The peak period

Not just mega sales during Christmas but online sales like 11/11, 12/12, and particularly Chinese New Year. It's the most hectic period for all online merchants. From renovation to selling furniture, abalone, vegetables, dried goods, clothes, cars and many more, I believe most sellers will be happy and tiring during such times.

I am also happy to see my business taking off.

A summary on 5% co-payment of insurance for Integrated Shield Plan (IP)

Why the need to impose co-payment?
It was 100% full riders coverage previously and I have blogged about the different prices of different insurance companies. However, premiums have increased by up to 80% due to a small group of people abusing the system, so the rest of us have to pay for higher premiums unfairly.

Snackfirst - Review by A Path to Forever Financial Freedom (3Fs)

I've known Jes for a long time since she started blogging donkey years ago.

The good thing about being in the community is you get like minded people who goes through different stages of life together.

When we became parents, we shared tips on where to get the cheapest stroller, and how to get a good nanny and babysitter and many more.

Last year during the Investfair, I even had a chance to share the same stage with her. We talked about the segment investing in our 30s.

Jes left her job last year and started her own snack business.

I've always wanted to give it a try but did not manage to do so until recently when I decided to purchase a few snacks from her site.

It's an old school type of snacks that has various different types of flavors.

You can choose to look around and order via her website here if interested.

I have a personal weakness for snacks.

I always love something to bite when I'm writing or watching the news and I try to find for good quality snacks most of the time.

So when I chanced upon Snackfirst, I bought a packet of Satay Sunkissed Cashew (1kg), a packet of the normal Sunkissed Cashew (200g) and a packet of the Cheesy Cashew (200g).

Personally, I feel the cheesy cashew has a very unique taste and is a close proxy if you like to eat pasta. The taste grows on you after a while and you just cannot stop eating.

The satay cashew is the most popular among all and both my wife and children enjoyed them too, taking turns to take bites at the crunchy peanuts.

I also love the packaging very much because it helps to keep the nuts crunchy while sealing them closely.

As a friend, I'd like to see her business flourish but I think she and her team deserves it not because of that but because of the efforts and quality of the products they've put in.

With chinese new year just around the corner, perhaps you can give it a try for you and your family. Just make sure you don't get addicted!

Thanks for reading.

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This article first appeared on the blog of Forever Financial Freedom (3Fs). Thank you B for the nice review and personal support in SnackFirst. I first met B at the Invest Fair last year and got to know him as quite a friendly and down-to-earth person. Definitely his blog is one to follow regarding passive income and best of all, he shares the information for free without any ulterior motive. Do take a look at his blog!

My Way Of Paying It Forward by 15HWW

It’s been 3.5 years since I left my cushy, well-paying first job in the government service. With nothing concrete lined up then, it was a step into the unknown. A leap of faith.
On hindsight, I took a huge risk.
But well, I was deeply unhappy with my lifestyle and drastic action was necessary. These days, I count my blessings that things have turned out rather well as a full-time freelancer/self-employed.
So I was filled with nostalgia when I came across these posts (here and here) by Jes recently. With a toddler in tow, she’s probably taking even more risks than me and venturing into the unknown with her new business venture, SnackFirst.
And yes, I wanted to support her business as a paying customer.
The Catalyst: BIGScribe X’Mas Party
But like most people and most things in life, I procrastinated. Urgh…
Up until last month when BigScribe organised a Christmas Party for fellow bloggers and partners. The feedback we received for the catered food was not fantastic. But I believed the snacks and nuts (kindly prepared and sponsored by Jes) helped to salvage the situation.
We only knew about her kind gesture on the day itself. I guess this is the best form of marketing as it appeared that everyone enjoyed them.
And I got to meet Jes in person and found her to be a very pleasant lady. 和蔼可亲 and 平易敬人 (Chinese description by Mrs 15HWW)
Not to mention that we immensely enjoyed a small packet of satay cashew nuts that we took home. The Mrs and I literally emptied the packet in a minute and vowed to order more!
SnackFirst Review
The online ordering was simple and a breeze. The nuts were also delivered within a couple of days.
Granted, the stuff that I have ordered are “not very healthy”. But definitely healthier than alternatives like processed potato chips, milk chocolates or candies.
And as you can see, we enjoyed the satay cashew nuts so much that we ordered a huge 1kg packet of it. All of our relatives and students who tried it were raving about it. No exaggeration!
We also ordered a smaller 200g pack of sambal shrimp rolls as the Mrs is a sucker for it. Although she found it a little too spicy for her liking, I personally think it’s one of the best hae bee hiam I have tried. The roll is extremely crisp and addictive.
Since it was our first order, there was a 10% discount and the stash cost us about $43.
I personally think the price is really reasonable.
Firstly, I do not have to incur transport cost and jostle with aunties at Bugis to get my nuts. These nuts were conveniently delivered to my flat. Chinese New Year is coming and I personally think this is a good option to get your CNY goodies.
I really don’t think you can go wrong with the Satay Sunkissed Cashew. #thankmelater
Secondly, there’s no doubt the satay cashew nuts and the sambal prawn rolls are much tastier than the generic ones sold at wholesale markets. I know because I have a habit of buying stuff like cashew nuts, almonds and pecans from Bugis once a quarter.
Thirdly, you will be supporting a small and lean enterprise. Supporting someone you have read about instead of a soulless MNC.
If it’s not obvious to you by now, this is not a sponsored post. And as always, I only recommend products and services that I enjoy and believe are of value to readers.
It’s also my way of paying it forward as I personally benefited from some 贵人 who appreciated my services and work. The handful of them are probably responsible for 80% of my current workload! #thankyou


