The Chinese New Year can be a nightmare for parents, especially single parents. Besides the blatant snide remarks from nasty relatives, single parents also struggle with time management (shuttling the child to and fro the other parent’s place) and money. It is easier to overspend during the festive season on food, new clothes for your child and financing the ang pows.
Nonetheless, there are money-saving tips all around, and we are sharing five of them with you right now!
1. Buying your abalone only when there is a sale
For many of the Chinese, eating abalone during the Chinese New Year is necessary and is considered to signify a prosperous year ahead. For grown children, bringing this delicious delicacy as a gift to their parents are also somewhat popular. If you are finding abalone to be unaffordable at the moment, wait for a sale. Many brands are vying for your dollars during the festival, so watch out for good deals and remember to compare the prices from different stores before buying.
2. Buy your Bak Kwa early and do not choose a popular brand
For many, bak kwa (or BBQ pork slices) is a must for Chinese New Year. That is why the prices for bak kwa shoot up at least 30% during the festive season. The best way to save on the cost of bak kwa is to buy them one month in advance and deep-freeze them. When Chinese New Year comes along, thaw the bak kwa and pop them into the toaster to warm them up again. If you find that too bothersome, we have another idea. Do not buy bak kwa – eat them at your relatives’ house!
3. Buy food from the wholesale market or online stores
It is essential to know where you should shop for food during the Chinese New Year. It is typical for both fresh and dried food to increase in prices as demand for them raise fairly quickly. A way to circumvent this price hike is to shop at wholesale markets and online stores. Band a few friends or family members together and shop for the needed food to bring the price down with bulk purchases. Online platforms such as Qoo10 are also an excellent place to look for bargains!
4. Do not buy ang bao packets
It is tempting to buy cute ang pows packets to give them to your child and the young ones in the family. While it is lovely to give an ang pow with your child’s favourite cartoon character on it, it serves no other purpose than to put money inside. Therefore, ditch that idea and get the free ones instead! Most banks will print these ang pows packets during Chinese New Year, and they do give them out free if you ask nicely! Just approach the various banks, and you will soon have a bulging bag full of empty ang pow packets to use.
5. Look for good bargains when buying your Chinese New Year goodies
Do not buy the expensive bottle of pineapple tarts that you see in a speciality store. It is likely to cost you an arm and a leg just for 12 pieces of pineapple tarts that are too sweet for your liking. Instead, choose your goodies wisely in local bakeries in Chinatown. There is also a street bazaar that you can visit to find a cheaper alternative for that bottle of pineapple tarts. If you have the time, pop over to Johor Bahru and buy them at less than half the price! AEON Tebrau City, KSL City and City Square Mall are all great places to shop. If all else fails and you have a head for baking, why not make your own pineapple tarts? After all, homemade is the best alternative for a healthier option!
We hope the tips above are helpful to you! If you have other money-saving tips, share it with us!