“When shopping with rambunctious children, a good rule of thumb is to pretend you don’t know them until it’s time to leave the store.”

-Chel Owens

Photo by Justin Vallu00e9e on Pexels.com

All They Want for Christmas

The Christmas rush
Makes children flush
Whilst parents hush
The whining.

But stores, meanwhile
Push sale and style
Shoppers, beguiled,
Start signing.

For, though they claim
Their kids, they’ve tamed
Their budget, named
They’re finding

‘Twixt child and store
Both begging, “More,”
For rich or poor:
Resigning.

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Photo Credit: Thandy Yung

 

©2019 Chelsea Owens

Kids and Credit Cards (The Magic Money)

Every child has wanted to help me ‘pay’ for groceries at the store. I say ‘pay;’ because I know a credit card does not actually purchase our milk, bread, and cereal. I know that piece of plastic will only work if there’s money to pay for it -even if it’s a tight month.

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But do my kids know that?

I try to turn every moment into a learning one; to bring up Life Lessons when my boys are a captive audience in the car:

Driving a car is really fun, but it’s more expensive that many people think. I know I thought I’d just get a license and that was that; but there’s the cost of the car, then insurance…

When you boys grow up you’ll need to pick a career that pays for your lifestyle…

Make sure you treat the woman you marry well, and that she treats you well in return…

It wasn’t until I watched my children playing ‘Store’ that I realized they didn’t quite understand money. It wasn’t until I talked to them about “where Daddy goes” that I realized they didn’t understand a job. It wasn’t until I overheard one of them explaining how jobs make credit cards work that I realized they didn’t quite have the process right.

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So that captive car lecture turned out as Dad goes to work all day. His company pays him every two weeks, but they put the money right into our bank account. Then, when we go to the store, the credit card takes some money out of our account to pay for the food. If we don’t have money in the bank, we can’t pay for the food.

I know; I know: credit works a little differently than that. As they get older, I’ll explain a few more details about birds and bees as needed. For now, the simple explanation should suffice.

The bonus part is that, when my kids get wide-eyed over impulse buys at the checkout, they now remember that candy bars have numbers printed next to them for a reason. Those numbers are a cost, and that cost is paid by Dad’s hard work.

 

Photo Credits:
Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay
Image by Виктория Бородинова from Pixabay

 

©2019 Chelsea Owens

There’s Nothing to Eat

Ev’ry meal, no matter when
No matter what
No matter who;

No matter where the kids have been
Or what they’ve et
Or what I do;

Or how the kitchen’s full of food
Since I just shopped
Since I just spent;

Since I just barely fed my brood
They’ll drain my stock
They’ll still lament;

They’ll still stand there, in fridge’s heat
And say, “But Mom, there’s nothing to eat.”

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Photo Credit:
Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay

 

©2019 Chelsea Owens

Shopping Tip 1

Today, I bring you a purchasing tip.

Wait and buy stuff on clearance, especially after holidays.

Now, you may be thinking that a gingerbread haunted house is not something you can use until the following year. True, so check the expiration date. With items like tablecloths, food dyes, sprinklers, pot holders, and baking cups (aka muffin liners); however, there is no expiration date.

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“But, what about when the cupcake wrappers literally say, ‘Valentine’s Day?'”

Dude; that’s when you use them for just your family. I pulled these puppies out for cornbread muffins. My kids don’t care; they just throw them away after sucking the crumbs out of them.

I’ve also found that holiday items that look like Christmas or V-Day or Halloween can be more versatile than I originally think. For example, some of the wrapping paper I bought last year (green and red) actually didn’t look that Christmas-y when I used it for a birthday.

Just shop smart. Look for universal colors and patterns.

And remember: chocolate is always in season.