Shopping with little ones has to be easily one of the most stressful experiences of life as a parent, and probably the one I see the most people complain about on my social media feeds.
I always thought we had it pretty easy as Tyne actually loves going grocery shopping, but in recent weeks he's really started to get into the habit of wanting to put things of his own choosing into the trolley (usually anything that happens to have Thomas The Tank Engine on or contains a lot of sugar....why oh why must they put sweets on the end of every aisle?!) and the tantrums when he doesn't get his own way have definitely started!
I can imagine this only gets more stressful as you have more children!
A lot of people recommend online shopping to avoid the stress, but personally I find that counter-productive - I like the meal plan and if I order my weeks shopping and one or two things are unavailable, my meal plan is all thrown off or I end up still needing to physically go into a shop to buy those items anyway...so I haven't saved myself any stress, infact I've added to it!
I also like to make sure I`m getting the best deal possible (Making sure I choose packets of chicken with the most pieces in, rather than just the first one off the shelf for example) and getting the longest possible product life...when I go shopping I check through every package and make sure I choose the one with the longest life to avoid waste, if I shop online then the person picking my order is certainly not going to do that for me!
So to me...the weekly shopping trip is not avoidable...but it can be made a little less painful!...here are a few suggestions on how to make that dreaded shopping trip go a little more smoothly!
1) Plan what you need
Going in blindly doesn't work with little ones in tow...you can't concentrate on what you're doing properly, and you'll end up forgetting things...resulting in more unwanted supermarket outings!
Make sure you have a list with you, and if you know the layout of the supermarket you're visiting write the list out in order of the items you'll come to first.
2) Choose the right time
The less busy the supermarket when you visit, the better so if you're able to do your shop during the school run times (if your kids are not yet school age, like mine)...go for it! I personally find the aisles are usually dead at that time, and I have a good hour of quiet time to get it done before the post-school-run Mums start filtering in.
3) Avoid the "tantrum" inducing aisles
In our case...the magazine and book aisle is avoided at all costs!!! Lest we end up with world war three over a Thomas The Tank magazine that he ALREADY HAS!
4) Make payment quick and easy!
I find the best way to get through the checkout as quickly as possible is to use my current account contactless payment card whenever my bill is below £20 (as it often is if I'm just doing a veg and fruit shop!) , it really does save so much hassle when you're trying to juggle a child or keep hold of their hand to stop them making a dash for the door while you're trying to pay!
Apparently a lot of people are finding life easier with Contactless payments as TSB report that the amount spent on Contactless increased in June 2014 to over 6 times the amount spent in January 2014!
5) Have the right change ready!
If you need to pay for parking at your supermarket, make sure you have the change ready before you get there to avoid any unnecessary stress - I also find it really useful to have one of those pretend £1 coin keyring things for trolleys, as you can guarantee I`ll never have the pound coin when I need one and having that keyring means I`m never caught out!
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