For those of us with young children, we may recall the days when going to the grocery store was actually an easy task, perhaps even an enjoyable one. We could leisurely walk up and down the aisles, comparing prices and ingredients. Perhaps even making up a new recipe to try for dinner.
Fast-forward a few years – how it’s all changed! Children needing to use the bathroom just as you reach the check out line or little hands grabbing items off the shelves can be real nightmares. How about getting home and realizing you forgot ingredients for dinner? It can be quiet daunting taking your little ones to the grocery store, but it’s a household chore that must get done, and for many of us bringing young children along is necessary. Read our survival tips and perhaps your next trip to the grocery store will be a little less crazy!
Grocery Store Survival Tips
Use a Menu Planner. Plan your meals for the week, including breakfast and lunch, and then add all the items to your grocery list. Not only will you have to make fewer last minute trips to the grocery store, but you’ll also save money by knowing which coupons to clip and not buying on impulse. You’ll also have an answer for “what’s for dinner?” and you’ll shop healthier.
Make a Grocery List. In addition to the items that you will need for planned meals, add in staple food items and other household items. Grocerylists.org has a very thorough grocery list that you can print out.
Try our Kid’s Grocery List. Children enjoy being part of family activities, so why not make going to the grocery store a bit more enjoyable by letting them bring their own grocery list. Perhaps you can even let them pick a meal to prepare with you and they can help you find the ingredients. [Download VidaCoco.com's Kid's Grocery List for free here: Customizable MS-Word format | PDF format]
Avoid “peak hours.” Grocery stores tend to have busy periods, just like the post office or your local coffee shop. The best hours to shop with small children tend to be roughly between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Try to avoid shopping during the “before and after” work hours. Checkers and other store employees tend to be more helpful and nicer when the store is not full of busy costumers too.
Don’t shop when hungry. We are more likely to add unnecessary items to our grocery carts when we are hungry, and we know that hungry children can be difficult, so make sure everyone has a healthy snack before you shop.
Accept help. Yes, accept the baggers offer to help get your grocery bags to your car, if your store offers this service. While the bagger helps load your groceries, you can focus on getting your children into the car quickly and safely.
Goody Bag for Children. Buy your child one of the reusable bags that are available at most grocery chains for a relatively inexpensive price. They can carry a few of ”their” groceries in this bag, just like you!
We know that despite our best efforts, life happens. It never fails that a little one will have to use the bathroom, will want a snack, or just have a bad time. Hopefully, these tips will help just a little in getting the chore done – until next week!