Check out these 7 tips for your shopping sanity!
by Christina Soderberg | Staff writer for The Snap Mom
Image: Buggy Bench
DON’T ☺ Ha!
No seriously – avoid it at all costs…However, if you are anything like me, inevitably you will frequently need to take your kids to the grocery store. In that case, here are some tried and true tips to get you through what could potentially be a disaster.
1. Take Only One Child
If you have the luxury of waiting until one of your kids is in school, at a play date, watched by a spouse or dropped off with friends/family, do it! It can save you time and potential stress. Potential is the key word. I remember this past summer how relieved I was when my husband volunteered to watch our three-year-old while I took our one-year-old to the store. My sweet baby girl who is laidback, super sweet and a delight to take to the store normally. Well, that day upon being placed in the grocery cart, she began to get fussy. I tried all the tricks in my bag: a toy, a snack, even a treat for those times. She would have none of it. Fifteen minutes later she started screaming because she was mad. I was moving my way to the front of the store to dump my groceries and leave when a sweet grocer rushed up to give her a balloon… ha! That did the trick. Thank you Publix for saving the day and the ears of all of the shoppers. Either way, it’s still easier if you only have one at a time!
2. Make a List Ahead of Time
If it is the night before, during naptime, getting up 15 minutes earlier that day, whatever you do– make a list! The list helps keep you focused and on task. It will also help you get out of the store faster. However, have it memorized as much as you can because you never know when your sweet child will gain interest in your list, insist on holding it, crumpling it up and holding it in her iron fist… And that list becomes the key to her happiness until you get to the car :0 You might even try to order it by aisles so you don’t have to run around as much. Some stores have online shopping list apps that will organize by aisle for your store 🙂
3. Snack Time NOT Meal Time
Try and go during a snack time, but avoid a mealtime. Grab a couple of snacks that your kids can munch on while you are shopping. This is a great distraction for them. Although, that can backfire as well. One time, grocery shopping with my then two-year-old and five minutes into shopping he begins yelling, “I want some booty.” Oh. My. Word. I was so embarrassed. I wanted to make sure everyone knew it was Pirate Booty – an organic, healthy snack. But I digress. If you do happen to forget a snack, the deli will usually give kids a free slice of cheese or deli meat (Boar’s Head is so good!).
4. Choosing the Kid Friendly Grocery Cart
Taking the very oversized grocery cart does in fact work. It not only keeps your kids contained, but it also keeps them entertained for most of the duration of the trip. Be forewarned though, the cart is hard to steer and does not have a great turn radius. (Watch out for displays!)
5. Give Them Tasks
If you have older toddlers, a great way to help curb running down the aisles and grabbing random food items is by giving them tasks (why do they always place kid appeal items at their level?). Steer their energy in a positive way by using these tasks 🙂
-Have them help you push the cart.
-Direct them to get an item off of the shelf and place it in the cart.
-Make a picture shopping list so they can “read” it to you
-Ask them to identify animals, colors, numbers, or letters when they start losing interest in helping get things off the shelves.
-Make it an adventure to find the items you are looking for.
-Count the number of items you need with them.
-Have them place the items from the cart onto the “moving belt” as my son calls it.
6. Plan for an extra 30 minutes
When your kids are with you, invariably grocery shopping will take longer… at least one of them will have taken off their shoes on the way to the grocery store. There will be at least one time they will decide to test their boundaries and wander around. Shopping with kids will just take longer.
7. Incentive or Treat
I am all about bringing a treat along to give them in the check out line, or once they get in the car, especially when they are younger. It could be something as simple as an organic lollipop (we like the Yummy Earth Brand), Organic Gummies (we like Annie’s brand), or a balloon ☺
Ultimately grocery shopping can be a great learning experience for your kids. It is an opportunity to teach boundaries, listening, helping, identifying letters and numbers, counting and as they get older, meal planning & how to be a savvy shopper ☺
Sometimes you can plan, set things up, be as prepared as possible but a bad trip to the grocery store is unavoidable. However, nine times out of ten, it will be pleasant. Rushed…but pleasant. Exhausting…but pleasant. When that happens you will feel exhilarated because you have survived one of many trips to the grocery store with your kids.
Always remember, no matter what, you are a great mom! You are doing the best you can. We have all been there at one time. It will get easier.
Christina loves to sing, write, and live life to the fullest. She is a writer for TheSnapMom.com and CEO of the home;) She has an awesome husband and two sweet littles who stole her heart. Check out her blog! HERE