Small savings add up to sizeable amount

SINGAPORE - The Sunday Times compared the prices of popular items favoured by Singapore shoppers in Johor Baru with similar items at FairPrice Xtra.

The team paid RM34.42 (S$13.80) for six items - Chipsmore cookies, Koko Krunch cereal, a pack of six Kit Kat chocolates, Gardenia white bread, a bottle of St Dalfour jam and Lipton teabags - from Tesco supermarket at KSL City Mall, a favourite shopping stop with Singaporeans in JB.

The same items cost $18.95 at FairPrice Xtra here.

The total savings? $5.15.

A bottle of Coke that usually costs $1.90 in Singapore goes for RM2.19 (S$0.88) in JB.

Also a pack of 100 pieces of house brand paper serviettes at FairPrice Xtra - at nex mall in Serangoon - costs $0.75, compared with RM1.30 (S$0.52) for a similar-sized packet from Tesco supermarket in JB.

A bundle of FairPrice beehoon or rice vermicelli costs $1.15 here compared with RM1.59 (S$0.64) in JB.

Taken as a whole, the $5.15 savings might not seem a lot, but Singapore shoppers interviewed said the few cents of savings for each item all add up to a sizeable amount when they buy in bulk.

Popular grocery items included bread, milk and tidbits.

Dollars and cents aside, shoppers interviewed said they look upon a shopping trip to JB as a convenient getaway from Singapore, even if they have to battle the traffic jam at the Causeway to get to the malls.

The Sunday Times team took more than an hour to get across the Causeway last Thursday.

Storekeeper Micheal Samy, 52, spoke for many Singapore shoppers when he said: "The moment we cross the border, we just feel stress- free and more relaxed."

Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to straitstimes.com for more stories.