Grocery Shopping with Multiple Kids
Aldi was our first stop of the day and I was pregnant with our third baby and just about all foods made me gag. I had our 20-month-old, Daniel, sitting in the front of the cart and my 3 ½-year-old, William, had begged and begged to walk and help me push the cart and I was tired so I gave in. BIG MISTAKE. Halfway through the store William just couldn’t handle it anymore and laughing, he ran away from me. So here I am pregnant, pushing a cart with a toddler in it, and chasing my three-year-old through the aisles of Aldi. People just looked at him as he ran by and chuckled and gave me a sympathetic smile. Side note: if you ever see a little kid laughing while running away in the grocery store, help the parent out and just try to block the kid’s path. Eventually, I caught him but boy was I mad and it put me in a grumpy mood for the rest of the day. Grocery shopping, in general, can be a little bit unpredictable, especially when kids are involved. I served about a dozen moms and more than half said that one of the reasons they don’t enjoy grocery shopping is because their kids have to come along to the grocery store.
We can’t get out of grocery shopping and 9 times out of 10 we have to bring the kids along with us, so why not make the best of it? I take all three of my kids to the grocery shopping every week and we have figured out how to make it work. Are some days totally stressful and make me want to run away and hide in a hole? Of course! But the majority of the time we do have things pretty well figured out. Be sure to comment below and tell me how you manage grocery shopping with multiple kids.
Tips for Grocery Shopping with Multiple Kids
1 - Transportation Through the Store
My favorite grocery stores are ones with double carts because both of my boys can sit and not run away from me, sometimes they do throw a fit because they want to walk but I just tell them they need to sit nicely or they will get buckled in. If you can’t find a double cart you can either put your oldest in the back basket area of the cart or you can let him or her walk along with you. Use your judgment because you know your kid and I don’t, your kid may be totally fine walking alongside of you or he/she may be a runner like my son.
If you have a baby (or even a smaller toddler) then stick that baby in a carrier. There are so many different types of baby carriers, there is something out there that both you and baby will love. My favorite carrier for the grocery store is my Kinderpack, Baby Audrey feels secure enough that I can easily bend and reach around to get things from the cart to the cash register without worrying that she will fall out of the carrier. You can get $10 off your Kinderpack with my affiliate code SystemsMama, click here to visit their site and check out all the fun prints they offer.
2 - Timing is Everything
One of the biggest mistakes you can make when taking your kids grocery shopping is going at the wrong time of day. Don’t go over a meal time or nap time because otherwise, you are just asking for trouble. Why no, no I am not speaking from experience here…………...okay, fine, I have totally done this and totally regretted it.
3 - Make it Fun
Get your older kids involved in grocery shopping by having them help you find items from your list or have them organize the foods inside the cart. If you want to go a little crazy you could create a grocery list with photos for your child and have them find things from their list, rather than you just telling them what to look for; your child will feel so proud when he or she finds an item from their list. To make a grocery list with photos, open a word processing program on your computer (or you can use Google Docs) and open up Google Images and search for photos of each item you want to add to your child’s grocery list. Download the photo to your computer and insert the photo into your word processing program. Then, print!
You can also keep it a little more simple and play little games with your older kids. “I Spy…” is a perfect game for in the grocery store and if your child knows their letters well, you can have them find the letters of the alphabet, in order (Apples, Blueberries, Chicken Broth, Dog Food).
4 - Embrace the Bribe
Grocery shopping is something that has to be done so if your child is having a rough day and making things difficult for you, totally embrace the bribe. My boys do so well in Target if I stop at Starbucks and get them a chocolate milk box to drink while I push that giant double cart through the store. At Wegman’s or Whole Foods I tell my boys that if they behave well for the whole grocery trip then we will grab a cookie before checking out. One cookie doesn’t cost much and it helps them remember to behave so I can get stuff done. I don’t recommend bribing all the time, just when you need them to behave long enough for you to get something essential, like grocery shopping, done and they are being extra difficult.
5 - Be Prepared
Make sure you have your diaper bag fully stocked and ready to go so you are prepared for those random poopy diapers, baby spit ups, and everything in between.
How do you get grocery shopping done with multiple kids? I’d also love to hear any funny stories you have from grocery shopping with kids so that I know my kids aren’t the only ones who go nuts when out in public. Share a photo at the grocery store on Instagram and use #myhomemakingsystems and #iamajoyfulhomemaker and don’t forget to tag me!