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How to Grocery Shop With Kids

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Now that I have older kids, I am blessed to be able to shop without children. If you don’t have older kids who are babysitters or a husband who is home enough maybe you could swap watching kids with a friend so you each could shop in peace. Maybe you could even splurge on a babysitter at times so you could head out on your own.

While it is wonderful to be able to shop without having kids around, what if this isn’t a reality for you?

If you find yourself having to shop with kids in tow, maybe a few of these tips could help improve how you grocery shop with your kids.grocery shop

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1. Never take your kids grocery shopping on an empty stomach

Nothing is worse than having a child whine about everything they want you to buy, and doing everything you can to avoid this being a temptation is a proactive strategy. Make sure that before you head out, your kids have bellies that are at least partially full.

2. Explain your expectations – repeatedly

Explain the behavior you expect before you leave the house at least once, and then do it again on the way. When I want to be sure that my child understands what my expectations are (even my older kids), I have them repeat my expectations, instructions, or request back to me. Once I have stated it and they have stated it, we have a verbal agreement of sorts and the “I didn’t hear you say that” argument can be avoided.

3. If at all possible, avoid taking your child past the things they lust after

Obviously this can’t always be avoided, but if you are not leading them into temptation it can be helpful. If you must go there, plan a way to distract them ahead of time and pray they don’t notice.

4. Provide your child with an incentive for doing well

On the rare occasion that I do have to take younger kids along with me to shop, I am totally all for offering an incentive. Incentive just sounds better than using the word, bribe, doesn’t it? Meijer is a great place to shop because they offer a free cookie to kids. If my kids have behaved, we head to the bakery counter on the way out and then are sure to eat the crumbly cookies before we get into the car!

5. Involve your child in being aware of being a financially savvy shopper

I have written about how our frugal lifestyle is a family affair, and for this reason my kids simply know that we don’t buy anything unless it’s on sale. When my kids ask for something, there is no argument when the answer is “no” because the item isn’t on sale.

6. Discuss any changes that need to be made

Perhaps your kids did well overall, but they are still in need of some modifications in their behavior. While the shopping trip is still fresh in their minds, now is the time to make any necessary adjustments. Do this in a positive way, being sure to pay attention to what they did well in addition to where they need to make some improvements.

If you are having to do your shopping with kids, having a strategy in place to make it less stressful is something you will greatly appreciate. Making sure your child knows what to expect, preparing them ahead of time, shopping strategically, and offering them a reason to behave often reaps obedient behavior.

Grocery shopping with your kids doesn’t have to be met with stress. Try these the next time you are headed out for some groceries.

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