The reason we have so many posts about food, meals, groceries is that our food budgets are the quickest to get out of control. Eating out, over-spending at the grocery store . . .there are so many opportunities to blow our budget. Our kids can either help us or hurt us in this area. We recommend getting honest with your kids about what your food budget is for the month and then . . .let them go grocery shopping and make the decisions! Give them a small list of foods that your household needs (maybe for one or two meals) and then give them the cash to purchase. Send them into the grocery store and tell them they have to stay on budget. Give them a cart and tell them you’ll meet them at the cash register in 20 minutes ( or follow along with them if they’re young).
Obviously this challenge works better for kids who are a little older (10+ years old). And it’s never too late to help impart this lesson. One of our employees recently sent her 18 year old son to the store and said “I’ll be gone for the next 3 days. Here’s $40 for you to eat.” He went to the grocery store to buy food for the weekend and when she got back home he said, “Mom! $40 does not go very far! Food is expensive!” It was a great lesson for him and he’s now much more cost sensitive when he requests foods. He also has been doing more of the grocery shopping for the household since then. His mom said, “I can’t believe I didn’t make him go grocery shopping before! I’m so glad he’s learning that lesson before he leaves for college.”