Grocery Fail

A lot of things have become easier now that my kids are getting bigger.  Grocery shopping is not one of those things.  It is official.  I can no longer take both of them grocery shopping with me.  For one thing, Bean is too big to fit in the buggy anymore because he smooshes all the food.  But letting Bean walk means Gracie will demand, “WALK!  WALK!” the entire hour we are shopping.  And there are other things, too.  Take my trip this past Saturday morning.  It was terrible.  Bean was walking, so I finally agreed to let Gracie walk, too.  Which meant I spent all my time trying to wrangle the two of them and wasn’t paying attention to the actual shopping.  Which resulted in these events:

1.  We have been running out of food about a day before I go grocery shopping again.  I meal plan and shop according to that list, but it seems like I’m not buying enough snacks because by Thursday or Friday, we are down to plain Cheerios, orange juice, and a frozen pizza.  So, I asked my loyal blog readers on Twitter and Facebook about what kinds of snacks they had in their houses, and I planned to try some of them this week with our family.  Only, when I started shopping/chasing my children, the last thought I had in my head was snacks.  That means, I accidentally spent my entire grocery budget (and then some!) on snack foods.  Awesome.


2.  I budget $120 a week for groceries and necessities for our family (food, diapers, dog food, toiletries, etc.).  I spent $200 on Saturday, even after a giant wad of coupons.  Apparently, I was just grabbing crap off the shelves and not paying attention to a little thing like money.


3.  I had a coupon for Capri Suns Super V’s juice boxes.  It was buy three boxes and get one free.  So, I spent $10 in juice boxes.  AND I FORGOT MY FREE BOX.  I paid for the three I needed, and didn’t remember to get the free fourth box.  AND WE DON’T EVEN DRINK  JUICE BOXES!


4.  The kids always get a cookie from the bakery if they are good during our trip.  It keeps them behaving well (in theory) and, most importantly, it keeps them entertained while we go through the dreaded check out aisle.  Aside from roaming the aisles, they were pretty good on Saturday, so we headed to the bakery before we checked out.  Only, the bakery was closed for some reason and so there were no cookies.  Which meant that while I checked out, the kids were BOTH wailing about cookies.  Excellent.


By the time I got home, my nerves were frazzled, both kids were exhausted and ready for a nap, I was broke, we had 3,000 Capri Sun juice boxes, and nothing for lunch.

This is it.  I draw the line.


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28 Thoughts to “Grocery Fail”

  1. I do treasure my time in the grocery store by myself. I still can’t believe that grocery shopping is my “fun” alone time!

  2. Sara R.

    When my kids were that age I ALWAYS brought something for them to do in the store. So whichever kid was in the cart would have a book or paper and crayons or a car or something. The kid who was walking would be happy to help me put things into the cart and check things off my list. And if all else failed I’d just let them eat a snack while I was shopping. There were of course times when I just had to let them scream, but as long as I came prepared that usually was not the case.

  3. Liz Moss

    I shop alone unless I absolutely can’t avoid it. Even if that means shopping at 9 p.m. at night on a weeknight so DH is there to watch them as they sleep. It is just better for my sanity and theirs. Plus, then I can peruse and comparison shop to my heart’s content. It is my special alone time too!

  4. Kaitlyn

    You should really check out and see if they are in your area. They double manufactures coupons and has first 60 days free delivery. Some prices are a tad more expensive, but the running total it has will prevent the 1 million juice boxes. Grocery shopping in my pj’s while watching reality tv is by far better than 2 kids are the grocery store! Been there, over that!

  5. Meredith

    target usually has grab and go play packs (coloring book, 4 crayons, and a small sticker sheet) We buy whatever ones the kids like and keep them in a small pouch. whenever we go shopping I get one of the big carts both of my kids (3 1/2 and 2) can sit in, and they can color as long as they are good and not fighting. It usually keeps them entertained for most of my shopping. Plus they look foreward to the coloring books because that is the only time they can color those books. we have big ones at home but the small ones are only for outings.

  6. Jen M

    My kids are 4 & 1 and I declared in the middle of the trip no more kids at the grocery store with me! I’m like you, I meal plan, make a list and try to stick to said list. With the kids I inevitably forgot 3 things and usually the 3 things I need to make meals!

