Grocery shopping is not at the top of my list of happy places. But, I like to eat so therefore I must go grocery shopping. How I’ve grocery shopped has significantly changed since having kids. I have used grocery delivery services, shopped under cover of darkness, taken only one kid with me, and even tried shopping as a family. Now I just take them both with me.
I was terrified taking twins shopping by myself. I have heard so many horror stories of moms bailing on a cart full of groceries and everyone leaving in tears. I see so many kids throwing themselves on the floor screaming because mom said “no” to a precious, life affirming toy they want. I did not want any of those things. So, I devised a plan and executed it with military like precision.
Here are 5 Tips for Shopping With Little Kids:
1. Keep their eyes on that prize. As soon as I found a store that gives kids balloons for free I completely used that to my advantage. The second we walk in I point to the balloons at the customer service counter and say, “see they only give out balloons to kids who aren’t screaming or crying. Do you want a balloon? Then we need to listen, follow directions and use our manners.” BOOM! Now if anyone so much as whimpers I hold that balloon idea hostage.
2. Beware of Joe Pesci. The golden rule of parenting is never let them get hungry. Ever. You will be powerless against your hungry little pack. Make sure you have fed everyone before leaving the house (including yourself). Keep the snacks flowing in the car, in the store, and even in the parking lot. Just DON’T let them get hungry. We like to stop by the deli counter to get a slice of cheese. Hey, it’s protein!
3. Don’t stop the cart. When you stop the cart you let the whining begin. Keep moving the kids through the store. Don’t stop to read labels and don’t stop to chat. That only allows kids to see all the colorful fun things they are going to want. Make like a super market sweeps contestant and keep running! We only stop long enough to get a free cookie at the bakery at the end of our shopping trip. The kids are so busy chewing their treat no one is complaining on the way to the car.
4. Little hands make light work. Just because the kids are contained in a shopping cart does not mean they are not gonna earn their keep. I put those little kids to work. In the produce aisle they take turns counting the items as they put them into the bags. In the rest of the store they take turns piling items inside the cart. One kid is usually buried under the paper goods and cereal, but she is still gonna help out!
5. Pull out your mom card. Do NOT bag your own groceries. Haven’t you done enough just getting the kids through the store without leaving a path of destruction in your wake? Yes, you have. You worked hard, so damnit that young kid swiping your grocery items over the scanner can do you a solid and put it directly into a bag. If anyone gives you a questioning look, just look exhausted and shout at your kids to keep their hands to themselves. Then sigh, “ugh kids. Am I right?” That usually garners enough sympathy to motivate someone to bag my groceries.
How do you survive the grocery store with little ones?