4 Deep Family Challenge 2018: Handing Over the Food Budget to the Cool Kids

My ultimate goal as a parent is to raise productive global citizen who will thrive throughout life. In order to achieve this goal, I must ensure that they enter adulthood as self-sufficient as possible. At ten, eleven and thirteen years old, each child is responsible for washing and folding their own clothes, and ironing their school clothes. They also are responsible for weekly household duties as well, like washing dishes, sweeping, mopping, vacuuming and cleaning the bathroom. Yes, they clean toilets and tubs too.

In 2018, I wanted to take it a step further. Being a single parent, I want to make sure if there was ever a time that I was down for the count ill for a week or possibly more, that the Cool Kids could maintain. Also, I needed to insert a little financial appreciation. Lately, I noticed the children being a bit more wasteful with food. I found myself politely *smirk* reminding them that food ain’t free.

Let’s not forget the time I sent two of the children into Kroger’s Thanksgiving Eve to buy about five pounds of ground beef. This brother and sister duo came out with ground beef that totaled over $20. You could have sworn it was Waygu or Kobe beef.  I almost spazzed out. Okay, maybe I spazzed a smidget, lol.  I sat in the parking lot stunned and debating what to do next.

In 2018, we will solve that problem and make sure they have a deeper appreciation!

The Challenge

Each week the children will be given a grocery budget of $100. They must go to the grocery store and together purchase at least four dinner meals for the week, as well as their breakfast and any snacks they want or can afford.

The Reward

Once all contents for the week are purchased, they will be able to split whatever money they may have remaining if they are under budget. However, the money cannot be split into the week is over. If they forgot to purchase a necessary item for a meal and it has to be retrieved during the week, that will be deducted from their savings. Only fair right!

Check out how the Cool Kid Crew did!

Mommy Takeaway

  1. Big sister is uber bossy, however, she had it all together. Not only did she make a list, but took the initiative to go online and price every item they needed to ensure they were under budget before entering the store. Her total was within cents of the actual final total. You go girl! She also took time to look up new recipes to incorporate into our family meal time.

2.  It shouldn’t take two entire minutes of standing on the cereal aisle for three siblings to decide what sugary oats they want to fill their bodies with. It took everything out of me to not intervene in their minor sibling cereal quarrel so that we could move on with our lives. Big sister wanted one kind while the boys wanted another. Eventually, big sister took the “L” and the boys got to pick which cereal they wanted.

3. If I want to do this challenge again next week, I have to ensure that I have the patience to trail three undecisive kiddos down the market aisles.

4. They request far fewer snacks and unnecessary items when they know money that could go into their pockets is on the line. Our little friends are a bit more conscious of their choices.

5. They got this!


5 thoughts on “4 Deep Family Challenge 2018: Handing Over the Food Budget to the Cool Kids

  1. I love this idea! Put more responsibility on them and take some off of my already overloaded single mom shoulders! I especially like the incentive-keeping whatever they don’t spend of the $100 per week! Truth: I spend more than that weekly on groceries and fast food anyway! Starting this asap!


  2. I am so glad I found your blog. I am a new single mom of a 10 months old boy from Houston. It’s a bit overwhelming. I am reading everything I find for advice and inspiration. Thank you for sharing your life with the rest of us.


  3. Hello Tanai,

    I am sure you get a ton of email. I read your story and I am truly inspired! I am contracted through Teachaway to come to Abu Dhabi in August. I am a single mom. I really need help with finding childcare during the time I’m in the hotel because of professional developments and then I’m sure I will need someone to watch my kids after we leave the hotel. I heard that I could easily be taken advantage of. Or easily put my kids in the hands of someone dangerous. If you could provide any resources or referrals to trusted childcare providers. I would appreciate it.



    1. Hello, your situation is one that many single parents face during the transition. One option is having a family member fly with you and hang around until you get settled if this is feasible. Also, the expatriate community in the UAE is very close knit. Starting building your village now by joining UAE expat Facebook groups. These groups will eventually be your saving grace. If you have any question or need further guidance feel free to.email me Tanai@4deeparoundtheworld.com


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