Mom’s Snack Shack or Camp’s Canteen

Do your kids like to buy snacks at the store? Do they ask you as you are walking through the store for this thing, or that thing? (I have an answer for that one – but will have to be another post)

I came up with this idea a few years ago while shopping at Sam’s Club.

A lot of the stores my kids frequent would sell them little bags of chips, pop (soda), nuts, lollipops, etc. for prices that were way more than I could buy them for myself. I decided to open Mom’s Snack Shack.


I bought several of the items that my children liked to snack on. Little bags of popcorn, chips, candy bars, fruit roll ups, gum, nuts, juice packs, popsicles, etc. Then I set up shop. I took the amount it cost me to buy the items, and tacked on 10% for my time. Now, the kids would use their allowance money to buy stuff from my store. Every couple of weeks, I would take the money and go back and get the same items. They weren’t allowed unlimited access to the store, there is only so much junk I allow them Basically we we
to eat. You could run it like a canteen at camp if you’d like, where the store is only open on certain days, which would help with the problem of one child having too many snacks.

Some of the kids got in on the act by buying cans of pop, keeping them cold in the refrigerator with a sign that said, “50 cents.”

Recycling the snack money continued to replenish the supply. I gave the kids an allowance, which also went back into our own coffers. Another great benefit was that the kids wanted to earn money so they could buy themselves a snack. Therefore, I was able to get some of those undesirable jobs done and didn’t have to pay someone else to do them, I could just pay my own kids.

Occasionally I would open the store as a “Good Kids Store” to bless the kids that day with a free treat. It was funny to hear my kids say to me, “Mom, since we’re having pizza tonight, could we have a free pop?”
Another benefit of this store is that my children have learned the value of food that comes from the store. (Yes, I would take them shopping to pick out some of the items) I have never known my kids to take anything from another child without offering to pay for it. Even if there is something in the refrigerator that they think belongs to everyone, they will also ask if it’s okay to have it, or if it will cost them money.

If you find your kids are spending their allowance money on snacks somewhere else, that you could probably buy at Wal Mart or Sam’s Club cheaper, I would recommend you set up your own Snack Shack.

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2 thoughts on “Mom’s Snack Shack or Camp’s Canteen

  1. ooh…I LOVE that idea! Right now, I pay my kids in snacks. For example, they can earn a gummy bear for every 5 things they pick up. This solves the argument of “but I didn’t make that mess!” Depending on how much is already on the floor, that determines how many things they have to pick up to earn a treat. If the floor is already picked up, …then they get their snack for free. So they get rewarded for picking up without being asked. They don’t get anything for picking up their own rooms, though. I’ve been trying to come up with a way to incorporate an allowance into the issue. I may have to try your idea. Have you ever heard of Accountable Kids? We used it for awhile but then we fell off the wagon because I never read the book that went with it and we hit snags that I couldn’t solve. They want me to start doing it again so I better read the book.