Economics 101

Tonight we were a bit scattered.  We had 2 sports practices scheduled at almost the same time (nowhere near each other), and one of the two drivers really should have been sleeping during that time. Sean took Katie, Jonny and Ellie to the earlier practice (Katie’s) which happens to be near a fun playground, and I took Andy out to the later practice.  We waited in the van for 15 minutes before acknowledging that someone somewhere messed up in communication, and there was not going to be any football practice tonight. Poor Andy. He loves practice.

Andy exchanged cleats for sneaks and we headed to Walmart to do the bulk of our monthly shopping. It’s been a long time (pre-kids?) since I did a big shopping trip in the evening, and it’s almost as rare for me to only have one child along for a trip. The store was slightly less crowded than usual, making a “Teachable Moment” more practical.

The kids have been hearing about the rising costs of everything, including gas, electricity, and groceries.  We don’t have a daily moanfest about it or anything, it’s just impossible to avoid hearing about it or seeing it in action.  I mentioned to one of my children the other day that we were going to have to make a shift in our normal breakfast routines because under the current eating plan,  Brandtling morning appetites + the cost of cereal = beans for the rest of the month.  That plan won’t make anyone happy.

So Andy understood the context of our shopping trip.  He understood the mission: Operation Economy.  We spent an hour and a half looking at items and making comparisons between unit prices, price per serving, number of servings in a container, etc.  The boy seriously got involved. Invested. Maybe a little obsessed. 

The crowning moment was when we compared the unit prices and # of servings for one box of cereal, one box of old fashioned (not instant, not individually packeted) oatmeal, and one box of malt-o-meal.  He was so convinced that I think he may lose all respect for me if I ever bring a box of cereal home from the store again.

We figured savings on store brand vs. generic, too, especially in canned goods. He was very proud to have figured out how to save $4.00 on our 8 cans of crushed tomatoes. He even got excited by a $0.04 difference between generic and name brand.  The kid’s a natural bargain hunter.

We were talking about our success on the way home, when Andy said, “Mom, this was a lot of Math, wasn’t it?”

“Sure thing, buddy!”

“Can this count for my Math tomorrow?”

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3 responses to “Economics 101

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