It’s hard to explain the value of money to children.
There is the obvious ‘if we do this, then we can’t do that’ model.
There is the age old lesson of saving your slowly earned money for something you desperately want. (I saved $92 to buy Atari!)
What I’m more interested in is teaching myself the value of money as it relates to feeding my family.
Here are my three most recent versions of $16 worth of food:
1) I went out to lunch with my cousin. I love local owned and new restaurants. So, we went to Bru Burger Bar. I ordered a sandwich and split an order of fries (which did not come with the burger) and water. The fries were listed under the Sides and Appetizers to share. They were a huge order with three housemade dipping sauces. The burger was good. The dipping sauces GREAT! After tax and tip, my part of the bill was just a bit over $16.
One meal for one person.
2) My husband and I like to go out for lunch one day a week together. Last week, in celebration of Cinco de Mayo, we picked the local Mexican chain, El Rodeo. We each had the lunch special, chicken fajitas, chips and salsa and water. The portions were HUGE. I ate about half my plate full and brought the rest home. The bill was just under $16 with tax and tip. Later in the weekend, we ate those leftovers on a few random tortillas.
Two meals for two people.
3) Yesterday after kids’ sporting events, I made a quick trip to Kroger. I wanted to grill out for dinner. One kid had a friend over, so I was feeding 6 people. I bought two pounds of ground hamburger, a box of macaroni and cheese, a few tomatoes for a salad and ice cream for dessert. To that, I added items I already had at home: a bag of chips, a bag of frozen corn, one head of romaine lettuce, and pineapple. The grocery store purchases totaled $10. The items on hand – about $6. Total – $16.
One meal for six people.
So, the question becomes, what is the value (in food) of $16? Is it a nice lunch with a friend at a new trendy restaurant and great conversation? Is it time alone with your spouse and the creativity to stretch it to one more meal for two? Is it a dinner at home that includes dessert?
Here’s what I learned: it’s hard to define the value of $16 of food. Help me by sharing your thoughts!