Why shop as a family? There are several advantages. One, it’s a good way for families to spend time together, bond, and have fun. Doing things as a family, even shopping, can be seen as entertainment rather than a chore. Sisters can try on clothes together, mothers and daughters can help each other pick out trendy fashions, and father and sons can pick out shoes or school clothes together.
When it comes to grocery shopping, families can take the time to pick out food together, each picking some of their own favorites and even discussing the value of nutrition. If you’re a health-conscious family, what better way to set an example for each other?
Making a shopping day a family day can include other activities besides hunting for bargains.
A lot of malls have video games where families can spend time in friendly competition and fun.
You can have a meal together too, and take this time to talk about school, friends, or other things going on with the family or the kids. With the variety of foods offered in malls, you’re sure to find a meal just right for everyone.
You can catch a movie while you’re shopping, or look for a new book or CD.
Shopping as a family isn’t something you have to do all the time. Maybe once or twice a month will be enough. Teenagers may complain outwardly about being seen with their parents, but deep down, they like, if not need, the extra attention.
Before you go shopping, you can prepare as a family too, by clipping out coupons to use, going online to compare prices, or making a list of the things you need. Making a list is a good way to save money. Sticking to the list is a little harder to do, especially if you have overly-persuasive kids and easily-manipulated parents! But it’s a good way to show kids how to make and stay on a budget. Give each kid a certain amount of money and let them buy what they want, as long as they don’t go over that amount. This will help teach them frugality and staying within a budget.
Planning a certain shopping day will also show the kids that shopping shouldn’t be done frivolously if you’re on a budget, that it’s a necessity, and not to be misused.
You can also use a shopping day as a reward for good grades or exceptionally good behavior, or use it instead of an allowance if your budget won’t allow for an allowance.
by Tammy Ruggles
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