Keeping the Kids Happy (And Learning) While You Cut Coupons!

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I coupon for the benefit of my family!
I do spend 3-5 hours a week that I didn’t spend before – clipping coupons and shopping,
but I have found some ways to make this add to our family time – not take away from it!
Couponing benefits my family in so many ways. We save hundreds of dollars every month on our grocery shopping, we have been able to build a great food storage by couponing and we are continually adding to it, we have things on hand when we need them, and we are able to help out others in ways that we never have before. Plus, my children are learning at even a young age the importance of budgeting money, shopping smart, and living frugally.
I have found that I am most successful couponing when I have a schedule. I have set up our family schedule so that each Monday morning we clip coupons and file them in my binder. I have two young children that want to be a part of what I am doing and who love to have my attention (I love my two cuties!). I have decided that rather than make coupon clipping frustrating or hard to get done, that I’ll have it benefit us!  So, each week as I clip coupons, my kids are at the table by me working on a project of their own – and what makes them feel like they are “just like mommy” is that I have the projects revolve around the newspaper, coupons, or grocery shopping.
Most of the projects that we do help them to learn and develop skills too. What a win-win situation! I get the coupons clipped, the kids have fun and are involved, and they grow in their abilities!

Here are some of the projects that they have done during coupon time:
Animal Collages:
We took the Petsmart ad from the newspaper and created animal collages! My older child practices his cutting skills – cutting out the pictures. My younger child learns the name of new animals and practices the ones she already knows. They have lots of fun – spotting the animals in the ad and also love that they get to be the one to do the glueing!
Kid’s Coupon Binders:
My kids just love to get their cute little hands on my coupon binder – unfortunately, I don’t like it too much! So, one day we set up coupon binders for the kids. I grabbed some binders I had that I wasn’t using any more and threw in a couple baseball card pages. First, the kids designed and colored the covers of the binders – a great art project and a great way to help them make their binders their own! Then, as I find coupons that I don’t use and coupons that are expired, I let them put them in their binder. My older child  practices cutting – cutting out the coupons I’m not going to use, and then he can work on sorting the coupons. My younger child practices matching up coupons that are the same, plus folding the coupons and sliding them in the little slots are great ways for her to develop her fine motor skills!
Silly Pictures:
Ok, so this one is more just silly and fun – however the kids do practice their drawing skills too! After I have pulled out the coupons that I want from the coupon magazines or newspaper, I let the kids draw silly pictures on the pictures of people. They LOVE this! Of course I emphasize that this is paper that is garbage and that they should never do this to pictures in a book or magazine without first asking mommy!
Other Ideas:
  • Comics: Have your kids practice their reading skills reading the comics. For some of the older creative kids, later have them write a comic of their own.
  • Word Search: For those little ones who are just learning to read, give them a page or two of the newspaper and a couple of their favorite colored crayons and have them search for words that they know how to read. Then have them color, circle, or highlight those words with their crayons. Make it a game – by asking having them see just how many they can find.
  • Grocery List Making: This activity can be adapted depending on the age or abilities of your child. For older kids, tell them that you would like them to help you write your grocery list. As you clip coupons, tell them the items that you would like them to write on the grocery list. Then when you go shopping, tuck your own personal list somewhere they won’t notice, and then have them read to you what they wrote on their list. For younger kids, the lists might be shorter or you might have to write out some words on another paper that they can copy or trace. Or, you can have them draw pictures of the items that you tell them.
  • Car Collages: For those little boys who just love cars – let them make a car collage. Once again, they work on refining their cutting, arranging, and gluing skills.
  • Toy Hunt: Give your kids some of the store ads. Have them create “Wish Lists” for their birthday or Christmas. This keeps them busy looking and they also practice their writing skills. For little fingers – have them circle directly in the ad – the items they want – that way they can practice using a pencil or pen.
  • Silly Notes: Have your child write a note to a friend, grandma, etc. But, rather than having them write the words, have them cut the letters out of the newspaper and glue the letters on a page to make the words.
  • Spelling Practice: This activity is just the same as the “Silly Letters” activity but rather than writing notes using the letters from the paper – have them cut out the letters from the paper and use them to practice their spelling words.
(First Image courtesy of Vlado/


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