Tuesday, June 30, 2009

We did it!

For well over a year I have vowed never to grocery shop with my kids. The last time scarred me for some reason that I'm sure was related to Wal-Mart(it's gigantic and I always need something that's on the other side of the store when I'm on the opposite side), nursing and going potty. Just too much for a mother to handle sometimes. Now that hasn't meant that I don't ever run in quick and get stuff with them but the BIG grocery trip has been done in the late evenings when the little ones are in bed and on a rare occasion or two before they wake up. I decided, that I needed to try it again because for one reason or another I wasn't able to go in the evenings anymore and then we end up feasting on cheap fast food or throwing together a meal of randomness made of whatever we could find in the fridge and pantry.

Now you may be thinking "what's so hard about grocery shopping with kids?" For me, I don't just grocery shop. It's a process. First I spend time evaluating the sales and planning meals (through the help of some great websites couponmom.com, southernsavers.com, e-mealz.com) cutting my coupons and then I'm off. Today I was armed with nearly 20 coupons going to the store. So when I get there I have to spend time comparing the deal I'm getting with my coupons on national brands versus just buying the generic. Children do not understand why I'm closing my eyes and doing the math while they are begging for Apple Jacks or the Orange Juice in the pretty container. I mean I can't blame them there. However, I've heard time and time again that kids will do what they are trained to do so let the training begin...again!

So today was pretty successful day. Other than Jude saying "owwt, owwt (out) every 3 aisles followed by him pulling Ellison's hair just to get a reaction, we all survived. Here are some things that made it work today. If you have any other tips to add, please feel free to post them. This will be a weekly adventure and the more prepared I am the better it'll be...I hope.

Winning Tips of the Day:
1. I tried to be organized. I organized the list according to the locations in the store to make it as quick as possible. I also tried to make notes on my list about the value of the coupon so that I didn't have to search through my envelope to figure out what is the best deal.
2. I hyped up our trip to Ellison big time. I told her we were going on an adventure and equipped her with her camera to take pictures.
3. I shopped at Publix which is right across the street from our complex. This makes for a very quick commute which seems to be a winner. Also, I LOVE PUBLIX. I know they are more expensive but for our basic needs (excluding meat) I go there. They unload my cart, bag my stuff and load it in the car. All I have to do is swipe the card and hand over the coupons. At the end of our trip today a very nice old man gave Ellison and Jude a dollar each. He also told us that he'd be singing on Friday at 12 if we'd like to come and hear him. They also know our family and are always so nice to our kids. I really love the neighborhood feel in a huge suburb where you can feel one of the numbers.
4. I gave the kids a snack and drink right before we left the house and they seemed to be content in the food department.
5. I prayed. Yep! I am a firm believer in prayer and although there were some tantrums, hitting and hair pulling I found that I was able to handle them better.

So there you have it. A grocery trip without too many tears AND I saved 70 dollars my favorite.


Shaunta' said...

Beth (my kindred spirit)!
Loved that post. I haven't been to the grocery store with all the kids YET...for one thing, there is no way to push all 3 of them in the buggy! LOL
I L-O-V-E Publix. I used to think it was expensive, but considering their BOGO deals and the fact that they take competitor coupons, it's the best! You should check out www.iheartpublix.com and www.publix4pennies.com. These sites match up the coupons with the deals for you. I have been able to get lots of free stuff using these sites.

Beth said...

Thanks for the links Shaunta'. I'll have to check these out before next Tuesday's run.