This was posted as feedback to a post about Farmer's Market but we thought it was a great My Frugal Life entry.
When my children were young (around 8-10 years old) I would give them each a few dollars and let them go shopping for their own goodies at the Farmers market.
We usually set a few ground rules like they had to get at least enough of one item to share with every one else, and they had to ask questions when they made their purchases to find out something new about whatever they were buying, like suggestions for ways to prepare it or the best way to tell if it is ripe, how long will it keep in the fridge etc.
They enjoyed learning about the foods they eat, it made them feel important to share the things they had learned with their siblings, they seemed to be more willing to try new things if they got to make the decision about what it would be by themself. They usually got at least a few items that they could stash in one of the crisper drawers in a bag with their name on it for their own personal snacking. But also they got to where they got a big kick out of planning surprise dishes to try out on their Dad and Me!
They learned quickly that if they pooled the money they could sometimes get better deals and before too long decided that it was more fun to get a whole bushel of something and put things up in the freezer to keep longer. They enjoyed reminiscing in January about the strawberries we were eating, that baby sis had bargained for with her winsom ways from a usually gruff farmer that she made friends with!
My "babies" are 25, 26, 28 & 30 now but they still talk about how they learned the best way to pick out corn on the cob or which melon is going to be the sweetest. We often had a garden in the yard when they were growing up but never had enough room to grow everything we wanted to, so they learned just how useful the Farmers Markets always are.
Each of their significant others has mentioned to me at one time or other that they are so impressed with my kids knowledge of cooking, gardening, bargain shopping or the like. I always have to say they didn't learn it from me, I just tried to teach them how to go about finding the answers for their questions, even when sometimes they didn't know they had a question! I'm a strong believer in the notion that every experience in life is a learning opportunity and I always try to get the most out of every opportunity that I possibly can. If my kids learned that then I feel they learned a lot!
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Great story! We love our farmers markets as well. My boys love picking out new things and last year we tried new melons that I'd never even heard of... we had so much fun! Thanks for your story!
What a great Mom you are!!!! You must be very proud, thanks for sharing.
You are a great mom! HEY-wichypoo and crunchy mama- I love your names. We should team up crazy amy,v crunchy mama, and wichypoo; sounds like a comedy team! haha!
Think what a wonderful world we would live in if every kid could learn the lessons this mom taught; how to ask questions, listen and learn from the answers, how to co-operate with others to achieve a common goal, how to save for future pleasures and goals and especially how to share by example what they have learned in a peaceful and harmonious way. I am glad to know there are "Jomommas" in this world! Thank you.
This is such a wonderful story, of giving your children real life experience. Allowing them to make decisions is so valuable that they've carried those skills right into adulthood! Bravo!
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