Making Meal planning and shopping fun

Since we started home schooling I am having to find ways to turn everyday activities into a learning experience yet also making them fun. One thing I hate doing every week is the shopping and taking the kids and hubby along just seems to make the experience so much worse.

Last week I came to the conclusion that I either do the shopping at night time and cut into my own personal time or find a way to make it work.

So that is how I found myself sat with the girls on Monday morning planning our meals for the week. The girls love eating certain foods and I felt that if they helped plan the menu then we will have more of the food that we cook actually eaten rather than wasted.

Once they had chosen their favourite meals including pizza, sausage and mash and the all time favourite spaghetti bolognese we went through what shopping we would need. We started with each meal and talked about the ingredients used and I sent the girls to the kitchen to check what we had. I then got Elizabeth to write the ingredient and draw a picture of the item. Alison did not want to get involved in the actual drawing or writing but she was a great cupboard and fridge checker.

Once we had the lists of what we would need for our dinners we discussed what other shopping we might need including the basics of bread and milk, then things we might have run out of such as cereal and toilet roll. All the while Elizabeth was drawing and writing our shopping list.

She was very excited to put it into practice and she borrowed one of my clipboards and off we went.

It is amazing what a bit of preparation does, we bought everything of our list, with only a new extras, after all if its not on the list it shouldn’t be in the trolley. I did explain that sometimes getting things whilst they are on offer could save me money next week or the week after when we run out.

We had a few looks from other customers but most of them seemed impressed with Elizabeth and Alison with their list marching up and down the aisles telling me and Gaming daddy of two what to place in the trolleys. I know if I had written or drawn the list we would not have had such a good result as it was even if she didn’t remember what the word said she could recognise her own drawing and therefore interpret the word for the correct item.

So it seems I have cracked it, the kids are eating the dinners that they planned, shopped and bought. Our shopping experience was less stressful as they had something else to concentrate on and over all we all had a good time. The plus side was the extra learning that Elizabeth did without even realising it!