- Calculate how much you're spending, either on an old cell phone or a large button calculator.
- Work out whether it's more economical to buy smaller packs or giant packs of, for example, soap powder or cereals. This introduces the concept of working out per ounce or per pound costs.
- Decide realistically how much fresh produce the family will eat in a week. For instance, is it best to buy a large econo-pack of apples or a smaller, but slightly more expensive bag, given that some of the apples in the large pack may go rotten before they're eaten?
- Examine ingredient labels for artificial additives and flavorings, salt, sugars and trans fats. Kids can then compare similar products to see which are the healthiest.
Spending Lessons: The Educational Value of Taking Your Children Shopping With You Taking your kids shopping with you may seem like a nightmare situation, but if you approach it positively and allow yourself just a little extra time, the whole experience can be educational and enjoyable for all of you. These practical ideas may help get you started. Include Your Children from the Beginning Get your kids on board from the start by helping you draw up your shopping list. Get them to check the grocery cupboards and refrigerator to see what you need to buy, and if they're old enough, ask them to write the list out for the expedition. Use digital devices for itemizing supplies, and even introduce them to handwritten lists. Older kids can go to your store's website and see what's on the promotion that week, download apps that help you save money in-store or clip coupons with you. Activities to Do at the Store The real action is at the store, so get your kids to participate in the shopping experience with a variety of age-appropriate undertakings: