Grocery Shopping in the Classroom

Sometimes you have to practice grocery shopping without going to the store. Our official grocery store community trip won't be until January, but we will be practicing our grocery shopping skills, specifically shopping from a list, all year long!
One way we do this is through a simulated grocery shopping experiences. 

Bookshelf Grocery Store: I created a mini shopping experience on a bookshelf. We have a variety of empty food boxes and containers. My first thought was to make mini departments and have a "refrigerated' section...but I haven't had time to be that awesome yet. :)
I created two levels of shopping lists, one including pictures and the other with only words. Each list has 3-4 items on it. I taped a folder with the directions written on it and each level goes in one of the two pockets. 

Students will take a shopping bag, fill it up with items on their list, and then put the list in the bag and move to the next one. I have students complete it this way so that we can check to see if they got the correct items. If you can find the same items I used, feel free to download the lists I created for free.

Work Task Shopping Lists: Another way we practice this is during our work task boxes. This is very similar to the grocery shopping set up, just on a much smaller scale. Student look at a shopping list and fill the bag with those items. I have shopping lists with pictures or with words, ranging from 3 to 5 items. This task is available to download at my TpT store.

Online Tutorials: I've talked about how much I love the GFCLearnFree website before. Seriously, if you are looking for functional life skills, you will find an interactive tutorial in their Everyday Life section! The grocery list tutorial goes over finding the right aisle and then finding those items on your list. Did I mention its interactive? Awesome! :)

Grocery Store File Folders: And then there's my grocery store file folders that I've talked about in detail here. There are a total of 10 file folders, 2 which specifically deal with shopping from a list and the other cover a variety of grocery store topics.

Grocery Store Field Trip Prep: I created this grocery store community unit that is packed full of materials including Bingo games, social stories, vocabulary, coloring pages, worksheets, and more! We will start using that unit the month of our grocery store trip.

Honestly, I didn't realize I had so many grocery shopping resources when I started to type this post! What other things do you do to prepare your students for grocery shopping? I'd love to hear about them!


  1. A local store has Penny Pincher coupons each month. I cut out the ones I would personally use in my own home. We sort them out by department then figure out how much money we will need in each department. the money and coupons are put in envelopes for each department. When we get to the store each student chooses an envelope and we break off with different staff members to shop. When finished each youth puts their items on the belt and uses the bills to pay for the items using next dollar. I get my groceries purchased, they each have a real life experience and practice and it isn't extra money for me toward functional experinces.

  2. At what grade level do you think this is appropriate? Do you ever get to a point where you allow them to create their own grocery lists to help students learn items necessary specifically to them? (:


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