4 Ways to Survive Grocery Shopping with a Toddler

Grocery shopping is my favorite pastime. When I get to go on a solo grocery trip you’d think I was going on a wild girls weekend – I get excited. Those trips are few and far between. Typically, you’ll find me in the bakery begging the girl behind the counter for another free cookie for my whining, but adorable, toddler that keeps saying “mo mo” because she wants MORE and she wants in NOW. More about that later. On these trips, I’ve learned a few lessons in my 17 months as a grocery shopping mother and I think these lessons need to be shared.

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1) Park Smart! It all starts in the parking lot. Forget the entrance, park close to the shopping carts. You can grab a cart and put your tiny human in the cart lessening your load immediately – everyone knows the diaper bag is already causing you early on-set osteoarthritis in your shoulders anyway. If you’re baby is still in a carrier, you can just sit the carrier in the cart. I remember the days of carrying that carrier until my arm was turning purple, so parking next to the carts was necessary. When you’re done, drive the cart right to your car and unload your groceries, load your child up and return the cart without having to abandon it.

2) Stop at the Bakery. Most grocery stores offer treats for kids and this always starts the trip on a good note. While I don’t advocate for massive amounts of sugar for kids, this one cookie will provide enough sanity for you to make this exception. If you don’t agree, you’re next best stop would be produce for a banana. Pack some extra snacks for when the cookie is gone though. I’ve recently been informed that Dum Dum suckers work great – leave the wrapper on and that will give you an extra 2 minutes of peace!

3) Don’t Shop on a Sunday. Monday and Tuesday’s are much less crowded than Saturday or Sunday meaning that you can zip through the store faster than having to dodge others to get to the best looking bunch of bananas. Oh, and less people to stop and talk to about “is this your only one” or “I can remember when mine was that little.”

4) Go prepared. This is my tip for all grocery shopping, with or without a child. Always have a list and try to stick to it. The average grocery store has over 42, 000 items, so having a list will help you get through quicker and more efficiently. If you need help preparing a list, shoot me an email and I’ll be glad to help you plan!

I hope this gives you some ideas on how to make your grocery shopping easier., mama. Now, shop on and don’t steel your kid’s bakery cookie!

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Menu, Meal Plan, Whatever You Want to Call It!

Hi friends and Happy New Year! It’s been a very long while. I’ve been very busy being a mom, wife, full-time employee, and everything in between. Cooking has always been my way of feeling creative and in some ways I feel like it is my love language. Even though things are crazy busy and hectic, cooking helps me feel “normal” – if that even exists in motherhood.

Before I can cook, I have to go *dun dun dun* GROCERY SHOPPING! Those dreaded two words can be so daunting to people, but I’ve actually come to enjoy it. It takes some time each week to come up with a meal plan and shopping list, but it is worth it to have my kitchen stocked with healthy food for the week. I typically do my shopping on Sunday afternoons so that we can start the week off right.

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My method is pretty easy – I write down each meal I want to cook for dinner each night, add the ingredients to the list, and it’s done. My list is categorized by grocery store department to help me navigate quicker. We usually have the same thing for breakfast and typically eat leftovers for lunch, so those things are just added at the end. However, I know some of you like to mix it up, so I included this one on the menu template. To get a better picture of how I map this out download my Weekly Menu Template and Weekly Shopping List Template. You can certainly do this on scratch paper, but sometimes it’s nice to have a pretty layout! As you can see above, I write mine down on whatever I can find and it’s not always pretty.

 

 

Throw Your Chains Away and Be Well!

As I was going through my computer, I found this that I wrote in 2012. Please take a few minutes and read it. It speaks so true to so many women.

Throw Your Chains Away

No carbs. No sugar. Counting calories. Counting points. P90X. Sweatin’ to the Oldies (ha!). Supplements. Slim Fast. At some point in your life, I’m sure you’ve tried something to try to drop a few pounds – a diet, the newest workout fad, the latest get-fit-quick trend. I’ve done it. Keep reading.
When I really think back, my weight issues began at an early age. I remember back to elementary school and I was the one who would only wear one-piece bathing suits at the pool while my friends walked around fearlessly in their cute, two-piece swimsuits. I longed for the day that I could go try one on and feel good in it. I was always a normal, healthy weight and never considered medically “overweight,” but in my mind I was constantly telling myself that I was.

Then middle school and all the things that come along with puberty. Everything got bigger…and so did my clothes. Even though I was active in multiple sports, I couldn’t take the weight off. My mom would try diets and I would follow her lead. I would do 100 crunches in my bedroom just hoping I would be ready for the two-piece swimsuit by summer. Going to sports physicals with my friends was mortifying when I was step on the scale and my number was higher than my best friends number. It wasn’t that I was overweight or obese, but I was bigger than most of my girlfriends. I was bound and chained down to comparison.
High school rolled around and I was still trying to lose weight. I thought I had to cut out a certain food group or run until I puked (I hated running), basically I just thought I had to follow a certain plan to drop the pounds. When I wasn’t dropping pounds I would get frustrated, I even tried using not-so-safe supplements and was on the path to a dangerous eating disorder. My self-esteem was at the bottom of the barrel. Then, one day, it clicked. I started running with a friend, enjoying the sport I was involved in, packing healthy lunches, and just eating better in general. I felt better, I looked better, and I was healthy inside and out. I was free. I was free from the bondage of feeling bound to a diet or an exercise program I didn’t enjoy. I was free from the number on the scale. My chains were starting to fall off.
In college, I took up running and strength training and actually enjoyed it, so I decided to train for a half-marathon. Who would’ve thought that girl whose only goal all through grade school was to fit into a two-piece bathing suit would be able to take control of her life and run a half-marathon? Well, I did it! And I cried at the finish line because in that moment I felt all of those years of low self-esteem and hating myself fall from my shoulders. I was in control and I was a strong, healthy woman who could conquer anything.
I’ve told you my story because I don’t want you to be in bondage to comparison, a strict diet, an exercise program you hate, or to dangerous supplements. Empower yourself by learning ways to eat right and do it. Find an exercise that you enjoy and do it. Don’t compare yourself to others because you are YOU, unique and wonderfully made. Love and respect yourself and your body enough to live healthy. Whatever is holding you back or keeping you from really living…throw those chains away. Freedom is wellness.