Tips and Tricks for Grocery Shopping with the Kids
I mentioned recently that my kids do everything with me. Well, today was no different. I ventured off to the grocery store with my six kiddos in tow. I set out with great hopes that I could make it through Safeway, gathering all of the items on my grocery list, without losing my cool, or forgetting anything.
Generally I go grocery shopping well prepared and with everyone’s tummies full. However, today we had to go before we ate lunch, mainly because we didn’t have anything for lunch here at home. Never go to the store with hungry kids, unless you posses the self-control superpower (or you’re going to Costco and can fill up on samples!), or you’ll end up buying way too much food!
I always hear countless remarks from men and women who are amazed that I have all of my children with me at the market. I guess we are quite a spectacle… Noah and Ben playing musical cart parts, fighting over who's in charge of my coupons, Julia and Josh playing their Nintendo DS or reading while hanging on the basket, and the twins following behind me like little ducklings! Imagine the looks and stares from people in the store!
I did manage to make it through the trip today without a hitch. My kiddos all did really well, and I made it out of the store with my sanity and patience intact.
"How?" you ask. Well, here are some of my tricks:
Never shop hungry
I try to strategically plan the best time of day so as to avoid unnecessary items ending up in our shopping basket. You know the items about which I am talking – the cookies, snacks, and total junk food. We all know that these items are not great additions to the every day diet, because they are just not healthy. But, we like to keep them out of our cart for another reason, as well… the snacks sure add up quickly and can suck that budget!
Always have a plan
I typically try to plan for two weeks’ worth of meals at a time. This means my shopping trips usually consist of nutritious ingredients for healthy meals. Now, I’m not generally a “by the list” kind of gal, but a shopping list is a must! I find that if I have a list, I generally stick to it, saving time and money.
Have the kids help
My older kiddos are usually pretty good about helping me keep an eye on the younger kids, but they also help me gather the items from my shopping list. They are just the right height to grab the canned goods off the shelves and throw them in the cart (literally!). So, don’t be afraid to let the kids help… If they are busy helping, they won’t keep asking for this or that!
Don’t give in
Impulse buying is not only the biggest culprit to breaking the budget, but it leads to unhealthy food choices, as well. Don’t grab that bag of chips at the end of the aisle, just because they’re on sale. And certainly don’t give in to your children who are begging for a bag of licorice, or a bottle of chocolate milk! Make a rule – Do not ask mommy for anything. My kids know this rule all too well!
Do you have any tips or tricks for when you go shopping with your kids?