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Surviving the Grocery Store

If you have children, or even a child, you dread taking them into a store. Any store.  I am especially scared of the dreaded super store. I have shaved down my shopping to one big shopping trip at the beginning of the month, and getting vegetables and fruit at the farmers market on the weekend. I beg my husband to pick up milk when we run low even.

So how do you survive the grocery store without pulling your hair out?

Don’t go to WalMart if possible. Don’t even go to Target. Since moving to Jersey we have a lot of food only stores, like ShopRite. It avoids the awful toy section and my favorite, the clothing department. You’re there for food, remember?

Feed the children before you shop. Whatever you do, feed them first and within an hour of going grocery shopping. Nothing is worse than having multiple children whining about being hungry. And if you’re taking your significant other, feed them also. I made that mistake and we walked out with 3 boxes of Captain Crunch Cereal and 2 boxes of twinkies (one of which was already open).

Get the big embarrassing shopping cart. Do not under any circumstances let your child out of that shopping cart. Trying to read your grocery list, checking to make sure you have it all, and trying to make sure your little one is still nearby, you’re going to lose your mind. I beg, threaten, bribe etc. to get the shopping trip done; all in the name of dinner.

Make a meal chart and a grocery list. And stick to them. It’s my life saver to look at the calendar and know what we are going to have a week out. I go one step further and plan out my month. I also prepare freezer meals (both bake and crockpot) for those days that I’ll be too lazy to cook. If you don’t have a crock pot, get one. They are a busy mom’s best friend. If you want any outlines of my calendar or recipes, I’ll be happy to share.

And finally,

Go as early as possible and during the week. Either after they wake up in the morning if you can or after their nap. They will be least resistant and cranky. I usually keep snacks in my purse also, just a little something to keep their mouths busy. In the morning, usually the meat guy is out there putting stickers on things that are for sale. Get to know that guy if your family likes a lot of meat. I once saved 10 dollars just because he recognized me and gave me some coupons. Also going early in the morning, there will only be stay at home parents and old people. They can be chatty, but it’s much better than the busy people trying to rush through their shopping and being rude.

Shopping is stressful, but it’s doable to do on your own. Hopefully my tips help your shopping trip out, and I’ll be praying for all you moms doing the trip alone.


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