“I just bought a trunk full of groceries, then ordered a pizza because I was so tired from buying all those groceries.” – Pinterest (obviously)
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Oh, grocery shopping. A necessary evil that you either love or hate.
In order to save money, my husband and I have got into the routine of going to the grocery store once a week. Usually we pick Fridays and we make the trek to Aldi and get what we need until the next Friday.
I can sum up the stress of grocery shopping in three words: taking the kids.
Now, don’t get me wrong, since my little one is a little bit older now it is way easier to take her grocery shopping. But when she was younger, I dreaded it.
Sometimes I even had my husband go by himself and I stayed home with her to avoid the inevitable meltdowns, struggle and frustration.
At one point however, I made it my mission to conquer this battle. Through trial and error, for what felt like 57 years, I finally came up with a few things that made this experience a little bit less traumatizing for everyone involved.
If you are in the fog of the early years and find it just downright disheartening to venture to the grocery store with your little ones in tow, I want to share some of the tricks that really worked for us!
Go right after naptime. Seriously. As soon as they wake up and are changed or dressed, run to the store. I always found that my daughter is in the best mood of the day when she woke up from her nap. Take advantage of that precious window and get as much done as possible.
Let them help. This pertains mostly to kids who are old enough to help but if they are of that age, it totally makes a difference. Even now, my daughter helps put things in the cart and load the belt. The smile on her face is priceless. We let her pick out the kind of fruit she wants and the snack she wants for school, within reason of course!
Bring reinforcements. Your significant other, a grandparent, the mailman, whoever. Bring them with you to the store. My husband and I tend to go together because inevitably my daughter has to use the bathroom at some point during the trip. If your little one starts to get fussy or unruly, someone take the cart and the other person can take a little walk. It always makes me feel more comfortable knowing that if it went terribly wrong, which it did more than once, there was support.
Stick to the perimeter aisles. Okay, you have probably heard this more than once if you read or listen to any sort of healthy food information. The outside aisles tend to have the most nutritious foods and not as much of the sugary stuff. I have found that there is less temptation for a meltdown because you didn’t get those five bags of chips your little one wants when they don’t see the bags. Try to stick to the aisles on the perimeter of the store and it may lessen the chance of arguments or tantrums.
Don’t go to the store hungry. I don’t know about you but when I go to the grocery store hungry I wind up with a cart full of food I didn’t need or necessarily even want. The same happens when I go with my daughter hungry. She wants everything in sight and it just turns into a catastrophe. Try to go at a time of the day that no one is super hungry. (The same goes for my husband by the way, just saying!)
Even if you have tried everything and nothing seems to make this an easier task with the kids, I promise this is just a season. One day you will be able to bring your 6 year old like I can and it will all be okay. Hang tight mama!
Do you have anything you do to make grocery shopping with your little ones easier?? I would love to hear from you! XOXO