Financial Fun Friday: plan a dinner

2021 Financial Fun 1

Make listing ingredient costs fun by allowing the kids to turn it into an art project by creating colorful signs and pictures.

Welcome to the first edition of Financial Fun Friday, where we introduce an educational activity for the family with hopes of reinforcing money management skills.

Today’s activity is one the entire family can participate in; however, it is an especially helpful tool to get younger children to understand expenses. The “what’s for dinner” conversation is something that many families endure. Unfortunately, this can also lead to arguments. With this financial activity, you let the kids do the meal planning.

Here is a step by step guide of how your family can learn from this Financial Fun Friday game:

  • Step 1. Create a spending cap for the dinner. Let your kids know how much they are allowed to spend on their dinner of choice. Stress that this amount must cover all items from ingredients to sides and beverages.
  • Step 2. Pick out a recipe. Gather your cookbooks or help the kids search the internet to find their recipe of choice.
  • Step 3. Go over ingredients. Once the meal has been chosen, go through all the ingredients needed and the price for each item. To make this a bit more enjoyable, instruct the kids to draw pictures or make creative labels for each ingredient. Then, have them write the price on each label. Even if you already have some of the ingredients at home, you still need to include that within the dinner planning budget as this will help illustrate the cost of meals.
  • Step 4. Check your budget. After the ingredients and recipe are set, instruct your kids to add up the cost of all items to make sure they didn’t go over budget. If they did, look through their meal plan to see what cuts could be made. If they have money to spare, give them the option to add a dessert or better yet, encourage them to save. To take this activity to the next level, consider matching the leftover funds and open a savings account for your child. For information on OVB’s Statement Savings Account click here.
  • Step 5. Get cooking! Once things are in place and costs have been determined, it’s time to cook. Involving your children in the actual making of the meal will help them learn additional math skills, such as fractions as they measure ingredients. Bonus? They will also appreciate the work you put in to making their meals!

Once your kids have both planned and made their family dinner, they will likely walk away with a better understanding of the expense it takes to provide food for a family. They will understand why it might not be easy to have “whatever they want” each night as they learn the importance of sticking with a spending limit. You can also expand this Financial Fun Friday lesson by involving your kids in the grocery shopping process. Go over costs of all the food it takes to feed your family for a week. By involving your children in the process, they will better understand the importance of budgeting. Hopefully, they will be more prepared to make good financial decisions as an adult as well.

For more interactive financial lessons, visit the OVB Virtual Classroom. For bank related news, like and follow OVB on FacebookTwitter and Instagram

Bonus: Can’t get the family to agree on a meal? Here’s a homemade pizza dough recipe submitted by one of our OVB community bankers: 

Financial Fun 4


One Response to Financial Fun Friday: plan a dinner

  1. Pingback: OVB celebrates Teach Children to Save | Ohio Valley Bank

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