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Thursday, January 28, 2010

You DID WHAT...?

Sounds crazy to put the family's grocery shopping into the hands of a 9 year old but I did this past week.  I gave her the weekly budget and told her how much she could spend and that it had to feed the family for at least 4 days.  At first Spanky starting making lists of food that were processed and not good for us like chips, soda, etc.  (What kid wouldn't!)  I didn't say much except that she needed to have a menu for each day with what we were going to eat AND that it needed to correlate with the food guide pyramid AND if there was any extra money she could spend it how she wanted to. BUT if she didn't get enough food, we wouldn't have anything to eat.  Risky, I know.

So off to Sunflower Market we went (my favorite store).  She was so excited.  I followed her around the store as she started grabbing all her favorite foods like hotdogs, frozen pizza, frozen breakfast sausage, and chicken nuggets.  She learned really quickly about how much food costs and what she could buy with the money she had.  I gave her a calculator and told her to add everything up so she didn't go over.  I made sure I had cash and that's all she was getting.  I went and sat in the front with a magazine.  She was gone shopping for a half hour or so.  I saw her pick up things and put them in her cart and then awhile later she'd put some things back.  It was actually really cute and comical seeing her little mind at work.  Eventually I migrated over to her and saw her progress.  To my suprise all the processed foods except one item (hot dogs) had been taken out.  I asked her what happened and she said, "The food I originally wanted was too expensive so I had to make some changes."  Interesting results! EATING HEALTHY IS CHEAPER.  A 9 YEAR OLD CAN TELL YOU THAT.  Not only did this teach Spanky a valuable lesson about money, it also taught her about meal planning and creating well balanced meals. We didn't eat like kings by any means.  Our meals for the 4 days were pretty simple but she was in charge and she was excited.   I was proud of her efforts. Oh and on a side note she did go over a bit.  She hasn't learned about sales tax yet.  I guess it's never too early to start teaching these valuable lessons to our children.  It will stay with them forever.

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