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5 Places You Can Go for Cheap and Affordable Necessities

(This article was originally published on the 8th July 2017 and updated on the 5th December 2019). 

The price of things is increasing beyond our control. Although many of us can go without luxuries, there are still many necessities we cannot do without. These include groceries for the kitchen, clothing, toiletries, household items and more. There are many ways you can cut down on your monthly spending based on these essentials.

One of the ways you can try to save is to choose the right places to shop. You may notice that the items are about 10 to 30cents cheaper at these budget shopping places. But, a little goes a long way! Save whenever you can. Without further ado, here are some suggestions of affordable shopping destinations you can try out!

For Fresh Vegetables, Meats and Seafood

Photo by Mael Balland

Nothing beats the price at your local morning markets and these are the best places to get your money’s worth in terms of freshness and variety. Meat is often freshly slaughtered and fish shipped in straight from the coasts. The vegetables you find here are often larger and much more blemish free compared to those you find elsewhere.

The only downside would perhaps be the timing of the markets since it only opens in the morning when most office workers are rushing off to work. You can wake up earlier or do your shopping during the weekends and stock up on raw ingredients.

Some places may have fresh markets running at night, also known as your local ‘Pasar Malam’. You might expect more crowd here as these night markets are pretty popular with various vendors selling cooked food and raw ingredients. Their prices are pretty much the same as the morning markets and they offer an equally good array of fresh ingredients.

Dried Ingredients

Photo by Lily Daily

For items like salted fish, ‘belacan’, noodles, preserved vegetables and more, you can explore the morning markets too. But if you are looking for canned food, snacks, frozen cooked food, instant noodles and more, a hypermarket would have a wider variety of brands which you can compare prices.

Hardware and DIY items

Photo by The Malaysian Reserve

It is always good to tackle small issues at home by yourself. For instance, issues like leaky taps, damaged light bulbs, spoiled door knobs and so on. This is one strategy to cut down on your monthly expenditures. One place you can find the tools and components you need is at DIY shops like MR. DIY. They offer very affordable options for components and tools which are almost half the price of foreign hardware chains that have been appearing in recent years.

Miscellaneous Household Products

Photo by Aeon Retail

Japanese dollar stores like Daiso offers household items (cleaning and laundry), kitchen and dining (cutlery, kitchen storage, cooking tools, etc.), stationary, health and beauty (cosmetics, accessories, containers, etc.) and more. Everything in their store is priced at RM5.90 (price is accurate at the point it is written).

Their variety of products spoil customers with many choices. Most of their products undergo stringent quality checks so you do not have to worry about value for money. Moreover, there are also other Korean dollar stores like Yubiso and KIODA selling toiletries, skin care and cosmetics with relatively affordable prices but with high quality, so you may want to check those out.

Clothing and Fabrics

Photo by Becca McHaffie

As the saying goes, ‘One man’s thrash is another man’s treasure’. That’s right, for clothing, bundle stores usually offer affordable prices. Most of the time, bundle items are unique or ‘rare’ as they are directly imported from the US or Japan mostly.

A Japanese preloved item and clothing store called Jalan-Jalan Japan has plenty of Japanese made items sold for less than RM10 per piece. They have 3 outlets in Kuala Lumpur and 1 in Negeri Sembilan. One of their current event called the ‘TaPauSab’ will be held on the last Saturday of every month. Customers can fill their bags with for only RM5 for 1 bag and RM10 for 3 bags. For example, 39 items are able to be squeezed into 3 bags which translates to about 21cents for a piece of clothing.

One option for affordable formal and work clothing would be to shop online. You would have the flexibility to compare prices before making a decision. For instance, you can directly purchase items from Taobao through agent sites like ezbuy, buy2taobao, sgshop and more. Most of the online boutiques in Malaysia import goods from China, hence if you order it directly, the price would be cheaper. Also, check out our article on ways you can spend smartly and stay stylish.

For fabric that you need to turn into curtains, table cloths or to tailor into an outfit, head over to Nilai Square and Nilai 3 as they have the most varied selections. You will find the most competitive prices there as well as store upon store of any and every type of fabrics you need. Another area to explore for fabric is Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman near the SOGO shopping center.

In conclusion, with some discipline and self control, you can always bring down your expenditures and still live comfortably within your means. Start building life-changing habits through tiny changes everyday.

This article is prepared by Direct Lending, an online personal lending platform with the mission to provide simple, safe and affordable financing to all hardworking adults. We help borrowers to find, apply and receive financing that most suit them. Our service is 100% free. 

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