If you ever needed an excuse to leave your kids at home when you do the shopping – this is it. A new study has revealed that shopping with the kids adds almost $50 to the bill.

Two in three parents surveyed by Slickdeals said their shopping trips cost more when the kids tag along. On average, the 2000 US parents surveyed said they usually spend $133 when shopping alone, compared to $179 when shopping with the kids.

But – there is a silver lining, which may just be more valuable than saving some coin.

The price of shopping with kids

More than half of the parents who took part in the survey said that when shopping on their own, they tended to stick to things like groceries, beauty products, electronics and clothing.

But taking the kids along often meant unintended purchases – with some of the stranger things parents and kids have come home with after a shopping trip including a ferret and taxidermie alligator.

And it’s not just random purchases that cost parents, almost half of those surveyed said they’ve resorted to bribery to ensure the shopping trip went smoothly.

But the upside to taking the kids shopping is the invaluable lessons they learn. Three out of five parents surveyed said they use shopping trips as a learning experience to help their kids learn the value of money.

Other said they teach their children how to find the best deals.

“Shopping with kids appears to cost parents more, but there are valuable money lessons that can be learned through the experience,” Slickdeals personal finance manager Louie Patterson said.

“Including your children in everyday shopping decisions and discussions about larger purchases is a great way to teach them the value of a dollar.”

Do you let your kids come shopping with you or do you leave them at home? Let us know in the comments below.

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  • I feel like my husband adds a lot more $$ to the cost than my children do. They’re pretty good if they’re told no, he just throws things in without checking!


  • I have to say I enjoy shopping without kids because I can take the time I need to read labels and don’t have to rush around the supermarket.


  • I always take my kids shopping with me.
    there’s so much kids can learn
    it’s one of the best life long lessons I can teach them.
    How to manage money and how to shop for a healthy lifestyle


  • My kids would come shopping, esp. as old to help out and could grab a treat for helping and always knew to choose one of special as a thanks for helping. They knew we were shopping from the list as I had meal planned.


  • Oh costs $50 and an extra 30-60 mins.


  • I have always preferred to shop alone so I can just get what I need and move on quickly.


  • I never made it a habit to make unintended purchases just because I take the kids to the shop. A shopping list can help and making a separate shopping list for each child -so they’re involved- gives them the feeling of importance.


  • I take bubs on the smaller grocery shops, as I can walk him in the pram and we buy just the few things we need. Bigger shops I do on my own mostly as he’s a bit to wrangle with trolleys and bags etc


  • I never mind shopping with the kids. It’s the husband that makes things difficult. He is always trying to hurry me along and then I forget to get things.


  • My boys always used to come shopping with me and it wouldn’t cost me any more. I made sure to go shopping the day they got their pocket money. That way they could buy what they wanted. They learnt from it that if they saved their money they’d be able to save for something bigger. It worked for us.


  • Geez… $50 average is a lot. What are parents buying their children whilse shopping? I always take my 4yo with me, occasionally my 9yo if he has no school. I never bribe them but reward them. They help me shop, get items, push the trolley. They always get an 80cent yoghurt, rarely a $1.50 yogo custard. I always allow the treat in my shopping budget.
    The only time I see more money spent on shopping is if my fiancè comes along. He always grab things we don’t need or extra snacks. So I refuse to take him shopping with us. Easily, he can add extra $50 in 1 shop.


  • I used to shop on Fridays during the day whilst my son was at school. But yes, I agree, on any occasion he came with me the shopping was definitely more expensive. Happens now when hubby comes shopping with me!


  • I do my shopping online so that I know exactly what I’m spending.


  • I usually have them when I pop in before school, but I don’t really let them add things in.


  • I take them with me now and then but i give them few snack options to chose from and each child gets only one. They help me at the counter while i hold bub so its not that bad.


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