Search Frugal Divorced Liz

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Happy grocery shopping with kids!

Now that I'm a single mom, I ALWAYS end up taking my three kids to the grocery store with me. Sometimes it is more fun than others, and sometimes it is definitely a chore. Here are some methods I have come up with to ease the potential pain!

I pack a paper bag with "treats" for each of my kids. I say, "Treats," because's usually just healthy snacks! A typical "treat" bag would probably include, juice, cereal or popcorn in a baggie, carrot sticks, and maybe a cookie if I had baked any. My kids go CRAZY over these. Having these snacks for them drastically cuts down on the fighting, whining, and screaming that seems to inevitebly occur at the most embarrassing moments. Sometimes I pack a "treat" bag for me, too!:P

This is exactly the same principle as the "treat" bags. I pick two items (that I want to buy anyway) and I let my kids pick the one they want. Last time we shopped, it was frozen ravioli on sale, the time before it was sparkling apple cider that has 100% juice. If they start misbehaving, I threaten to not buy the "extra" item.:P

This way, they aren't overly tired and the store isn't especially crowded. An even better time to shop is Sunday morning, but I always need to go shopping by Saturday. I obveously need to plan that better!:P

I'm lucky in that my kids actually enjoy grocery shopping. Packing treat bags turns it into kind of a fun, family outing. The kids just sit in the cart and munch away. Grocery shopping day is always my favorite day, because it means we're going to get some new food to eat. We never go hungry, but sometimes I just get so tired of the food we have in the house. I can't wait until the first week I get to spend $105, instead of $80! I plan to stock up and plan all kinds of awesome feasts. I'm sure that first week will have an interesting meal plan.:P


Cate said...

Those are great tips! I know we used to drive my mom nuts in the grocery store unless she planned ahead. I think her general rules were to 1) make sure we'd already eaten (or had snacks with us), 2) make sure we'd had naps, if we were young enough to still be taking them, and 3) bribe us! Lol--it was kind of like you "extra item" thing...she'd buy us each a 25 cent sheet of stickers if we were good.

WilliamB said...

A friend of mine, who I think is a great parent, gets her kids to help. Each kid gets part of the list and is "responsible" for making sure those things are bought. The 3 yo is probably too young but the others might like it.

My grandfather used to use shopping as a math quiz, expecting us to keep a running total as we shopped. No calculators allowed! (Not that we could get cheap calculators back then.) Before the advent of scanners, I could add the sums as fast as the checker could punch them intothe register.