Grocery Shopping with Kids: Make it Easy!

It has happened to all of us, you look in the cupboards and they are almost bare. You have to go to the grocery store, but the children have to come along. As you pull up to the grocery store, you no longer see a grocery store, you see a mine field. How do you maneuver past the mines and come back out to the car with everyone in the family still in tact?

Set up rules!
The first step to making grocery trips easier is ground rules. Talk with your kids before you go, this way they are well aware of what the rules are while in the store. These ground rules can include what they can help pick out, where they need to be while you shop (in the cart, in front of the cart, next to you), what kind of cart you are going to get, how long the trip should take, and also what will happen once you get home.

Let them help!
There are many opportunities to let the children help when you are in the grocery store. The produce section is a great place for helpers. If you have older children you can teach them how to properly pick different types of produce. If your children are younger, then colors and counting are great tools in this section. kids can help you by getting the produce bags and ties for you too. Many other items in the store they can help by picking tout which kind you buy, or by putting them into the cart for you. If your child is old enough to read, then they can be in charge of crossing off the list, and helping you keep to the list! Plus when you get home, let the children help put away groceries, and throw away those grocery sacks (or save them wherever you save them).

Sure you are at the grocery store to buy food, but you need to do a few things with food before you go to the store. Make sure that everyone eats before you go. The last thing you need is hunger pains in the grocery store. Then you will wind up with tons of impulse items in your cart! Also, make sure to bring a small snack for the children while you are in the store. When they see other snacks on the store shelves, you can remind them that you brought your own snack along. This will help keep them from wanting to pile a ton of fruit snacks and cookies and candy into your cart.

Fun Carts
Many grocery stores have race car carts. Get one! Sure they are bigger and slightly more difficult to maneuver, but believe me they are worth it! The children can ride inside the car and “drive” through the store.

Reward Them
If the kids follow the rules, then reward them in the check-out lane. You can always find some small inexpensive candy to say thanks for doing what I asked. Do not tell your child about the reward ahead of time. Even if they do not follow the rules, they will expect it! Then you have a meltdown on your hands! Surprise them with the reward, that always works the best for me.

Following these simple tips will keep your grocery shopping trip stress to a minimum! I know that these things always help to make mine easier. Even if you follow these tips, there can still be problems at the store. take them in stride and remember it will be better next time! Everyone has rough days, even the kids!


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