Studying at ESSEC Asia-Pacific may offer the chance for adventures around the region, but one cannot help but wonder: How affordable is it to live in Singapore?

As ESSEC Student Ambassadors Abhiraj Verma, Chloe Wang, and Faith Melgar have found, it’s manageable. Plenty of ways to cut living costs daily and stretch the international student dollar a little further. Here’s how:

1 | Dine at the Food Court

First, choose food courts and hawker centers instead of restaurants and cafes, Master in Management (MiM) student Abhiraj declares.

“The quality is good, the taste is good, and you have so much variety that you try something different each day,” he elaborates, adding that he’s found stalls that serve excellent Thai, Japanese, and Chinese food at food courts.

Importantly, food courts are a far cheaper option. Visiting a restaurant, trying a café, or having food delivered will cost at least SG$20 per meal—more than the average cost of having three meals at hawker centers or food courts!

2 | Find a Good Loyalty Program

Of all the loyalty programs available in Singapore, Master in Strategy and Management of International Business (SMIB) student Faith’s favorite is yuu Singapore.

Yuu can be used at convenience stores like 7-Eleven, supermarkets like FairPrice and Giant, food courts, and some dining establishments.

This makes it easy for students to stack points and score discounts quickly.

3 | Shop Just Before Closing

Another tip Faith has is to go grocery shopping near closing when shops are eager to eliminate perishable items.

For example, sushi at supermarket counters can be reduced by up to 50 percent in the evenings, and bread shops also offer discounts on food near closing hours.

She adds, “At BreadTalk, for example, they sometimes have sales where the bread is around just a dollar!”

“Looking at accommodations with friends is great because not only is it fun to stay together, it’s also more affordable because you can share the cost of living together,” she advises.

4 | Take a Trip to Johor Bahru

To save costs, some ESSEC students also visit the neighboring Johor Bahru (JB) in Malaysia for more affordable shopping and leisure options.

“We managed to have a great massage at an affordable price and then went to an all-you-can-eat Japanese sashimi and barbecue place,” Chloe Wang, a Master in Finance (MiF) student, recalls of a recent trip.

Johor Bahru is easily accessible by car, bus, or train, and a trip costs less than SG$5. So, while it might take more time, the cost savings are arguably highly worthwhile! Just avoid peak periods like Friday or Sunday evenings or public holidays.