Grocery shopping with little ones. It used to be something I dreaded, but I’ve come to actually enjoy this time–having my children close to me (and each other) in the shopping cart, experiencing a big piece of everyday life as a team, and answering a million questions about what they spot on the shelves. I thought I would share a few things I’ve learned that serve to make our grocery trips together more pleasant.
I realize that we’re all in different situations. At the time of writing this, I have just two littles who have recently turned three and one. I am also blessed to now be living in a home where I can pull the car right up to the front door. Take these tips for whatever they’re worth in your current season. :)
Limit the Number of Stores per Trip
I used to think it was best to just knock out all the shopping in one big trip, but I’ve since changed my mind. I try to buy my groceries at a maximum of two stores per week, and I usually split those into two trips. It may not technically be as efficient to go shopping twice in one week, but I find that we are all generally in better spirits if we put our combined energy into one store at a time. I’d rather have more hassle and less grumpiness. :)
Park Near the Cart Return
Parking as close to a cart return as possible means I can take my kiddos straight out of their seats and into the cart, and it makes returning the cart after unloading much easier.
Shop on Full Tummies
It is never a good idea to take hungry little ones into a grocery store. It seems obvious, but sometimes we moms need things like this pointed out to us, and I’ve made this grave mistake too many times (and ended up with Lara bars that weren’t on my list). And while you’re at it, make sure you’re not “hangry” yourself. ;)
Give Your Little Ones “Jobs”
Enlisting children’s help with holding groceries, setting produce on the scale, or unloading groceries onto the conveyer belt makes this outing a team effort and keeps little hands busy and little minds feeling important.
See Shopping as a Teaching Opportunity
Is it fun to take little ones down a dozen grocery aisles full of appealing boxes and cans that are all within arm’s reach? No, it’s not. But it is an excellent opportunity to teach them about stewardship, work, wisdom, frugality, generosity, healthy eating, serving, self control, discipline, planning, efficiency, and many other important character qualities and life skills. Seize the moment!
These simple tips don’t make shopping with little ones a breeze, but they do generally help our trips go a bit smoother. I wish you many sweet shopping memories with your kiddos! Thanks for stopping by and be sure to let me know if there’s anything you’d add to this list! :)