This post first appeared on 15HWW's blog. I am really thankful that Thomas bought my snacks without my knowledge and then posted such a wonderful review.. This just goes to show what a nice person he is for doing this favour for a fellow blogger! Thank you to all who supported me after reading his review too :)

The ultimate price comparison of Integrated Shield Plans (New PruShield Fairer Pricing Approach)

I just finished updating the price increase for AIA Max Essential on my previous post.

Now I have to explain the new PruShield Plans, which is so much more complicated with their new 5 steps plan, also called the Fairer Pricing Approach. I am sure many Prudential customers will be pretty confused but ultimately, most just accept the price increase and changes.

All these changes should be considered to see if they affect you positively.

Qoo10 vs Lazada vs Carousell vs Shopee - A comprehensive guide to online platforms

Online platforms are popular nowadays as they dangle discounts and huge offers from major brands. As SnackFirst is an online shop and depends a lot on traffic, these online platforms are very useful to get more sales and attract new customers.

Why I left my $100,000 job

I will start off 2018 with an in-depth post.

Many of you know that I quit my regional sales job to start my own business at SnackFirst. What I have not mentioned is why I feel that it is the right move, instead of accepting another job offer or go for more interviews. Yes, it was mainly due to my boss who asked me to shut up but I could have found another similar job. It was hard for me to explain my decisions clearly at that time but in retrospect, it was mainly due to these reasons:

Will I fall?

