Two weeks ago I began discussing Grocery Shopping with children. So far we have discussed what to do before you leave your house and what to do before you enter the store. Today, we are going to talk about what to do after you are in the store.
You should have your grocery list ready , your reusable shopping bags in hand, and all the children with you.
- Once you are in the store, if you need to readjust how children are riding in buggies, do so. Sometimes, little ones do not want to ride. I do not give an option, but still lift them up and down out of the buggy to help me get things as the older children do. It takes more time and effort, but saves time in the long run because I do not have to wonder where the little ones are!
- Make sure to stick to your list and follow the route you planned earlier through the store. It will help you get through the store faster and more efficiently!
- Let your children help! My children usually know most of what is on the grocery list. They help me find the things we want and take turns putting them into the buggy.
- Play a game. We play a game to see who can find markdowns in each store. By now, the children know how the various mark down or clearance stickers look for each store. They are fast to find the mark downs so we can consider whether it is worth the purchase.
- Teach your children to read labels. If we are purchasing a new product, we are quick to look for ingredients which we avoid, some of those ingredients are high fructose corn syrup, wheat (and derivatives), artificial colors and flavors, MSG, etc.
- Teach your children math. As we go through the store, I have my older children keep a running tab of what we have in the buggy. They know when we are getting close to our limit of spending for the week. They also know approximately how much it should cost when we check out and are quick to let me know if they think there is a mistake in the total before coupons.
- Other rules for in the store: Stay with Mommy and/or your partner at all times, the only thing we buy is what is on our list or a good mark down deal (the smallest are the ones who have the toughest time), any snacks we purchase for the day are to be eaten in the van only not in the store (Consuming goods before purchasing them is stealing in our household. We do not allow it. You must make your own rule for your household). These are our main rules, there are others which come along with just basic respect such as not interrupting me while I am talking to someone, etc.
- Stay calm. One of the most important things to always remember is to stay calm. It is often difficult, but it works well! When my children sense I am tense, they seem to want to misbehave more. I try to stay calm no matter the situation, and deal with it as best as I can. it is not always easy, but it pays off in the end.
- Occasionally, when we have had a long day, or if the children have been extra good, I will allow them to choose one item $1 or under for fun. They can choose from a selection of foods as well as toys (easiest to do in Wal-Mart). They love when I do this reward, but do not expect it every time! Also, if they have found a better deal for something than what we had on our list, I will reward them with the money saved. It goes into a jar at home. When we get enough money collected, we will go for ice cream or some other special treat! They always enjoy helping our family to save money!
This series includes what has worked best for my family! Your family is obviously different, so you must do what works best for you! We often have to change things up to meet our needs, but everything ends up working out well in the long run and we get into our routine again!