Tuesday, March 1, 2011

How I Grocery Shop

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.

Unload car
Make people nervous while attaching baby to back
Hold hands to cross the street
Sanitize cart
Load all kids in cart
Put a few
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
Wash passy
Start over

Over the course of the next two hours take advantage of...
Free coloring book
Free colors
Free cookie
Free balloon
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?


  1. Wow!!! I can't even begin to imagine, I only have one 3 year old, and I am wore out shopping with her...I do agree with snacks helping...and I just hate the potty thing, when you are in the middle of shopping and some little one needs to potty, then having to get back on track to see what else you need....Kudos to you for juggling the multiple little ones :)

  2. 2 kids, and my #1 tip is:
    Write grocery list in order of the aisles. That way you aren't running back to the canned aisle after you buy butter.

    Also leave children at home whenever possible, haha.

  3. lol - ooooohhhhhhh it's so true:) People may ask 'is that all you did today'...... but oooohhhh little do they know! FUN read :)

  4. This is a great post! I'm contemplating a third so it's good to know grocery shopping is still doable. My 2 aren't too much trouble so I have hope. I stop at Starbucks first so I can get a coffee and the boys get a snack. Then I put them into one of those car-shaped carts that are insane to maneuver but at least it keeps the kids happy. I get them both to help me a lot too, so they stay out of trouble.

  5. hehehe, I LOVE this Candra! I feel like this w/ 2 so I can't imagine 3 and since we know we want 4... I'll take notes! I love your blog!

    I don't know when I'll ever get that way to pick up the carrier, my papaw passed away this morning so the next few days will be full of family time, and some much needed rest...

    hopefully we'll get there soon :)

  6. Lindsey, thankfully the e-mealz grocery list is in order of publix aisles. I use to shop with no grocery list *gasp*. So having one has really helped me make more meals and save more time.

    Thanks Y'all

  7. omg, i love this post!! makes me realize what my life will be like when we decide to have a 3rd baby! :)

  8. :D great post! This reminds me why my hubby does 90% of our grocery shopping. When we lived in Iowa he started doing it bc the winters were so harsh and he did such a great job I let him keep doing it. On the rare occasion I do take all mine with me we always take a potty break first thing. As your kids get older it does get easier. I never unload or put away groceries anymore. I have helpers that do it.

  9. I'm a wimp, Candra. You are my hero for today. I DO NOT grocery shop alone with my kids. I could do it, I suppose, by why? I take my husband to help corral the kids or leave them at home with him for some quiet grocery shopping time. I find its better to shop without them. I do better keeping organized and staying within budget. Otherwise I'm constantly answering the "can I have that" question or trying to make sure they aren't running off or throwing things in the cart when I'm not looking.

    Kudos to you!!

  10. I have four kids, all boys, and whenever we are doing the shopping get asked, (a) are they ALL yours? (b) you've got your hands full (c) are you going to keep trying for a girl?

    Every single time.

  11. With my boys, and even I still do this now with inisfree sometimes, I would give them a "list" and it was their job to find the items. If they couldn't read yet, we would draw or cut and glue pictures of several items onto a piece of paper before we left. Every isle we turned down, I'd say.... Oh look carefully! See if you can find something on your list! Kept their attention the whole time.... Just be sure to have one item that they don't find until you are ready to check out!! And you can soooo keep them IN the cart for this if they are too young to walk calmly beside you :-) lol

  12. "Make people nervous while attaching baby to back"

    ...I *love* doing that! ;)

    I only have 2 kids (so far!) but I take advantage of my big family (I'm the second of 6) by having an Auntie or two come play with my kids while I shop alone. I always drive away thinking "I'm so spoiled!". :)

    Plus, I only shop once a month so I normally have a full (overflowing!) cart @ two different stores. No where for the kiddos to sit!

  13. I have four kids under six. I try to grocery shop on the weekend but that doesn't always happen! We always bring snacks and eat lunch at 11. That way we can leave right after. Two ride in the cart and two walk. I always get asked if they are all mine. I want to say No, I pick up random kids and bring them to the store with me! Grocery shopping will always remain a difficult task!



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