I gave them snack and cereal purchasing duty because they were driving me crazy and had no concept of a grocery budget. They were about 6 & 8-years old. I had a budget of about $40 every two-weeks for snacks, which I gave the budget to them and then the magic began happening.
Here is the first big deal rule I gave them:
- Wil and I did not regulate snack time. That’s right! We told them they could eat their snacks whenever they wanted.
This freedom along with their lack of planning ensured they’d run out of snacks. This was a great lessen because the other rule was “if you run out of snacks before the next grocery day, we will not buy more.” Living with them on the no snack days was awesome! There is nothing more satisfying than watching the reality of no snacks for 6 more days. It only took a few of these experiences to teach them to self-regulate their snacks.
1. They had to make a list (planning)
2. They could only have ONE list (cooperation & negotiation)
3. They had to spell everything correctly on their list (language arts)
4. Their idea – calculate to costs and add items up before the checkout - a few times of putting items back at the checkout made them cost conscious – (math skills)
Once we arrived at the store, they took a mini-cart and began their shopping; I took the big cart and began mine. For the record, I was very anxious and worried about letting my girls walk around the store, so I followed them close enough to relax but stayed far enough away so that I never but into their conversations.
Once my girls began doing their own snack/grocery shopping, I enjoyed the whole experience much, much, more.