Supports ASIC's MoneySmart Teaching unit of work 'Ben buys up big'.
One Sunday afternoon, Ben was playing soccer in the garden with his best friend Phil. The soccer ball was getting old and losing its bounce - it didn't worry them too much. They loved nothing more than playing soccer and running around, pretending to be their favourite soccer stars in the backyard.
Suddenly, Ben's older sister Claire came out to the garden.
"Ben and I need to go to the supermarket to get food for the week. Would you like to come with us, Phil?" she asked.
"Yes, please!" Phil replied.
Claire sat at the kitchen table with a piece of paper and a pencil, writing out a shopping list.
"Now, we need to plan what to buy before we go, so that we have enough money to buy everything we need" she said. "What would you like to eat for dinner?"
"Pizza?" Phil suggested.
"Pizza could be a good idea" Claire said. "Although Mum wants us to be eating more vegetables. How could we add vegetables to our dinner?"
Ben thought about how he could eat more vegetables with his dinner. "We could make a salad?" he proposed.
"Excellent idea, Ben" Claire said proudly. "And what should we put in our salad?"
"Some very colourful choices" Claire said, writing down the suggestions. "And now, lunch for school next week. Ben and I eat sandwiches for lunch. What do we need to buy to make sandwiches?"
Ben thought about what he needed to make sandwiches each morning. "Bread – we definitely need bread for sandwiches. We also need chicken and cheese".
"Don't forget to have chocolate with lunch!" Phil said.
"The teachers don't like us bringing chocolate into school every day" Claire said. "Can you think of something healthy we might have instead?"
Phil thought for a moment.
"Apples and bananas would be healthy" he suggested.
"Yes, and they are both tasty" Ben added.
"That sounds like a very balanced lunch" Claire said. She showed the shopping list to Ben and Phil.
The shopping list displayed everything that they needed for that night's dinner and the school lunches.
She gave the list to Ben to hold before walking with Phil and Ben to the Supermarket. Claire made sure that they took the reusable shopping bags so that they had bags to bring the shopping home in.
They walked past a newsagent on the way to the Supermarket. The magazines outside featured pictures of Ben and Phil's favourite soccer stars.
"Can we get a magazine?" Phil asked. "I really want to read the new Soccer Monthly magazine".
Claire thought about it. "It's not on our list. We have quite a few things to buy and a limited amount of money. Let's buy what we need first".
They arrived at the Supermarket and walked to the fruit and vegetable section.
"What fruit or vegetables are on our shopping list Ben?" Claire asked.
Ben looked through the list.
"We need apples and bananas" he said.
"Let's get the bananas first" Claire said.
The price tag for the bananas was $4.30 a kilo. There was a second pile of bananas labelled "Organic Bananas" which were $5.50 a kilo. Claire looked at both piles and the prices for each. She picked a bunch of bananas from the first pile, ensuring that both she and Ben had a banana for each school day.
They then moved to the apples' section. Ben was amazed by how many different types of apple there were.
"There are lots of different types of apples" he said. "Which ones shall we choose?"
Claire looked at the price tags for each apple.
"Well we don't want to spend too much money. Granny Smith apples are $3.80 a kilo. Royal Gala apples are $4.80 a kilo. And Pink Lady apples are on special this week for $3.00 a kilo. Which do you think is the best option for us to buy?"
Ben thought about the different prices and compared what would be the best option to pick. They needed enough money to buy everything on their list, so the cheapest option would be the best one.
"Pink Lady apples?" he suggested.
"Good choice Ben" Claire said. "Now Phil, Ben and I both need an apple for the five days of school next week. How many apples do we need to buy?"
Phil thought for a moment. "Ten apples!" he said.
"That's right Phil" she said.
Ben and Phil selected the apples and then collected the vegetables on their list, using the same method of comparing prices which Claire had used.
They then moved to the cold section of the supermarket to collect the ingredients for their sandwiches.
Phil suddenly saw that chocolate products were advertised as being cheaper that week.
"Claire, my favourite chocolate is on special. Can we please get a block of chocolate?"
Claire looked at the price tags. "It's only 20 cents cheaper than what you would normally pay for the chocolate. Do you really need the chocolate?"
Phil thought about whether or not he needed or wanted the chocolate.
"Well I'm hungry so yes, I really need chocolate" he said.
"Okay. We're 10 minutes' walk from home and there are some freshly-made ANZAC biscuits there for us. Could you wait 10 minutes until we get home?"
Phil considered whether he would decide to wait or get the chocolate now.
"I think I can wait for 10 minutes" he said. "ANZAC biscuits are my favourite type of biscuit. I would rather have the biscuit at home than buy the chocolate".
They selected the chicken and cheese and moved to the frozen foods aisle. The aisle was very cold!
"Now, which pizza should we get for tonight's dinner?" Claire asked.
Ben looked at the wall of pizzas and wondered how he would choose the right one.
"What type of pizza do you want?", Claire said.
"Meat pizza", Phil and Ben agreed.
"So what are the prices of each type of pizza?"
Ben and Phil examined the prices of the meat pizzas. "The BBQ Meat lovers is $7.15, Pepperoni is $7.70 and the pizza made by the supermarket is $3.00"
"And the best choice is?"
"The Supermarket-brand product" Ben said smiling. "Because it is the best price for what we need".
They went to the check-out and Ben and Phil took the items out of the trolley for the cashier to scan. They then put the items in the shopping bags that they had brought with them, which meant that they did not have to pay extra money to use plastic bags.
Ben watched as Claire counted out the money for the cashier and received the change.
They walked out of the supermarket carrying their shopping.
"Next time we go shopping, I'm putting you in charge" Claire said. "You will write the shopping list, make decisions about the best value products to buy and I will help you pay the cashier at the check-out. You can ask me questions as we shop, so that you are ready."
"That sounds great" said Ben. He had lots of planning to do for next Sunday's supermarket trip.
"We bought everything on our list" Claire said. Then she smiled, "Which means we have some money left over for something we want".
"Chocolate?", Phil suggested.
"Not chocolate this time", she said, pointing at the soccer balls advertised outside the nearby sports shop.
"I think you boys might need a new soccer ball soon. Do you want to get a new one now?"
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