Kroger Shopping Trip – June 21

Shopping with the $5 Dinner Mom

So yesterday, I was feeling adventurous. (Or perhaps idiotic is more like it.)

Every Monday I go grocery shopping. Sometimes I go by myself. Sometimes I go with just the baby. Sometimes with the 2 little ones. But I draw the line at taking all 3 kids to the store. It’s just not something I care to do…on a regular basis anyways.

But yesterday, I really needed to get to the store to replenish some of those weekly purchases that we were running low on…like apple juice, snacks and eggs. (Plus, I needed some cocoa…for the chocolate muffins on my batch cooking list.)

The the clouds rolled in during the late morning hours.  The really, really, really dark clouds rolled in around lunch time. And the thunder began to rumble.  Being the good little weather checker that I am, I looked at the radar on my iPhone and low and behold…a “red” storm headed our way. Oh, but that wasn’t going to stop me…it may have slowed me down a bit, but it wasn’t going to stop me.

For the next half hour, I kept my eye on the radar.  I fed the kids (if you think going to the grocery store while hungry is a bad idea….try taking hungry kids!), then I nursed the baby…it was now or never…well, at least not for the rest of the day anyways.

I quintuple-checked the radar…and the “red” had passed and we were now in the “green”…with some “yellow” approaching.  Perfect. I’ll go now while it’s drizzling…it can rain harder while I’m in the store…and by the time I’m out of the store it will be drizzling again.

Get your sandals on boys…we’re going to the store. They wanted to bring their raincoats. I objected.

(What was I thinking…

  • I don’t want to deal with your raincoat when we get to the store, so we’re not bringing it.
  • There won’t be as many people at the store with all this rain.
  • We can be in and out of there in 30 minutes.

And then I started thinking that I might just be insane after all.)

We went anyways.

And to add to the adventure…I did not take a shopping list or my coupon binder.  Left it all at home. (See…I really have lost my marbles.)

We park the car. I awkwardly climb into the backseat to unbuckle the little two and give the big two their “parking lot instructions.”

“You are to RUN with mommy and stay right next to me until we get under the awning.”

So we run into the store, dodging raindrops and get to the cart line…all the “kiddie” carts are W-E-T. Thankfully I managed to convince the big boys that a “regular” cart was the only option.  But little did I know the consequences of that decision.

Both boys rode “trash man style.”  (I do realize that the little picture on the grocery cart says Do NOT Ride Trash Man Style. I sat the baby right on that picture, strapped him in, let the kids ride trash man style and headed in for my shopping adventure. I’m so rebellious!)

They “rode” through the produce section, then tired of hanging on.  Then they started walking.  I’m OK with them walking.  They do a good job sticking close to the cart. But as we went through the bread section, Ryan spotted the donuts. He has never noticed the donuts at the store because…1. I haven’t taken him to the store since school started last September. and 2. He used to ride in the bottom of those “kid carts” and couldn’t see the donuts from down low.  Now that he was walking…he discovered all the things about the grocery store that I have trying to keep secret from him! (I know. Don’t judge.)

The kid has never eaten a donut in his life…so I’m not sure how in the world he knows that they are SO good. He stopped. He nearly squealed with glee. I pressed on. Because next up was…the lobster tank!  They love the lobster tank!!! He instantly forgot about the donuts.

After the lobster tank, I lost complete control of them. As we turned down the applesauce aisle, they broke out into a race…full speed ahead down the length of the aisle. And they did it as we went down every aisle after that…the cereal aisle, the baking supplies aisle…down towards the dairy section.

The one thing I was right about…there were not many people in the store…so I didn’t worry too much about them running into people, or people running over them.

And my plan to shop while it was “raining harder” outside…that flopped…it was pouring when we came out. So I returned home…looking like a drowned rat…but thankful for a fun outing with the guys!

The moral of the story: Next time the radar indicates that it will be raining all day and you’ll be stuck inside…take your kids to the grocery store and let them run free. At least they can burn off some energy running up and down the aisles.

(I kid.)


No List…No Coupons…No great deals…

Total spent at Kroger: $82.13

Total spent at the farmer’s market on Saturday:$18

Total for the week: $100.13 *deep sigh*

It appears I have fallen off the Grocery Budget Bandwagon as well!

