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Leaving your kids at home will save you $46 on your next shopping trip

Shopping with their parents also gives kids a chance to spend their own hard-earned money.

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sale, consumerism and people concept - happy family with little child and shopping bags in city
(Ground Picture via Shutterstock)

Next time you go shopping, try leaving the kids at home – according to new research, it might just save you money.

A new study has found two in three parents said shopping with their kids tends to be more expensive than just shopping by themselves. Solo ventures cost an average of $133; meanwhile, shopping with kids costs an average of $179.

The poll of 2,000 U.S. parents revealed that for 65%, shopping solo allows them to buy different things from different stores than when their kids are around. When shopping alone, parents look for groceries (44%), beauty products (42%), electronics (40%) and clothing (38%).

Shopping together was also found to give kids a chance to spend their own hard-earned money. Of the 61% of parents who give their children an allowance, 78% of them let their kids spend their money in whatever way they see fit.

However, 35% claimed shopping alongside their kids is like pulling teeth — and for many, bribery is the answer.

Commissioned by Slickdeals and conducted by OnePoll, the survey found 44% of parents have to bribe their kids to behave while shopping.

Eighteen percent said they’ve successfully bribed their kids with cold hard cash if they behave themselves. Kids were found to also be swayed by candy (37%), snacks (36%) and toys (34%).

One in four bribing parents even claimed their efforts “always” work.

Parents shared the other weirdest things their kids have asked for while shopping: slime, iPhones, a ferret, pig ear chew toys meant for dogs and even a TAXIDERMIZED alligator numbered among the responses.

“Shopping with kids appears to cost parents more, but there are valuable money lessons that can be learned through the experience,” said Louie Patterson, personal finance manager for Slickdeals. “Including your children in everyday shopping decisions and discussions about larger purchases is a great way to teach them the value of a dollar.”

The survey also found 59% of parents shop both online and in stores with their children.

Many parents see shopping with their children as a chance for their family to bond — 44% prefer shopping in a physical store and 12% prefer to bond while shopping online.

Three in five (62%) turn the shared shopping experience into a lesson for their kids, showing them the value of a dollar (62%), the difference between necessities and nice-to-haves (58%), patience (50%) and how to look for deals (50%).

Respondents recommended starting these lessons with children once they’re nine years old.

Generally, family shopping habits occur four times per month, usually on Saturdays (65%) or Sundays (39%). The busiest months to shop with kids tend to be right around the holidays and back-to-school season: December (45%), November (32%) and August (24%).


  • The value of a dollar - 62 %
  • Difference between necessities and nice-to-haves - 58 %
  • Patience - 50 %
  • How to look for deals - 50 %
  • What items are needed - 47 %
  • Where to locate things in a store - 39 %
  • How to ask for assistance - 37 %

Survey methodology:

This random double-opt-in survey of 2,000 American parents was commissioned by Slickdeals between November 15 and November 22, 2022. It was conducted by market research company OnePoll, whose team members are members of the Market Research Society and have corporate membership to the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and the European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research (ESOMAR).

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