The Kitchen

How I get months of free groceries (pantry items) in Malaysia

I never thought I would hack my way to months of food items for free. It was unthinkable before this. No, I did not raid the soup kitchen. Like everyone, I get excited over credit card sign-up offers and optimizing my spending. However, credit card gifts tend to be lifestyle-oriented and not so much on coping daily expenses, so it caught me by surprise to find myself with months worth of free groceries. I like to share how I do it here. I do acknowledge that we all have different needs, wants, and this may not be the best method for you.

Early this year, I start to sign up for credit cards that give free credit in e-wallet after a round of canceling cards that do not match my lifestyle. The offers came in RM200-500 in GrabPay, TnG wallet, etc. Then COVID and stay-at-home happen, and I have no place to spend the free-ringgits.

I am always too careless to spend free cash, so instead of ordering food delivery or spent in-store, I find that it’s best used to convert to even better grocery credit. I am sure there are others (are there?), but I use Potboy, which offers shopping credit.

It’s not every day offers but the deals are quite frequent. Just this weekend, I spotted an RM66 for RM111 credit promo day. I sapu as much as I could, converting RM462 welcome ringgits to RM770 (RM777 to be exact) free grocery credits. RM770 pantry items can last me at least four months, maybe up to 9 if I eat rice and instant noodle daily. Do this for three rounds, and I’ll stock dry and canned food for a year.

Potboy is not always “the” grocery delivery service to go, the website is barely user friendly, the delivery can be slow and even slower to deal with out-of-stock refunds. When they arrive, I have to go downstairs, carry the heavy boxes up myself and brace for out-of-stock notice (which they will refund in credit).

You will not be pleased with the service if time and productivity are all you’re up for. But they offer a great range of pantry items, canned food, beverages, and household items at lower than store prices and I am always patient for free food! I have bought rice, noodles, oats, pitted cherries, milk, cereal, can tuna, sweet corn, shower gel…the list goes on. Cost-saving, because it’s cheap plus the actual paid is RM0, and time-saving – I now only walk the fresh produce aisle for fruits, vegetables, eggs, and chicken when I make groceries trip.

Now, I am looking forward to rounds of converting sign-up offers into more food. From an economic point of view, it’s almost impossible to get free groceries for life, but perhaps free is part of a new norm.

Have you done this before? Any other hacks that we can use to get free groceries? Do comment. I would love to read your thoughts and hack ideas below!

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