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The Thrifty Mama’s Guide to Singapore – Everything Under $20!

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Calling all thrifty mamas: do your eyes boggle at astronomical grocery bills and never-ending school fees? Fret not because we’ve got a list of things you and the fam can do, see and eat on the cheap!

You’re doing it wrong if you find yourself spending yet another weekend in front of the TV, mama. Sure you live in one of the world’s most expensive cities (according to the Economist Intelligence Unit), but Singapore has so much more to offer beyond pricey hipster cafes and the consumerist strip that is Orchard Road. So fret not all you underpaid, urban tenderfoots, Sassy Mama is here to help you navigate the Little Red Dot so you can feel like a boss on the cheap. Behold, our list of 15 fun things you can do and buy for under $20 in Singapore!

collage of brunch food at flock singapore

Go for brunch at Flock Cafe
Café hopping and brunching are national pastimes in Singapore – ones that don’t go easy on your wallet if you’re fond of frequenting hipster cafes. But if you know where to go, an Instagram-worthy brunch is yours to savour this weekend, mama. We’d like to point you in the direction of Flock Café in Tiong Bahru serving brunch staples at – you guessed it! – unpretentious rates. Feast on Scrambled Eggs and Toast for $7.50 or satisfy your sweet tooth with French Toast and Bananas or Pancakes and Strawberries for only $9.50 each. Whatever your choice, even with a $5 cuppa to boot, you’ll be staying well below the $20 line.

Flock Café, Block 21 Ghim Moh Road, #01-213, Singapore 270021,

Shop at a flea market
Nothing perks us up quite like a spot of retail therapy, but ditch the pocket burning mainstream malls and head for MAAD Market (Market of Artists and Designers) where you’ll be rewarded with vintage finds, handmade jewellery as well as arts and crafts at bargain rates.

Red Dot Design Museum Singapore, 28 Maxwell Road, Singapore 069120, Happening every first Friday of the month 5pm-12am.

Broke Girls' Guide - Settler's Cafe

Play board games at Settlers Café
Put aside your smartphones and bond with friends over board games at Settlers Café. With more than 600 board games to choose from, you’re bound to find something that will pique your interest and keep you occupied for hours. Just $6 buys you three hours of gaming and free flow drinks –looks like there is fun to be had away from your gadget screens!

Settlers Café, 39 N Canal Road, Singapore 059295, (+65) 6535 0435,

pools at jurong east swimming complex

Cool down at Jurong East Swimming Complex
With temperatures rarely dipping below 30 degrees, life in Singapore is a sweaty situation when not under the blast of an air conditioner somewhere. Even if you’ve got a nice pool at home, chances are you don’t have a waterslide and lazy river! With giant water slides, a river ride and a wave pool, Jurong East Swimming Complex is an absolute steal with an admission fee of $0.80-1.50 per entry. It’s about time you got splashing, mama!

Jurong East Swimming Complex, 21 Jurong East Street 31, Singapore 609517, (+65) 6563 5052, Website

Go bowling at OrchidBowl @E!hub
Boasting 32 bowling lanes equipped with the latest Switch bowling system, Orchid Bowl is where it’s at if you’re looking to master the 7-10 split or just up your skittle score with friends. For $5.70 (inclusive of the $1.20 shoe rental) you get to indulge in everyone’s favourite non-sports sport.

OrchidBowl@E!hub, E!hub Downtown East, 1 Pasir Ris Close #01-111, Singapore 519599,

Tsujiri green tea soft serve

Treat yourself to a Tsujiri soft serve
When in doubt, eat ice cream. That’s not an actual saying but it’s a motto we can live by, especially when it’s an affordable, quick ticket to instant gratification. Tsujiri’s refreshing Matcha Soft Serve is one that sets off all the pleasure circuits in our brains –it’s rich, it’s silky-smooth and a steal at only $4.50. Don’t mind us, we’ll be lining up for seconds!

Tsujiri, 100 Tras Street, 079027,

Go ice skating at Marina Bay Sands Skating Rink
Singapore’s weather is either hot or hotter and if you can’t deal with either, it’s time to hit the ice –and we mean that literally. Test your Michelle Kwan moves at the 600-meter Marina Bay Sands Skating Rink, similar in size to the legendary ice-rink at Rockefeller Centre in New York. Skates are up for rent at $3 and you can spend the hour gliding around for $7, with an additional $5 per hour if you choose to stay longer.