My grocery store’s ad scan

Thanks to Andrea at Mommy Snacks and Marcy at Stretching a Buck for posting the best deals and coupon matchups at my stores each week!

Find the coupon match-ups for your grocery store at The Frugal Map!


  1. says

    Taking all four of our kids to the store is a nightmare now! I see these ladies with their kids quite and walking calmly. Mine aren’t all over the place but they do make it very hard to concentrate on what to get!

    Now, I try to go when the baby is napping and dad is home to watch the others. :-)

  2. maria says

    I take all 3 with once in a great while! My new favorite way to shop is to be out of the house by 5am, Kroger and Walmart are 24 hr stores and 45 mins from home. So, I finish shopping, treat myself to starbucks or mcdonalds (it could somehow be worse I’m sure…maybe) to the tune of $3 and return home in time to make breakfast! It’s my me time and I love it!!

  3. says

    Well, I’m glad you fell off the grocery shopping wagon too! LOL Actually, since I have been going every 3-4 weeks for the “Big” shop, I spent nearly all of our budget in that trip. But, at least I’m not going as much…and keeping my kids out of the rain and strapped in the cart so they stay oblivious to donuts :)

  4. Kara says

    It’s refreshing to see that even you have off weeks shopping and staying on budget. Reading about your shopping adventure made me feel much better about mine yesterday with my 2 girls (10 & 6). My girls are now old enough that they take their own hard-earned money and buy the things I won’t buy for them.


  5. says

    Going out without coupons is like going out of the house naked! It seems like you would have extras hidden in the car somewhere or people would feel sorry for you and just start handing them to you in the store :) I can barely manage the store with one 17 month old so your experience does sound like a nightmare. I went to Target to grab a few things last week with a little one that wouldn’t stay in the cart during check out. I realized the next day that I left my reusable bags on the bottom of the cart. I was heart broken and didn’t know what I would do without them (actually almost started crying.. still some baby blues left)! Luckily, someone brought them into the store and I got them the next day. It is good to know that you don’t always have it together because it makes the rest of realize that it happens!

  6. shirley morris says

    Oh Erin, you haven’t lived yet til your child reaches for something right in the middle of a very high stack of produce or bakery items…..yes, it was like a bad game of Jenga. Can’t remember which child it was I just excused myself very quickly from the store.

  7. says

    I love this story – what an adventure! I have 2 children when it comes to the grocery store…my 38 year old DH and my 4 1/2 year old DD. :-) My daughter has probably been grocery shopping with me 5 times in her life. And when DH tags along, I ALWAYS end up spending more than I otherwise would have!!

    Glad to know the budget mishap happens to the best of us…thanks for sharing!

  8. Rachel says

    I thought I was the only one who 1) doesn’t take her kids to the grocery because they will see what they are “missing”; and 2) has children who think the grocery aisles look just like a race track. It is so nice to read about someone else and think “maybe our family is closer to normal than I thought…” Thanks for making me smile this morning!

  9. Rachel says

    When my daughter was a couple of months into eating real food I offered her a green bean; which I KNEW she’d never seen. She wouldn’t touch it. Not even to explore it.

    That night for dinner I gave her a Tater Tot; which I also KNEW she’d never seen. She couldn’t inhale it fast enough.

    I don’t know how they know about Tater Tots or donuts, but somehow they just do.

  10. MommyGio says

    That sounds like a fun trip! Unfortunately, I take all 3 of my kids almost everytime I go grocery shopping and they are all under the age of 4. I always say that I am NEVER taking them all with me again, yet we are off to the store the following week. What do you usually do with the kids when you shop? Or what time do you go shopping?

  11. Andrea says

    Oh, whatever, Erin….you gotta do what you gotta do!!! You got the end of the storms that hit my part of the state in Wisconsin pretty hard, so it’s better to be stocked up, let me tell you. Some of the grocery stores around here were STRIPPED bare.

    My kids usually go with me to the store – my son is almost 3, and the baby is almost 7 months. When the time comes that I actually DO get to go without them, I can’t concentrate. I’m so used to shopping with them, talking with Liam (3 year old) about what we’re seeing, smelling, buying, etc that I just cannot concentrate! Twisted or what?

    So I say, let ’em run. And if anyone gives you a dirty look, just give it right back. No one’s kids are perfect 100% of the time!

    Oh, and take the raincoats next time. 😉

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