Monday, June 25, 2018

Shopping with Kids {Without Losing Your Sanity}

Food image created by Freepik

Grocery shopping with kids.

Be honest, how many of you shuddered at the thought!?

The truth is, grocery shopping with kids can be a little stressful! They start throwing things in the cart, asking for everything that catches their eye... well, you've all been there! You know exactly what I'm talking about! Is it any wonder may moms choose to do their shopping when the kids are in school? With summer around however, shopping alone isn't always an option. Today I'm sharing some tips to help make shopping with kids a little more bearable!

  • Plan Ahead. We all know that grocery shopping on an empty stomach isn't a good idea, and this is especially true for children! If you think WE struggle with impulse control as adults when we're hungry and start tossing things in, just imagine how kids can be! Yikes! Also time your visit so that it's not interfering with any nap times! No one wants to deal with a cranky, tired little one while we're trying to shop!
  • Make a list. Not only does making a list help keep us on budget, but it allows us to go in and get just what we need quickly... no dilly-dallying! I like to divide my lists by category too for even quicker reference--- though I admit I sometimes get a little lazy on this!
  • Let the kids help. Whether it's helping with the menu planning or the shopping itself, this can help the kids feel more involved and less likely to act up. Give them choices--- which cereal to buy? What veggies do that want? This encourages them to take part and be actively involved in making better food choices as they grow older...and makes them feel like they're getting some of their own choices too while still keeping YOU in control. You can also give them jobs inside the store--- grabbing food, pushing the cart, carrying bags, crossing off the list, etc. 
  • Make it fun. Play games while in the store-- I Spy can be a great one. Or set yourself a time limit for shopping and try to 'Beat the Clock' and shop, shop, shop. Do food trivia, fun what if scenarios, etc. You can even create a fun scavenger hunt with common grocery store items (something on sale, a green vegetable, a coupon, etc). For younger kids, allowing them to bring a small toy is always a great idea too!
  • Choose Your Cart Wisely. Many stores offer child friendly carts that always make shopping much more pleasant for my children. Whether they look like cars or just have more comfortable kid seating, try to take advantage of these whenever possible!
  • Give Them A Pep Talk. Before going into the store, talk to them. Let them know exactly what your expectations are, how they are to behave, etc. If necessary, you can even offer them a small reward for positive behavior... it doesn't have to be candy (which I know is what MY kids always ask for), but perhaps an extra trip to the park that day or renting a movie from the Redbox! 
  • Use the Self Checkout. Not only do these lines tend to be a little bit shorter, but in my experience kids love them! Allow them to scan and bag, etc. 
  • Park Wisely. Parking lots can be one of my least favorite part of grocery shopping, especially having a child that tends to run! Now, some might say that the best parking spot is as close to the store as possible, but for moms with little ones, the best spot is next to the cart return! We can get the kids in the car and buckled before we load the groceries and return the cart much easier!
  • Let Someone Else Shop FOR You. These days, shopping has gotten a whole lot easier. We have a variety of online shopping options. Some allow us to order online and pickup at the curb, while others (such as Shipt) allow us to have the groceries delivered right to our doors. While there are some fees associated with these services, if you have little ones, it might just be worth it. 

Have you found any tried and true grocery shopping with kids tips? Let's hear them in the comments below. 


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