A yummy lesson on saving

The grocery store is a fantastic place to teach young kids about money.

The grocery store is a fantastic place to teach young kids about money. Everything is clearly labelled with a price so it’s easy to compare the costs of various items, there are different products on sale each week, and it’s someplace you need to go anyway. (If your kids are like Adam and get bored and fussy at the store, try giving them a task — like putting things in the cart or crossing items off the shopping list — to keep them interested.)

From our trips to the store, for example, Adam has learned that we buy his beloved fresh blueberries in the summer when they are in season and reasonably priced, but only frozen ones in the winter (even though most stores now stock fresh imported berries year round). He also knows that we look to see what’s on sale each week and plan our meals accordingly.

To really bring the lesson home, last week we let him choose which ice cream we would buy — the only catch was he had to pick something with a yellow sale tag underneath. He loved being the one to decide, and it was fun watching him make the selection. (You’d think it was a matter of life and death the way he considered his options and changed his mind a couple of times before making his “100% lastest choice.”)

If you prefer not to take your little ones to the store with you, try using the store flyer to make a shopping list together instead. You’ll still be able to talk prices, sales and saving money — and no whining!

Do you let your kids take part in the weekly grocery shop?

About the Author

Tamar Satov

Managing Editor, CPA magazine
Tamar is a journalist specializing in business, parenting and personal finance. She blogs regularly in this space with advice and anecdotes on her efforts to raise a money-smart kid.