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Getting Value for Your Dollar

Category: Activities: Local | Age Group: 16+

TOPIC:

Comparison Shopping

RESOURCES NEEDED:

No special requirements

LEARNING OPPORTUNITY:

As adolescents approach adulthood and independent living status it is important for them to have the skills necessary to ensure that they become wise consumers. As such it is important for them to know the difference between needs and wants and how to effectively shop for the item or items which they require. They need to realize whether or not the item they are considering is necessary and, if so, whether they could reuse or recycle an existing item rather than purchase something new. If it is apparent that an item must be purchased it is important that they carefully consider the characteristics and quality required of the new item and then comparison shop before making the purchase. These skills can best be learned by observing modelled behaviour and then practising the skills with assistance.

THE ACTIVITY:
  • Prior to sitting down with your son or daughter consider whether or not you are in need of purchasing an item or are considering a purchase in the near future. If so, use that need as the basis for involving your son or daughter in the activity to follow.
  • If you do not have this need, ask your son or daughter if they are either in need of purchasing an item or are considering something in the near future.
  • Chose the item and then ask your child to suggest the most cost-effective way of proceeding.
  • Once they have made their suggestion ensure that they have considered the following things:
    • What characteristics must this item have?
    • Are there alternatives to these characteristics?
    • How will you know where to begin your search?
    • How many different sources should you check?
  • If they are unsure about any of the above questions, guide them through the troubling areas until they come up with a plan for exploring the sources for that item (such as searching the internet for sales) before heading out and clearly understanding what the item must have in order to be considered as an option.
  • With these things clearly defined, accompany your son or daughter as they begin their search and assist them through the process reminding them, if necessary, of the details they established before started.
FOLLOW-UP IDEAS:
  • If this process involved an internet purchase review with your son or daughter the steps that should be taken to ensure their personal security during the process.
  • If they are not clear about the difference between needs and wants explain this to them and reinforce the importance of knowing the distinction.
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