Truth is, I just don’t go.
Obviously with 7 peeps in the house (6 currently eating 🙂 and two mighty hungry growing boys – we have a lot ‘o groceries flowing through our pantry door. Hang tight, that’s my before & after in a couple of weeks!! Here’s how we roll with food.
HDYDI: GROCERY SHOPPING
1. Back in the Dark Ages, before stellar technology like iPhones, I did this with a sticky note. Whichever way you roll, you can play, too. When we think of something that needs to be added to the grocery list, we pop it in our iPhones via the Cozi app. If you’re not all fancy like that, have a sticky pad nearby (preferably on the fridge) and jot down the needed item as you remember it. That way, you are prepared the next time you hit the store and you don’t have to call your husband on his way home to pick up that “one thing” you forget. Completely hypothetical, of course. I have NEVER done that. Ever.
2. I’m all about planning. Find your favorite store and spend a few minutes figuring out where things are. Or, if you’re me, send Scott to do that. His dad owned five grocery stores growing up, so if I’m ever stuck and can’t find anything, I text him. He always knows where they put stuff. It’s awesome!!
3. Now, if you’re flying solo, stop reading this blog post. Seriously.
4. Before we even set foot in the store, my kids get the 1-2-3:
1) What kind of choices do we expect? (GOOD CHOICES).
2) What happens if you make bad choices? (WE GO TO TIMEOUT AND LOSE A PRIVILEGE)
3) Then, we assign “jobs.” (see #5)
5. The job assignments make for a much smoother shopping experience. Note, I did not say awesome experience. That would be #3. This should leave you with the ability to actually get what you came in for and back out to your car with no lasting marks, really nasty stares from other shoppers or permanent brain damage. For example: Clare, you hold the list; Anna-Laura and JP, you put the stuff in the basket; Will, you cross off the items; Luke, you look cute :).
6. I try to plan my grocery outings according to the type. If I have a massive list of groceries, I go really early in the morning, like 6AM early, before Scott leaves the house for work. I’ve tried the evening runs, but it seems like everyone else is there, too. If it’s a moderate list, I’ll get everyone off to school, Clare at MDO and then Luke and I will head in to get our stuff. If it’s a quick trip, I knock it out while the bigs are in school. Summer is dicey. Don’t ask how I’m doing it right now.
7. I should probably come clean. I am not a couponer. I’m just a deal searcher. I rarely buy brand-name stuff. The store brands, even if you’re using a name-brand coupon, are almost always cheaper. Back in my 4-H days, I learned to calculate the cost per ounce to find out if the bigger size, was in fact, a better deal. Sometimes, but not always. It’s not rocket science. If you just look at the label on the shelf, the store usually calculates the per ounce cost for you.
8. Stick to the list. The endcaps will kill you everytime.
9. If I have littles in tow, I avoid going to the grocery store just before mealtimes or naptimes. Your kids will be cranky + hungry + tantrum prone = purgatory for you. There is nothing more I detest than seeing kids at HEB after 8pm. Don’t they put their kids to bed?? I digress.
10. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, ask. It will save you tons of time instead of walking the aisles.
11. Meal planning. This has been so hit or miss at our house. When I do plan ahead, our lives are so much easier at home, mealtimes are less stressful and the grocery bills are much less $$$. Sometimes life gets in the mix, though, and I’m not the best. I’d like to tell you I have a meal plan all laid out, but that would be a big, fat lie. The only thing that is a constant no matter how crazy life may be, is we have homemade pizza every Friday night. I mean homemade – crust, sauce and toppings. It’s a snap and the kids love it.
Oh and my PSA for the day: refuse the balloon tied with a sucker for your kids. Those are TWO horrible choking hazards. I think it should be illegal to have those things in stores. Give my kids a sticker or a HEB Buddy Buck, but lose the balloons, people. Aren’t you lucky, you get tips and a PSA today!