Grocery shopping is inevitable. The family gets hungry, and we gotta feed ’em.
When the kids were a little younger, I dreaded taking them with me. Mine are old enough now that I can leave them at home while I shop. But, I remember the days of cringing just thinking about grocery shopping with two kids in tow.
If you plan ahead, and try a few of these tips, the experience can be a little less daunting.
A full tummy is a happy tummy
Before you even head to the store, make sure the kids have a full tummy. They are a lot less likely to ask for everything under the sun if they are full. Junk cereal, cookies, and candy will be a lot less appealing to them, and you won’t have to avoid those items like the plague.
Grab a fun shopping cart
Using a fun shopping cart seems like such a minute detail while shopping with kids, but if the little ones can steer the cart, or have a more comfortable ride to sit in, they will last a bit longer while you shop. The larger carts can be tough to navigate at times, but the kids will be happier, and so will you.
Give the kids a grocery list of their own
Be sure to keep your kids with you at all times, but provide them with a list of items to shop for. Let them help by picking out things that you know you already need. Give them an opportunity to pick out items such as fruit, and weigh it, bag it, and place it in the cart. They will be more focused on helping and not asking for things.
Head to the store in the morning hours
I’ve been to the store at all different times of the day, but the morning seems to be the quietest. You will be able to get in and out of the store faster, and if your little one throws a tantrum, you won’t have as many onlookers. Parking is easier in the mornings, and the lines aren’t as long. Trust me, you will be glad you went early, and you’ll have the rest of the day to look forward to.
Bring something for the kids to play with while shopping
Kids have a short attention span, and grocery shopping can be torture for them. Bring some of their favorite toys and place them in the cart, so they can have something to do when they get bored.
Plan your list according to the aisles
There is nothing worse than having to turn around and go back to an aisle that you passed long ago, to pick up something you forgot. Make a list of your items in order of the aisles. You will be able to get through the store faster, and not take up extra time turning around to go after a forgotten item.
Just say no
From the first time I took my kids to the grocery store, I never allowed them to buy anything in the checkout lane. Believe me; I was tempted. In fact, it was hard not to pick up a candy bar for me. I remember the days of working my magic (badgering) on my mother until she finally gave in. After that, if we even walked near the checkout lane, we worked hard to get what we wanted. I decided from the beginning not to start that trend with my kids. On occasion, they will ask, but they pretty much already know the answer.
Going shopping with kids isn’t always going to be a fun task, but implementing some of the above tips will certainly help keep them happy for a while, and make your life much easier.