How to Make Couponing Fun for Kids

Illustration of a family surrounded by coupons

Madelyn Goodnight / Verywell

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Soaring gas prices, higher costs at the grocery store, and supply chain shortages have families scrambling for effective ways to save money. A tried-and-true favorite, couponing, has long been a way for savvy shoppers to get the biggest bang for their buck.

Research shows that 88% of people used coupons for shopping in 2020. While parents are often the ones who look for bargains, children can also get involved in the process of helping to save money. Not only can it help grownups with bargain-hunting, but kids can gain valuable skills in the process.

Olivia Chante’ Frazier, LPC

Children can learn life skills such as budgeting, organization, [and] success from ... their ability to coupon.

— Olivia Chante’ Frazier, LPC

“Children can learn life skills such as budgeting, organization, [and] success from seeing the benefits of their ability to coupon. It can also provide mental stimulation,” notes Olivia Chanté Frazier, LPC, the CEO of Transform You LLC.

Kids are more excited to get on board when parents make the process fun. With a little creativity and an exciting outlook, couponing can be an experience that’s fun and educational for kids, while benefitting the family’s overall budget.

What Is Couponing?

Couponing is the act of finding digital or paper coupons to present to a store to receive savings on an item. Couponing can also consist of visiting websites designed to give deals at a discount, such as Groupon, RetailMeNot, or Rakuten. Some people enjoy the thrill and challenge of finding coupons; for others, it is the help they need to stay financially afloat.

“Couponing was our saving grace. It was a way for us to save money using the ‘discount’ in the form of dollars or cents off of a particular item,” explains Shakema Wilson, a mother and "mompreneur.

“We discovered couponing about 11 years ago after finding ourselves in a situation we had not planned," she adds. "In the midst of a divorce and becoming a single parent to four children…it was the only way we could eat.” The practice grew and Wilson notes she now not only still uses coupons for her family, but helps others learn how to save money through her YouTube Channel, 1mom2girls2boys8inall.

Families can also save money by downloading apps from a particular store. From grocery stores like Kroger to department stores like Kohl’s, businesses offer coupon savings inside of their apps.

Other ways to save include shopping on certain days of the week when particular discounts are available, signing up for a company’s email list to receive digital coupons, and finding coupon codes that can be used during checkout when shopping online.

How to Get Kids Involved in Couponing

Parents say they’ve used a variety of methods to get kids on board with couponing. Making a game of finding coupons is something kids really enjoy.

“I turn shopping into a scavenger hunt. My 9-year-old loves this,” says Krystal Boman, a stay-at-home mom in Calera, Alabama. “Make it fun. Involve them, reward them. Let them see the money that you save here and there, and [that the savings can] be applied to get other things that [they] want,” she adds. 

When kids attempt to find coupons and ways to save on household purchases, parents can praise and reward children for their efforts. The feeling of inclusion in the family process can help motivate some kids.

“Parents can get kids involved by allowing them to be part of the process and challenge them to find ways to save money on their favorite things,” Frazier explains. 

Olivia Chanté Frazier

Parents can get kids involved by allowing them to be part of the process and challenge them to find ways to save money on their favorite things.

— Olivia Chanté Frazier

When her family heads to the grocery store, Wilson gets the children involved in every aspect of saving. Initially, the kids placed coupons with their corresponding item in the shopping cart to make checkout easier. From there, the kids’ responsibilities grew.

“As they got older, they were able to go in search of items on their own since we always shopped the store the same way each time we went,” Wilson notes. She created a fun competition to add to the shopping experience. “We also sent kids to different aisles to see who could bring back the correct item the fastest,” she states.

For Boman, creativity is key. “When I am shopping for our household, I have started letting [my child] look at the receipts. [She keeps] the tax that is on there,” Boman explains. “Basically [I’m] paying her for her time.”

While finding discounts and matching items is work, when packaged in a way that is attractive to a child, they want to be a part of the process. Kids feel a sense of pride, accomplishment, and belonging as they help the family achieve a goal.

What Can Kids Learn From Couponing?

Couponing can teach kids about more than just saving money. It offers lessons and allows them to see tangible, immediate benefits.

Math Skills

Students often wonder when they will ever use the math they’re learning in school. Couponing provides the perfect opportunity to put those skills to work. Children practice multiplication, addition, subtraction, and get a real-life application for all the math they’ve learned. “This is great consumer math material,” Wilson notes.

Shakema Wilson

They will be frugal before they enter the world and will also be adept at comparison shopping.

— Shakema Wilson

Maintaining a Budget

More than 20% of teenagers lack basic financial proficiency. Working within a budget, and learning how to save money in the process, is a valuable skill. Couponing helps kids see money is not a limitless resource.

Kids also learn the importance of prioritizing spending needs. “They will be frugal before they enter the world and will also be adept at comparison shopping,” Wilson states.

Fine Motor Skills

When younger children use their hands to cut out paper coupons or type on the keyboard to find digital savings, they are using fine motor skills. When they go to the store and select items from the shelf, they are exercising hand-eye coordination. Couponing gives kids an opportunity to hone these skills, often without even realizing it.

An activity that’s fun, educational, and saves money is a win-win for kids and parents. Couponing fits the bill. Even if kids don’t seem enthused about participating initially, parents leading by example can be just the push they need in the right direction.

“Kids are resilient. They adapt to whatever tone you set in the household. Make it fun,” Wilson advises.

A Word From Verywell

Finding coupons and saving money benefits your entire household. When you make kids a part of the process, they are not only doing their part to help the family, but they are learning valuable skills in the process. Taking the time to find creative ways to help your kids enjoy couponing can be worthwhile for them, and for your wallet.

2 Sources
Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Statista. Consumers who ever use coupons for shopping in the United States from 2017 to 2020.

  2. Programme for International Student Assessment. PISA 2015 results, students' financial literacy volume IV.

By LaKeisha Fleming
LaKeisha Fleming is a prolific writer with over 20 years of experience writing for a variety of formats, from film and television scripts, to magazines articles and digital content. She has written for CNN, Tyler Perry Studios, Motherly, Atlanta Parent Magazine, Fayette Woman Magazine, and numerous others. She is passionate about parenting and family, as well as destigmatizing mental health issues. Her book, There Is No Heartbeat: From Miscarriage to Depression to Hope, is authentic, transparent, and providing hope to many.Visit her website at