Grocery Shopping With The Littles

It doesn’t matter how much makeup I put on or how perfectly I style my hair. I take it for granted that I will be a sweaty hot mess by the time I’m done with my grocery shopping. I keep meaning to take before and after selfies for a laugh but by the time I get all my groceries loaded and my fussing kids in their carseats I have become one track minded. “Must get home… must get kids to bed… must put feet up.” <–Insert dramatic zombie voice.

Our weekly trip to Walmart is a love hate thing for me. I enjoy the feeling of accomplishing something and figuring out different ways to make the experience fun for the littles but I am by no means a gourmet cook. Heck, the first year of our marriage I wouldn’t even handle raw meat without using a thick pair of gloves! That being said, instead of boring you with my lustrous shopping lists, I will be sharing some tips on how to have a pleasant shopping excursion with the littles in tow.

  • Timing is key. If there is one thing I have learned, it is NEVER go to the store during nap time or when your child is hungry. I try to go right after the boys wake for the day or from a nap. We eat a quick meal and out the door we go. That random piece of grey hair I found the other day? Yeah. That was from taking my kids shopping during nap time a few weeks ago. BAD IDEA.
  • Baby (or Toddler) Wearing! I love to wear my kids at the grocery store. It is extremely effective in keeping my 11 month old calm and happy. Plus…I’m not gonna lie…I enjoy the looks of awe as I sling Owen onto my back and wrap him up in my Mei Tai. Probably not as awe inspiring as the above Meme but still, I feel like Supermom strutting around with my cape…er…baby on my back. While I enjoy the whole Supermom thing usually I opt for my favorite baby carrier which is a Little Peeper Keeper ring sling. Wearing Owen on the front is more convenient because if he gets fussy I can always offer the breast. And actually, now that I think about it, breastfeeding hands free while shopping actually adds to the whole Supermom factor. Score! 😉 Occasionally I will put Owen in the cart and wear Adam, my two year old, but I only do this if he is tired and as we already established I don’t want anymore grey hairs so if he’s tired–we stay home.  on my back front carry
  • Snack! Snacks! Snacks! So while you want to feed the littles a meal prior to shopping, you want to make sure it’s a light one so they have plenty of room in their tummies for snacks! Snacks are definitely my favorite way to pacify because, well, toddler snacks are so darn tasty (Hey! don’t judge me! Mama’s have to eat too and sharing is good!)! If I have time to plan ahead I usually toss a couple of sippie cups and baggies full of treats into the diaper bag. If not, the first thing on the grocery list is cheese sticks of which I open and distribute to all… three of us. 😀
  • Nothing like a good old fashioned belt. No! Not to spank with! To tie with. One of my favorite methods of containing the littles is by making a mini grocery cart theater. Who wouldn’t want to go shopping with Mama when it means a trip to the movies?? And not the dollar theater. Baby, I’m talking the kind with reclining chairs!!

grocery shopping in styleIt is hard to tell in the picture, but I have the Kindle in a GoGo Pillow which enables me to hang it on the front of the cart. Across from that I put down a pillow for them to sit on and one to lean back on. Once they are comfy I thread a soft belt through the slats, around their waists, and then latch it on the outside of the cart, behind them. I also have a bluetooth mini speaker that I put behind the pillow so that they can hear their movie. Usually by the time I have marked everything off my list I am tempted to find a deserted isle and jump in there with them! ;-P

Buy here.


Buy it here.

Well there you have it! Some grocery shopping survival tips from one Mom to another! What are some things that you do to contain your littles? Do tell!!!


12 thoughts on “Grocery Shopping With The Littles

  1. I love my kids and I love being a Mom but I am definitely not a “Super Mom.” I, like most Mom’s, have areas where I’m doing great and then I have areas where I could really use some grace and growth!. 🙂


    • I put them on the shelf at the bottom of the cart and then inside the cart at the opposite end from where they are sitting. Because they are buckled in they can’t lean forward and grab the groceries. Adam’s legs are long enough to kick some of them so I make sure to keep the fragile items (like eggs) either on the bottom of the cart or out of reach. 🙂


    • I had the same question! My boys are big eaters and we always have a cart full! (My littlest one sits up from while my biggest one walks or rides on the front)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. A few things I have done recently:

    1: Get the chair pads from the dollar store. They cost $1 each and are great for confining little rears to separate sides of the cart so they will not wiggle on top of each other. Your belts work great, but I try to give them some freedom so they will learn how to obey in the cart.

    2: Mini theater… Minus all the fancy shmancy stuff you got going on! Lol

    3: Put kids in one cart and push another… Or bring belts to tie the two together and pull both.

    4: Let one kid push the stroller… I have let the oldest (6) push the baby in the stroller, but I have also let the girls push their own “babies” (dolls) in a stroller.

    5: let one kid ride on the bottom. ONLY my son gets to, because I will NOT watch the girls’ hair get tangled in the wheels. If he does not keep all appendages inside the vehicle, he loses this privilege.

    6: Two words: Go. Alone. If at all possible, I save the shopping for when I don’t have to bring all four kids!!

    7: My most valuable tool: “Marching order!” When I call this phrase, you will see three children lined up behind me, single file, youngest to oldest. They know that they line up that way to protect the youngest, so there are no fights about who goes first. Then I call cadence. It’s sometimes serious (crossing the road), and I call a marching beat: one, two, three four, for example. Sometimes it is more lighthearted and I call a fun thing. The hand-clapping game is great for inspirations.


  3. I keep telling the checkout girls at Walmart that the first store to put in a daycare while you shop would make millions!! I only have one and by the time we get to produce, she has touched everything, asked me a million questions three times each, argued about the veracity of each answer and then proceeded to ask for everything we didn’t put on the list this week. Last week was the first week we made it through the store and she was really good! I was SO happy. We went to the movies for real.


  4. I gave up grocery shopping with littles after the twins held a yogurt chucking contest all down one of the aisles. We just made it where he could pick up things every once in awhile after work and I would get an evening free for a few where I could go shopping by myself. Now that the kids are older, I actually use some shopping times as one on one dates. 4 kids equal divided time, but it is important for us to try to get in one one one time. So now, some of our evening shopping trips our “dates” out with one of the kids.


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