This is an activity I do with my 6th grade students to help them practice adding and subtracting decimals.
Students plan out what they will eat and drink for five days and then "shop" for the items using a budget of $100. They need to subtract items from their budgets as they go and then answer questions about how well they stayed on budget.
There are several different ways you can use this activity:
1. Have students plan their meals and shopping lists in class, and then for homework, have them take their lists to the store to find the prices.
2. Have students plan their meals and shopping lists in class and then use the internet and newspaper to find prices of items without leaving the classroom.
3. Plan everything in class and then take a field trip to the local grocery store.
4. Have students complete the entire activity as a homework project or extra credit project.
This was one of my students' favorite math activities all year and it was also very eye opening for them. Many of them didn't realize how expensive groceries are.
As an extension, have students calculate and add in the sales tax.