Involving children in the family’s grocery shopping is a good way to teach children about money and being a frugal shopper. Children can be involved in every stage of the grocery shopping trip. Let them help check existing pantry supplies to see what is needed. Have them actively involved while in the store by helping select items from the shelves. And make them aware of the budget and cost of each item that is purchased.
Grocery shopping for the household involves:
- menu planning,
- checking and replenishing inventory,
- working with a list,
- monitoring pricing and keeping within a budget,
- unit pricing and relating value to quality
- brand awareness and marketing
- portion control or product yield, and
- redeeming coupons or considering sale items.
All of the skills from a successful grocery shopping trip help run a household, but are also applied in the business world. Related real world skills can even lead to future careers in logistics, purchasing, accounting and manufacturing.
Once a child can count to ten, he is old enough to understand some of the basics of money management and comparison price shopping. Comparing items on the grocery shelves can teach children the concept of one item being greater than another, such as the difference between the prices of different brands or seeing how individual packages compare to standard family size containers and then how those compare to bulk sizes.
Allowing children to participate in redeeming coupons is another way to teach children about saving money. School age children can help find the items on the shelves that meet the coupon requirements. Make it a game like a scavenger hunt, and give the kids a small reward if they find all the coupon items correctly.