As a parent you know that the kids have to eat...every...single...day. That also means that you need to keep your shelves stocked with food and so it is no surprise that the average American goes to the grocery store more than once per week.
While some people are fortunate enough to be able to sneak away to the store, sip their coffee and casually stroll through the aisles, that is rarely the case for busy parents. So if you have to go grocery shopping with your kids, here are a few quick tips to help make your trip more manageable.
1. Always Feed the Animals
Okay, the grocery store isn’t the zoo but it can feel like it when you are wrangling toddlers and your shopping list all at the same time. I don’t mean that you should grab a bag of candy at the store and let them eat it while shopping.
Instead, you should plan ahead to bring a few healthy grab and go snacks to keep their hands and mouths busy. This serves a dual purpose of providing them with an activity and making sure they aren’t hungry. Some of my tried and true favorites are animal crackers and yogurt covered raisins.
2. Bring Toys
The best way to avoid the constant barrage of “Can I have that?” requests is to keep the kids occupied. In addition to having snacks on hand, it is always a good idea to keep a few small toys for your little ones to play with.
Not only does this provide them with entertainment but it is also a convenient distraction when you race past the candy section. I have an entire section of my purse dedicated to little toys like Matchbox cars, finger puppets, and even a few small books.
3. Shop in the morning
I know this tip won’t always work especially for working parents but if you can, shop in the morning. If you can head to the store right after breakfast your kids will not be hungry and you won’t be interfering with nap time. Mornings are also less busy times so your wait in line will be shorter and you won’t have to fight the crowds you will find right after work or on Saturdays.
4. Let Them Help
This tip isn’t for the faint of heart because handing over control to your kids is hard. However, letting your kids (especially if they are a little older) help plan the meals, write the grocery list, and shop for the items provides a number of important life lessons.
If your child isn’t old enough to keep track of the real grocery list you can still have them help look for the items you need. Most kids thrive when they are given responsibility and will also be more likely to eat the meals with less complaint as they were a part of the process.
5. Order Groceries for Pickup or Delivery
My very favorite way to go grocery shopping with kids is from the comfort of my own home. This may sound like cheating but if you haven’t tried it yet you are doing yourself and your family a disservice.
The best part of using a grocery delivery service is that it lets you enjoy the limited time you have with your kids rather than spending that time at the store. I also find it is easier to stay on budget because I can see the running total and don’t have to zig zag back and forth across the store for the things I have forgotten. With more and more pickup and delivery options becoming available every day this will soon be an option for parents everywhere.
When you are a parent, grocery shopping with kids can seem as inevitable as death and taxes but it doesn’t have to be as miserable. If you follow these five tips (especially tip #5) you will find that grocery shopping doesn’t have to be the most undesirable task on your ever growing to-do list. What is your favorite tip for grocery shopping with kids?
Jenna is a mom to four awesomely exhausting children. She believes that finding the right food for your family should be easier. That’s why she is committed to providing information you need to make deliberate choices for your family. Learn about your grocery shopping choices and follow her on Instagram.