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Survive the Grocery Store!

Do you dread having to go to the grocery store with your little one? Have you been in the store ready to cry yourself? This article will give you tips on how to survive the grocery store with toddlers. Yes, believe it or not, you can get through the grocery store without your child screaming or you ready to have a break down.

Grocery shopping is anything, but fun for toddlers. To make grocery shopping a pleasurable experience or at least bearable, keeping your child occupied will get you through the store. I always say content kids are happy kids and I believe that in every situation. In most cases tantrums and crying can be avoided with a little planning. I never had an issue with my kids having a tantrum because they wanted something from the store. Are my kids perfect, no but I always had something to keep their attention whenever we were out shopping, restaurants, in the car, etc.

Below are ways to keep your toddler content while grocery shopping that I used when my kids were toddlers:


  • The least time consuming thing to do is have toys that you only bring out when you go shopping. Have them in a closet that your child doesn’t play with them when you are at home. When you are going to the store, put them in your diaper bag or large purse. You can even put toys in a bag and leave them in the trunk of your car so you always have them when you need them.


Some ideas of toys to take:


  1. Blocks with a container Click Here or the picture to view this set, it is $7.99 and will keep your little one busy.




  1. LeapFrog Chat and Count Smart Phone  This is perfect to keep your child’s attention and off of your phone. Plus, it has over 25 activities a child can play for only $11.19. Click Here or the picture to see this toy.



  1. Count & Play Cash Register Click Here or the picture to view this set, it is on sale for $12.10.



  1. This Octopus is a bath toy, but would work perfectly in a store because it is easy to clean. Plus only $6.99 to keep your child occupied. Click the picture to view this.


  1. Doodle Sketch is compact and great to keep kids entertained. Click Here to look at these great deals, many are under $12. There are different types.


It may seem like a lot to take a toy or toys, especially the larger ones, but try it once and you will see how much easier shopping can be. The idea is a toy that keeps their attention; a stuff animal or toy car will only get you through an aisle if your lucky.


  • Next is cutting pictures from boxes of food you buy that they like or finding items in a magazine or coupon insert. If it is paper then glue it to an index card. You can punch a hole in the corner of each one and put all of the cards on a key chain. If you do not want to add them to a key chain, just put them in a baggie and your child can pull them out. The idea behind this is to have your child participate in the shopping so only take the index cards of items you are shopping for. Make it a game; have your child look for the items as you go down each aisle. This keeps their attention. To keep them from wanting cookies or candy, have a snack in your purse that you don’t always give him/her and he/she can snack as you shop and he/she looks for their list of items.


  • This last idea works great when you have 2 small children. I did this with my son when he was 2 1/2 and my daughter was a baby. This is not something that you will do when a store is busy. Buy a child size shopping cart, one of those toy ones. Put it in the trunk and when you go to the store pull it out and let your toddler push their shopping cart a long side of you. Let them put some items from the list in their cart, like box items. This made my life so much easier.


You can find inexpensive shopping carts on Ebay or low cost brand new ones on Amazon.


Click Here to see the shopping carts on Ebay, make sure you purchase a regular size one and not mini. You can buy a used one for $10 – 15 depending on the type you want.


Click Here for shopping carts on Amazon, you can buy a brand new one for under $30.


These ideas may seem like a lot of work, but putting in a little extra time and planning will change your experience at the grocery store. You only need to get everything together one time then you have it ready for each time you go to the store. Once you have your grocery shopping strategy for your toddler, shopping will not be a burden.

Have a method you use when grocery shopping, share it on our page https://www.facebook.com/moneysavingtipsformoms