Coupons: Teaching Kids to be Frugal
Teaching kids the value of the dollar.
You know that coupons can help you save on your grocery bill, but did you know that coupons are also a great way to teach kids about the value of money? Starting young will help build a solid foundation for your child to understand how to effectively manage money and save on every day purchases. If your kids understand the value of things, they’re less likely to be financially irresponsible as they get older. Here are some ideas for using coupons as a teaching tool:
Toddlers will enjoy looking at colorful coupon inserts, and you can use coupons as a tool to teach colors, letters, and numbers to preschool age kids. By the time your child is 6 or 7, he or she can read coupons and help you plan meals based on weekly ad specials. You can also use coupons to create simple addition and subtraction problems that provide kids with real-world motivation to practice these math skills.
Enlist Your Child’s Help
Ask kids elementary school age or older to help suggest ideas for meal planning based on coupon ad circulars. At the grocery store, your child can help you spot items on your list. Children can also help organize and sort your coupons in a card file or folder to learn both time and money management skills. As part of this process, enlist your child’s help in pulling expired coupons out of rotation. You can use a calendar to help illustrate the concept of expiration dates.
Teach Advanced Math Skills
For kids in late elementary or middle school, there are many math calculations that you can encourage based on coupons. Older kids can determine the exact percentage saved on a grocery bill with coupons. Kids at this age can also learn to compare unit prices to understand which grocery items offer better deals.
Internet Coupon Clipping
Have your pre-teen or teen help you download appropriate coupons from the Internet. In this day and age, most children are computer savvy from a young age. Enlisting your teen’s help in the process will reinforce budgeting concepts and help your child make a valued contribution to running the household.
Start a Savings a Jar
A savings jar is a good way to help children of all ages understand the value of using coupons. Simply make note of your total coupon savings at each shopping trip, and place an amount of money equal to the amount saved in a jar. Use the money for a special treat or outing. Young children will have a visual demonstration of the money saved through using coupons, and older children will be more motivated to help in coupon clipping and management to watch the savings jar grow.
Encouraging your child to participate in coupon clipping, grocery shopping, and household budgeting will provide an excellent foundation for household money management. Teaching with coupons is a simple way to incorporate teachable moments into every day life – you’ll also be spending quality time with your children while meeting the demands of running a busy household.