  7. Sara T

    I’m with Liz, I’d rather shop in the wee hours of the night than take all 3 of mine shopping and they are 14, 11 & 9 now LOL! Individually they aren’t bad, usually helpful in fact but more than one and they’ll squabble or double team me with millions of “can we get….” requests.
    If you have an iPhone, I can’t recommend the Grocery Gadget app highly enough. I menu plan then enter everything I need into this app. Once you get it set up, it will sort your list by the categories you designate and really helps keep me on track re: what I need and what section it’s in. I have mine set up with categories like Produce, Bulk, Meat, Deli, Non Perishables, Bakery, Household & Dairy so all like items get grouped together. Once it’s in the cart there a little check-off box to tap. I forget so much less now!!! You can also take pics and record the prices of what you buy…after a month or so of shopping I could figure the approx cost of the shopping trip after I made my list. If Chris has the app on his phone, he can also add to the list; once you login it syncs between all devices and the web. You can access it from a regular PC/laptop too. LOL, okay my commercial is over now 😉 I just remember that post shopping frustrated feeling so well, and anything that restores a little sanity is all good in my book!

  8. Mae

    I RARELY bring my kids grocery shopping – we’ve had many meltdowns in the bread aisle. lol I actually did a post on this last month ( I hope your grocery store gets carts w/ cars attached to the back of it soon (I’m assuming they don’t have it otherwise you’d be using it). I know Publix has them. I usually get the kids cookies when they start to get antsy (about 15 min into our trip) – it keeps them occupied for at least another 10 min. A new trick I have: Publix and Target also have popcorn – my kids love it and that keeps them occupied for awhile. I actually went to Publix by myself while the kids nap this afternoon, brought my list and coupons…and still managed to forget a couple of things that were on my list! Ugh! Good luck next time you bring the kiddos…I’ll be praying for you!

  9. Meghan

    I really dislike grocery shopping with my children and/or husband…..I always try to go alone so I can concentrate, read ingredients, think about what I’m purchasing, etc. It’s much easier now that the kids are in school at the same time some mornings (having to bring them along sometimes during the summer was really rough!). I use the Grocery IQ app, which is great. I have different lists for different stores (grocery store, Target, etc), and when you select a list, it orders the items in order of how you pass the aisles (you set each store up). So no more having to run back to the other side of the store because you forgot an item.

  10. Angie

    Not sure if you’ve done this before, but I’d love to see a grocery breakdown on how you feed a family of four AND buy toiletries/diapers for $120/week! We spend about $120 just on groceries, and I shop at a discount store (Aldi). Tips please!

  11. HA! This reminds me all too much of my experience yesterday. Hailey (16 months) demands to walk, too, but then runs around pulling things off the shelves, then when I wrangle her back in I get stared at as the mom of the screaming, crying toddler who can’t get things under control.
    Sigh- and I only have one, so bless you! 😉

    As for snacks- we love Kashi crackers and hummus, popcorn, apples and cheese, graham crackers and peanut butter and puree pouches- expensive, but so easy to grab and go!

  12. I hear you! My son is about to turn three and I think we’re at that point. He’s getting too big to fit into the cart (at the front) but in the back he constantly stands and wants to get out. Once he’s out though, he won’t stay by my side so that’s not really an option. With baby number two on the way (due in March) I think I’m going to have to severely limit our future shopping trips. 🙁

  13. Chanon

    I would go to the store after my son’s bedtime – but now that mine is potty trained, our grocery store has a mini daycare where I can put him while I shop! It’s WONDERFUL!

  14. Jennifer S

    For what it’s worth–you should totally go back and get your free box of capri sun! I’m not sure where you shop but I am thinking it wouldn’t be a problem. Just show them your receipt because even a free box would’ve shown up on there. I’ve gone to customer service at Publix/Target/BJ’s multiple times with coupons that I forgot to bring and they always give me money back.

