You’ve got 20 items on your grocery list and a baby and a toddler in tow. Sounds simple right? Any parent can tell you that it’s not. Going to the grocery store with kids is about as fun as sticking a burning hot fork in your eyeball. But don’t worry. I figured out how to survive going to the grocery store with babies, toddler, tweens and teenagers. Keep reading to learn my secret.
So, whether you like it or not, our tiny humans eat food and a lot of it. There’s simply no way around it. We have to go to the store. And after having five kids of my own, I’ve had my fair share of adventures to the grocery store. I’ve thought over and over, “There must be a better way.” And then one day, it came to me like a beacon of light straight down from grocery store gods. But here I am getting ahead of myself. Let me start at the beginning.
Once upon a time at the grocery store
Before I tell you how to survive the grocery store with kids, let me tell you the motivation behind all of this. When I had two toddlers and a baby at home, I decided to go to the store. My baby was buckled in the front of the cart and my two toddlers were roaming free like wild hyenas. I was almost finished shopping and my cart was completely full.
As I was turning my head to pick out some sliced ham, both of my toddlers decided to hang from the side of the cart like monkeys. Well, you can guess what happened next. Yep. The entire cart tipped over. It made the loudest noise ever and then crying and tears commenced. Thankfully, no one was hurt. However, by the time I could get my wits about me, just about everyone in the entire store had made their way over to the chaos. Everyone just wanted to help but really I just wanted to crawl inside of a dark cave and hide for the rest of the day.
If this story sounds familiar, you’re in good company. But sadly, this is not the first time something like this has happened. Going to the grocery store with kids is super hard. So, what’s to be done?
Here’s the secret
So, do you want to know how to survive the grocery store with kids? Well the answer is … DON’T TAKE YOUR KIDS TO THE STORE.
What?! That’s it? Yep.
This isn’t a joke. I’m completely, one hundred percent serious. It is less effort and a million times less stressful to find a babysitter or wait for your spouse to get home from work than it is to drag your kids to the store. My stress level dropped a bazillion times when I started doing this. Kids don’t like to go to the store. So, stop taking them. Just plan your week out so you don’t have to take them..
Other alternatives to the grocery store
There’s this new, glorious way to shop nowadays and it’s called online shopping! Halelujah! You put your kids down for a nap and then you sit down on the couch and shop straight from your computer. Although, I prefer to get out and go to the store, I like to shop online as a good alternative. And basically every grocery store offers curbside pickup and even delivery. Here’s some good online shopping options that I prefer:
- Amazon Family (Amazon Family is a program that gives Prime members some serious discounts on items like diapers, baby food, and more)
If you have to take your kids to the store …
Alright, if the above options don’t work out in your favor and you do have to take your kids to the store, here’s some tips and tricks that might make the outing a little bit more bearable:
- Parking: Park by the cart return (forget about spots closest to the store)
- Electronics: Give your child a tablet or your phone to play on.
- Fun carts: Pass on the “fun carts” that look like a car. Your kids will end up on the top of them, not in them.
- Ditch Walmart: Here’s 10 reasons not to shop at Walmart.
- Samples: These are your friend. They keep your kids entertained and happy.
- Mornings: This is when there are the least amount of people at the store. Crowded aisles don’t work well with kids.
- Car seats: Car seats take up the entire cart. Instead, opt for a baby front carrier. It’s a little bit more effort but way less hassle when you’re in the store.
- Grocery lists: Come to the store with a plan. If you’re wandering the aisles, disaster ensues.
- Cell phone: Put your phone away. As soon as you answer it, your kids go crazy.
- Expectations: Review the rules at the store with your kids before you head in. Kids like to be explained what’s expected of them and they usually behave better.
I hope some of these tips on how to survive the grocery store with kids will help you. Happy shopping!
Related link: 10 back-to-school must haves for boys