As a stay at home mom, grocery shopping falls in my lap, primarily. I’m the cook and meal planner of the family, which means I HAVE to be the one to go to the grocery store.
Because my husband works a lot of hours, I don’t get a lot of free time to do things without my kids, and when I do, I don’t want to spend my free time at the grocery store. That really only leaves me one option — bring them with me.
A lot of people recommend doing your grocery shopping without the kids. Of course that’s a great idea, but if you don’t have that option, you probably need a few tips to make the process a little easier. I’m here to help with 5 tips for grocery shopping with your kids!
1. Have a plan. I keep a running list of grocery needs on our refrigerator. I’ve tried using apps on my phone, but we always go back to pen and paper. I try to buy only the things on my list and I want to get everything I need as quickly as possible. For that reason, I like to go to grocery stores where I know exactly where everything is. It just makes whole process faster.
2. Give them something to look forward to. Whenever we pull in to the Tom Thumb parking lot, my boys know they will get to “drive the car” while we shop and they get crazy excited! It makes the chore of grocery shopping seem like a fun adventure, for them.
At Walmart, they know the first thing we’re going to get is an individual applesauce packet for each of them to eat as we go through the store. They love it and it helps that it’s now just part of our routine.
3. Make sure they’re rested. The last thing you need is to strap a couple of tired and cranky kids in to the cart while you go up and down each aisle of the grocery store, grabbing everything you need, while they whine and cry. It really is just a recipe for disaster and everyone leaves miserable.
4. Turn them in to helpers as soon as you can. Make conversations with your kids as you go through the store. Talk to them about all of the different foods. As they get older, you can ask them to put things in the cart for you.
My three year old loves to help me unload groceries from the cart on to the conveyor belt at the register. He feels special because he’s such a big helper for me and he loves to hear me tell him what a good job he’s doing. Don’t they all love hearing that?!
5. Practice Makes Perfect. The first time I took my toddler and newborn sons to the grocery store, there was fit throwing, crying, screaming, and sweating. I was definitely the one sweating and my boys might not have been the only ones crying. It was a miserable experience but I knew I couldn’t give up.
That was two years ago and we’ve become a better grocery shopping team somewhere along the way.
Don’t get me wrong, we’ve had our bad days, too. I’ve been lucky enough to have never had to leave a cart full of groceries while I ran out of the store, but I have had several shopping trips cut short and had my husband pick up my few remaining items on his way home.
Thankfully, if all of that fails, there’s always the option to do your grocery shopping from home. :)
What other tips could you offer for making grocery shopping with kids easier?