I hate grocery shopping. Like a lot. I would rather do anything else, well except sweeping, than meal plan and grocery shop.
Adding kids into the mix just adds to my frustration.
You see, my husband has consistently worked 80 hours a week since we had our second baby. That left me with always having toddlers and babies to carry along for the grocery shopping trips. It has been our way of life for so long now that if I do get groceries without them it does feel like a vacation. I am always amazed at how much faster I can go without the kids. I envy the moms who never have to take their kids with them, they don’t know how good they have it! To this day I have always hoped that Amazon would start grocery delivery in my area. I’ve even faithfully checked the website over the years. I would pay anything. But alas they haven’t started that in Upstate New York.
So I’ve had to learn how to grocery shop with kids without losing my mind. Today I’m going to share those tips with you. Because we all need our sanity saved once in awhile.
5 Tips for Grocery Shopping with Small Kids
Avoid Nap Time
Dear mama, do not take your children to the grocery store when they are due for a nap. You are just asking for a disaster. Be wise, avoid nap time. Even if that means you are at the store during their peak hours.
This is more applicable for younger toddlers. Your older children should be able to get through the shopping trip without food and drinks. They can learn to survive. But for your toddlers, bring them something to nibble on and drink. It’s more important for them to have snacks anyways.
Mama, it is up to you to train your children how to obey and act in the grocery store. They can learn to walk through the store without a tantrum or tearing the place apart. When your child is about a year old, you can start training him that every time he cries, whines or throws a fit that it ends badly at home for him. With my first, I would have to set apart time to do this. We would go to the store, expecting the meltdown, wait for it, take him home and deal with the behavior and then drive back to the store for take 2. We would do this frequently with him until one day he made it through the trip without any fussing. It has paid off greatly! We haven’t had to do such intense training with the other 2 kids, partly because they are watching Big Guy’s example. We have had some hiccups but not nearly as bad. I can confidently walk into a grocery store, expect to be there for a few hours and know that the 3 kids will be well behaved because I’ve taken the time to train them.
Don’t allow them to touch!
This is huge! If you let your kids touch everything on the shelves you are asking for a headache. There is a good chance they’ll knock things over, spill things, put things into your cart you don’t want or even beg and whine to buy such things. Another thing you avoid by not allowing them to touch is avoiding the mental energy answers questions while you’re trying to think about what you need from your list.
Don’t allow them to ask for things.
Now, this is one I haven’t personally tried but I read recently online from Club31Women. I thought it was brilliant and plan on starting it. Now that our kids are older we have reached this new thing where they have the buy all the things syndrome. It’s draining to constantly need to say no to them. This is a great way to tackle that. We mama’s need our mental space for thinking about what price is the better option, amen?
Mama, I promise you that you can grocery shop with kids and not lose your mind. Your kids can go to the store without a meltdown and you can avoid the chocolate bar at the end of the check out line from the stress of the shopping trip. It takes time and it takes you being strong but the work pays off. I can now grocery shop with 3 kids and get compliments at how well behaved they are. You can have that too!