Shortly after I turned 16 and got my drivers license, I inherited my Mom’s old Ford Taurus… along with a new responsibility: weekly grocery shopping. My Mom would give me a set amount of cash each week, along with the grocery list. She encouraged me to find ways to save money by allowing me to keep what was leftover for gas and spending money. Taking on this responsibility taught me some valuable money lessons including:
1.) The importance of meal planning. Around this time, I also started cooking more dinners for the family. I needed to ensure that all of the ingredients for the week’s meals were on the shopping list!
2.) Sticking to a budget. I only had a certain amount of cash to pay for the groceries, so I couldn’t go over that amount! I carried around a little calculator as I shopped to ensure I stayed on budget.
3.) How much groceries cost. This can be a real shocker for high school and college aged kids! Groceries are not cheap and it helped me to appreciate the fact that I didn’t have to pay for them myself… yet. Better to have some clue about it before you’re out on your own.
4.) How to save money using coupons and sales. Because I got to keep any leftover money from my grocery trip, I was definitely motivated to find ways to save money by shopping the weekly sales, manager specials, and by utilizing coupons!
Parents, if you’ve got a driving teenager or college kid at home, you may want to try this as well! It will teach them some great money management skills while taking a time consuming chore off of your plate!
Want help with meal planning tips & tricks? Grab a copy of my e-book, Mindful Meal Planning: Eat Healthy While Saving Time, Money, and Stress!