Thursday, May 30, 2013

Apples to Apples

School is out!  Time for teaching to begin.  Do you remember my daughter buying apples last year?  Here’s what happened.  She wanted to buy apples.    Anything healthy for my kids is an automatic YES.  She ran over and grabbed a bag of apples while I was conducting coupon club.

When I checked out, my cashier rang up $11 for 4 apples.  Shock hit me right there at the checkout lane.   Needless to say, it was all my fault.   I had not taught her to look a the signs closely for the per pound or per piece notation.  She had picked the highest priced  apples in the store.  They were pretty, shiny, and $2.75 each.

Lesson #1:  Take your kids to the produce department.  Explain to them the per piece and per pound price differences.  Use the little scales!  My daughter saw $1.79 on apples and immediately thought that was the price for each.  It was the price per pound.  Try to explain # and Lb while you are in produce.

Lesson #2:  Explain to your kids what you will be consuming.  I need to explain the tiny small apples are not a good buy for us.  The kids like to use the apple corer and on little apples, leaves very little to actually eat.  So have them look at various foods to see what has more for them to consume.  Melons are a good example here as well.  Are you buying apples or cores?

Lesson 3:  Choices are a good way to save money.  Each week, I have my daughter pick out a fruit to buy as a “Special.”  We always have bananas and apples.  Then we pick up something that is a good deal this week.  We’ll look at strawberries, pears, and cherries.  Ask your kids if they can find a good sale item. 

Lesson #4:  Freshness is usually desired in the produce department.  However, there are times      when you need to be able to buy fresh, and times to pick up older produce.  Avocados are best when they are ripe, or older.  When buying bananas, we like some just right, and some green for a few days from today.  Tomatoes will vary by type.

Lesson #5:  Planning ahead can save you on next week’s produce if you see a special that you can pop in the freezer to use later.  Take a look around.  Is there a deal on potatoes?  Or Onions that will keep for weeks in cool storage?  Buy on sale and save yourself on produce for the next few weeks.

Some o f the best math lessons can be taught to our kids at the store.  I gave my kids a budget, and told them with any “Left” over money we could get a treat.  It’s amazing how fast they can pick up on money saving tips when there are treats at stake.

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