Monday, January 8, 2018

Typical Outing - Grocery Shopping

I thought I would write about my methods for some of our typical outings over the years.  The first one, grocery shopping!

First let me tell you the I don'ts then we will discuss the I do's.

I don'ts:
~~Use coupons. The reason behind that is because we do not eat many things that coupons are for. Not even the special organic things that many organic companies have coupons now for. I did try to do the CVS thing but almost every time I went, they would be out. Which leads me to the next I don't.

~~Drive all around town for the special buys and sales. I don't have the patience for that and neither do my children. Because...

~~I don't leave my children at home or with a sitter. I never have. They like to shop as much as I do and we all are excited when shopping day rolls around.

~~I don't go alone. I can't wrangle the buggy and the baby by myself anymore! LOL! I am an older mother now and there just isn't that much spunk left to wrangle two things like that!

Those are a few of the I don'ts. Lets look at the I do's (which I said mine over 30 years ago now LOL!):

~~I do take all my children with me.  I go in the morning before nap time usually.

~~ I do expect my children to behave in the stores and not have melt downs! So I train them to act the right way when we are shopping. We practice during our training time about twice a week when we have a new one who needs to learn or we need a little review. (Yes, I said I expect them to behave!  i learned at about number four, you have expectations and you have a reality....they can both be the same if you help your child learn what you want them to do when you go shopping!)

~~I do buy my children lunch or a special snack when we go but not as a bribe. Just so we won't have sugar crashes while we are unloading the big van.

~~I do shop at Sams Club, Aldis, farmers markets, a roadside stand we call the "fruit stand", and Kroger. But not every week. Sometimes all in one day though.

~~I do buy in bulk!
~~I do stock up on things when I get some extra money. 
~~I do have a co-op for half of my stuff that I order. Something Better Natural Foods and Frontieris where we get our stuff from, every other month.

How to:

1.  When I had all littles, 8 and under, I would use two buggies.  One for the littlest ones.  Teach them to remain sitting in the buggy!  If they were big enough, they would walk beside the buggy with their hand on it!  (Key here, with their hand on it!)  So, sitting toddler in front, baby in wrap on my chest, two preschoolers in the buggy.  Me pushing the one in front of my and pulling the food one behind me!  Two under 8's walking beside the buggy with hand on it!  If we met up with another person or they needed to get out of the way, I would say, "line up like ducks!" and they would get behind me.  We would stop and let the person pass or go through carefully.  Fun times, fun times!  

2.  When they got a litlte older, 11 or 12, I would push the buggy, the oldest would push the second one.  Everyone else was about the same.  Of course, I had to train them how to push properly!  LOL!  My heels and shins still ache sometimes from those days!

3.  Teens and down we had two buggies still.  I would have a baby wrapped to my, toddler in my buggy and preschooler who would sit still in the buggy while the teens were looking after the walkers.  I would still say, "line up like ducks!!" if we needed to clear the isle quickly.  

4.  Now a days we still have teens on down but no babies at the present.  We still get two buggies most of the time!  So little miss goes in the front of the buggy, Miss 6 goes in the back, Mr. 8 walks with hand on the buggy beside it...for now.  Miss 11 grabs stuff I need with me and the three teens go to grab other things for me from different parts of the store!  I am living the life......ahhhhhh!  (But, they would still be with me if they didn't have a cell phone and know that they need to stay right with one another!!!)

At the checkout line:

I don't let them beg for junk!  I usually say, "if you have the money you may buy it but I will not buy it for you and if you are allergic then it is an automatic no!"  Even the baby has her own money and I let her give me the dollar and get her mnm's.  LOL!

I let the little ones all help me unload the groceries and stuff from the buggy.  The people behind me are usually fine to watch the workers ensue and give compliments on how great the littles did!  The other day the baby dropped something and said, "oh my goodness, I hopes it didn't bweak a pawt!"  The big burly man behind us, who was watching all along, laughed and giggled and was having a good old time.  He is not the first.  It brings joy to others if you are joyful!

We always load the babies first...I am always saying, people before things and Jesus first of all!  But when I had all littles, they would all get in the van and buckle up while I loaded the groceries with a big helper and then put the buggy back.  

Always, always park next to or near the buggy corral!!!


With littles only, I would secure the baby and toddler in the house, usually in high chair or play pen/walker and let the children start to bring in the groceries.  I always got the eggs!  Nobody touched my eggs!   

Then with big ones and today, they all unload the groceries as I hand out orders and start the process of putting the groceries away.  Everyone has a job to do!

  • Two little girls = hold the door open and help bring in groceries they can handle
  • two middle littles = organize the canned goods after bringing in the groceries
  • Two teen boys = run things down to the pantry, extra fridge and freezers after unloading the groceries and return the carries/coolers to the van
  • My teen girl and I = divide the meat, put away groceries in the top part of the kitchen cabinets, organize the little ones after unloading the groceries.
  • Then we all take a sit down break and read or rest!!
If you have any questions or comments, please ask!  I am sure I left out something important somewhere.  
My sweet baby when she was fresh and new.
My grandson, my baby, they are three and a half months apart, and I back when they were tiny.


  1. Hello I have a question. I also do Aldis. Do you bag your own things while the kids sit in the cart & wait (or help!). I think THAT is almost harder than shopping...the bagging & keeping everyone still & patient :)
    Also, in the store if they don’t listen or obey I’m at a loss lately on what to do. At home it would be a time out or taking something away, but in public I’m coming up blank now!. My older ones never needed this correcting thing ;) 😄

    1. Well, I don't bag the groceries. I put the groceries from the cart, directly into the van into baskets, carriers or bags. Usually, I will put the kids into the car/van first and get them strapped in....while the groceries sit beside the van in the cart still....then I will load the stuff from the cart. I will also have a bigger kid snap the littles into their seats while I unload.

      If they don't listen in the store, I put a little pen mark on their hand and deal with it when we return home. If they are too young to understand later, then I will give them a "talkin' too" right in the store, making sure they are looking at me in the eyes and acknowledging my verbal instructions. Hope that is helpful!

    2. Yes, it was helpful, thank you! I have just discovered your blog & enjoy it, my time online is limited each day so I can’t catch up on past posts but I’m enjoying from this post on-so thank you for that as well!!
      I have strapped kids in and loaded the car that way at Aldis as well, but where we live right now it’s 10 degrees outside and just too cold to do it! :) Errands on these days are hard enough :)