The following was written by Kristin Buursma–mother of three and regular contributor to Everyday Mom
Lately, I’ve found myself in an uncertain place when it comes to grocery shopping. Do I use valuable “alone time” to do my grocery shopping – when there are tons of other things I would rather be doing? Or do I take my young children grocery shopping with me and endure the challenges of grocery shopping with small children? Sadly, it’s kind of a lose-lose situation.
I’ve decided to make the best of grocery shopping with my kids and save my “alone time” for other projects. To make grocery shopping with kids as painless as possible, I’ve come up with the following 5 tips.
#1: Make a list. I know this seems like a given, but I never knew how hard it is to brainstorm what you’re missing at home while having a conversation with multiple kids.
#2: Stick to the list. As tempting as sale or other goodies might be, don’t start buying things that you didn’t plan on buying. Always remember that even if your child is patiently walking next to the cart right now, they might decide they need a ride at some point. And you’re going to need room for that little body without squishing all your great sale items.
#3: Find time for one solo trip per month. My compromise regarding my “alone-time” has been to go by myself for one trip per month. This is my trip to stock up on paper products, cans of pop (that weigh down a cart when you’re also pushing kids), specialty items that I have to hunt for and all the basics I would normally pick up.
#4: Plan a snack or distraction for the kids for part-way through the trip. I usually plan shopping trips during the time that I would normally feed the kids a snack anyway so this allows me to load them into the cart and use the knowledge of a snack coming as a lure to get them part-way through the trip and then eating the snack distracts them for the remainder. If it’s not a proper time for a snack, we fit in games of I-Spy while traveling the aisles to give them something to focus on.
#5: After successfully getting the groceries bought and loaded back into your cart, I’ve never been able to decide what to unload first – the groceries or the kids. Now that I’m a proud mini-van owner, I prefer to load the kids into the back bench (they like being shoved through the trunk space for an extra adventure). They can then watch me load the groceries and I can then shut them safely into the van while I return the cart.
And with that, grocery shopping is accomplished for another week!