Tag Archives: grocery shopping

Grocery Shopping with Toddlers in 64 Easy Steps

As you may or may not know, grocery shopping is one of my favorite things to do, and my kids typically have a good time doing it as well. Our neighborhood grocery store is a place we goseveral times a week and everyone knows us. It’s really close to our house, so I don’t feel bad hopping down there pretty frequently. Anyway, when I pack up the kids and take them with me (that’s most of the time), it takes a little more planning and effort. Here is what grocery shopping with my kids usually looks like.

1. Park not in the closest parking space to the door of the store, but in the closest parking space to a cart return (for easy pick up and drop off).

2. Hold one kid on your hip and hold the other’s hand because, of course, there weren’t any carts in the cart return.

3. Choose the cart with two seats and steering wheels.

4. Buckle in your toddlers.

5. Wait for your oldest to complain because she wants to use a “little shopper” cart instead.

6. Unstrap her and let her pick out the “little shopper” cart of her choosing.

7. Wait for her to bash your ankles while you unstrap your second toddler.

8. Put second toddler into a regular cart, because you can’t seem to justify taking the one with the steering wheels for just one kid.

9. Finally enter the store.

10. Get your ankles bashed, because your daughter eyed the lovely display of donuts inside the door, instead of watching where she was going.

11. Tell your daughter you can get donuts on a different day, if she stops bashing your ankles.

12. Peruse the produce quickly, giving only the most durable items to your “little shopper”.

13. Watch as a carton of blueberries is dumped sideways and hits the floor.

14. Shout, “Freeze!” so that the least number of blueberries are smashed.

15. Stoop down (around your swollen, 39-week belly) to pick up any whole blueberries that are left.

16. Add the partially-full carton of blueberries to your cart, because you feel bad spilling half of them out and then putting them back.

17. Feed the toddler in your cart a quick snack, because he’s burned up all his calories watching you clean up the blueberries.

18. Skip over the rest of the produce and head to the meat department, because who needs veggies today?

19. Grab chicken and steak and get the heck out of the meat department, because your “little shopper” is already in the dairy section, headed for the eggs.

20. Give the toddler in your cart another snack, because he’s eyeing the not yet purchased bananas.

21. Take out the salted butter (why?) and the store-brand can of biscuits (still why?) from your “little shopper’s” cart.

22. Get both of the last two gallons of organic whole milk, and cry because the price went up again.

23. Say no to the ice cream.

24. Wipe away the tears, and say no to the ice cream.

25. Explain that you’ve already got ice cream in the freezer at home.

26.  Offer ice cream for lunch on the condition that you don’t have to get a second container of ice cream.

27. Go to the check out line.

28. Leave your cart in the line, and go retrieve your little shopper from the ice cream aisle (thankfully not far away).

29. Come back to the line with your little shopper and her ice cream.

30. Get your ankles bashed because the little shopper is eyeing the candy.

31. Give in and let the toddler in your cart watch videos on your phone while you help bag the groceries.

32. Say no to the M&Ms.

33. Say no to the York peppermint patty.

34. Say no to the random candy bar you’ve never heard of, but now you want to try.

35. Peel your “little shopper” off the floor.

36. Give her the “special job” of returning her tiny cart.

37. Swipe your card and bust it after your little shopper before she hits the parking lot (her logical next step after returning her tiny cart).