Marina Bay Sands Skating Rink, The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, 10 Bayfront Ave, Singapore 018956 (+65) 6688 8868

manicure at manicurious singapore

Get a manicure at Manicurious
Now, now, you may be a broke gal in SG but that’s no reason to look shoddy and the quickest way to look (and feel) like a million dollars is to get your digits buffed and painted. Head over to Manicurious, where an express manicure will only set you back by $6, while add-ons like nail shaping or a hand scrub start at an additional $3 each. Psst, you’re entitled to a 20% discount if you get your nails done from Monday to Thursday between 11am-4pm.

Manicurious, 49 Tras Street, Singapore 078988, (+65) 6333 9096,

national museum of singapore

Get cultured at the National Museum of Singapore
Instead of flittering from one mall to another, why not get schooled in some culture and history at the newly-renovated National Museum of Singapore? Take your pick from exciting exhibitions and prepare to be edutained for most of the day. Highlights include gold ornaments unearthed from Fort Canning Hill in 1928 and 12 national treasures which date back to the 13th century. You’ll definitely come away with extra knowledge and new conversation fodder.

National Museum of Singapore, 93 Stamford Road, Singapore 178897. Free admission for Singaporeans and permanent residents.

Take a boat ride to Pulau Ubin
Escape the hustle and bustle of the city by taking a quick trip to Pulau Ubin. The 10 minute bumboat ride from Changi Point Ferry Terminal will set you back a mere $2 and the bike rentals to explore the island will deduct another $3, but the cost of enjoying a tranquil day in the middle of untouched landscapes? Priceless.

Changi Point Ferry Terminal, 51 Lor Bekukong, Singapore 499172

Broke Girls' Guide - MovieMob

Catch a movie under the stars
Go old school and spice up your movie watching experience with Movie Mob’s drive-in outdoor movie screenings. The concept revives the charm of the outdoor cinema of yesteryear, giving you the chance to watch movies under the stars in a different setting each fortnight. What’s more, you actually get to vote for the movies you’d like to watch at each screening. This definitely trumps a regular movie date at the local cineplex.

Various locations, (+65) 6225 6536,

Grab dinner at Lau Pa Sat
Sure it’s a little touristy and overcrowded, but really, what’s not to love about Lau Pa Sat? From roti parata to nasi lemak, satay and cendol, this historic 19th century wet market converted into a no-frills hawker centre is where you’ll be able to have a satisfying meal for less than $10.

Lau Pa Sat, 18 Raffles Quay, Singapore 048582

Enjoy $5 Happy Hour at Five Izakaya
In dire need of a tipple but don’t think your budget can handle the booze? Well Five Izakaya understands your predicament. This Tachinomi 300-Yen inspired bar serves up cocktails, Sakes and Asahi Draughts for a mere $5! That means you’re just 4 shots away from drowning your sorrows and having a damn good post 5pm.

FIVE Izakaya Bar, #01-05B 16 Collyer Quay, Singapore 049318, 

Unleash your inner Beyonce at the 10 Dollar Club
Let out your inner Beyonce with a karaoke session, mama! Being a city that loves its karaoke, Singapore has plenty of spots to sing your heart out, but if you want your dollar to cover as many songs as possible, look no further than the appropriately named 10 Dollar Club. For $10 per person, you’re entitled to 5 hours’ worth of karaoke, inclusive of free flow drinks.

10 Dollar Club, 35A Smith Street 3rd Floor, Singapore 058945, (+65) 6225 1231,

Broke Girls' Guide - Club Kyo

Dance the night away at Club Kyo
The best things in life are free, especially if you’re a lady at a club on a Wednesday. So round up your posse and head to Club Kyo in the CBD area where the lot of you can look forward to 3 drinks on the house while dancing and grinding to hip hop beats spinned by the best DJs in town. Even mamas have got to let loose every now and then, amirite?

Club Kyo, 133 Cecil St, Singapore 069535, (+65) 8299 8735

Lead image sourced via Pinterest. Image #2, #3, #5, #6, #7 sourced via respective websites and Facebook pages.

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