Make your child a smart shopper

Today, our children are exposed to a plethora of choices in everything – right from potato chips to toys and apparel. Impulse buying has become a common thing, especially with easy payment through debit/credit cards, mobile wallets, and UPI apps. It isn’t surprising that smart shopping is now a necessary life skill for our children.

Here are a few useful tips to teach your children to become smart shoppers:

  1. Create a Purchase List

Before going to any store or mall, let your children make a list of things to buy for them or at home. Let them know that the family has to stick to this list and avoid buying anything else. This will teach them to avoid impulse shopping.

  1. Fix a Budget

Allocate a budget for the shopping list. You can help them estimate tentative prices of all things that need to be purchased to arrive at the rough budget. This will help them understand the importance of budget and not spending more than required.

  1. Do a Comparison

Teach your children to compare the prices and features of anything they want to buy across different brands, shops or online sites. Make them also calculate discounts, shipping charges, surcharges or taxes to arrive at the final price. This is especially crucial when making big and expensive purchases such as electronic appliances.

  1. Shop with Cash

While there is no doubt that digital transactions make it quick and easy to buy things, your children wouldn’t understand the importance of money. Let them do a few cash transactions which will sharpen both their financial and mental math skills.

  1. Determine Value for Money

Your child should know that a thing might not be good because it is expensive or bad as it is cheap. What matters is that whatever they are buying should offer value for money. They should not feel cheated after the purchase.

  1. Do Bargaining

Smart shoppers never hesitate from bargaining. While most stores, especially big or branded ones, have fixed price policies, there are other places to teach the art of bargaining to your children. Take them to a vegetable market or flea market where price negotiation is a common thing.

  1. Look for Offers and Discounts

Many times, shops provide rewarding offers and discounts on products. If you are a regular customer at certain shops, they might also have loyalty programmes. Teach your child to take advantage of these benefits.

  1. Request for a Demo and Trials

Your children should be aware to request a demo for a product before finalising the purchase. For example, it is okay to ask for a demo for toys, mobile phones, electronics, etc.

It is also the customer’s right to test a product within acceptable limits by the shop. For example, if your children are buying a school bag, they should check whether the zipper is working smoothly, whether the fabric quality is good, etc.

  1. Ask for a Receipt

It is always advisable to get the receipt from the shop even if it is only a handful of things or basic stuff like a toothbrush. Let your children know that a receipt makes it possible to return or exchange goods within a certain time frame if there is some fault with the product after buying.

Do share if you have more such tips!



About Rekha Menon

Rekha Menon is a primary teacher by profession, now engaged in various hobby & craft classes for kids, and occasionally writes about topics which interest her. With two teenage kids, she is usually grappling with issues that most parents deal with, and shares her views to stimulate discussion on these.


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