January 6, 2011

I hate grocery shopping

especially with two children under the age of four.  No matter how I strategize our trips, the result is chaos.  I often feel as if I could break down in tears right there in the soup aisle.   Or maybe the produce section.  That's where Liam tries to bite the bananas right through their peels and Henry has to touch every apple and pear until they start rolling uncontrollably onto the floor.

A few months ago, I decided that I would only go to the store every two weeks.  We would power through a big trip and no matter how stressful, I'd relax in the knowledge that we'd only have to do it twice each month.  Hah.  What about bananas, milk and yogurt?  What about my small freezer that barely holds five days worth of food?  Now we are back to weekly grocery runs.  They are torture.  Liam hates sitting in the cart.  He screeches and tears at my list.  Henry asks one million questions including "can I have an ICEEE now?" and "do we have ten dollars?" and "can I have an ICEEE now?" and "where's the duck lunches?" and "can I have an ICEEE now?"  

In the above photo, the boys are in the only grocery cart that works for us.  Unfortunately, there's only one store that has these and it's not in a convenient location.  It's not near work and it's not near home so we rarely make the drive.  Every other store has the standard carts that are not made for two boys under the age of four.  In fact, Liam equates most of them with contraptions from the Inquisition.  Henry can't decide if he'd rather walk the entire store or sit in the basket and get clobbered with the week's food supply.  Not that there is ever enough room in the cart for the actual groceries once we all take our winter jackets off and pile in the six reusable shopping bags.  Boxes, bottles and cans end up falling out every time we start down a new aisle. I'm constantly muttering under my breath.  Other shoppers look past me for the men with butterfly nets.

I recently found this template from Real Simple magazine to help organize our grocery trips.  I have high hopes that it will streamline our visits-- getting in and out of the store with few to no tears.  If I'm lucky, the boys may not cry either.
                                  Weekday Meal Plan and Shopping List


  1. Oh, that does not sound like fun! When I was on maternity leave I would have Danny in the stroller, be pulling a cart, and trying to wrangle Jordan at the same time. It's crazy, huh...why did I think it would get easier as they get older? What about Peapod!?

  2. I'm so there with you. I've found that a different layout of my list helps a bit. I quiz the kids on the foods we see (mostly in produce), and have them count the ceiling tiles. No really, I tell them to do that.
    Have you added a visit to the lobsters? It's not easy shopping with the kids, so also consider a morning over here with Fred and Ethel so you can enjoy a coffee and shopping sans the madness. :)

  3. Shopping with kids is a HUGE deal! I HATE it! I took both of mine to the department store last night to get a new coat for E and both of them were all over the place. They kept asking if I would buy this or that and then running off. I have to admit that I pretty much never take them to the grocery store because I always end up spending a lot more money and a lot more time than I want to. And, it's always torture. So, I just leave work a little early on those days and do a mad dash through the store. Alone. That's probably easier when their schools are five minutes from the grocery store!

  4. Oh boy, what fun!! I've always loved grovery shopping...I guess that will change once baby arrives!

  5. Not fun. I am lucky that I use two separate grocery stores. One I can order online (Acme) and they have it ready, bagged, and in the cart waiting when I get there so I only spend about 5 minutes in the store. The second store I use has a playroom for kids over 3. Cory loves it there. So we go there alot too. Cory actually asks to go grocery shopping.

  6. How you do this is beyond me! I avoid shopping with Aidan like anything!
    Damn you are good!

  7. You are braver than I am. I have only been to the grocery store with Sam a handful of times since he turned 2, and I've never taken both kids to the grocery store. I shop on my lunch hour. Easy enough during the cold winter months when I can leave everything in my car for the afternoon. Most fresh fruits and veggies are okay, but the bananas end up coming into the office with me.

  8. I love reading your posts---- you make me laugh out loud with empathy :-)
    Before Jason was back I used to rotate every week---Aldi & Peapod. Our Aldi has 2-seater carts-- maybe yours does too? Aldi is do small that we tend to get out of there quick --- plus they don't have many "extras" to temp Carter (and me). Have you thought about SAMS or CostCo? They're too overwhelming for me--- but you could go there once a month for non-perishables. Another thought--- when Clayton was little I uses to have Oberweiss delivery. Bottom line--- stores should offer day care :-0