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8 things that become more expensive during Lunar New Year

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Ever wondered why and what things become more expensive during the annual Chinese New Year (CNY)? Some of the reasons include the rising cost of manpower, rents and raw materials which has caused an increase in prices of these festive goodies. Read on to find out more and share your thoughts with us!

1. Bak Kwa (Barbecued Pork)

This all-time favourite (apart from pineapple tarts and shrimp spring rolls) gets more expensive as the festive season draw nearer and nearer due to its price inelasticity of demand that allow retailers to increase the price of their good without worrying that demand will drop.

In lay man terms, this means that the price elasticity measures sensitiveness of people buying Bak Kwa given that there is a change in the price. If we see many people still buying Bak Kwa when the price has increased, then we know for sure that the price is inelastic. The same concept applies vice versa. It’s a very natural market condition that causes the price to go up. An unofficial “ceiling” will form – a price that, once reached, will be sufficient to actually turn customers away. However, prices are steadily rising because that ceiling seems to be rising every year.

Furthermore, as Bak Kwa falls under the category of perishable foods, they have a shorter shelf life which means that consumers are left with no choice but to buy it during peak season, even at a higher price. Prices of goods with longer shelf life are less susceptible to price hikes. For instance, the Yeo’s packet drinks have prices that remain stable, despite the increase in demand during festive times.

2. Homemade goodies – Pineapple tarts

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Unless you claim to be able to taste the stark differences between homemade pineapple tarts or factory-churned pineapple tarts, then getting homemade snacks may be better for you, especially if you’re the health conscious sort. In recent years, there has been an increasing number of people opting for homemade snacks. The “homemade” label tends to jack up costs by roughly 25%. This translates that a S$15 box of pineapple tarts would be around S$18 or S$20 instead.

3. Once-in-a-year Kueh Bangkit (Coconot Tapioca Cookies) or Love Letters 

A price hike during the festive peak period help retailers increase their total earning for that year. As these snacks can be unhealthy when consumed too much and are high in calories, the demand for such festive goods for the other months of the year will not be high.

In other words, the CNY period is the only time during the year where retailers can raise their revenue. Thus, it is only logical for them to increase the price during this time of the year to maximise their profits.

So, we strongly suggest that you buy these snacks after CNY if you want to save some money.

4. Red Packets, a.k.a. Ang Baos 

Let’s face it, no matter how the economy is every year, most of us still probably give away the same amount in each red packet. And according to market rates today, some say that “the days when you could get away with giving $2 are long gone. $10 seems to be the bare minimum these days, so get ready to feel the pinch.” Clearly, inflation is also the obvious reason why your great-grandparents could buy satay at three cents a stick and you can’t.

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5. Reunion Dinners – especially those with Fish, Scallops and Abalone

Evidently, bad weather this year is the key driver of prices for Fish, Scallops and Abalone.

The Chinese pomfret, hugely popular during this festive season, has doubled in price because of demand and supply factors.

Therefore, be prepared to dig in your pockets and fork out more for your meals this CNY!

6. Hair Cut and other grooming services (Manicure etc.)

Hair and nails become more expensive thanks to the usual CNY surcharge that most salons have. Check out these websites for salons with promotions and no additional surcharges to save you from burning a hole in your pocket this CNY!

Click here, here, here and here.

7. Tailored Clothes 

For those who have the habit of having brand new tailored clothes for CNY, why not visit boutique or outlet stores this year to grab cheap and good deals. Get a complete outfit for less than $40!

8. Travel 

More Singaporeans are travelling abroad during CNY, and are also paying more to their travel destinations. In 2017, to encourage more Singaporean families to stay home and spend time with their loved ones, Jetstar decided to waive off all change fees and fare differences to move flight departures on CNY to other dates.  Jetstar says “it will bear the costs for any and all valid applications (that are in accordance with its terms and conditions) for changes during these two days”.

