My New Grocery Shopping Method: Remove the MiddleMOM

“Where’s my deodorant?” It never failed, no matter how hard I’d try I’d always come home one or two items short. Chalk it up to distractions while shopping. And if I didn’t forget an item I’d get the wrong one, the wrong face wash, bread, you name it! Pair that with the fact that it seemed like the kids were going through toiletries and snacks like there was an endless supply and this mom started rethinking everything. Like every mom, my time is valuable. I knew there had to be a better way, a way to get the kids more involved. A way for them to take on more responsibility. For them to have a more thorough understanding and appreciation for the time, energy, and monetary value that goes towards getting supplies for the family. So I did something kind of huge.

While most families seem to be embracing online shopping and grocery pickups, I decided to go in a less than conventional route, one that other families might even consider an inconvenience, yet, I firmly believe it will pay off. I decided to kick it old school and take all three to the grocery store like I did when they were little. 

How it works:

  1. At home each child makes their own list of items they need for the week, this includes toiletries, snacks, say they need a special t-shirt color for Spirit Week, or a b-day gift for a party, etc. 
  2. Once at the store, each child receives their weekly allowance ($40)
  3. Each grabs a cart or basket
  4. Each has their calculator on their phone to keep track of their items as they enter the cart. 
  5. They checkout
  6. If they go over they will need to decide what is a necessity and what they can put back. 

Why it works:

List- There are no impulse buys, the children learn to go through and adequately take stock of what is a necessity and what is not. 

Budget- The children have to budget wisely, if they know they need to use $20 of their allowance on a birthday gift for a friend then they will have to decide what is a necessity this week and what can they wait for next week. Along with keeping track of the amount they are spending in the store, they are also having to calculate cost per unit price and ultimately determine what is actually the better price…turns out they will need that math in real life, lol! And suddenly purchasing off-brand items makes sense!

Appreciation- they may not necessarily like this new way of shopping but they are definitely learning to appreciate the value of a dollar, they aren’t as quick to go through a package of snacks or bottle of facewash when it is coming out of their grocery allowance. And they have an appreciation for the time it takes to do the shopping, to write the list, budget, etc. 

Total Responsibility- Now if they don’t have something for the week that fault lies entirely on them, not mom. It’s their responsibility to make the list and check it twice. And if they do forget something then they will be responsible for going without it until we go shopping the next week. 

So it might not be the most convenient way to get the grocery shopping done, but when it comes to raising kids is there a convenient way? I’d say this unconventional way is not only teaching the children a multitude of life lessons but is also eliminating any blame being placed on the middleMOM which was often the case when we shopped the more conventional method. Now everyone takes personal responsibility for their list, budgets, and even bringing in their items from the car and putting them away. It’s beautiful!  And as a busy working single momma I’m appreciating the weight this new method of shopping has alleviated off my shoulders. Do you have any shopping tips or tricks? Please share.

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