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'I'm moving to SG, what will I miss, what should I bring?'

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'I'm moving to SG, what will I miss, what should I bring?'

Postby JR8 » Sun, 28 Apr 2013 2:20 am

I'm currently planning my 3rd relo into Singapore. I'm not a shopper by nature, but I hate feeling like I'm being fleeced. These days I instinctively enter into some form of 'shop-mode' in the month or two before a move.

With that in mind, I thought I'd open a topic, regarding stuff that is worthwhile freighting in with you from your respective home country. My personal focus is small everyday staple items, that are impossible, hard, or relatively very expensive to get locally. It's not about sweating the small-stuff, more about having familiar trusted products, and saving potential hassle and saving significant $.

On the shopping list in Europe right now, (all of which bar the Barilla and cooking stock cost peanuts, most under e0.50 each here):

Tubes of tomato puree, mustard, and mayo [e0.30c each?]
Pots of powdered quality beef, chicken, and veg stock powder. [e1.00 each?]
Tetrapaks of good passierte. (tomato puree, for cooking DIY pasta sauce). [e0.50 each]
A dozen+ under-arm deodorants. [30c each]
Half a dozen bars of soap [25c each]
Two big boxes of ear-buds. [50c each]
Barilla pasta [don't recall, but it is great pasta and not expensive in Europe]

And so on and so on. These are just obvious things I know will save money as they will all get used within year #1. Importantly they won't add to freight costs, as they'll all tuck into part-filled packing cases.

There are so many possibilities you tend never consider until you're in-country, marinades, herbs, shoe polishes, DIY tools, clothes.... ... ...

All of this said, I just know that we'll get back to Singapore and then still go 'Oh damn we should have brought.... ' all over again.... :)

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Postby Brah » Sun, 28 Apr 2013 8:19 am

Haven't had coffee yet but the first thing that comes to mind is shoes.

More than half the crap here is 90-100% plastic. Plastic soles on quasi leather shoes? Nope, not for me. Actual leather shoes are a ridiculous $400-$700 and upwards.

And other basic clothing items. Just paid $24 for two underwear Ts, I think one can get a 3-pack for $10 or less in the States.

Plus CDs, DVDs, etc.

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Postby x9200 » Sun, 28 Apr 2013 9:21 am

For things like tomato puree is it really worth your time to do the shopping, packing and whatever "logistic" it may take or you find what is in CS and similar of substandard quality? Unless you are going to import the quantities that would attract attention of the customs your total savings will be probably below $S100-150.
If this would be me I would focus on the goods that are hard to get around in a good variety/quality like the mentioned deodorants, some "dried" sausages, sweets/chocolate; plus what Brah mentioned.

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Postby nutnut » Sun, 28 Apr 2013 9:47 am

Can you bring me some tins of Haggis? about a dozen?
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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sun, 28 Apr 2013 12:18 pm

Every time I go to the US or my daughter does, I get several 16 oz tins of Old Bay Seasoning, several Old Spice Original Deodorant sticks, Maybe several boxes of Triscuits as well. When I go back I always, like Brah mentioned, buy a couple of packages of underwear (t's, singlets, & briefs). Will also buy a couple pairs of Levi's as well.

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Postby zzm9980 » Sun, 28 Apr 2013 3:10 pm

Underwear, shoes, socks, and deodorant. Blue jeans also, but I'm not sure how cheap those are in Europe. Levi's are $30-50 in the US, and 'designer' jeans are regularly 50% off whatever the cost is here. I guess just make it "clothing" in general.

I used to also get shaving cream as I like the tubes and not the aerosel cans of it, but recently found some "organic" from NZ shaving cream at cold storage that is actually really nice.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sun, 28 Apr 2013 4:35 pm

Yep, that's the one I forgot. "Headblade" shaving cream. In fact I have 3 8 oz bottles enroute at the moment!

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Postby beppi » Sun, 28 Apr 2013 4:55 pm

I brought a proper bread baking machine and several packs of (German) dark bread flour mix. We Germans have a special relationship to bread (sliced toast is NOT bread in our vocabulary!) and you can't get the necessary ingredients anywhere in Singapore!
There are more things I sorely miss, though, when I am back in Europe (edible seafood is one of them!).

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Postby JR8 » Mon, 29 Apr 2013 5:00 am

@X9:
Well the shop is diagonally opposite us across the road, and I go about 3 times a week. So all it involves, is that rather than just getting the usual milk and beer (:wink:), I walk up and down all 4 short aisles and think ...’Anything worth taking back to SG...?’. Yes tomato puree is worth it, as there is no additional incremental time involved in buying it here, or cost in freighting it. Savings of ‘S$ few hundred’ for almost nil effort - oh yes I’m very happy with that. I’ve said it before... ‘Look after the pennies/cents, and the pounds/dollars look after themselves’. I’ll indirectly fund say a 3-5 day dive trip to Tioman, simply by 1hr of thought and action back here.

If there were other bigger things I foresee needing, then of course I would get them too, but there aren't. I have all the clothes I consider that I need. All the shoes I’ll ever need (my formal ones are Church’s brand, costly up front, but they last a a lifetime, most of mine I’ve had 20+yrs, my dad has ones he’s had 50+ years. p.s. Ah you remind me, I should bring a stack of decent chocolate for cooking chocolate cakes/desserts etc! Thx :)


@Nut2:
I don’t think they are likely to sell it here! And if they did it would be at the local version of Harrods and likely cost more than @ the Swiss Butcher in HV!

@ZZM:
I haven’t bought jeans for a long while, as I buy quality (Levis), and take care of them, so they last. I asked my wife what 501s cost in the UK, and she reckons around £80 (c.US$125)!

It used to be popular in the 90s, when BA and Virgin were having a price-war on the Trans-Atlantic routes (London-NYC R/T maybe £200-250), to do shopping weekends in NYC. Load up on Levi’s, Timberlands, sports gear, and as a result the trip paid for itself and more.

@Beppi:
Yes I discovered loaves of ‘light rye bread’ quite late on in life, in London, but heavens it is a thing of wonder :D. Right now my wife enjoys sliced wholemeal, so I have that, and then the occasional loaf of pre-sliced light-rye that goes well with things like pickled herring, pate, and cured hams. It’s a shame I can’t bring any with us back to SG! :wink:

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Postby QRM » Mon, 29 Apr 2013 10:47 am

A word of warning though we brought tons of preserved food stuff. You will be surprised how quickly time flies when you arrive in a new place, before you know it all the tinned tomatoes, foe gras, confit, etc all have to go into the bin because of the expired sell by dates.

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Postby the lynx » Mon, 29 Apr 2013 11:21 am

I'd imagine baby products are the killer. I walk around United Square (supposedly the baby/family mall), and every single baby item is always very expensive. I always wonder how the locals survive being new parents here.

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Postby bgd » Mon, 29 Apr 2013 12:03 pm

A Brompton (folding bike) is $1,000 cheaper in the UK.

If you are that way inclined it might be worth pricing sports gear before you come out.


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