Taking kids to the store may be expensive for parents, survey finds

Parents are likely to spend 35% more with their kids in tow than when shopping alone

In recent months, consumers have grown accustomed to rising costs and spending more money when they’re out shopping. Now, the results from a new Slickdeals study could have many parents rethinking their next trips to the store. 

Experts found that when parents bring their kids shopping with them, they’re likely to spend more money – nearly 35% more. While a solo trip to the store is likely to run shoppers around $133, when shopping with kids, bills could top out at nearly $180. 

“Shopping with kids appears to cost parents more, but there are valuable money lessons that can be learned through the experience,” said Louie Patterson, personal finance manager for Slickdeals. “Including your children in everyday shopping decisions and discussions about larger purchases is a great way to teach them the value of a dollar.” 

Shopping alone versus shopping with kids

The survey included responses from 2,000 parents across the country who answered questions about the experience of shopping with their kids. While higher bills was one of the biggest takeaways from the survey, parents also reported on their kids’ behavior in stores, what kinds of stores they go into with their kids, and how shopping can ultimately be a teachable moment. 

The survey found that bribery is key for many parents who take their kids shopping with them. Nearly 45% reported bribing their kids to be on their best behavior in stores, with candy and snacks being the two most popular ways to get kids to behave. However, for nearly 20% of parents, sometimes cash is necessary in these situations. 

For the majority of parents, shopping alone typically yields different outcomes than shopping with their children. Parents are able to shop for things like clothes, electronics, and groceries when they’re by themselves – which isn’t usually the case when the whole family is involved. 

Finding teachable moments

Though 35% of parents reported that shopping with their kids is akin to pulling teeth, the experience was also found to be beneficial. Shopping proves to be a great way for families to bond and gives parents the opportunity to share important lessons with their kids. 

For parents who give their kids an allowance, shopping together allows kids the chance to spend the money they’ve earned. 

Additionally, parents are able to teach their kids: how to look for deals, the value of money, and the difference between things that are necessities and things that are just nice to have. So, while the experience may be stressful – and more expensive – for parents, it can also introduce some valuable life lessons for kids. 

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