How S'poreans fight food price hike

By Rachel Scully

It's been years since they last ate at a restaurant, and special occasions are celebrated at a hawker centre close to their home.

33-year-old Merry Sumeily is a mother of two who lives in a 4-room flat in Ang Mo Kio. Her husband is the sole breadwinner and brings home an average of $1,500 per month. Of that, about $350 to $400 is spent on groceries and food items.

To combat the recent price hikes, Merry and her family have two dishes, instead of three for dinner. And to save more money, they have switched from rice to porridge for dinner since December last year.

Merry also happens to be a benefactor of the "Talking Dollars and Sense" workshop organised by the People's Association.

Chief trainer, Tess Lim started this programme nearly seven years ago in April 2004 to educate lower-income families on budgeting. She has since helped over 2,000 families and taught them ways to manage their finances, including reducing their grocery bill.

Be it a twenty-cents increase in the price of a piece of fruit, or a two-dollar increase for a bottle of cooking oil, Tess offers reassurance that rising food prices have yet to severely change consumption behaviour among the families she's helped.

So how has rising food prices affected Singaporeans?

RazorTV brings you stories straight from the heartlands on this week's Point Blank, as well as tips on how you can stretch your dollar.