38. Realize you forgot the eggs.

39. Resign yourself to not caring.

40. Scoop up your little shopper as she’s activating the automatic door.

41. Squish her in, even though there’s no room, next to the toddler already in the cart.

42. Watch the hair-pulling begin.

43. Walk as quickly as you can to the car, waving one hand in the air to the oncoming traffic.

44. Smile apologetically at the cars who stopped to stare at your toddlers making a scene.

45. Thank God for the button that cranks the car before you get there.

46. Wrestle toddler number one into his seat.

47. Give him back your phone with the videos to watch.

48. Wrestle toddler number two into her seat.

49. Explain that you only have one phone.

50. Try seven other methods of distraction.

51. Finally pacify her with a banana.

52. Pack groceries into the car.

53. Take cart to cart return.

54. Praise yourself for parking so close to it.

55. Get in the car, already nice and cool.

56. Turn around to look at toddlers, and see banana in everyone’s hair.

57. Turn back around like you didn’t notice.

58. Drive home.

59. Unpack children.

60. Give them ice cream.

61. Unpack groceries.

62. Think of several other things you didn’t get, and figure you’ll just do without them till the next trip. 

63. Ice your bashed and bruised ankles.  

64. Hope the next trip isn’t for a while, but know it’ll probably be two days later. 

How I Got Us Through the Grocery Store

IMG_9194The other day, the kids and I needed to get out of the house, and I needed a few things from Costco. So naturally, I called a friend who I knew would be free, and said “Meet me there!”

I packed what I thought were adequate snacks, bundled the kids into their winter gear (it was 30 degrees MAYBE) and braved the store.

Lauren met me a few minutes later than we got there. She didn’t even need anything – just wanted to tag along. It was only my second time at Costco (We just got our membership. It is awesome!) so I was doing a lot of wandering. After a few rows of “boring” things like Swiffers and canned tomatoes (read: fantastically priced things that convinced us to get a membership in the first place), we finally got to the fun part: the grocery section. This is where there are yummy samples, as far as the eye can see. Everything from quiche to little fruit-and-nut-bites, covered in chocolate. Lauren, the kids, and I had a bite of everything under the sun. This seemed to appease them. Then I tried again to look at boring things. We ate the snacks from the diaper bag. This seemed to appease them…

THEN IT WAS ALL OVER. They were done. Just like that. So what did I do? Well, food is everything to my kids, so naturally I opened up the package of blueberries. Yeah, I did. I fed them to my kids, unwashed, in the middle of the store, (GASP!) before I had paid for them. They weren’t sold by weight, so I didn’t cheat anyone. But here’s hoping my kids don’t have some crazy disease from the unwashed California blueberries.

Has anyone else had a similar time of need in a store? Opened some food before you bought it? Let your kids do something… they shouldn’t have..?

We’re eating all the fruit.

One of the changes we’ve made at our house to be a little more healthy is to have healthier snack options. Yes, I love Cheetos. However, I know that there are approximately 2,463,910 healthier snacks. We’ve been keeping Pretzel Crisps (we like the “Everything” flavor) and Nut Thins to eat with cheese, and tons of fruit as our preferred snacks. (Unless I’ve recently made those spiced pumpkin muffins from Against All Grain. Then all bets are off.)

My kids love the fruit. And I don’t mean a little bit. They are fruit nuts (see what I did there?) and so a trip to the grocery store is colorful and fresh and often. We buy berries of all kinds (twice as much if they’re on sale), grapes, bananas, apples, plums, and anything else the looks good or is cheap.

Today the grocery trip wore them out, so I had a double nap (WIN!) to do a little more to the fruit than usual. Often, I only have time to throw it in the fridge, and then I’m distracted doing something else. But since I had time today, I decided to take the fruit snacking thing to the next level.

I took the blueberries, strawberries and grapes we bought and gave them a vinegar rinse. I got this ideal from my mom… apparently a vinegar rinse kills bacteria that causes fruit to mold after a few days. Her “recipe” is 1/4 cup white vinegar for every gallon of water. My “recipe” is put the fruit in a bowl of water, dribble some white vinegar in there, and let it sit for about 5 minutes. Seems to work just as well.

The next thing I did was to semi-prepare the fruit so that when my kids want some, I can just toss it in a bowl for them and it’s ready. I cut the tops off all the strawberries, pulled the grapes off the stems, and even quartered a small bowl of them (J can’t eat them whole yet). Blueberries are, well, ready. Obviously.


All of this took me about half an hour, but I was also doing some dishes and talking on the phone, so I didn’t feel like it was wasted. And now J is eating his bowl of quartered grapes and I’m blogging about it, instead of quartering them now!

What are some healthy snacks you like munching on? Do your kids love fruit as much as mine do?

Just because I have to include a picture of my cute kiddo 🙂