Sunday, May 11, 2014

Teaching Children to be Frugal

Happy Belated Mother's Day to all the mothers out there.  I hope that like me, you had a wonderful day with your children.  I woke up to breakfast in bed cooked and served by Son #2.  I thoroughly enjoyed my French toast, eggs, and sausage, especially since someone other than myself cooked it.  I got to lay in bed for a few minutes and read the newspaper before it was time to get ready for church.  That in itself was a treat, but there was more to come.

The boys had chipped in and gotten me a card and some chocolates (can't go wrong with that combo).  After I oohed and ah'd over their thoughtfulness, my frugal ways started to whisper in my ear, "I hope they didn't pay full price for this candy.  Walgreen's had some on sale for $3.99.  Why didn't I tell them to check the sales paper?"  The reason why I didn't tell them about the sale was because it was their gift and their decision to make, so I stepped back and let them handle it.

Now I realize that I need to get both my kids more involved with couponing and shopping for bargains so that I know that when they shop on their own, they don't spend more than they have to. That's not a difficult thing to do with Son #2 who has been couponing on occasion since he was 14.  He actually went out shopping for me on Black Friday three years ago when I had gall bladder surgery.  Son #1 can't be bothered.  The boys both get a small allowance which they have to manage on their own,  but Son #1 doesn't seem to mind when his cash is long gone, yet his bargain hunting brother still has money.

I think that I'll give both sons a budget and let them plan our meals for a week based on what they can find in the sales papers.  Whatever they don't spend, they can keep for themselves as long as they provide us with healthy and reasonably filling meals (I don't want to live on bread and water for a week).  The extra money might give Son #1 the incentive he needs to use coupons for the first time.  I'll let you know whether it works or not.  If you have any tips for getting your kids to be frugal, please leave it in the comments section below.

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