I know moms of 5, 7, 9+ are laughing at me right now, but moms of 1 or 2 are contemplating nominating me for mommy of the year, so here goes nothing...my advice on grocery shopping with three 4 and under.
We shop at Publix for the most part. I take a one a month trip to either [or all] Whole Foods/Trader Joe's/Costco. I haven't gotten involved in the local co-op, but I've very close once we move and things settle a bit. Last year I did try out Nature's Garden Delivered and the local farmers market. I highly recommend the farmers markets for cheap local produce.
Make people nervous while attaching baby to back
Hold hands to cross the street
Load all kids in cart
Put a few items in cart
Realize grocery list is in car
Unload grocery cart
Take kids outside to get it
Go back shopping
Notice baby has lost passy
Go back outside to find it run over, but still useable
Over the course of the next two hours take advantage of...
Free coloring book
Free turkey sample
Pull out the iPods when kids start to get too wiggly
Open juice box box, start passing them out
Open bagels, start passing them out
Open sun chips, start passing them out
[Maybe feed kids more before I leave?]
[Or don't shop during lunch?]
Sometimes I let Nation walk and put the smaller two in the cart, but today I felt like carrying Moses and restraining the other two instead. It's always funny how many times people say, "You've got your hands full." I did use my E-mealz menu, but you don't want to know my total on my breakfast/lunch/snacks. Hopefully I shopped for two weeks and not just one.
If you're pregnant, pee when you first arrive. If you're taking a potty training kid, make them pee when you first arrive. If the drive home isn't short, do it again before you check out. Nothing is worse than pulling up to the house to unload groceries and you've gotta pee and so does everyone else. If you nurse, nurse before you leave for the grocery store and in the parking lot before you drive back home. For me, this has worked because otherwise we pull up and everyone needs to pee, everyone is crying cause they are hungry and so am I.
This way, when you pull up you can put the kids out back or in a room to play or in front of a movie while you bring the groceries in. The baby can go straight down for a nap because most likely he or she won't be fussy because they aren't dirty or hungry. Otherwise you're doing all of this while your groceries melt in the car. We usually nap pretty soon after I'm done unpacking, I serve lunch quickly and pat myself on the back from surviving again.
How many kids do you have?
What's your tips?