As a mom to 3 little ones, aged 3, 20 months and 3 months, I would love some tips and suggestions on getting through my shopping with them along. Right now, I typically wait until their daddy gets home from work and they’re in bed to get my shopping done. However, Daddy has taken a 3rd job to help us get out of debt, so that won’t really be an option anymore. Help! -Abbie
Great question, Abbie!
When we had one child, grocery shopping was fairly simple. We could get ready and out the door pretty easily (though it seemed like quite a bit of work back then!) and when we got to the store, I’d strap Kathrynne in a back carrier and we’d mosey through the store at a leisurely pace.
Grocery shopping was a nice diversion from our little basement apartment and I often shopped multiple times per week because I had more time than money in those days and was playing the Drugstore Game really hot and heavy in order to lower our grocery bill.
When child #2 came along, we were living with one car so we usually did our grocery shopping as a family — either in the evenings or on Saturdays. It was wonderful to have my husband along! He would push the cart and help entertain Kathrynne while I manned the coupons and grocery list with Kaitlynn in the sling.
As our social life was pretty nonexistent at the time (we had just moved to Kansas City and knew next to no one outside the people in the small church we attended), shopping together made for a fun family outing.
When we moved back to our hometown for my husband to start his own law firm, our quiet life changed dramatically. Not only did my husband’s firm take off at a much faster rate than we were anticipating (and soon he had to hire a full-time secretary because his workload was so heavy!), but we had so many social opportunities that we had to start turning some invitations down!
Gone were the days of slow-paced family grocery shopping outings. Instead, I started taking both little girls with me one day each week to hit two to four stores. This took an entire afternoon and it was a bit of a juggling act, but it worked fairly well and I came up with many different ideas for how to shop effectively with little children.
I thought I had a pretty good handle on things and was anticipating that adding in the third child wouldn’t be too much extra effort. But then I had baby #3. Contrary to what I had originally anticipated, I had to rethink my entire Grocery Shopping Game Plan from the ground up.
Stay tuned tomorrow for details on the creative compromise I’ve come to with grocery shopping at this season of my life. And on Friday, I’ll be sharing tricks and tips for successfully shopping with little ones.
photo by AlwaysBreaking