Shopping with Kids

We all know it is much easier to shop without kids along, but sometimes it can’t be avoided.

Recently, Ruby, an Extension staff member, shared how she dealt with this issue as a single parent. Together, she and her pre-school daughter planned their meals and snacks, wrote their grocery list and then went to the store. When the four-year old saw something she wanted, they’d check the list. If it wasn’t on the list, they didn’t buy it.

The list was specific. If they needed cereal, the brand was included. No more ‘middle of the cereal aisle’ arguments as to whether to buy plain Cheerios® or a pre-sweetened cereal with a favorite character on the package front. Yes, the four-year-old sometimes said “we need to put that cereal on the list next time,” but generally forgot about it when time came for the next planning session.

Snacks were part of the planned list, too. It is much easier to guide a child’s snack choices at home where healthy snacks can be planned for, than in front of the tempting candy or chip section at the store.

What about toys, books, and other trinkets? Since they didn’t eat them, they weren’t on the list!

Looking back, Ruby realizes this strategy has lots of benefits. They stayed within their limited food budget, ate healthier food choices, her daughter learned discipline at an early age and they shared a pleasant time together.

What do you do to make shopping with kids a little easier?

For additional shopping tips check out when to shop on the Spend Smart. Eat Smart. site.

-contributed by Joyce Greving

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