The Tightwad Tutor–Lesson #10: Save 20% Or More By Grocery Shopping Without Your Kids
It’s tough to make this a short post, but it’s worth a quick note. Shop without kids, no matter what age (babies distract, too). I spend about 20% more on groceries when I bring my kids shopping, but some people spend a whole lot more than that when they tow kids along. I’ve heard moms, dads, grandparents, caretakers give in to kids’ demands in the grocery store without batting an eye because it’s just easier to do so. I’ve been there, too. So, if I have a budget of $50 to spend, and my kids come along, I will inevitably spend about $10 more (or 20% more than my budget). I’m not a pushover at all (according to my kids). But when they ask for something healthy, how can I say no? I’ve spent an additional $10 bucks on fruit and veggies when my kids are with me now that they are teens, but it was a bit different when they were younger–same $5 to $10, different requests (bag of balloons, a small toy car, a new juice cup, that sort of thing). However even as a teen (or, especially as a teen), they still try to sneak in candy, etc., and sometimes, they are successful when they can tell that I’m distracted (by them), tired or at my wit’s end.
Yes, I know. Who in the world has time or resources to shop without kids?When my kids were young, I managed to go shopping without them at night, when the stores were empty, my husband was home, and I had some sanity to figure out the sales. Now I still go at night, and when they are in school (or when they have after-school activities). It’s worth it. I keep my sanity. I keep my budget. And I keep most junk out of the house. They ask to come at night, sometimes I let them (they occupy themselves on a good night by reading the magazines on the racks and they generally leave me alone if I’m quick). But I’m also trying to teach them to shop smart, so sometimes I say sure, come along, but only if I have to pick up a couple of items. But generally, if I have a big shopping trip planned, they do not come along!
(PS: I’m on vacation this week, so I’ll post again when I get back!)