We’ve all been there before. Desperately needing to go grocery shopping, but you haven’t finished school work for the day. Sometimes it feels like its impossible to get everything done in a day that needs to be done, that is, unless you know how to be creative with your to-do list.
Today’s post is the first post in my “Learning Outside the Box” series, where I hope to inspire homeschooling moms with ideas on how to give your children a quality education without the books and curriculum.
Valuable Lessons from the Grocery Store
When I need to do my grocery shopping, I include my kids as often as possible. There’s so many skills they can learn just by simply tagging along with me while I do my shopping! I almost feel like I’m cheating them out of perfectly good learning opportunities if I leave them home (even though the time on my own can be a huge sanity saver sometimes).
Here’s 5 ways you can still help your kids learn while grocery shopping.
Before you all pile up in the car and head to the grocery store, teach your kids exactly how you plan out the meals for the week. How many days will you have meat as a main dish? What will you make extra of so you have leftovers for lunch the next day? Why is it important to make these decisions.
Have your kids create their own meal plan for the week and help them make changes as necessary. Teach them why its necessary to have a plan when going to the grocery store, verses going in unprepared. How will that affect how you shop?
This is a life skill that they will carry with them into their adult lives in the future.
(Side note: Check out this awesome meal planner insert I made for my travelers notebook!)
Making a List
Once the meal plan is made, kids need to know what they will need to buy in order to bring the meal plan to life each day.
- How can you plan your meals to align with sales to save the most money? Do you have any coupons? Teach kids how to plan their meals around sales and coupons to get the most out of their money.
- Which items do you already have on hand? Show your kids how to come up with meals based off of ingredients you already have in your home.
- What new ingredients will you need to buy?
- How much of each ingredient will you need?
All of these are valuable lessons you can teach kids to help them be better equipped for their own meal prep and shopping days as an adult.
Read through the recipe’s with your child and then help them prepare a list of what ingredients and/or supplies they will need once they get to the store. It’s great if they know what’s for dinner, but if they don’t know what is needed in order to make the meal, they’re going to be lost.
Reading the Nutrition Labels
Once you get to the store and begin shopping, help your children understand what is in the food they are buying by helping them understand how to read the nutritional labels. Help them know what kind of ingredients are healthy, and which should be avoided.
Does your family have food allergies? Make sure your children understand how to shop for ingredients that won’t harm a family member who might be allergic.
This is such an important life skill to have, and is imperative to helping your children learn how to shop smart and be healthy at the same time. Learning at a young age will ensure they will continue to make healthier choices into their adult years.
Comparing Prices and Getting the Most For Your Money
The other important label to teach your children how to understand and read are the price tags. Each store lists quite a bit of valuable information on the price tags attached to the shelves.
You could teach your children to think of the following questions:
- Is the item in your cart the same item listed on the price tag? Make sure you grabbed the right item or else you may end up with a pricing surprise when you get to the checkout lane!
- Examine the price per ounce (or price per unit depending on what you are buying) and compare that to other products or quantities. Are you getting the most for your money?
Once the shopping is done, survey the damage! See if your kids were able to stay on budget or if they over spent.
For older kids, teach them how to determine how much to add to their total for sales tax. See if their total will match the total on the cash register. If they over spent, help them determine what needs to go back (if necessary).
For younger kids, have them pay with cash and count the money to determine how much to give the cashier, and tell you how much change you would get back in return.
If you have more than one child you can make a contest out of this to see who can come the closest to their budget. Or, make it really fun and turn it into an educational scavenger hunt! How fun would that be?!
When you break it all down its amazing to see how much one can learn in just one shopping trip. If you used the suggestions I have shared today, you will have covered home economics (or as we like to call it – life skills), science, and even math.
Its easy to overlook such valuable lessons when its something you do almost every day. We almost forget how much we can learn from daily or weekly routines. Next time you go grocery shopping, I encourage you to bring the kids along and see how much they can learn!
Lessons From the Grocery Store Printable Pack
I have created this fun printable pack that your child can bring along with them during their next grocery store trip. All you have to do is print them out, grab a pencil and a clipboard, and go!
If you download and use this printable pack, please come back and tell us how it worked for you in your homeschool!
Download the FREE Grocery Store Printable Pack for a limited time only.
This post is part of the Learning Outside the Box Series. Click on the image below to read more posts in this series!