I was shopping with the kids this weekend, when I realized there are some changes that I have made to my "shopping routine" that I never would have considered in my pre-kid days. Do any of these sound familiar?
- I write out my shopping list, then I re-write it according to the route that I take through the grocery store: Dairy, meat, produce, etc. Pre-kid days I distinctly recall just moseying through the aisles, seeing "what looked good". Now I've got a limited amount of time. It's like the Amazing Race, only I'm the sole contestant. The prize? My sanity.
- I go grocery shopping before 11:00AM. If I hit the stores after 11, there are more crowds, which means a slower cart-cruising speed (see above). I also find that the elderly shop at this hour as well, and they seem to be a bit more patient with my kids than the rush-hour shoppers.
- I like to shop on Friday mornings. I find that if I go on Fridays, they've usually discounted a ton of meat from the day before. I can buy steak, roasts, pre-seasoned chicken for half of the price!
- I park in the closest spot to the shopping cart return stall. This could be a mile away from the store and I would park next to it. I'd rather push the kids a distance in the cart than have them buckled into their carseats, only to have to leave them locked in the car while I hunt around for a place to return the cart. I don't like to ditch carts, but I have before :\
- I always either bring a snack or plan to purchase one. Fishy crackers, teddy grahams, fruit snacks, donuts. Is it healthy? No, but it keeps them happy and quiet, which is all I need. Another bonus is the free samples. We went to pick something up at the store on Friday, and they were giving out ice cream samples on little cones. The little old lady said, "Would you like to try some ice cream today?" "Bless you," I said.
- I get my fresh values card, debit card and car keys ready before we even start standing in line, that way I'm not fishing around for them in my purse and holding up the line, while trying to hold my kids at-bay. "Do you have a fresh values card today?" (here) "How will you be paying today?" (already done).
- If we manage to snag a "car cart", make sure it has TWO steering wheels. It's hard to share one steering wheel when we have TWO drivers.
- When one of the grocery baggers asks, "May I help you out?" I say, "Why, yes, yes you may!" I used to think that these kids were reserved to help little old ladies or pregnant women with their parcels, but I now realize that with two very active kids, a little help is justified. I sometimes feel like hugging them after they've loaded my groceries. Yes, I've even tipped a few before, I've been THAT grateful!