No one is denying children aren’t the gift that keep on giving. But, as a parent, there are just some tasks in day to day adult life that shouldn’t be accompanied by kids. Namely the weekly food shop. Opening yourself up to a world of whining, potential tantrums and subsequent embarrassment, going hungry may seem like the lesser of two evils. But it’s fine, we’ve got this. With the help of our tips, you could make that visit to the supermarket that bit more bearable.
Take Snacks for the Kids
There are some supermarkets out there going above and beyond to ease the minds of tired parents by providing snacks for free to keep your kids schtum. If you don’t happen to have one of these godsend stores near you, come prepared with your own snacks. It’ll keep them occupied, hopefully for at least half of the shop and, fingers crossed, stop them whinging when something, likely unhealthy, catches their eye. If you find yourself in a situation with a child minus snacks, you can always pick something up off the shelf and pay for it at the end of your shop.
Don’t Go Hungry
If you’ve ever done a food shop on an empty stomach you know how monumental a mistake it is. Especially when not equipped with a list, all sorts of things you wouldn’t have otherwise bought end up in the trolley, and they’re not always the most nutritious either. Already weary from a morning of drawing approximately fifty-six cats to the pure delight of your child, keeping your energy levels up throughout the food shop challenge is of immense importance. Ensure both you are your child go in with full bellies (or hence the snacks) and you’ll be feeling far more readily prepared.
Make the Most of Prams or Trolleys
We’re not saying you should trap your child. But, well… you should trap your child. Living in fear of Susie’s grabby hands smashing pasta sauce jars or pulling down entire displays, the help of a trolley or pram could limit these disastrous outcomes. Strap them in and they’re contained, out of the way of harm. Or, rather, causing it. One thing to be aware of, though, is how close you wheel them to shelves. Although you may be conscious of not blocking an aisle, always ensure their grubby little mitts can’t latch onto anything whilst you’re unaware.
Include Children in the Food Shop
Making a song and dance of your child is only going to go down well, right? Simply explaining what the plan for the day is in the morning prepares them and makes them less inclined to reject the idea of a food shop for no apparent reason than to make your life more difficult. By telling them what you’re up to and items that you need to remember to buy, you can create a kind of game. One where they’re magically helpful angels and you’re the picture of serenity. Send them on missions to find those less fragile items or ask them to recite what they remember from your list.
Use Online Services
Doing online food orders is accessible for everyone. It’s not expensive, especially if you pay for annual or monthly passes which generally give you a hefty discount on your delivery slot. A lot of supermarkets even offer voucher codes to save you on your first, if not second, third and fourth, shop. Use websites like My Favourite Voucher Codes and find out what your supermarket of choice offers for online shoppers. With online food shops, you can peruse the virtual shelves and take your time finding exactly what you need. No fear of satisfying your hungry cravings or being guilt-tripped into buying branded cereal for your kids. Get what you need and make the transaction.
Avoid Taking Children
Yes, our time with our children is precious, but we’d much rather savor the afternoons playing together than the hour spent battling with a screaming child in the middle of Tesco. If there is the option to go shopping without your child in tow, do it. Do they go to a nursery or school? Shop within term time in the school hours and avoid the trauma. You’ll also likely avoid the hustle and bustle of prime-time shopping, meaning your queue to the checkout will be shorter and you could be in and out a lot faster.
Don’t Eat the Samples
Just… don’t do it. We all know it is likely to end in tears as only the best things do. Either you sample something from the deli and they’re desperate to try it, even if you’re almost 100% certain they will not like it and proceed to spit it out or cry (a rational reaction, of course). Or they’ll enjoy the sample and demand more please until they inevitably, yes, you guessed it, cry. Don’t eat the samples and definitely, no matter what, sample anything sweet.
Prioritise the Loo
You don’t need to hear this, but we’re going to come out and say it anyway. When you arrive at the supermarket, ensure they’ve had a go on the loo. Yes, they may whinge they don’t need it and yes, the loos may be on the other side of the supermarket. But no one wants to be right in the middle of shopping and hear those dreaded words, “Mummy, I need a wee.” Faced with whether to brave ditching your already heaving trolley or whisk it all the way to the loos and back again, it’s a nightmare no parent wishes to face. Get it out of the way, hopefully, they’ll have a quick tinkle and you can survive the rest of the ordeal without needing to go again.
Unfortunately, we can’t guarantee following these tips will keep your food shopping experiences drama free. Every child and their meltdowns are beautiful and unique. Hey, no one said parenting would be easy. But we can guarantee that, with our help, those more draining times might just be more bearable.