NGPF Featured Lesson: Plan a Food Budget

From Jessica Endlich Winkler, our curriculum guru:

As students complete the NGPF Salary Based Budgeting activity, they often indicate they’re most surprised by how much food can cost them as a monthly expense. While there are countless blogs, Pinterest pages, and television shows devoted to extreme couponing, cutting out your daily latte, and the like, we used this lesson to present a balanced look at realistic ways to budget for food.

Lesson 6.4 is Plan a Food Budget, and it features a lifehacker.com article entitled “How to Lower Your Food Budget (Without Giving Anything Up)” and a Consumer Reports video, “Unit Pricing Helps You Save.” Like all Next Gen Personal Finance lessons, we curate this online content into a well designed lesson, that flows in a cohesive way to help your students learn the key objectives, in this case:

  • Implement strategies for saving money on groceries
  • Calculate unit price on common grocery items and use that as part of their decision making process
  • Plan a food budget that includes both groceries and dining out.

Then, our real value add is our original activities that guide students through various levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy or Depth of Knowledge. In Unit Price Decision Making,¬†students start with computation of unit price on two options for buying tomatoes — by the pound or in a 5-pound box. Then, it becomes decision time — which makes more sense for them? — so they consider external factors aside from price with no single correct answer. Now, does your decision change if instead of tomatoes we’re talking about rice?

The activity continues from there, as does the lesson, during which students go back and modify their Salary-Based Budget spreadsheet created in Budgeting Basics. As an optional extension activity, I absolutely love this Time photojournalistic piece on what families across the globe eat in one week. It’s beautiful, thought provoking, multicultural and appeals to your visual learners. Basically, an amazing supplement to the core of this lesson.

We hope you and your students enjoy!