Friday, July 27, 2012

YES Bring the Kids and Spouse Grocery Shopping!

One things that seems a constant saying around finance blogs when giving out savings advice is to go grocery shopping alone and to leave the kids and spouse at home.

This bothers and irritates me and this is why.....

I mean we all know that yes, children ask us to buy extra items and that a spouse can too with puppy dog eyes which can increase how much we spend. This is true, but is it really spending extra if we know we have oh lets say $100 for grocery shopping and stick to THAT number? This allows us to know when we leave we can not go over $100 while shopping, so if we are taking the family a simple solution maybe to know that $10 or $15 ( this will vary depending on the number of family members) out of that $100 may go to their requests while fulfilling the needed items within the total allowance.

This shows the other members that their needs and wants are just as important and grocery shopping is not a one sided dictatorship with one person deciding the fate of the families menu for the month. This is placing each members needs just as important as any other member in the family.
If it is truly out of the budget then by all means say NO the budget will not allow for that right now!

While the person who usually does the cooking does know more about what will be needed to purchase for the month, that still is leaving them in charge of at least 90 percent of where the money is going!  But as long as you stick to your original $100 you will not be overspending and your spouse may have that $2 jar  of peanuts or your child may put in some new food that catches their eye.

Now that solves the problem of I want, I want, I want, I need, I need, I need!

I am a firm believer however of taking the family grocery shopping as a family affair, especially if you, the main shopper is the frugal queen of your town because how else are the other family members are suppose to learn if they always stay at home?

When you take them involve them! Show them how to price compare, unit price, find the reduced meats, the day old bakery shelves!  Show them how you keep track of the spending. Show them good foods compared to processes or convenience foods. Explain cost per person for oatmeal versus cold cereal. Show them how you take into consideration not the price for one package of meat per say but how much a whole dinner for your size family will cost and what is the lowest price for a whole meal you can come up with? Let them know how much you all have to spend,  have them weigh the bananas and see how much they will be. Fully involve them and simply by keeping them busy in such a manner reduces them asking for a whole lot while teaching them valuable life money lessons!

If the family always stay at home, I fear we just continue to raise future generations of adults who do not know how to shop, what a real bargain is or how to have much at all in the way of money management manners.

So YES take the family grocery shopping and make it a frugal family affair where the lessons learned will raise money conscious responsible adults who KNOW how to shop!

Do you take the family shopping? Why or Why not? I would love to hear your comments on this!