If I’m being entirely honest, one of the most stressful errands I have to run these days is going to the grocery store. Under normal circumstances when I’m venturing out by myself and can check off items on my list without contending with the wants from my children, I quite enjoy grocery shopping. It’s a totally different story when I have to take my kiddos with me and try to shop without getting suckered into buying things not on my list, the occasional meltdown or tantrums when they don’t get an item they wanted.
Before having little ones, I didn’t mind doing the grocery shopping but these days when I realize we’re running low on food items or what have you, I find myself cringing when I think of what kind of shopping experience my kids might provide. Sometimes they’re angels but more often than not, they make me want to run for the hills and leave my groceries behind. It was especially stressful when I was a new mom but thankfully, now that I’ve had a few to practice with, it’s a little easier to deal with incidents as they come.
If you’ve ever had to tote your kiddos to the grocery store with you, then you can relate to my state of mind when a visit to the grocery store is on the horizon. I know that a lot of my readers have little ones of their own, and everyone has to go to the store at some point another, it’s unavoidable, so, I’ve decided to compile a list of my methods I’ve been using to make grocery shopping easier when you have children in tow. Maybe you’ll be able to implement then in your next shopping trip with your little ones and gain some peace at the same time!
How To Make Grocery Shopping With Kids Easier
- Feed the babies either before you hit the store or stop in at the deli to grab some sandwiches and a drink, if your super market offers the option. Just like we get cranky when we don’t eat, our kids do too. Making sure they aren’t hungry at the start of the trip will help keep tempers from running high.
- Work on keeping yourself organized. I’m not always the best at staying organized or keeping a grocery list. So, I usually go in without my list and spend a good deal of time wandering the isles trying to remember what I needed to come to the store for in the first place. This in particular gets me pretty flustered and makes dealing with the kids harder than it would be normally. Going to the store with a list helps you stay organized, know exactly what you need and where to find it while also helping you go and leave the store more quickly.
- Create a shopping list for your kids. Of course you can’t do this when they’re too young but if you have little ones who’re in school and need extra reading practice as well as a way to keep them busy in the store, making a mini grocery list for them is a great way to do both.
- Set expectations! This is a big one and one that I use every single time we make the trip to our local grocery store. I explain to my children that we’re going in to do a quick shop and grab a few things we need for the house. I tell them that if they’re good they can get a little treat or inexpensive toy (depending on where we’re going.) Sometimes I’ll even tell them before we go that we aren’t getting any extras, we’re just shopping and going back home again. Planning ahead and talking to your children rationally about what you expect and also what they can expect, will go a long way in keeping the situation calm while out and about.
- Bring toys. This is a great one, especially if you’re traveling with younger children. Toys, especially one or two of their favorites, are a great way to keep them occupied and reduce the risk of a tantrum/meltdown.
As daunting as it may seem, going out to the grocery store doesn’t have to be the stuff your nightmares are made out of. You can utilize the tips I’ve included or you can come up with your own or even do a combination to ensure that your next trip to the grocery store doesn’t lead to a mommy meltdown.