Thursday, April 9, 2015

grocery shopping with a "helper"

Grocery shopping is one of my least favorite chores. I don't know if it's always been low on my list, but these days I feel like it's just something I really don't like to do. Granted, I would much rather go grocery shopping than I would dust, so there's that. Maybe it's because I know we have a budget to stick to and I want to make our money stretch as much as possible; which means really looking into the deals, coupons, and the quantity of food you're getting. I don't mind it, but I don't enjoy it and would much rather go for a walk or something. But, that's life and we need food. So I go with my detailed list, meal plan written out, coupons, and whatever else I might need. 

When I go grocery shopping these days, a lot of the time I will have a little helper tag along. I've actually had a little helper in tow for a while now, but now that he's bigger, very mobile, and becoming more verbal, he's even more of a helper. Sometimes he'll stay home with his Daddy, but most times he comes with me and helps me get what we need. In general he's really good and is a happy little shopping buddy. But there are days I have to do a little bit more to "entertain" him.

Some things that have helped us have a more pleasant shopping experience include: 

- going to the store when it's not crazy busy. With my schedule the only time I can really go shopping is on the weekend, which is in general a busier time. However, because I have an early riser, I'm able to avoid the crowds because we go right after breakfast on Saturday morning and are leaving just as the store starts to get busy around ten or so. win win. 

- being prepared. This means having my list and shopping bags. It helps so much. I also tend to shop the store in the same order every week. Doing this helps me know how many more aisles I have left before we're done. 

- bringing 'goodies'. Essentially, have things for the little helper nearby. In my bag I have a little bag of snacks for Emerson that I let him enjoy when I can tell he's done shopping and I know we still have a little bit to go. I start with good snacks and always make sure to bring out his favorite snacks in the end. This usually keeps him happy for all of two minutes. So snacks. Bring snacks. 

- bringing books or a favorite toy or animal or something. Emerson loves reading, so I usually bring one or two little books along for him to read when he gets bored / is ready to be done. 

- letting him help. I ask him to help me find the cereal / bread / yogurt / whatever it is I'm going to get next. I'll pick it off the shelf and if it's safe for him to hold [like bread - though that can get smooched] and then he tosses it in the back of the cart when he's done holding it. I also sometimes give him my shopping list to "read" to me. Sometimes he'll read it for a while and other times he'll glance it over and then be done. 

- talking to him. I talk to him the whole time we're there, it helps keep him engaged in what we're doing. 

- collecting things. Sometimes he'll point to something that he likes or is interested in. I'll pick it up and hand it to him to look at. This usually applies when we aren't grocery shopping, but at other stores walking around, though not always. Sometimes it will be a book and he'll read it for the some of the time or the whole time. Sometimes it will be a toy or a ball or a cup. Whatever it is, he'll look at it, play with it, and then usually be done. But by that point I'm closer to being done with my shopping. I always tell him, we're not taking this home with us, we have to give it to the cashier before we leave. And with very few exceptions he has done really well with giving it back. Or he's forgotten about his little collection. At the end of every shopping trip I have a little pile of things we aren't buying. I feel bad about it, but not bad enough to not pick them up for him to look at as we walk through the store. 

- having daddy tag along. This can't happen all the time, but when it does it's nice. Emerson goes off to look at the pet food section of the store and the fish that are back there [his favorite part of the store for some reason] while I finish shopping :) 

Anyhow, those are somethings I've found that help us both have a happy shopping trip. What are somethings you do to have a happy helper while you're out shopping? Please share! 

In this link up we want to share with you what we've found that has worked for us as new mamas to toddlers. Because we're experts  after being moms for a few years or so, right? Not really, but we have some experience and want to share what we've learned and we'd love to learn from you, too!

               Here's our Hosts for this round!

Here are the topics we will be talking about this Month!

April 2nd. Spring activities and craft ideas for toddlers.

April 9th.  How  you keep your toddler occupied while grocery shopping.

April 15th.  Potty Training.

April 22.Ways to distract a toddler while you're cooking/cleaning etc.

April 29th Clothes shopping for your toddler. (Where do you get the best deals, where do you shop, how do you save money) etc


Jessica said...

Grocery shopping has been on my list of least favorite chores ever since I got pregnant. But so has meal planning - so I guess they go hand in hand, lol! It just feels like a lot of work to meal plan, look for coupons/discounts, cart Caleb to the store, do the shopping, cart Caleb and the groceries out, and then unpack them all at home. All while wondering how long I have before my little man decides he's done and makes it well known. It's pretty stressful, lol! Loving your tips - many of them are ones I use while out with Caleb, so I'm glad to know that I am not the only one doing whatever it takes to make our little guys happy and get our shopping done!

Amy Will said...

I totally agree with all of those! Grocery shopping is somewhat enjoyable if the store is not busy, but when I'm stuck buying groceries on a busy day with a toddler in tow, I near have a panic attack! Hurrying people and long check out lines... no thanks!
Amy @

Susannah said...

Augh, shopping with Caleb is a nightmare
I can't wait until he's old enough to not cry at the grocery store!

Heather Leigh_A beautiful ministry said...

Love these girl!! So so true. :)

Laura said...

I love that not a single one of your ideas involves electronics. You're keeping Emerson occupied with books and helping you-great job Hannah! And talking to him! I wish more moms did that. Even at just 8.5 months, I talk to my guy all through the store, explaining what we're getting and why. And when he's older, I'll have him help me like Emerson helps you. Grocery shopping is such a great learning opportunity for these littles!

tina bumblebee said...

I always get Lyla involved too. I let her help and talk to her constantly. Sometimes I wonder if people think I'm insane because they look at me like, who is that lady even talking to? My child understands me and talks back, don't worry concerned strangers haha

Amy said...

Cash & I always go during the week, when it is least busy. Usually, we go right away in the morning around 8. We are morning people, so by 8 o'clock we've been up for a couple of hours already.

The last grocery trip, Luke actually came along. It was so nice to have an extra set of hands to talk with Cash & entertain him while I checked the list & shopped. The only negative was that it was the weekend, which made the store insanely busy! But at least I had help! :)