Special Snack: Budgeting for Health

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In this activity, learners will plan a snack within a budget. With a $20 limit (theoretical) to spend on snack for everyone, learners look over grocery store circulars and make their shopping lists. As a group, they compare shopping lists and choose one. Does the shopping list with the healthiest foods get chosen or the one with the most food? Make sure to plan a time to actually make the purchases, if possible, to make this activity more realistic. Variations include planning a “wish list” with catalogs and a spending limit such as $500 or $1,000. [Activity is publicly available through a web crawler capture on Archive.org.]

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
45 to 60 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
free per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 6 - 14

Resource Type:


Materials List (per group of students)

  • Grocery store circulars
  • Paper and pencils
  • Calculators (optional)


  • Life Sciences
    • Human Body
      • Health and Nutrition
  • Mathematics
    • Number and Operations
      • Decimals
      • Operations
  • The Nature of Technology
    • The Design Process
      • Problem Solving

Informal Categories

  • Financial Literacy
  • Food and Cooking


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • read

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • Uses STEM to solve real-world problems
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Access Rights:

  • Free access


Source Collection

  • Mixing in Math


  • , © 2010, TERC, Inc., MA., 2010

Funding Source:

  • NSF, ESI-0406675 and DRL-0713537