Monday, February 6, 2012

Grocery Shopping & Errands

My shopping cart last week.

Grocery shopping and running errands with little ones is a challenge no matter how many kids you have. It's exhausting buckling and unbuckling car seats, and trying to keep everyone under control out in public. 

My kids actually seem to enjoy grocery shopping and errand running(probably because it means leaving the house!), but it's definitely not high on my list of things that I enjoy doing. Thankfully I have learned a few things to make the process a little easier. 

1. Park near the shopping carts. Remember the days when you wanted to find a spot close to the store?

2.If you have more than one small child, wear the baby in a sling/ backpack. Your hands will be free and there will be more room in your cart.

3.Teach the older children to hold onto the cart while you shop. I know a lot of people don't like this method, but I like it as it seems to cut down on kids dawdling through the store.

4. Let the older kids help unload groceries(just make sure they don't get the eggs!) and if there's a bench nearby let them sit down while you finish checking out. Jack and Anna will usually go sit down on a bench while I finish checking out. It's good because they are usually tired after walking through a grocery store, and it prevents them from trying to  destroy the candy and toys that always seem to be by the check out lanes.

5. Pack snacks, and try not to run errands during anyone's nap time. I'd say this speaks for itself.:)

My biggest struggle while grocery shopping with my kids is finding enough room in my cart for the food.  My back bothers me from time to time, so it's not always a good option for me to wear my almost 8 month old in a sling. It can be very amusing trying to find a place for all my items. There's been more than a few occasions where strangers have stopped to ask me where I was going to put my groceries! It's not easy shopping and running errands with preschoolers, but with a little training and a little planning it can be done. And maybe, just maybe, you won't develop any gray hairs in the process.:)

What are some of your strategies when running errands with your kids?

Linked to A Wise Woman Builds Her Home.


  1. Jessica,

    Your posting puts a smile on my face!

    I remember when my oldest was 5, second oldest was 4 1/2, third oldest was 15 months old and the fourth was newborn. Shopping trips exhausted me.

    My 15 month old could climb in or out of anything. I made a 5 point harness to hold her in the shopping cart because the belts that they are equipped with did nothing but slow her down for a half a second!

    I would turn to place items on the conveyor belt and she would literally be standing when I turned around! Of course the baby would be in a carrier on my chest which helped but it felt insane.

    The harness saved my sanity...I should've sold them to other frazzled moms! LOL

    You have some very helpful tips here!

  2. In answer to your final question....wait till they grow up! Sorry, I know that's not much help! I only had two and at one point Marty boycotted ever taking them out in public again! Moms don't have that luxury!

  3. My hubby is gracious enough to put the kids to bed every Saturday night while I go out grocery shopping. However, occasionally there are necessary errands, appointments, or his work schedule changes. When I have taken the kids to the grocery store, I follow your strategies almost exactly! :D My reasoning for going alone is also because I go to two different stores to get our GF foods and to get the rest where we have an employee discount. The kids loose interest in shopping by the second store so they don't behave as well!

  4. This makes me laugh. Even though I only had 2 little at the same time, I had more trips than one where the baby was surrounded (and mostly covered) with groceries in her infant seat. I hated grocery stores that had goofy front seat carts that the infant seat didn't fit/snap into. It took up the whole back of the stupid cart...much more convenient in the front and the 2 year old standing in the back :)

    I wish I had more advice for ya, but even shopping with 11, 9, 6, and 3 isn't easy. It's like they all want to swim in a sea around you and take up a whole isle....not fun when the store is busy. Why are they allergic to walking in a row behind ducklings? Ahhhhhhh, the joys of motherhood :)


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