Taking your kids with you to the grocery store can be a real nightmare. Whether they are old enough to walk or able to still ride in the cart, both come with challenges that can make the entire process a huge headache for all involved. Here are a few tips to help with the chaos that can be grocery shopping with your kids:
Bring Something For Them To Do
This might be obvious for most moms, but when you are rushing out the door with your brood and list in hand try to remember to grab a few things for your kids to do while you are at the grocery store. If you have little ones that can still ride in the cart, maybe a coloring book and some crayons would entertain them while you do your necessary shopping? Encourage your preteens to bring their favorite portable music player and headphones so they can at least listen to their favorite tunes while they walk the aisles with you, begging for their favorite snacks.
Don’t Rely On The Grocery Store To Provide Snacks
I don’t know about your mom, but my mom would occasionally let me get a donut at the grocery store bakery while we were out shopping. It was a nice treat for all involved because it kept me quiet and allowed her to fill the cart in peace and quiet. Nowadays, some parents will rip open a box of crackers or cookies while perusing through the store for their kids to munch on. This is definitely frowned upon in most stores! Instead, bring your child’s favorite snacks in your purse or diaper bag for them to munch on while you shop. We all know that it’s hard not to get hungry while grocery shopping!
Make Shopping Fun
Maybe you are one of the lucky ones that have kids that enjoy grocery shopping, but for the rest of us, we’ve got to keep it interesting! Why not make it into a game to play with the kids? For example, create your own version of “I Spy” – “I spy something yellow…” while you push them through the aisles. If everyone takes a turn you will have the shopping done in no time! Also, have your children help you get items to put into the cart. Ask older children to round up items that they can reach and that don’t require intense inspection (eggs, fruits, etc.) Give the baby a box of something non-breakable to toss into the cart. Finally, maybe allow them to each pick out one item that they can enjoy once they get home.
Be Ready To Be Quick and Efficient
Sometimes there is just no way out of bringing your kids grocery shopping with you, but you can make the entire experience better for all involved if you are prepared ahead of time. Have your list ready to go, bring any coupons you plan on using, and try to go at a time that is convenient for everyone (not during meals or nap time). When you have a game plan you are better able to get in and out of the store more quickly and efficiently. The faster you are able to complete the task, the happier you and your children will be. If you go into the store with no idea of what you need, you are going to spend more time perusing the aisles and making unnecessary purchases.
Grocery shopping can be a fun and easy experience for the entire family. But, if you can find a babysitter to watch your kids so you can go by yourself, that works just as well.