Nuts Allergy - Give it to babies to prevent them

Nuts allergy is getting quite prevalent, affecting around 2% of the kids and altogether a miserable condition. Think of the food you cannot eat when you have nuts allergy, not just nuts themselves but also cookies, chocolates, jam, candies, desserts , biscuits... basically all the sinfully good food! 
Scientists have not yet figured out why nuts have become such a threat but many airlines do not offer nuts to prevent any life threatening reactions from happening at a high altitude. Singapore Airlines recently came under fire when a three year old boy started to vomit and swell when other people seated around him were eating nuts.
It's not a laughing matter as allergic reactions can range from abdominal cramps, diarrhea, vomits, to anaphylaxis, where a body is shocked and may no longer breathe. To deal with such situations, they have to carry an epipen around.
As with all allergy, people were advised against early exposure to nuts so as not to cause the onset of nuts allergy. It is a no-brainer, stay away from nuts until the immune system is mature which is around 3 years old
However, new studies done that may actually help to lower the cases of allergy.
Researchers observed nuts allergy happening 10 times more likely among Jewish children in Britain, who did not consume peanut products during infancy. This is compared to children in Israel, where peanut-based foods are regularly introduced at around seven months of age.
It is definitely counter-intuitive: By giving nuts to infants before their first birthday, as early as 6 months old!
Not whole solid peanuts but peanut butter, boiled nuts in porridge and other softer forms is acceptable too. It has been observed that the more we stay away from nuts, the higher the chance our immune system will view them as a threat.
Thus, if we introduce nuts earlier, the likelihood of an allergy will be lowered. 
This is the actual guideline taken:
  • All babies should try other solid foods before peanut-containing ones, to be sure they’re developmentally ready.
  • High-risk babies should have peanut-containing foods introduced as early as four to six months after a checkup to tell if they should have the first taste in the doctor’s office, or if it’s OK to try at home with a parent watching for any reactions.
  • Moderate-risk babies have milder eczema, typically treated with over-the-counter creams. They should start peanut-based foods around six months, at home.
  • Most babies are low-risk, and parents can introduce peanut-based foods along with other solids, usually around six months.
  • Building tolerance requires making peanut-based foods part of the regular diet, about three times a week.
For me, I introduced peanut butter and boiled nuts in soup to my baby girl at around 8 months old, right after this new discovery went public. I am terribly afraid that she will be allergic as I have lots of nuts at home! I am relieved that she is happily enjoyed her cookies right now.
So do share this information with all new parents: Introduce nuts to babies so as to prevent nuts allergy in the future. 

This article first appeared on the blog of SnackFirstSnackFirst sells nuts in small packaging and also in bulk and best of all, it's free shipping!

SnackFirst! Nuts, Seeds, Crackers, Cookies, Chips and Biscuits with Free Delivery

I got a pack of chips, nuts and biscuits from to try. They are a new site dedicated to offering (slightly more healthful) snack options with free delivery. The site was started by Jes who during her pregnancy couldn't find healthy snacks in good variety at our retail stores.

SnackFirst does offer dried fruit and seeds, granola, quinoa, flax and chia seeds. But I am betting the more popular items will be the more "sinful" choices.

Here are some of the items we tried; I'm showing you the covers so you can see the ingredients listed as well:

Oishi Japanese Nuts 日本豆混合 200g/1kg 
S$13.90 - S$39.00
These are like the ones you see in the Japanese goods aisle but these are halal-certified! Taste-wise, they seem less salty than the commercial variety. In fact, all their snacks seem less salty than normal ones.

Satay Sunkissed Cashew 沙爹腰豆 200g/1kg 
S$12.90 - S$35.00
OMG...why did no one think of this earlier? The garlicky satay coating often used for broad beans is magical on cashew nuts! The crunch is incredible and this is highly addictive.

BBQ Brown eyes Almonds 烧烤味杏仁 200g/1kg
S$13.90 - S$37.00
I love BBQ smoked nuts but these are not as strong-flavoured or savoury as the ones I normally get.

For people who like traditional snacks, they have cookies, old school biscuits, keropok and crackers.

Curry Tapioca Chips 咖哩木薯片 150g 
These have a rather homemade quality to them. The thickness of the slices vary but they are all super crunchy and evenly dusted with a savoury curry powder. They are not terribly spicy, so even kids can take them.

There were also little samples. I love the Rose Bandung Wafers 玫瑰味薄饼
S$6.90 - S$42.00 (now on sale for S$5.90 - S$42.00); they smell so good and are so delicate!

The Fragrant Durian Biscuits 榴莲饼 180g/5kg (S$6.90 - S$50.00) didn't impress as much because the flavours seemed too artificial. People who don't like durian might actually take to this.

The Juicy Apricot 杏脯肉干 200g/1kg (S$7.90 - S$21.00) from Turkey are some of the softest I've tried. Sometimes you find dried apricots that are too dry and eating them can be a bit of a chewy chore. These were perfect.

On the whole, SnackFirst items do seem to taste a little more healthy (less salty) and the site carries an interesting variety of flavours for nuts and mixes. I find the pricing is a little on the high side compared to local suppliers and shops, but you do have delivery  built in.

*This post first appeared on Catherine's blog at

Starting own business - A path of uncertainties

It's a road with no known destination, no fixed path to walk on, no lights to guide you through. The unknown is scary.

What should I do?