Smart Shopping


mom in grocery storeI’ve had my first request and I’m so excited to respond.  My friend Julie asked me for some ideas about how to go shopping at the grocery store without losing my mind and becoming angry with my children.  Julie – you are NOT alone.  In my book, “7 Ways to be a  S.M.A.R.T.E.R. Mom” (due out December 2009) I devote an entire chapter toward planning our days and our activities.  In Chapter 2 I talk a lot about our approach and preparation.   We can do lots of things before we leave the house to make it easier. 

My friend Chris has a list of all the items on each aisle of her favorite grocery store.  She makes her list accordingly and you know what’s great?  Most stores have this list already made out for you – just go to the customer service window and ask for it.  I NEVER leave the house without a stash of colored pencils and at least 3 of the 80 sheet little memo books you can buy at any store for cheap.  Why colored pencils?  Because they can’t mark on each other or their clothes and they have to push a little harder and focus more to be able to write – crayons melt – okay, on to the real stuff…

In Chapter 7 I provide a list of suggestions for everything from bedtime routines to activities while you are eating at a restaurant.  I could write 50 pages just with suggestions, but I’ll start with the grocery store and hopefully you’ll find some ideas that will work for you.  Here is the list for dealing with the grocery store.  I hope the list is quick and easy – take what will help you and leave the rest.  You know your children better than anyone – the most important thing is to have a realistic expectation of yourself and your children.  Don’t implement ALL the changes at once – practice with a short trip to the store and branch out from there – have fun! :o)

GROCERY STORE 
  • Never take hungry, tired or stressed children to the grocery store.
  • Never go shopping without a list.
  • Always prepare your child for when the trip will happen and how long it will take.
  • Before you leave the car ask your children yes and no questions about appropriate behavior, talk about strangers, being safe and staying close to you
  • Always bring small spiral notebooks and colored pencils for each child.
  • Share the responsibility.  If your children are old enough, let them keep track of the dollar amounts of each item.  Then check their total with the register when you are done shopping.  Younger children can hunt for colors or specific items.
  • If you have time, make a picture list of items for younger children – whether they are on your list or not it will give your child something to look for as you are shopping and they can mark it off or put a sticker by it
  • When my children ask for something extra I have a simple reply, “I’m so sorry, that isn’t on my list.  Next time make sure you let me know what you need when I make my list.” Or I will say, “You know, I only brought enough money for the things on my list.  Do you have any money you could use to buy it?”
  • I know many might disagree with me, but I feel strongly that children should never be given prizes, bribes, or toys as a reward for being good in the store.  Being good, controlling yourself, obeying – these are all basic principles involved in being a productive citizen and responsible family member.

4 Responses to “Smart Shopping”


  1. 1 Jennifer Fletcher August 15, 2009 at 2:20 PM

    I stumbled upon a new idea trying to keep my wiggly three-year-old happy in a restaurant this week: I’m calling it “The Whisper Game.” It’s like “telephone” with only one person. I told her to listen very closely and see if she could repeat what I whispered in her ear. She loved it…..and I got to whisper compliments and blessings into her little ear for at least ten minutes. I know it was a success because she asked to do it again later…Maybe she just likes the flattery. 🙂 But it was surprisingly effective.

  2. 2 Candi August 11, 2009 at 10:41 PM

    One place all moms need a plan is in the doctor’s office! I try to remember a box of crayons (along with my immunization card). Your kiddos can draw, or you can draw with them, play tic tac toe, etc. It makes the ENDLESS wait much easier to handle!

    Thanks for the wonderful tips, Kasey – and the spiritual reminders. We all are so blessed to be on this journey – being a mom is an amazing occupation!

  3. 3 Jamie August 11, 2009 at 8:57 AM

    I cannot wait for the book!!! Thanks for the shopping advice!! I was just thinking on Sunday how much I really dislike taking my child with me to the store. Now I feel encouraged. 🙂

    • 4 Kasey Johnson August 11, 2009 at 1:19 PM

      Just remember to take a few deep breaths and let him help you with some choices (as long as you really don’t care which one he picks) – then when you need to be in charge you can say, “I’ve let you make a lot of decisions today, so now it’s my turn and I’ve decided you need to… or I’ve decided we will get…
      I’m excited about the book too – hopefully it will all really come together like it is in my head! :o)Have a great day my friend!


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