Kids, Money & Grocery Shopping

by Brandi Savitt – updated February 6, 2014

Food and Financial Lessons

Every errand you run with your kids is an opportunity to teach them something new.  And the aisles of the grocery store might just be the perfect place to introduce your kids to basic math and money skills!

Counting 1-2-3

Even seemingly little things – like having your kids count apples as you bag them – helps them learn valuable math skills.  It may start out now with just counting 1-2-3, but in a couple years, Junior will be able to figure out the total cost of 3 apples x 30 cents each!

Basic Budgeting

Living on a budget is just a fact of life for us grown-ups – and not a particularly fun one.  But teaching a child to budget can actually be fun for them – and set them towards a lifetime of learning how to live within their means.  You just need to educate your kids before the credit card companies get to them!

All it takes is some simple explaining on your part.  Start with a handful of single dollar bills, and instead of just tossing stuff into the cart, ask your child to check the price for you and figure out TOGETHER if you have enough money to afford everything on your list.  Most times this will result in you having to put something back or choose a less expensive item.  Get your child in the habit of doing this NOW – rather than thinking they can charge whatever they want and pay for it later!

Comparing Prices

You might find comparison shopping boring, but guess what – most kids find it fascinating!  Once a child can read numbers, they can comparison shop.  Again, this is a lesson that can grow with your child – at first they may just look at the price of one can versus another, but later you can teach them to actually calculate price per ounce to do more sophisticated comparisons.

The Coupon Connection

Sure, YOU know how couponing works – but it probably isn’t really registering with your kindergartener!  Want to show your kid how all those little bits of paper equal savings?  Bring loose change to the grocery store with you, and for each coupon you use, count out in change the amount of money you saved.   Let your son or daughter be responsible for carrying the change, and they’ll be hooked!  When you get home, count out your savings so your child can REALLY see how much you saved.

We want to know – what teachable moments have you discovered in line at the grocery?

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