Here’s my 5¢ on grocery shopping with your kids!
In my situation, I take them “most of the time”. I don’t have free babysitting whenver I need it during the week. I prefer to keep our weekends free for family events, so that leaves me with taking the kids to the store!
1. Have a Plan and a List! When making your list, think about the store. Rewrite your list so that its in the order that you will find it in the store on your regular stroe route (because we all know there are rules to follow and certain directions to go…at least in my Kroger there are!). Sound a little OCD? I’d MUCH rather spend 3 extra minutes reorganizing and rewriting my list than 15 minutes back tracking through the store, pushing a cart that weighs over 100 pounds with 2 whiny kids and an increasingly cranky mama!
2. Go at your kids “Peak Time”. For me, that means right after breakfast! We are all rested and fed! This reduces the whininess factor and the “I NEED this super sugary, dye-filled, preservative-filled cereal or I’m gonna die” factor!
3. Hit up NO MORE than 2 stores at once! If you plan to shop around to get the best deals, only go to 2 stores in one shot! The longer you are out, the louder then tantrums become!
4. Gotta have a cool CAR CART! Because if you don’t get one, you risk major tantrums all the way through the produce section! Really…they may be tanks and super hard to steer, but at least little ones can help! And wave to their counterparts in the other car carts!
5. BRIBE! I can’t believe I am actually writing this! (This goes against my entire parenting philosophy!) Background: My fondest memories of the grocery store growing up were at the donut counter. Standing there drooling over all the delicious options, trying to determine what donut best matched my mood! That was my mother’s plan…get us each a donut so we’d be quiet throughout the store! It worked for me! It worked for her! I turned out just fine!
6. Make it Fun and Positive! Involve older kids by teaching them about prices, coupons, sales and bargains. Sing a song or two. Talk about the meals you will cook with them later in the week. Use it as a learning experience. There are ample opportunities for teaching your children while in the grocery store…social skills, being good stewards of money, I want vs. I need, and delayed gratification (which is quickly becoming a thing of the past in our culture!)
Go get em girls!