Instead of buying groceries for the family, I now divide up my grocery budget and have the kiddos plan and buy their own groceries, which include breakfast and lunch items and snacks. I am ONLY in charge of purchasing kitchen staples, meals for dinner, and household items. PROFOUND!
A few days ago while DJ was checking out, I was explaining our system to the confused cash register gal and sacker guy. After my explanation, the guy sacker said "WOW, you are teaching them life skills!". I beamed with joy and gratefulness- "YEP".
So here is how this works.
STEP 1: I pass over the amount of money they have for groceries, and I pass out their grocery list template. They will sit and determine what all they can and want to eat within the week. They figure out what Breakfast items they want, what Lunch items they want, and finally what Snacks they want to eat. Again, I provide the staples like peanut butter, honey, dressings, fruits, and such.
Once they have their menu planned, they list out their grocery list on the other end of the paper. They then guesstimate their items and total purchase. Once all complete, we take to the store!
STEP 2: While at the store, they have their list in front of them. As they go along they write out the totals for each item. This helps with over spending. My teens have really enjoyed this process. This will be a weekly reality for them when they graduate in a year.
They end with checking out with their budget money. Funny, the actually prefer buying at Walmart, that way they can keep a close eye on their totals at the self checkout.
If they have money leftover, they get to keep it for whatever they want. If they overspend, they have to either use their own money or put something back. I have rescued a child only once and had them work off their surplus, but momma wont always be around!
STEP 3: They go home and label their food items with a permanent marker. They each have their own pantry bag to place their dry storage items in.
Not only am I teaching life skills here, they are also learning to be disciplined and economical.
-They have learned how to maximize their price per ounce or price per purchase.
-They are rationing out their snacks, sharing in on purchases to make their money stretch, and even decreasing their portion sizes. I laughed when I saw my son rationing his bacon bits for his baked potato. LOL
-They have gained a better appreciation for food and groceries.
-They now know whats for snack and lunch and do not bother me anymore.
For these reasons, I am so incredibly grateful.
We are now working toward healthier options. My kiddos have learned that junk food is cheaper than healthier foods. The downside to that is they are learning that junk food doesn't sustain them like healthier options do. This will take time to balance and work within a budget.
I am so thankful for my friend for sharing the original post so I was able to adopt this new idea. Together we are better and smarter! I hope this idea might bless you and your family!