Home » Frugal Living » Shopping with little ones

Shopping with little ones

geographically-organized shopping list

Given the option, I go shopping on my own, but that doesn’t happen very often. I find that writing the grocery list geographically (so that it matches the store layout) helps me get in and out of the store quickly, hopefully before meltdowns start.

The other thing that helps is to let Lily add to the list in-store – so long as she agrees to let me glance at it from time to time to see what we still need to buy!

The biggest help? Making one big shopping trip once a week (or less), and then staying away from the stores!

MaryAnne lives is a craft loving educator, musician, photographer, and writer who lives in Silicon Valley with her husband Mike and their four children.

17 thoughts on “Shopping with little ones”

  1. I feel the same way… IF possible I try to go alone or have hubby go. Haven’t thought about mapping it out but then again they change the store around so often I’m not sure it would help lol…. We do lists for each kid and one for mom

  2. I do that too. Our commissary, on base, has an online store layout that you can print out. It saves sooooo much time! Another trick I use when making my list is when I have coupons — I’ll put a C next to the item I have the coupon for, along with how many. For example – Cheerios (2-C). And then paperclip my coupons to the back of my list. No more searching for those coupons!

    1. I write a C next to coupon items, too, although I hadn’t thought to paperclip them to the back of the list!

      A printable store layout is a wonderful idea!

  3. I can’t imagine shopping with three. One is hard enough :) I like the strategies in the comments, but I am just too lazy to implement them.

  4. My husband does the main shopping with my oldest son. This morning I actually went with the 2 year old for a few items, something I rarely do. He does “help” me with the list and I make sure that I keep the visit super short, that way he always remembers it as something fun, not as something that was long and boring.

  5. I’ve taken all four of my girls with me to the grocery store, but it’s always a big challenge. (I still take one every now and then for one on one time). My theory is if I forget something, it has to wait until next week. I definitely need to try writing my list with the layout of the store in mind.

  6. Elisa | blissfulE

    I like your geographic layout! And Lily’s artistic addendums! :) We also feel like shopping less frequently is crucial to survival, and we spend less money that way, too. :)

  7. Clever! I write out the list each week for the boys to go (dad and kevin). I do end up going to whole foods during the week too. I never thought of writing it out geographically. Dad would love that because it would speed things up. Now that Emma has been reading (Yay Emma!), you could have her hold and read the list? That was one of the first things Kevin read. I still print it as Kevin’s Shopping List, in about 18 point font, and he holds it and reads the things off to Gary. :)

    1. I’m sure Emma would love to read the list – I may have to start making more than one copy, since Lily assumes she will have the right to hold it =)

  8. With the kids in school I almost always go grocery shopping by myself but I still remember the days when I took both of them. Even though it was less than ideal, it has sure given me sympathy for others when I see those meltdowns that I endured several years ago!

  9. That’s a great idea! It is so difficult to shop with little ones. I always forget something I need and end up buying a ton of stuff that I don’t need because the girls are “helping” me. Thankfully, my hubby does most of our shopping while I stay home with the kids.

  10. Two Chicks and a Hen

    Mine like to write on the shopping list too :). The other thing that I’ve found helpful, which is very, very un-eco-friendly, is to give my kids each one of those thin produce bags from the produce section. My little one will put her lovey inside of it and carry it that way, and my older one figures out something to do with it too. I don’t see the appeal, but they beg me for one each time we enter the store, and it seems to keep them happy enough for awhile.

    1. Sounds like an easy solution! And I’m sure your car-free lifestyle more than makes up for the small ecological impact =)

  11. I used to cut pictures out of the grocery ads and glue them to index cards. C and R each had their own cards to hold onto and they loved trying to find the matching item in the store.

    1. That’s a cute idea! I bet my kids would enjoy it as well, thanks for the suggestion!

Comments are closed.

Scroll to Top