Just spent $20 on an eatigo KBBQ Buffet with your friends? Or maybe an impulsive $5.60 bubble tea with your favourite toppings? Time to save on your meal budget with some budget meals while in school! Given the many ongoing renovation of NUS canteens (eg. Business School, Engineering School), there are limited choices for the NUS peeps. Today, we will be introducing 5 budget meals around NUS that are worthy and delicious.

Takoyaki Balls from YIH ($2.80)

First up, we have Takoyaki Balls from the YIH canteen. ($2.80)

This meal is mainly for people with a smaller appetite but definitely a very worthy meal with generous servings of dried bonito flakes. A set of 5 Takoyaki balls costs merely $2.80. If you are looking for something light as an afternoon snack, this is a good choice!

1. Central Square

Location: Yusof Ishak House Level 2
Seating Capacity: 363
Number of stalls: 11
Term Time & Vacation Operating Hours:
Mon-Fri, 8.00am-8.00pm
Sat, 8.00am-3.00pm
Sun/PH closed


Duck Rice from Fine Food ($3.80)

Next, we have duck rice/char siew rice at UTown’s Fine Food ($3.80).

To be honest, UTown’s food is not cheap, so if you happen to be hungry while hanging around UTown, the best proper food that is not instant noodles from FairPricexpress, will be this duck rice set with a bowl of warm herbal soup to warm your tummy. If you are feeling hungry and want something more filling, this would be a good option!


2. Fine Food

Location: Town Plaza
Seating Capacity: 410
Number of Stalls: 14
Term Time & Vacation Operating Hours:
Mon-Sun, 7.00am-10.00pm


Yong Tau Foo from UTown’s Flavours ($4.60)

The third budget meal on our list will be Yong Tau Foo from UTown’s Flavours @ UTown.

An average bowl of Yong Tau Foo with noodles of a great selection cost around $4.60. On top of the many usual Yong Tau Foo ingredients like dumplings, vegetables filled with fresh fish paste, it is one of the few stalls that I have seen offering soft boiled eggs as well as the usual hard-boiled ones.  A surprisingly filling and satisfying meal. The laksa soup is highly recommended if you are looking for something flavourful for a change.


3. Flavours @ UTown

Location: UTown Stephen Riady Centre
Seating Capacity: 700
Number of Stalls: 10

Cheong Fun Set from 2359 Li Ji Coffeehouse ($4.00)

Moving on to the second last budget meal around NUS, it will be the freshly made Cheong Fun Set ($4.00) from 2359 Li Ji Coffeehouse. This set comes with a choice of either char siew, prawns, sliced fish or eggs with vegetables. Personally, Chee Cheong Fun with prawns never go wrong and it is especially compatible with my favourite cup of Kopi C Kosong which comes with the set. If you are on a budget and would want to enjoy a complete set of food with some protein, vegetables and a drink, this is a good deal!

Credit: Liji Coffeehouse Menu

4. 2359 Li Ji Coffeehouse

Location: UTown SRC
Term Time Operating Hours:
Mon-Fri, 11.00am-1.00am
Sat/Sun/PH, 11.00am-10.00pm
Vacation Operating Hours:
Mon-Sun, 11.00am-9.00pm



PGP Mala ($5.00)

Last and definitely not least, the one and only PGP Mala! (There are actually 2 PGP mala stores, but the non-airconditioned one is the one we are talking about.) If you are a Mala lover, this is probably one of the most budgeted Mala that you can find in NUS. The minimum order is $5.00 which is good if you are craving for your weekly Mala. However, the joy of mala is sharing with a group of common “la”-ness pals and this usually ends up with $3.00-$6.00 per person. The ingredients are hand-picked literally by the Mala store auntie instead of the common weighing method, allowing you to make informed decisions of how much you are spending as you can decide if you want a $0.50 or $1.00 portion of golden mushrooms. They also have a good variety of ingredients and an authentic mala taste that will make you go want to go back once a week!




5. Foodclique

Location: PGPR
Seating Capacity: 318
Number of Stalls: 13
Term Time & Vacation Operating Hours:
Mon-Sun, 7.00am-9.30pm



Bonus: If you happen to be craving for a cup of bubble tea to end off your meal, flashing your student pass at the Li Ho Singapore bubble tea shop (located outside central square, YIH), grants you a $2.00 Milk Tea with pearls. Definitely a sweet ending to a budgeted meal!

Credit: Liho Brands

This is the end of the 5 budget meals in NUS, hope these can help you save some money while filling that tummy 🙂

This article is written by Ho Kar Yern a Year 2 accounting student from National University of Singapore who loves a good cup of coffee and weekly mala sessions ~