I know many moms out there who hate grocery shopping with their children. I have to admit, I don’t love it. Especially since my 5 year old has learned how to beg. Begging has got to be one of the little things of childhood that drains my patience faster than..well, a child who doesn’t beg.
I have managed to make it bearable, but it takes planning. And extra stops. I can not, will not do an I-haven’t-been-to-the-store-in-three-weeks-and-we’re-out-of-everything trip with all three children unless my husband is also along for moral and divide-and-conquer support.
Three things that make my grocery shopping bearable:
1) I plan my menus, and make my grocery list in the process. I also clip coupons for items I use regularly or would like to try. If, when I’m making my list, I come across something that’s on sale that I have a coupon for, then I clip it to my list and put an asterisk by it on my list.
2) I break up my trips. I learned this lesson out of necessity. I have yet to find a grocery store where I can do all of my shopping. I have three places I usually shop: Costco for much of our produce, all of our milk, bread, and cheese. Super Target- for any non-produce staple I can’t get at Costco,deli items (usually just lunchmeat), plus diapers (I stack coupons and sales), and another grocery store for for produce items I can’t get at Costco (my current favorite- Mariano’s, their produce section is awesome!).
3) Go in the morning, don’t be in a hurry, and involve the kids in the process.
That’s when I came up with these: Paper Plate Scavenger Hunts! I’m pretty sure I was inspired by something I saw on No Time For Flashcards, but adapted it to fit this occasion: I had too many items on my list to make a my usually quick trip. So…I knew I needed help. I made one for each of them, and as we went through the store they had to look for each tabbed item. Mary’s was simple: colors, numbers, and the letter of her name. Elliot’s had a few words I knew we’d find in the store- like “sale”- some numbers, and words of items to find (like corn). It went over well, and I wish had taken a picture while we were in the store, but hey- I had three kids and a long list, I’m still happy I made it OUT of the store! We were there a long time, I had to stop and help them with their hunt numerous times, but they didn’t get as antsy as they usually do when the trip takes a long time. I call that a success!