8 tips for surviving grocery shopping with kids
Whether you try to avoid it or not, there will always come a time where the kids will join you on your grocery shop run. But don't fear – there are some tips and tricks that may even make this experience an enjoyable one. Here are our top eight ways to get you out of those grocery shop doors with happy kids and a trolley full of all the things you need.
1. Food and then shop
Feed the kids lunch or give them a snack before you head down the aisles, to reduce the risk of them asking you to buy them every food item on the shelves. Hungry kids are not usually happy kids, but a hungry parent doesn’t lead to happiness either, so fill all of your bellies first and then attack the shopping.
2. Pack a toy or three
Toys are the best distraction, especially for the kids young enough to sit in the trolley. If they spot something they want and a simple "no" doesn’t suffice, pull out a toy from your bag (preferably one they haven’t played with in a while). Use it as a distraction while you keep pushing the trolley to the next aisles.
3. Grocery list
What’s worse than having a bad trip with the kids to the shops? Forgetting what you went there for. Make sure to always take your grocery list with you to make the trip as efficient as possible. For older kids, it can also be a great way to get them involved by getting them to tick off the items that have been put in the trolley and counting how many items left to go.
4. Play ‘I Spy’
Get them searching for the items on your grocery list, especially for things like fruit that will be easy for them to spot. Tip: if the kids start running off trying to figure out what they are guessing, make a rule that if they move too far away from the trolley they are disqualified.
5. Peak hour
For those who have to do the after-school grocery run, this may not be possible, but try to go to the shops when they are the quietest if you can. Not sure when peak hour at your grocery store is? No worries – just give them a call and ask. They will be happy to help.
6. Set a reward
On the way to the grocery store, set some rules the kids must follow to receive a reward. The reward can be anything from a bit more TV time or a snack of their choice. If they have their minds set on getting that reward, they're less likely to do everything you don’t want them to do. A small price to pay for a lot of sanity!
7. Get them helping
When the exit is in sight and the only thing stopping you from leaving is the check-out, make sure you are prepared to keep this smooth ship sailing. Get the kids involved, whether it’s loading the bags into the trolley or giving the check-out assistant the money. If they feel like they are being helpful, they're more likely to stay focused on the job you give them rather than running for the doors.
8. Keep calm and carry on
If you can’t calm the kids down or get them to listen, don’t stress yourself out. It's more than likely there's another parent with their kids having the same issue in the next aisle!