Stick to the list - Before going to the supermarket be sure to make a list. This will help prevent impulse buying and eliminate the need for additional trips to the store to pick up forgotten items. Working off a set list will also help your child concentrate on the task.
Set a limit - Determine a weekly grocery budget. Figure out how much you have to spend before you go to the store and stay within your budget.
Check for coupons - Most supermarkets have their weekly specials listed in store. Make sure to check whether there are any specials on the items on your shopping list.
at the supermarket
A grocery-shopping trip will often include a wide variety of purchasing decisions. Take advantage of this time to talk about the importance of planning ahead, as well as pointing out the things that can influence a buying decision.
Plan a lunch
Ask your child for help in planning a favourite lunch.
- What will it include?
- How much do they think it will cost?
- Do they think there might be ways to keep that cost down?
At the store, discuss what you see on the shelves for each of the choices they made. After you have made the selections and gone through the check-out, show your child the receipt and explain it to them. When you get home, unpack the items and ask your child to describe the decision-making process they helped you go through at the store.
Compare your options
At the supermarket, discuss the products you are about to buy. What are the factors in your decision? Ask your child to consider the costs of the available options.
- Is there a discount for a bigger package or a larger quantity?
- Are there a number of brand options?
- What is the price difference?
- How do you decide which product to buy?
- Is the cheapest item the best choice?
Budget for a meal
Give your child a budget and have them plan and prepare a family meal. Let them choose a recipe and figure out which ingredients are already in the house and which ones they will need to buy. Review the shopping list. Does it look like it can be done within the budget? If not, provide some pointers on how to cut back or help them choose another recipe.
Once the meal is decided, let your child select the items in the store, reminding them that they have to stick to their budget. After you've enjoyed the meal, have them walk you through the process again, explaining the key decisions that were involved.