Leaving the House Part 1: The Grocery Store

I have a healthy fear about taking my children out in public. Most people should. As parents, we know better than anyone what our precious creatures are capable of.

But we love them, and it is so good for everyone to get out of the house. Only once the laundry is done, of course.

So out into the world we go, bravely clinging to our latte's and low expectations.

After Emmy was born, I was obsessed with drive-thru's. Anything drive-thru, I did it. Actually, having a baby did not do this to me I have always loved drive-thru because laziness is a spiritual gift of mine. Drive-thru dry-cleaning. Drive-thru prescription pick-up. Drive-thru coffee. And lots and lots of drive-thru food. I could not even imagine lugging that beastly carseat carrier in and out of the stores.

And I was always stealing things! Jars would roll underneath the carseat when it was sitting in the bay of the shopping cart. Packets of seasonings. A tooth brush or two. A few hair bows. I stole so much! All on accident, I swear it, but by the time I got out to the car and was unloading everything I couldn't bear the thought of going BACK into that store. {Except I did once, when it was an infant sunhat that she had wedged down there. "This has gone too far!" I declared, and brazenly we marched into the Target to pay for that stolen sun hat.}

Good citizens we are.

Now there is grocery pick-up, don't even get me started. You pay for everything online, select your pick up time, and BAM they bring it right out to your car and load it for you. You don't even have to be wearing shoes! Or pants!

I had been grocery shopping with 3 kids for montbs before this was brought to my attention. Do you know where those groceries were going? With Archie taking up the bulk of the cart, Mack sitting in the child seat, and Emmy wandering off, I was carrying ALL the groceries in reusable bags hanging off of my arms. One for meat, one for produce, one for carbs, and one for dairy/frozen food. Bless!

And don't even get me going on Trader Joe's shopping cart. Of all the first-world-problems, THIS tops my list. Those things are almost too small for the carseat, and after that, where does the food go? Archie can hold the loaves of bread and bananas but I draw the line at granola and by then we're only 1/10 of the way through the store. It's like Trader Joes thinks it's some sort of tiny food boutique. You're not, you're a full-fledged grocery store! You even carry toilet paper! You have all that I need in one place, but there is no room for it all in my cart.

Got distracted checking my list and looked up to see my fashionista Mack loading up his cart with Cliff bars
So you know what goes on at this grocery store? I give my kids those child-size carts and load 'em up. All the groceries for a family of 5. We only go once a week. We drink a lot of milk. Mack can't even see over the top of his cart.

Earning his keep, those Cliff bars are a dollar a piece Mack!
Lord have mercy.

It was at this exact time in my life I confessed to my husband I had started becoming proficient in the "f-word." Like it was becoming a real problem.

A thief with a potty-mouth, look what Motherhood has done to me!

If you were to ask me how to best grocery shop with kids, I will share a few pointers I've learned (through fiery trials):

1. Stick to your list. You might panic and start stock-piling because this experience is hard and you don't want to do it again, but remember you have to get it all out of the store somehow-- and often wine is at the end of your trip so you have to leave room!

2. Don't go near the wine bottles. You will need wine after this experience but keep the cart and the grubby hands within at least 5 ft away from any display.

3. Pasta sauce, too.

4. Actually keep your distance from anything glass.

5. Meal plan so that you only have to go once a week, or less! (the kids and I do Trader Joes or Whole Foods weekly, then we do a monthly trip to CostCo)

6. Don't add any errands on to your day, and get your groceries first! We keep cooler bags in the car since we live so far from the store, but this also allows me to go to lunch afterwards if our moods are still soaring!

7.  Do it online, so you can pick up!

6. Have your groceries delivered!

7. Send someone else to do it for you.

8. Grocery shop alone (this isn't an option for me since my hubby is only around on weekends, and I don't want to miss out on our family time by being away from the house for 3 hours by myself-- as tempting as that sounds.... wait, why am I not doing this?!?)

9. Don't buy groceries, just eat out. 

10. Read my post on grocery shopping on a Spending Fast! 

Do you have any great grocery store tips? My cousin gave me the best one-- as soon as you walk into the store, head to the bakery and buy that child a donut! They don't even have to earn it with good behavior! Just give them the sugar and hope you can get everything on your list before the last bite is gone. It's like a race, or the Hunger Games!

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