Teaching Teens to Grocery Shop

My daughter is headed off to college in the fall, so I decided to work harder to teach my two teens how to meal plan and grocery shop this summer. During the school year they are extremely busy with school, church activities and after school sports, but sometimes when a mom pampers too much it is more of a disservice. So I am repenting.

We had “the discussion” yesterday, and every other week it will be their responsibility to create the dinner menus, the grocery list, and go shopping with me. Today I worked with my 16 year-old.

Not wanting to overwhelm her, she only worked on dinner menus and used my Master Menus and a blank Menu Plan worksheet. I left my bright daughter alone to figure out what she wanted. She did a great job as shown here.

Later, I discussed her menus with her. Because I knew the main dish ingredients by heart, I could say, “Spaghetti requires noodles and the homemade sauce requires ground beef, canned tomatoes, onions and spices. I have everything, but I don’t have the ground beef.” So she added the ground beef to a copy of My Fridge List which is our grocery list.

If I was unsure of having an ingredient, I told her to look in this or that cupboard. It is always nice to shop from your own home. We looked at the grocery store newspaper ad to see what was on sale as well. When we were done with the dinners, she added a few snack, breakfast and lunch items. Then we added a few coupons, and headed out the door. The planning took about half an hour.

At the store, I let her push the grocery cart, choose the food, and fill the produce bags. It was fun to teach her how to choose a cantaloupe or an avocado. During this 45 minute trek she started getting hungry and tired of this project. I led her to the bakery for a free cookie, then reminded her of all the times I had done the shopping for her. She has a new appreciation for me, but it is still a new and tedious experience for her.

She actually thinks she is too young for this! I just smiled at that. If these teens can create Power Point presentations, drive cars, and master an iPhone, surely they are old enough to plan menus and grocery shop.

I suspect my daughter will remember 10% of what I said today, however, she gets to do it again in a few weeks. And someday she will do it all by herself.

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