LJWorld.com weblogs Shop Talk with Jenn and Julie

Teaching Kids With Coupons


We've been around and around the subject of how coupons can benefit your family. We've talked about the direct and indirect impacts it can have from reducing your household expenses to increasing your health by focusing on homemade dinners. Have you ever thought of the impact coupons can have on your children? Or better yet...how you can use coupons to teach your children?

There is the obvious outcome: if our kids see us working to save money and make wise decisions they will learn that behavior as well. My four year old absolutely grasps the concept of using coupons...as early as 3years old he would go through the groceries and ask me if it was "For Sale" (on sale) and if I used coupons. When we walk through the store and the kids start to ask for items that are not on our list I will ask them if they have a coupon...I've only been burned by this once!

If we get a little creative, we can find other ways to use coupons to influence and teach our kids. For the very young children why not show them pictures on the coupons and ask them to find that item on the shelf? Ask them to identify the items on the coupons...talk about the colors in the pictures. This will work to help improve their memory skills and their ability to identify objects.

As they grow start working on numbers. Have them tell you what the different numbers on the coupons are. Can they find numbers in sequential order? What about combining numbers ("See how there is a 7 and then a 5? This makes 75"). When they are a little older they can begin to learn about math...coupons double can you tell me what this coupon is worth?

If you do any level of couponing you realize that you need to keep those tiny pieces of paper organized. Teaching kids to help sort, file or stack strengthens their organizational skills.

Motor skills like cutting can be practiced by helping you cut coupons! It may take him 5 minutes per coupon...but my four year old loves to help me cut! Even my 2 year old joins in the fun. She can't cut the actual coupons but she can cut on paper or scraps and sit with us while we do it.

Talk with your kids about why you use coupons. What are your family's goals? It is never too early for kids to learn to set goals...to work towards something and know that delayed gratification is not only a part of life...but reaching that goal is a reward in of itself. My son knows that we are working extra hard this year to save money to put down on a new house and he talks about it whenever we go to the store.

What are some ways that you can use coupons to teach your kids? Join the discussion on the Shop Talk Blog at LJWorld.com!


Katara 7 years, 9 months ago

thadrosen (anonymous) says...

you gotta be kidding... ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ What exactly is your issue, thadrosen? Do you think it is a bad idea to teach children how to handle finances? Do you think it is a bad idea to teach them how to save for something they want instead of getting instant gratification with a credit card and get themselves into financial trouble? It is foolish not to start financial education as young as possible and it is foolish not to model responsible financial behavior. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Excellent ideas, Jenn. I'd add that while it is fun for them to help you clip coupons, make it abundantly clear that scissors are ONLY for cutting paper after asking permission. Learned that lesson the hard way.

I've used shopping as math lessons as well. The schools use word problems a lot and those can be difficult for some kids so I do those at the store sometimes and they have a visual (the product with the price tag) which helps. Ex: Apples are $.99/lb & I want to buy 5lbs. How much money do I need?

Other times, I give them paper & a pencil & have them write down what I am buying (how much & what price) and they try to total it before I get to checkout. Then we compare the before and after totals. It has a lot of practical applications.

thadrosen 7 years, 9 months ago

visions of children waiting in line buying "separate" purchases so Mom can use a "one coupon per order" three or four times

Katara 7 years, 9 months ago

thadrosen (anonymous) says...

visions of children waiting in line buying "separate" purchases so Mom can use a "one coupon per order" three or four times ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ And?

Really? That's your issue? Really?

As a side one, "one coupon per transaction" (the correct verbiage) type coupons are pretty rare. It is pretty funny for you to imply that there is something wrong or fraudulent for using a coupon as it is worded.

Do you have an issue with children making a grocery purchase? It provides an excellent lesson in making and receiving change. I don't think it is a bad thing to do, although it should be reserved for the slow times in a grocery store so others waiting in line are not held up.

Oh well. It is pretty obvious it does not matter what helpful or useful info Jenn or Julie pass along. You will still find something to grump about.

SuperJenn 7 years, 9 months ago

Thadrosen - At best I can be thankful that we offer you an entertainment quality of writing each week... if it was boring I'm sure you wouldn't be back so often!

Teachable moments is a large part of most parenting philosophies and this fits the bill, don't you think? Katara I like the story problem idea...putting a visual to something that can often be so confusing. I will have to remember that when my kids get older.

I try to use the self checkout when I have Brendan with me and he wants to "help" ... that way I don't get in the way of other customers and I don't have to test the patience of my cashiers!

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