Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Everyday Teaching: Grocery Shopping

Like everything else in our family, grocery shopping is a family activity.  My husband gets paid every other Thursday.  That is our big shopping day.  The other Thursdays are our in-between shopping days.  We keep a piece of paper on the fridge at all times and when someone knows that we need something, it is written on the paper.  The day before we go shopping, the girls and I brainstorm menu ideas and plan the meals for the next two weeks.  As we plan each menu, we write the items needed for each meal.  We then survey the cupboards and cross off anything we already have.  The items still on the list are transferred to the shopping list.  The repetition is good practice for spelling and handwriting.  We then go through the shopping list and write a dollar amount next to each item and estimate the total amount we will spend.  If we are over budget, we decide where cuts can be made to bring our spending down.  When Thursday rolls around, we load into the car and head to the store, list in hand.  Usually our middle or younger daughter carries the list and crosses things off as we put them in the basket.  Our oldest daughter helps choose which item to get, comparing price and quantity.  When items are crossed off, we make a note if the estimated price is higher or lower than our estimated amount.  If we run higher than budgeted, we make cuts at the grocery store.  Of course, as we shop we discuss things such as what produce is in season, quality of products, getting what you pay for, and any other topic that may arise.  After checking out and getting the groceries home, we race to get everything put away before moving on to the next item on our agenda.  Our in-between trip is pretty much the same as our big trip except for one difference.  We only buy necessities such as milk or anything else we can’t wait until the following week to buy.  This shopping trip has become a practical lesson for the kids in needs vs. wants.  Sometimes, just to throw in another component, I have the kids plan a balanced menu for a given dollar amount.  Whatever task they are assigned, the girls enjoy participating in shopping from planning to putting away.

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