Grocery Shopping w/ Scouts

A usually meeting with my scouts every monday, but this time around is in Cost-Co. Taking some of the scouts for grocery shopping. Teaching them the basic techniques of planning food had how to pre organized a menu for the upcoming scout camping

I had used the grocery store as my classroom.

  • Together, read labels to check ingredients. Are they real or synthetic? Ingredients must be listed according to their amounts. If the first ingredient listed in spaghetti sauce is water and not tomatoes, you’ve learned something about the quality of the sauce. Reading labels and noting ingredients helps you talk to young shoppers about value in relation to price.
  • The place of quality. Factor in the use of the product. If the spaghetti sauce will top homemade noodles to celebrate a birthday, then you may be searching for a gourmet sauce. If you’re hosting a carbo-cram for the cross-country team, the need for quantity may overtake the need for quality. A good value-for-the-price sauce may do. By talking through the purpose of the sauce, you are teaching children that purpose controls the need for value and quality in a purchase.
  • Do the math. How many sheets in this box of facial tissues? Calculate the price per sheet to compare brands and then consider the quality issues (often found on shelf labels below the products.) Noses that are sore from a bad cold may need softer, costlier tissues with aloe. If you’re buying a box of tissues for your child’s classroom, quantity is more important than the highest quality.

Likewise, knowing the price-per-ounce of peanut butter will also help you decide whether to buy two small jars or one large jar. The large size should offer a savings, but do the math, because this is not always true. Another consideration: can you consume the large size quickly enough or will it grow stale?

The lessons here? Price per-unit and the utility of size should influence the purchase decision.

  • Store brands vs. name brands. Sometimes, store brands are as good, or better, than their higher-priced counterparts. Other times, store brands lack quality. Low-cost paper towels that don’t absorb waste your money. Ask the family to research products by testing them at home. Blind tests are best. They’re a fun extension of the value lesson that helps kids learn about getting their money’s worth.

Consider packaging. Does the container drive up the cost? Are you willing to pay more for the container? When it adds to convenience or function, you might. When it’s simply cosmetic, you might not.

  • Emphasize planning. Make out a list before you enter the store to teach children to focus on needs. Simply walking up and down aisles and throwing items into the basket models impulse purchasing. It’s a habit that drives up the numbers at the bottom of the cash register receipt.
  • Set Limits. Youngsters have to learn that money is limited. Therefore, estimate how much you should spend on groceries and find ways to stay within that amount. Occasionally, it takes tough decisions or making trade-offs.

Here are the boys checking the eggs.

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