We just got back from the grocery store, and I am feeling rather frustrated with my teenage son and his idea of grocery shopping. For those new to my teenager on a budget experiment, this is week five of the budget experiment and here’s the back story:
- Putting the teenager on his own food budget
- Teenager on a Food Budget: First Try
- A Gallon of Milk vs A Gallon of Gas
- Teenager on a Budget: The Milk Update
- Week Two: Teenager on a Food Budget Experiment
- Teenager on a Food Budget: Week Three
It’s not as if I have never tried to teach him how to shop smart. It’s not as if I have never taken him shopping and “led by example” for aggressive saving on food. It’s not as if I didn’t point out great loss-leader sales as we went in the door. It’s not as if I haven’t tried to teach him how to save by buying in bulk when it’s a better deal on items that will be eaten.
He’s being stubborn, clinging to the idea that he can outshop his mom *his* way. Just one hour ago, he told me: “I only buy what I need for the week, instead of stocking up. That way I am saving money.” He was buying four large individual apples, and I pointed out to him he could save money and get more apples if he bought the prebagged ones, even if they are smaller. By my calculations, he could eat two smaller apples at a time and still have more servings for about the same cost. He bought the bigger ones.
One thing I absolutely love about shopping at the local Kroger is they put the price per unit on their price labels. This helps immensely, especially when trying to determine which size of an item to get and whether or not the larger “bulk” size is actually the better deal (sometimes it isn’t). I have pointed this out to my son several times over the past couple years.
Over the past couple years I have stressed the importance of knowing what normal price is, so I know when a sale is actually a good deal or when it’s just hype.
Apparently all my instruction has been for naught. Or maybe he is just experimenting on his own, and will eventually come around to my way of thinking on his own. I just know I am feeling frustrated right now as he is dismissing all my shopping advice. For those of y’all who have survived raising teenagers, or have just come out of the teenage years yourself: Is this a “normal” phase for teenagers to completely blow off parental advice?