Budget 2019 has come and gone. While the rest of us are looking at the important notes like the GST vouchers and the Personal Income Tax Rebates, I'm going to be looking at something even more important.
My alcohol allowance.
Granted, I'm not much of a drinker (if at all), but because other people in my household loves their liquor, I always end up buying some when I travel.
I didn't maximise those three litres when I had them, but it still feels like a bit of a blow when I can't get three litres any longer.
Here's how you can maximise your allowance and still get cheaper alcohol.
WHAT IS YOUR NEW DUTY FREE ALCOHOL ALLOWANCE (FROM 1 APRIL 2019)?
From 1st April 2019, if you're travelling back to Singapore, your duty free allowance is now two litres of alcohol.
Here's how you can split those two litres:
WHAT IS UNDER THE ALCOHOL ALLOWANCE IN SINGAPORE?
Liquor purchased in and outside of Singapore will count towards your allowance.
If you're coming back from Malaysia, there won't be any duty-free concession for you.
If you're getting liquors to drink to your health or for cooking purposes, they still fall under the duty free allowance as follows:
WHAT SHOULD YOU STILL BUY IN DUTY FREE?
There's a reason why so many of us go straight to the Spirits when we're shopping at the Duty Free shops.
They're often thought to be cheaper than what we can find outside.
But a quick check at the supermarket near the office shows that alcohol prices aren't really astronomical.
If you love your spirits, get hard liquor at duty free. Why, you ask? Because alcohol can be cheaper in supermarket.
HOW CAN I BUY CHEAP ALCOHOL IN SUPERMARKETS?
Wines can be bought for $20 (I even saw one that was selling at $16), and as for spirits… I found a Johnnie Walker Black Label (700ml) for $67, The Botanist gin (700ml) at $78, and a 12 year "The Singleton" at $69. Granted, that last one was one sale.
Of course, at Duty Free you can find things like a Johnnie Walker Red Label (1 litre) for $30. The 1 litre bottle of The Botanist gin is $71.80. The prices don't seem that different at first glance, but the difference between a 700ml bottle and a 1 litre one is what makes that price difference count.
You can also wait for sales at supermarkets. At NTUC, you could even get wines for $10 during sales periods.
WHERE CAN I BUY CHEAP ALCOHOL ACCORDING TO OUR SMARTER WAY COMMUNITY?
1. Wait for warehouse sales. There was a recent warehouse sale at Cellarbration at the end of last year with up to 60 per cent retail price. It's also what our Smarter Way Community Member does when he's here in Singapore. He reccommends going to The Drinkery. "They distribute a few American craft beer labels here and they occasionally hold clearance sales at their MacPherson warehouse. You can also sample the beers. If you buy six-packs and cases it can be cheaper, sometimes as little as $3 a can or bottle."
2. If you're a fan of Japanese whiskeys and sakes, Don Don Donki sells them at a cheaper rate.
3. Ang Mo Supermarket - which is an actual heartland supermarket and not a supermarket that ang mohs frequent - also has a selection of cheaper alcohol.
TRY DELIVERY SERVICES FROM DIRECT DISTRIBUTORS:
Direct distributors are an open secret when it comes to cheap alcohol.
Some of them, like Wines N Spirits and Magnum, also supplies to bars and pubs.
COMBINE YOUR DUTY FREE ALLOWANCES WITH FRIENDS AND FAMILY
This is the easiest way to increase your duty free allowance without actually increasing it.
If you're travelling with people who don't utilise their alcohol allowances, then ask if you can use their duty free allowances to get an extra bottle.
WHERE DO YOU GET CHEAPER ALCOHOL HERE?
Though alcohol in Singapore can never be as cheap as in other countries, but with a little ingenuity, you can find alcohol that's easy on your wallet.
Don't let the new alcohol duty free allowance get you down!
This article was first published in Shopback.