Free Weekend Event Focuses on Budgeting and “Making Affordable Groceries”

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NEW ORLEANS – One of the biggest challenges faced by families is creating and maintaining a financial budget. When discussing money, conversations between parents and their kids can lead to misunderstandings and cause feelings of resentment. But having a little more knowledge on the subject can help.

Families who’d like to learn about saving dollars, while still enjoying nutritious dinners and a healthy lifestyle, should sign up for the fifth annual Discovery Day – a free, community event that takes place on Saturday, July 27, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the Algiers Regional Library.

The event is hosted by Maison Vie, a Terrytown-based organization that provides low-cost therapy services to individuals, couples, families, and children, along with programs meant to enhance people’s well-being.

The theme of Discovery Day 2019 is Money Talks.

“Children will learn that when mom or dad says, ‘We don’t have any money,’ what they’re really saying is, ‘That’s outside of the budget,’” said Susan Harrington, the owner and clinical supervisor of Maison Vie. “We need to plan for that, so children begin to learn the concept of impulsive spending, which increases debt activity for families.”

During Discovery Day, a program officer from HOPE Credit Union will lead a workshop on saving and budgeting, while professional therapists from Maison Vie offer mental health guidance.

“We know in the mental health field that going to therapy can enhance well-being, but well-being is not just emotional and mental,” Harrington explained. “Well-being is also physical, biological, neurological, and interpersonal. It has all of these different aspects.”

To help children understand the value of money, young Discovery Day participants will embark on two different grocery shopping adventures. During the first jaunt, a “fantasy” shopping experience, they “will have free reign” to select meal ingredients from a mock grocery store.

“They will be able to pick anything they want and bring it back to their family table,” said Harrington. “In that process is going to be some education about what they picked, the nutritional value, how that’s helpful for them, and how it’s not. We’re hoping that parents will become insightful, in regard to how much they spend.”

During the second shopping expedition, kids will select food items while sticking within a simple budget.

Each registered participant who is currently enrolled in school – regardless of his or her age – will receive a complimentary gift card that will help with purchasing back-to-school supplies.

Harrington hopes Discovery Day guests take a moment to learn more about Maison Vie – a training agency that provides a reduced rate to clients seeking therapy with a counselor working towards licensure. In Louisiana, in order to receive a license, professionals must acquire 3,000 hours of service, with most of those hours falling into the category of counseling services, Harrington explained.

“In exchange for them helping us train the next generation, we provide them with a low rate of counseling. It’s a nice way to see if counseling will be helpful for you or not,” she said, adding that Discovery Day creates “reciprocal care” for the community. “It gives guests access to other ways to enhance their overall well-being, as a family unit and as individuals.”

What: Discovery Day 2019
When: Saturday, July 27, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. (Registration begins at 10:30 a.m.)
Where: Algiers Regional Library (3014 Holiday Drive, New Orleans, LA 70131)
Admission: Free


Suzanne Pfefferle Tafur is the associate news editor of

Categories: Around Town, Today’s Business News