  15. Melissa

    I don’t have kids yet and when I go to the grocery store I always notice that there are a dozen (or 2) moms in there trying to corral multiple kids into walking, sitting, not pulling things off the shelf, etc And every time I think with horror, “Oh geez, how am I going to handle that???” Chris went to the grocery store with me for the first time in forever and he was like, “WTF is up with these kids?” That’s when I announced that if I ever found myself alone in the grocery store with 2 kids while he was at home, I would divorce him. Or possibly burn the house down with him in it. THAT’s how afraid I am of going to the grocery store with kids!

  16. Erin

    Long time lurker, I also don’t like to go shopping w/my kids or my hubby. Hubby will actually double the grocery bill if he is with! It’s not worth it to take everyone with you to the store. I find it’s easier to do the shopping by myself as I can get in & out of the store faster.

  17. What about online food shopping? Everyone I know with little ones uses it ALL the time here (UK) and it really helps meal planning?

  18. I learned that lesson early on too.

    Kids+grocery shopping=migraine headache! Hubby+grocery shopping=over budget/junk we don’t need in my cart

    So I try to go by myself and for our family of 4 I spend under $300 on food stuffs every two weeks; I use my iPhone to keep tabs on how much I am spending as I shop; I buy in bulk and really suck at meal planning…should really work on that. During the summer/fall months my food bill goes down though as we have a greenhouse garden.

  19. Yikes! And I thought I had a hard enough time with just one baby shopping…you have my sympathy and upmost respect.

  20. Haha! I laugh hard while I read this, and think, “Oh, the good old days…” I regularly grocery shop with 5, yes, FIVE kids and I actually enjoy it. Never promise them anything, because the moment you step in the door you will have hell to pay! From the time mine are little I give them either a picture list, or when they start reading a regular list and they are in charge of finding those items. Even a 3 year old can hold a paper with a picture of bananas, apples, frozen berries, and bread and be excited about coming upon those items. My older 2 kids (11 an 9) get a cart all their own, cash all their own, and a list and have to be able to buy everything with the cash in hand. If you set aside just a little extra time and effort, you can make the grocery store an incredible learning experience.

    I spend $550 a month on our family of 7, so here are a couple of tricks: NO JUNK! Chips, crackers, soda. These things are wildly expensive and teach bad eating habits. Eat meat sparingly – 2 or 3 times a week is plenty and will save you a ton, especially if you buy a whole chicken, crock pot it, and use it for several meals. A pressure cooker will turn those extremely inexpensive dry beans into something delicious in no time at all. Homemade laundry detergent. Look it up. This is turning in to a whole ‘nother post! But I just wanted to tell you that getting out of the store with kids CAN be done.

  21. Peggy

    I hate to tell you but it doesn’t get any better as they get older. My kids finally gave up and said “No” when I asked them if they wanted to go to the grocery store because they said I always told them “No” when they asked for something – which was probably true. Now as college students they say “Yes” when I ask if they want to go the grocery store since Mom is paying!

  22. Kelly H

    Katie, im not sure if Bean is too big or not but a friend of mine with twins created this for this VERY reason! you should take a look:

  23. Erin D

    not sure how you feel about walmart, but i’ve started taking advantage of their Ad Match policy and i’m REALLY saving dollars. you can get all the best deals from all the local stores, and it’s less work than coupons because YOU DON”T HAVE TO HAVE THE ADS! happy to share more if you want.

  24. Absolutely hilarious! Love that you bought 3 boxes of boxed drinks so you could get a 4th for free and then forgot the 4th before realizing you don’t drink them at all. I can relate to that! Too funny.

  25. Absolutely hilarious! Love that you bought 3 boxes of boxed drinks so you could get a 4th for free and then forgot the 4th before realizing you don’t drink them at all. I can relate to that! Too funny.

  26. Carlene

    Publix should have one of those playgrounds at the front you can drop off your kids. Like IKEA. Genius

  27. You confirmed my fear: that shopping with two little kids is going to be dreadful! I’m home with Porter most days of the week now, but sometimes I do my shopping on the days when he is in preschool–simply because since I am pregnant with baby2 I know my solo shopping days are indeed numbered.

  28. […] I picked the kids up from daycare and then did what I swore I would never do again.  I took them grocery shopping at Target with me.  I couldn’t help it.  It was unavoidable.  We had a can of corn in the […]

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