Trolley challenge


It’s not just food the adults need to buy but everything else too. What else is needed to keep the family happy and the house running smoothly? Do these things magically appear? Where do these things come from and how much does it all cost? This activity challenges children to think about what they really need and want and where those things come from and what they cost.

What will my child learn:

This activity focuses on daily life and what items children use but don’t realise cost money, it extends the theme of shopping and further examines needs and wants.

‘Trolley Challenge’ will allow children to:

  • Develop knowledge of the cost of living
  • Consider the wider needs and wants of their family
  • Understand how families budget income vs expenditure

Financial Education Planning Framework: Becoming a Critical Consumer

Getting started

You may have already undertaken the ‘Bargain hunt’ which will have highlighted the cost of a food shop, this activity is about enabling your children to understand and appreciate the wider costs of daily life. In order to do this, you may need to share how much some of the other costs of running a home are e.g. buying clothes, running a car, electricity and other energy costs, mobile phones, the internet – what about toys and furniture, it all adds up.

Print off the trolley template and get them to create a list of other items in your home which need to be paid for-see how many things they can find!

You could set a time challenge -what items can they find in the house that they use and yet they don’t know how or who puts them in the house.

Money talk

As a family put the trolleys on the kitchen table and talk about the items that they’ve put into them. Why are they important? Are they needs or wants? Remember needs are essentials and wants are the nice things which make life more enjoyable. Are there things missing that they would like to have in the trolley? Are these affordable?

Who uses them and where do they come from? What do they cost – and who pays for them? Could the cost be reduced? If so how? Could you vote to remove some items from the household trolley? Would this save money which could be used in the Family Savings Challenge?

Get Creative!

Make a collage from your trolleys, you can revisit this in a few months and see if anything has changed in the house.

Use a trolley template to create a list of ways all the family could reduce costs e.g. switching off lights, closing doors, walking instead of driving etc.


Click on the below to download the PDF:

Trolley challenge

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Prudential plc is a company incorporated and with its principal place of business in England, and its affiliated companies constitute one of the world's leading financial services groups. It provides insurance and financial services directly and through its subsidiaries and affiliates throughout the world. It has been in existence for over 168 years and has £599 billion in assets under management (as at 31 December 2016). Prudential plc is not affiliated in any manner with Prudential Financial, Inc., a company whose principal place of business is in the United States of America.

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