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Everything You Need to Know About Ulsan

How To Shop Cheaply in Ulsan

With the COVID-19 virus causing many schools and places of work to shut down temporarily, this puts many members of our community in a bit of a bind financially. If you are struggling to make ends meet this month or when you first get here, here are some suggestions on places to go where you can find affordable prices.

 

Daiso

This may seem obvious if you have ever spent any time in Korea but Daiso is worthy of a mention due to the fact that they are virtually everywhere now and still are fairly cheap. If you are unfamiliar with Daiso, they are a dollar store of sorts and they have a little bit of everything. This is why they get top billing in this article. From dish soap to camping equipment, you can find it at Daiso.

They also have cheap cleaning products, clothes and other miscellaneous goods that you might need. Dish soap can be found for around 1,000 won which is a lot less than what you can get at the local marts.

The quality may not be the best but it is cheap and that is the main thing. If you are looking for simple housewares and other bits to fill your house with, then go here. They tend to have things like cups and dishes for around 1000 won to 3,000 won too.  For stuff that you are most likely going to leave behind when you finish your contract, this is the place to go.

No Brand

This store is one of my favourites. They are seemingly everywhere now and have really good prices. For example, if you are on a super tight budget, a bag of pasta such as penne or macaroni can be picked up for 980 won for a 500g bag. If you couple that with some of their No Brand pasta sauce for 1,780 won, you have a few days of some cheap meals. Also in that price range are their version of pringles for 890 won. No Brand is a part of Emart and you can find their products at Emart as well but their dedicated stores are popping up all over the city.

 

Big Box Stores and Department Stores

These places may not seem like the best place to shop on a budget but there is a trick to shopping at them. If you want to save money, find the “discount sections” and that is where it gets exciting. The reason being is that the items put there are basically not selling or ones that they want to get rid of. They are also fairly random, so you never really know what you may find there.

This is in Samsan Emart by the dairy section. You can also see the No Brand Section in the background

E-Mart – They have several of these sections. If you are in the dairy section they will have a small stand right at the end by the booze. Here they will throw whatever food items they want to get rid off. The other section is over by the produce section that looks sort of like an “event zone” meaning that it will have banners around it. Typically they will have anything there that is about to expire. Sauces, kraft dinner, candy, etc. For non-food items, there is a section on the 2nd floor right next to the escalator heading up to the 3rd floor. Again, random items but could be anything from toys to air fresheners.

Home Plus – in the coffee/drink section. This has a little bit of everything.

Home Plus – They usually put the discount items at the end of the aisles  towards the back of the  the store. The products can be completely random at times but typically they are filled with items that may be about to expire or have not been selling well. Also check in the produce section as there is usually a cart with some older veggies that are on sale too.

Home PLus dairy section. This is where you can find items that they want to get rid of before they go bad.

Lotte Mart – Pretty much the same as all the other store with the exception of the Lotte Mart by Costco. They usually have a discount section on your immediate left as you enter the grocery store. In that section they have a little bit of everything.

Hyundai and Lotte Department Stores – I know that I mentioned these places before as being super over priced but there is a trick to shopping there. For groceries, check the items that have the red tags as they are usually on sale. Certain items that don’t sell well may be discounted a lot more than others. From time to time, they will put things like imported cheese on sale as it will be about to expire and thus you can get a 15,000 won piece of imported cheese for 4,000 won* or something like that (*just an example). Lotte will put sale items in a bin right in front of the checkouts.

The other trick for food is to go in just before close and grab some discounted food items. Sellers will be trying to get rid of all of the days food for lower prices. Poke around and you can typically get a could packs of sushi for cheap.

**TIP: THE 2ND TUESDAY AND 4TH SAT OF THE MONTH ~ DAYS BEFORE THE BIG MARTS CLOSE ( 2ND WEDS 4TH SUNDAY)
THEY HAVE LOTS OF STUFF ON SUPER SALE (especially like after 9 pm ..the fruits n veggies and meat come super cheap) ~ Hermie Albao

Local Markets and Weekly Markets

The last section is dedicated to the local or weekly markets. These are great places to pick up fresh fish and produce as they are often a lot cheaper than the big supermarkets. The main farmers market is located in Samsandong and is a great place to look around and see what is in season or is available. If you are looking for more information on that market, click here and read all about it.

The schedules for markets  for many markets will be different. For example they may alternate weeks or they are held every Friday. The one near my apartment complex is held every friday. It typically carries fresh vegetables and fruit. The prices often are cheaper than the big box stores and if the seller is nice, they will give you a bit extra. Also as AmberDawn Miley pointed out on facebook, brush up on your Korean veggies before you go as they may trip you up when you go for the first time.

Ulsan Used Goods

Speaking about leaving stuff behind, why not pick up stuff that people are dying to get rid of? The Ulsan Used Goods facebook page is full of great stuff that people are trying to offload before they head home. Typically, you can negotiate a good price too. Just be wary of anything that sounds too good to be true. The moderators do a fairly good job of weeding out those suspicious iPhone ads but you should always be careful.

Click here to visit the Ulsan Used Good Facebook Page

This is really good for those pricier items and furniture that you really don’t need to buy brand new, only to be stuck with later. So if you are looking for a kitchen table or an oven, you might want to check on that page before dropping major cash on a new one.


The big thing here is that Korea can be a cheap place to live and you don’t really have to break the bank to live decently. The biggest mistakes people make when they first come is that they eat and drink at places are usually more expensive like steak houses and western restaurants. This will eat your cash faster than you can eat that over-priced steak.

By picking up used household items and shopping a little more local, you are pretty much guaranteed to save some money at the end of each month. If you have any more suggestions pop over to our facebook group and let the people know.

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