$0.26/500mL||$0.96/20 oz||$1.30/20 oz|
|$2.99/15 oz||$4.04/15 oz||$2.99/13 oz||$3.57/13 oz|
And for you coffee and beer drinkers out there:
|$8.99/34 oz||$24.19/34 oz||$6.49/6 pack||$17.70/6 pack|
And on rare occasions (usually about 2-3 times per year), my favorite beverage shows up in Cold Storage, for a hefty premium:
If you bought one of everything listed above, you would pay $190.45 in the US and $433.78 in Singapore (128% more).
This was eye-opening for me – I always thought I was getting a good deal on my Coco Pebbles, but now I know better! Dang. Maybe we’ll start importing those in addition to the Honey Nut Cheerios we bring back every trip (only plain Cheerios can be found in Singapore).
Now, I realize there are many factors contributing to these prices. First of all, the US prices are from Tulsa, OK so I’m sure this comparison would look different if the US prices were based in New York or San Francisco. And there are wet markets for produce and meat and other places in Singapore to shop, but Cold Storage is the convenient (across the street) location for us (and a good percentage of Singapore). Many of these brands are US brands and so it’s expensive to ship to Singapore, especially the items which must remain frozen or refrigerated. We have eliminated several of these items from our normal diet (crescent rolls, lean cuisines, bacon, hot dogs) and there are occasionally non-US branded equivalents which are cheaper. But even looking at the basic items (sugar, butter, bread, eggs, milk, beef, chicken) that’s a pretty large price difference. And some of the US brands have manufacturing in Asia, for example Pepsi is canned in Singapore but still is 58% more expensive. And there are so many bananas around South East Asia, you would think those would be cheaper but they are 30% more. Ultimately, there is enough demand (and expats) willing to pay for these goods, so the stores are smart enough to sell them for these prices. I will keep buying Pepsi and cheese and milk….but I’m thinking a meal of spaghetti noodles, Campbell’s soup and apples is sounding pretty tasty right now.
Bugs longer than 1″
Miles Flown (Melissa)
Times Served Sea Cucumber