Know of more items that are more expensive during the peak season of festivals? Share with us now! The Local Bytes wishes all our readers a prosperous and shining CNY!

 

 

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Jollibee is finally open at Waterway Point and the queues are insane

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It is no secret that Singaporeans love their fried chicken, especially the ones from the famous Filipino fast-food chain, Jollibee.

When people heard that an outlet would be opening at Waterway Point on 18 July (Friday), you can bet that many people were pretty excited about the news.

And to show their enthusiasm, some people started queueing outside the store from as early as 7.30am.

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Jollibee snapped some pictures of the insane queues and shared them on Facebook to show everyone how well-loved their fried chicken is.

One reason for the long queues was that the first 100 people in the line were entitled to the very adorable Jollibee pillows. The lucky first 5 customers managed to walk away with the limited edition Jollibee Funko POP! Figurine.

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So, if you’re a fried chicken lover and you live near Waterway Point, you definitely need to check Jollibee’s new outlet out (maybe after the queues have died down)!

Address: 83 Punggol Central, Singapore 828763
Opening Hours: 8am – 10pm
Nearest Station: Punggol

Photo credits: Jollibee Singapore

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Singapore’s first and only Hello Kitty themed cafe to shut down in 2019

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All good things come to an end — and so it shall be with Hello Kitty. Not the actual character of course, but the themed cafe inspired by the iconic feline character at Changi Airport Terminal 3. Earlier today, the 24-hour eatery announced in a Facebook post that they will officially shut its doors for good on February 8, 2019.

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Photo Credit: Hello Kitty Cafe Singapore / Facebook

This piece of news came as a shock to Hello Kitty’s throng of diehard fans, who queued up for hours on the cafe’s opening day in May 2016 just to snap selfies with the beloved character. No statement has been issued as to why Hello Kitty Orchard Garden would be closing down, but according to operator Europa Specialty Restaurant, an end of licensing and partnership with Sanrio is the reason for closure.

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Photo Credit: Hello Kitty Cafe Singapore / Facebook

To mark its departure, the cafe will be throwing tea parties over two weekends in December. It’ll be all fun and games, and don’t forget to savour their feline-shaped waffles and smoked salmon quiche for one last time.

Photo Credit: Hello Kitty Cafe Singapore / Facebook

However, be prepared to spend. A ticket for two sells at $138, and it comes with food and drinks, limited edition Orchids For You figurines and exclusive thank-you cards autographed by Hello Kitty herself.

Guess goodbye really comes at a cost. Buy your tickets here.

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Popular influencer NasDaily releases video celebrating Singapore

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After making a surprise announcement that he was coming to Singapore to film a video, popular travel vlogger NasDaily releases a one miniature long video celebrating all the things we take for granted as citizens of the little red dot.

Nas is famously known for his daily one minute videos which he uploads on his Facebook page, NasDaily. The influencer is known for travelling all over the world and learning about cultures and practices and then making videos about them to educate his viewers.

On Tuesday (21 Aug), Nas put out a post on Facebook announcing that he was visiting Singapore on 22 August and asked fans to gather outside the Singapore Indoor Stadium to be part of his video.

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On the day, over 700 people turned up to be part of this experience.

The video, which was released on 23 August, is entitled “Why I Hate Singapore” and it basically celebrates Singapore’s ethnic diversity as well as many things that Singaporeans take for granted such as the food and the fact that we have drinkable and clean water running from our taps.

While the video acknowledged problems Singaporeans face such as inequality and the high cost of living, it did so in a way that glossed over the problems and encouraged people to appreciate what we have.

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At the event meet up itself, which was changed from outside the Esplanade to the Singapore Sports Hub, which agreed to help the star to shoot his video without break-in any anti-gathering laws, participants got to enjoy Nas’s highly energetic self.

The vlogger talked with fans and gave them a glimpse into what producing his videos took.

Despite the crowd, fans were thrilled to be part of this journey with Nas.

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