How to Make Your Kids Good Shoppers

March 25, 2014

Busy parents often tote their kids along to the grocery store, shopping mall or big box retailer. According to research conducted by Nickelodeon, kids influence two out of five purchases their parents make. And bringing your kids along with you could be another reason you end up with way more in your shopping cart than you planned. Research shows that moms do spend more during shopping trips when their kids are present, especially when it comes to groceries, toys and clothes. Want to make shopping with kids more enjoyable and easier on your budget? Check out these tips.

Involve Them in List Making


Research shows a list is key in order to keep spending in check during shopping trips. It will also help you stay organized so you can get everything you need at once and avoid follow up errands. Involve the kids in list making so that they feel more invested in the process. This will help them understand why you say no when they try to toss chocolate bars and board games into the cart. Toddlers will love having a list of their own, like this free printable from

Time Trips Well

If your kids are fussy and attention spans seem to be shrinking it may not be entirely their fault. Perhaps they’re sleepy or hungry– two things that can make shopping less fun for anybody. Time your shopping trips well so that the kids are in their best form. It will help you feel less rushed and more focused on your shopping list.

Identify Learning Opportunities

Kids can practice math, reading and other important skills during their shopping trip. Keep them engaged by asking them to count the bananas or find the organic macaroni and cheese. Choose age-appropriate educational activities throughout the excursion. That could include practicing bagging groceries, naming produce or reading labels.

Give to Others


Little ones need to know that shopping can often involve giving to others. If the kids are shopping for a gift for a friend or family member use the opportunity to teach them about money. Give them a budget for the task and explain the options that are available for the money they have. Helping children understand the importance of sticking to a budget now will help them stick to the lessons later on in life.

Make it Enjoyable

Sure, shopping could be considered a chore, but kids don’t have to know that. Hype it up as a fun activity and turn these errands into quality time. Instead of spending the entire trip saying “no”, pinpoint ways to say “yes” when they make healthy choices. Build in a reward like a cookie from the grocery store bakery or 20 minutes

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