5 Tips To Save Money ‘Dabao-ing’ Food
One thing for sure as Singaporeans is that we love a good discount when we see one. Especially when that comes to food, as you often see long queues waiting when a shop does a promotion like 1 for 1 specials.
I’m a little bit of a bargain hunter but I tend to find the most efficient way possible. That means spending as little time to save the most money as possible.
Especially during these times when the circuit breaker in 2020 and with the Phase 2 heightened alert that kicked in May 2021, everyone is looking to save more money when money may be rather tight.
For one, not everyone can afford delivery every single day as well. So these options are for those who are willing to go out and ‘dabao’ their food.
Personally, these options have helped me save a lot of time and money while being able to eat more ‘atas’ food at cheaper prices.
Without further ado, here are some platforms that I use personally
While there’s both Shopee, Lazada and Qoo10 that do the same thing, I prefer using Shopee more so I’ll talk more about that here.
All three e-commerce platforms actually have food deals that you can purchase, like cheaper bubble teas, snacks, and even full meals.
For shopee, you’ll want to click the ‘deal near me’ to access the category (Note the name of this category keeps changing).
Recently, Shopee has been aggressive in getting merchants on board and I’m seeing more familiar brands on the platform. It doesn’t matter where you stay because there will definitely be deals near you.
Some of the more popular ones are like the $0.99 bubble tea as you can see in the picture below. Usually the deals that are priced $0.99 and below sell like hotcakes. You can see that there are many snacks you can get at these prices, too.
Some familiar brands like EAT and Encik Tan have recently come on board offering meals at less than $4 which make it very affordable as well.
I have to say I got pretty addicted to it for a while buying up all the $0.49 and $0.99 deals for quite a bit. Ended up redeeming a lot of bread, bubble tea and curry puff (from Old Chang Kee) for about a month 😂
Grab & Foodpanda Pickup
I actually talked about this in my previous article on Grab & Foodpanda Hacks
In case you didn’t know, you can use these food delivery platforms to order food then choose to do a self pick up. With that, you get to save on delivery fees and get a discount on your meal as well.
The best part is saving time as you don’t need to wait for your order to be ready when you’re doing a traditional takeaway.
As of now, Foodpanda offers a 20% off pick up while Grabfood offers a 25% off pick up.
Grab has been extending this promo ever since April but recently brought the discount down from 30% to 25%. Nonetheless, it is still very worth it!
One thing to take note is the marked up prices on these food delivery platforms, and it’s good to have a rough idea how much the food costs when you order directly. Most of the time, the discount will outweigh the markup which still results in an overall net saving still.
Most importantly, you don’t need to wait around the store for your food. Another benefit is being able to earn credit card rewards if you’re using one, and Grabreward points for Grab.
This is very similar to point 1 where you can buy vouchers to redeem at your favourite stores, and get a small cashback (typically 1%) while buying each deal.
One great thing about Shopback is the promotions that are constantly running. As of writing this article, there’s a mid year promotion where you get a scratchcard if you buy deals from participating brands and get a chance to earn up to $66 cashback.
During this period too, there’s a mark on the deals which allow you to takeaway as well which makes it easier for users to identify the takeaway deals pretty easily too.
You can join their telegram group where they highlight the latest deals and promotion as well: https://t.me/SBMoolahSavers
Just Dabao is a platform that aims to help users save money while reducing food wastage for the vendors. The result is a win-win combination for both parties!
Typically, what you’re buying are things that may be unsold by the shop at the end of the day. With that, you don’t really have a choice of selecting your food.But the big thing is that you get to save up to 70% off your meal which is pretty good savings in my opinion!
One thing to take note is that picking up the orders are usually at a limited time slot only so do take note before placing your orders.
Also take note that the shops aren’t identified until you make your purchase too, but you can get a rough idea as it tells you how far the shop is when you walk from the nearest MRT.
Right now, Just Dabao only has a website but it seems like they’ll be launching an app pretty soon.
Food ‘Lobang’ chats on Telegram
Personally, I could never keep track of all the food deals out there on the market.
Thankfully, there are a few chat groups that were set up to do the job for you in finding the best and latest food deals on Telegram.
Some of these deals are exclusive too, which means a merchant could have partnered with the group to promote their store.
Best of all, you get all this data for free just by joining the group. Just make sure to mute the channel if you get too many notifications!
TAKE NOTE: Both Circles.Life and I are not affiliated with any of these chat groups. I am just recommending them based on my personal experiences. I do not earn any commission from recommending these groups as well.
Good Lobang: http://bit.ly/goodlobang
SG Food Lobang: https://t.me/sgfoodlobang
SG Food Deals: https://t.me/sgfooddeals
SG Kiasu Foodies: https://t.me/kiasufoodies
Hope this article gives you some idea on how you can save some money while eating more delicious food at the same time.
Personally I have been using the Grab pick up and shopee deals quite a lot recently because I get to try new food options as well.
Some of my best deals were probably $0.99 bubble tea from various brands, $1 – $2 on Domino’s Personal Pan Pizza, and ordering steak for less than $20 at a decent place.
Also, I have been ordering more from my local businesses that support such platforms especially during this period too. It’s a great way for me to save money and support them as well in this crucial time.
In the end, it really comes down to saving money smartly while getting to explore new shops out of your usual food choices too.
Terence is a freelancer who does many things including writing for blogs, investing, digital marketing, and helping out his family business.
He has been a big Circles.Life fan ever since joining the network in 2016 and has helped write for the Circles.Life blog ever since the launch. He hopes to inspire and help other people make better lifestyle choices, and help them improve their quality of their lifestyle as a result (sometimes even while saving money!).