Saturday, November 3, 2012

Cuckoo for Couponing: How to turn Everyday Errands into Fun Games to Keep your Kids Happy and Busy

Are you that parent at the grocery store who always has a crowd of screaming kids who like to run around the store and knock over food displays? Although sometimes kids can just throw fits for no apparent reason, most of the time they act out because they're bored and dislike running errands without entertainment.

Photo by Polycart
You could spend hundreds of dollars a month on a nanny to watch the kids while you run your daily errands or you could keep your kids entertained by turning grocery shopping into a fun and interactive game that your kids will actually want to play.

Sound too good to be true? It's not.

Introducing: Cuckoo for Couponing
Cuckoo for Couponing is an entirely made-up game that convinces your kids that shopping is fun. Since you love saving money, recruiting the kids to help you clip and use coupons makes sense. But what incentive do you give them for helping you with this task? In the Cuckoo for Couponing game, kids get prizes after reaching a certain dollar amount of savings with the coupons they've clipped. For example, if your child clips 10 $1 coupons for toilet paper and you use every single one of them, he has earned 10 savings points.

It's up to you where you want to set the boundary and what rewards you'd like to give. However, you'll want to keep in mind that kids will need to start seeing some results from their efforts fairly quickly, so they don't get bored with the game. Usually, it's good to shoot for about $50 of savings. However, you can also create a point ladder for kids to aim for and assign prizes accordingly. For example, five points will win you a piece of candy, 10 points will earn you a movie rental, 20 points will earn you freedom from one weekly chore, and so on.

Allow kids to personally benefit from coupon use
Although some kids may be sold with all of the points they earn for helping mom and dad save, others may want a more immediate incentive to help out and behave appropriately. This is usually the case with younger children, in which case you can engage kids in couponing by allowing them to clip grocery coupons that will be used for one or two special items just for them. This could be a discount on a candy bar, popsicles, Lunchables or another kid favorite item that will satisfy your little one.

You can also offer similar privileges for different types of coupons. However, to get the most out of this game, make sure your child also maintains good behavior when running errands, since this will be part of how they earn their prize.

Kids can be tricked into doing pretty much anything if you make it seem fun – just take a look at Tom Sawyer's famous fence whitewashing scheme. By making shopping and couponing into a game, you can keep your kids entertained and better behaved when you run those essential errands throughout the day. If it works with this task, just imagine the endless list of chores you can trick your kids into doing to make your life easier!

Grady Winston is an avid internet entrepreneur and guest blogger from Indianapolis. He has worked in the fields of technology, business, marketing, and advertising implementing multiple creative projects and solutions for a range of clients. The best way to save is to ensure you clip grocery coupons and maximize your shopping experience.