Whether you clip coupons on an extreme or casual basis, you’ll get a thrill every time you’re presented with the opportunity to stretch your family’s dollars. But clipping your coupons with kids underfoot may be quite a hassle – it’s a lot more distressing when you have to take them to the store. When your family is strapped for cash, you just cannot afford to give up couponing for the sake of screaming kids. Instead of cutting your routine, you can include your kids and spouse and make couponing a family activity.
Couponing will teach your kids good money management skills and help to develop a host of other skills- depending on their age. But more than that, it will give them something to do while you scour the deals in the grocery store aisles.
Let the Kids Help
Couponing is a fun way to teach your children the value of money. The activities that you get them involved with will depend on their ages. In general, you can ask them to file inserts, cut coupons, locate and throw out expired coupons from your binder, and separate the inserts to clip.
Kids really buy into the idea of couponing when you let them find coupons to save money on the things they want. Let them round up the circulars throughout the neighborhood or search coupon sites like SumoCoupon for deals. Then they could choose a product they’ll like to purchase. Once they arrive at the supermarket, give them the task of finding the item and using the coupon to check out at the cashier. Hopefully, they’ll catch the coupon fever once they recognize the potential to save.
The “Guess How Much I Spent” Game
Popular television game shows have been built around the concept of guessing the price of household products. Lay out your pile of groceries after a shopping trip and ask your family to guess your total at checkout – or guess your savings. The guesses may start out high at first, but once they understand how little you spent, they will change their attitude towards couponing.
The sight of your savings could also remind your family of your reason for clipping coupons. Set up a jar to store your savings when you save money with coupons. Once the jar is filled, let your family decide how the money will be spent. It won’t be long before they will start adding their own savings to the jar.
Give Them The Shopping List
Give your kids the shopping list and let them find products to match the coupons. You can also work the other way around and just give them the coupon to find the product – this works for younger kids who cannot read. Send your spouse out to the grocery store with a few coupons and a shopping list to get a firsthand experience of saving with coupons. Dole out compliments for a task well done - even if your spouse didn’t use the coupons the way you would.
Get your family involved with couponing to ease the stress of finding and clipping coupons. Your children will learn valuable lessons about money management, and will be less inclined to whine at the supermarket. Best of all, you’ll get the entire family involved in your efforts to save money.
Russell Matthews is a family finance consultant. He loves sharing his best tips for homeowners on family blogs.