Week Two: Teenager on a Food Budget Experiment

I know somewhere out on this great internet is someone waiting eagerly for this update LOL  What a beautiful fantasy world I live in, huh?  This evening was the Teenager’s second week of grocery shopping for himself!  I am happy to report that I think he did better this time :)  (For new readers, I have put my 14 year old son on a food budget of $35 per week and am allowing him to do his own grocery shopping.)

  • He did not spend the entire allocated weekly amount.  Instead he bought $25 worth of food, leaving him with $10 for a mid-week grocery run should he need it.  If not, he is free to roll that money into next week’s $35.
  • Yes, he bought a full gallon of milk this time!  He is free to drink milk at every meal, at snack, and drown his cereal in it if he so chooses.  Don’t laugh too hard: it IS a possibility.
  • Since he still has fresh fruit left from last week, he did not need to purchase any this week.
  • He bought those fruit and grain bars to take to school or for snack.
  • He bought Kroger’s version of Spaghetti-O’s (yuck) which I had been refusing to buy for him.  Personally, I prefer real pasta.  It tastes better and costs less, but I have told him this before.  He says he likes the Spaghetti-O’s.
  • He bought stuff to make his own quesadillas.
  • He bought his own doughnuts.

When hubby and I hit the doughnut case, we were happy to see it still had doughnuts in it, so we picked out half a dozen.  After we checked out, I asked hubby if we should share with the Teenager and he said he didn’t see why not (we’re not completely heartless after all).  Imagine our amusement when we pushed our cart alongside son’s cart to see an identical box in his!  We had a chuckle (but we can be easily amused I suppose).

Over the past couple years, I have emphasized to son the importance of NEVER ever going grocery shopping when hungry.  In fact it has become a ritual to eat out somewhere before going to the grocery store.  It just occurred to me, that all three of us (myself, hubby, and son) shopped last week on empty stomachs.  This evening, we stuffed ourselves before ever stepping foot into Kroger.  That might have made a difference along with last week’s experience.

So for the second week into this experiment, I am quite pleased with the results.  Son says he is enjoying it as well, as it gives him the freedom to choose his food along with the bonus of getting experience with an important life skill.  Hubby says he is enjoying the peacefulness of no longer listening to us bicker and fuss about food bought or not bought.