One of the biggest challenges of being a busy mom is grocery shopping. You’re trying to stock up on everything – so why not find the best solutions for shopping? It’s hard to say what’s worse: your child asking for something on every aisle, or the juggling act of bring in all the groceries when you arrive home. It’s all pretty daunting, right?!? We want to help, so here are 10 quick tips to make that grueling shopping adventure a fun and entertaining mommy & me activity.
1. Make a Shopping List
Have a shopping list or meal plan strategy prepared – A favorite & familiar store makes knocking out the list MUCH easier as you can arrange your list by aisle Choose an app to help you with your list and for meal planning.
2. Park Smart
Park your car close to the cart return to make the transition back home a quick and easy one.
3. Carry a Shopping Cart Cover
Cart handles can be dirty so be proactive by bringing a shopping cart cover – or even sanitary wet wipes with you to clean down the cart, seat and handle prior to putting your child into the kid friendly seat.
4. Eat Before Shopping
Make sure your kids are fed or plan “shopping snacks” to avoid a meltdown. Perhaps you can plan a picnic in the car, stop at a favorite sandwich shop or begin the shopping run in the store’s deli to energize your mini-shopper and fill up his tank. It’s dangerous to shop with a hungry kid.
5. Set Ground Rules
Allow her to take items off the shelf, but only with mom’s approval. You may also allow her to play with her baby in the back of the cart, but only if she remains seated.
6. Involve Your Kids in the Plan
Make a grocery list with the kids – going to the store can be a fun game when the children are prepared to help you locate the items on your grocery list. Check out The Clip Trip, a site to create a “kid friendly” list complete with pictures of the items selected on your your list. They also offer fun puzzles and numerous learning activities to entertain kids on your shopping journey.
7. Involve Your Kids in the Process
Give your child “assignments” – they love to feel a sense of accomplishment,so try giving your sweetie a task. For example, he can grab something heavy like a gallon of milk or she may help you to select the “perfect” peach or he may read you the next item on the list. You can even complete the shopping trip by preparing a light bag for her to carry into the house.
8. Make It Fun
Be creative – plan some games to keep your child’s attention. Ask “If you could buy 3 of your favorite foods, what would they be?” or “What is a drink that will make your bones grow big and strong?” or “If you can only eat one kind of candy in the whole wide world, which one would you pick?”. Another fun option is bring some toys to occupy her attention (at least part of the time).
9. Delay Gratification
If your child asks for everything from cereals to candy, how can you keep him happy? Try negotiating a little “delayed gratification”. For example, ask, “Do you want a cupcake as a treat?” If you receive a yes, then say “Well, first let’s pick out some cake mix”, then, ask “Which icing and sprinkles do you want for your yummy cupcakes?”.
10. Get Ready to Carry Everything
While in the check out line, be sure to pre-gather your bags. I always connect my bags together with Click & Carry handles while the items are still in the cart. This is a perfect “mom life hack”. I can easily lift the attached bags into my car’s trunk. When I arrive at home, I unbuckle my little one, grab my Click & Carry handles, throw one set of bags over my shoulder, take my little one’s hand and hustle all the groceries into the house in just ONE quick trip. Bonus tip – have your keys ready to open the front door.
BONUS: Lucky Tip Number…
11. Kroger Click List
If all else fails… There is an amazing new program Kroger is testing nationwide. Kroger’s program is called Click-list and it’s a huge time saver! Simply order your groceries on-line, pull up to a valet station at the grocery store and then a store associate comes out to put the purchased items in your trunk. You simply drive home and unpack!
Ten Plus Ways to Make Shopping Easier for Mom
Shopping doesn’t have to be dreadful for you and your family. We hope you have gleaned an idea or two (or more!) to use on your next shopping spree. You don’t have to be part mom, part octopus – with a little planning, you can simplify your journey while making it more fun for everyone. Let us know if you have tried these or other ideas and what you find in the comments below. We’d love for everyone to share with our community!