Are You a Smart Shopper?
A  WebQuest for Grades  4 -5, WebQuest Agricultural Series by Missouri Farm Bureau and Missouri State University


Perhaps you want a new bike, toy, or electronic game? Unfortunately, when you asked Mom, she said, "No, that costs too much money." This sad tale has been replayed in almost every home in America. It's the same old story of too many wants and not enough money to go around. In this WebQuest, you will have the opportunity to learn how people make decisions on what to buy, where to buy products and even when to buy. If you can understand how economic decisions are made, it can help you learn how to spend and save your money wisely. Once you learn a few tricks to save money purchasing what you need, you will have more money to spend on things you want. So that awesome new bike you want could be yours!! The American Farm Bureau estimates that Americans only spent 10% of their income on food.  That means that the average American has 90% of their income to spend on other things.

Your task is to learn about  how everyday families make decisions on buying items they need. You'll even learn how to spend money and to save money.  You will plan a healthy menu (for a family of 4). You will only have $150.00 to spend on food each week. Identify ways you can save money on foods or items that you use in your daily life.

Here is  a Glossary of economics terms that you may need to refer to as you complete some of the activities.

Read "A New Coat for Anna."   On a sheet of drawing paper,  write, draw, or use pictures r to show what is happening during each step of the process for her to get a new coat. Complete Part 1  and Part 2 of the worksheet.

The United States Department of Agriculture estimates food costs each month.   Make a list of all the costs that go into the food we purchase at the store. Now watch Visit a Farmers Market  video.

Read this article on a Farmers Market. Answer the following questions: 

1. What advantages are there to using a Farmers Market?
2. How does that reduce the cost of food and help local economy?
3. Find out if there is a Farmers Market in your area.

Try to visit one.  Make a list of items to take with you and helpful hints to know before you go. Locate a market in Missouri or another state.

Since Farmer's Markets may not be available in all areas or all times of the year, you can also complete this activity by using the grocery store. Let's see if you can understand how to be a smart shopper to help save money on items  needed. Complete the Let's Compare worksheet. Now you can find the real bargains and ignore the not so good deals!

Create a plan for ways that you can save money by using the smart shopper skills you have gained through this WebQuest,

 Include the following:

► Use the given amount to develop your budget. ($150.00)

► Don't forget, it is for a family of 4 people

► Identify the producers/goods and services purchased

► Your opportunity cost (what you will be giving up)

You now know some strategies you can use to save money. You can also apply this same strategy for clothes, school supplies and even toys. Remember this the next time you want your parents to buy something for you. You might even try to earn the money for yourself!


Rubric for Smart Shopper Projects


7 pts.

5 pts.

2 pts.

0 pts.

Apply the following economic principles supply and demand trade-offs The information used demonstrates understanding of all three principles. The information used demonstrates understanding of only two principles.

The information used demonstrates understanding of one the principles. 

The information used demonstrates understanding of none of the principles.

Demonstrates fluency with multiplication and division

Demonstrates complete understanding of the mathematical concepts used to solve the problem(s).

Demonstrates substantial understanding of the mathematical concepts used to solve the problem (s).

Demonstrates some understanding of the mathematical concepts needed to solve the problem (s).

 Demonstrates very limited understanding of the underlying concepts needed to solve the problem(s) OR is not written.

Write informal reports in format appropriate to an intended audience and purpose

Information clearly relates to the main topic. It includes several supporting details and/or examples.

Information clearly relates to the main topic. It provides 1-2 supporting details and/or examples.

Information clearly relates to the main topic. No details and/or examples are given.

Information has little or nothing to do with the main topic.



Photos are from USDA CSREES Image Database.

This WebQuest was created by teachers participating in Missouri's Agriculture in the Classroom program at Missouri State University through a USDA grant.  The template on this site was adapted from a template from The WebQuest Page and the original was designed by Dr. Lyndon Irwin.  Assistance for this project was provided by Mrs. Barbara Irwin, M.S. and Mrs. Diane Olson, M.S.

Teachers are encouraged to adapt this lesson for classroom use only.  No part of this publication may be transmitted, stored, recorded or published in any form without written permission from Missouri Farm Bureau. This page was developed by Amy Jo Estes, reviewed by Lyndon and the late Barbara Irwin and is maintained by Missouri Farm Bureau. Please address questions to Diane Olson at Missouri Farm Bureau