So in the spirit of teaching my kids stuff (#111 - 116) (and also in the spirit of Our Cupboards They are Barren), yesterday we went to Smiths to learn about grocery shopping and using an ATM card.
(I love Smiths Marketplace. The warm fuzzies some of you have for Target, I reserve for Smiths.)
(If there isn't a Smiths by our new house I am totally cancelling the lease.)
I let the kids (including the two year old) (DANGER DANGER) each take a cart and then we proceeded to v-e-r-y s-l-o-w-l-y make our way through the store.
Leading four kids with four carts (including one kid who continually shouts "I SMASH YOU") through a crowded grocery store = total insanity.
(I am not even kidding when I say that my heels were bloody by the time we got out of there.)
(DO NOT GIVE A TWO YEAR OLD A CART. It is TOO. MUCH. POWER. for them to handle.)
(Also, WHY IN THE NAME OF HEAVEN don't the mini-grocery carts have bumpers? WHY? WHY?)
(Other things my children learned yesterday: two new swears. I'm so proud.)
We talked about how sometimes an item might look like it's cheaper, but if you look at the size/number of ounces you are actually paying more. I also gave them each a budget and had them try to figure out if they had enough money for the things in their cart.
For Jake (7), we kept things a little simpler. His list was pretty specific (Powerade Zero, Comet, etc.) in most cases. When it wasn't specific, say for "cereal", I had him pick out the three cereals he liked best and then we compared what the prices were and picked the least expensive option.
Josh, meanwhile, was randomly throwing every kind of crap on the face of the earth into his cart (Goldfish! Oreos! Fudge Sticks! French Vanilla Cappuccino!) and as soon as he put something in, I went behind him and put it back on the shelf (although he was pretty insistent about the fudge sticks).
For my own sanity I didn't just let them take off, I made them stay on the same general aisle and pick out their stuff as we went along. The other shoppers were not all that thrilled that we were continually blocking the aisles (other than the grandmas who by and large thought we were all ADORABLE JUST ADORABLE), but we tried to smooth things over with lots of "excuse mes" and by quickly moving out of the way as much as possible. (Teaching politeness and grocery store etiquette, CHECK.)
When we were (finally) (FINALLY) done (seriously, this took FOREVER, but it was fun - other than, er, the part where MY HEELS WERE BLEEDING) (HAVE I MENTIONED MY HEELS WERE BLEEDING? NO?), we took over two of the self-check stations so that two kids could check out while I helped them, while the remaining kid could attempt to keep Josh from absconding to Mexico.
They entered our fresh value card id number, checked and bagged their own groceries (including the produce), swiped their coupons, and then I let them use the debit card to pay (their favorite part, bar none). (SECRET CODE.) (DRUNK WITH POWER.) The girls were very impressed by the How Much You Saved Today part of the receipt and kept reminding me How Much We Saved You Today Which Probably Means You Should Buy Us Slurpees.
I am nothing if not totally addicted to slurpees right now (SUGAR FREE mango - 20 calories for 8 ounces ARE YOU KIDDING ME), so that was our next stop. At the Sev (as we like to call it in the hood) I gave them each some change and had them each take their own drinks to the counter and figure out how much change they needed to give the clerk.
I can't say that the clerk was all that thrilled to be part of our object lesson, but there was nobody else in the store so - SHUT IT grumpy store clerk.
They really loved this. Megan took her receipt home and put it in her scrapbook, that's how much of an impression the whole thing made on her. (The children's museum trip they took earlier in the day with their awesome babysitter - apparently not worthy of recording, but GROCERY SHOPPING WITH MOM = A DAY TO REMEMBER.)
We will definitely do this again, and next time I want to talk more about what KINDS of foods to buy - looking at ingredient labels, how to pick out fruit, etc.
And next time I will LEAVE JOSH AT HOME.
(I love you Josh, you little turd.)