Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Stop and Shop and a Red Lollipop

I don't grocery shop with the kids.  Nope, nope, nope. Never.

OK, maybe I'll take the girls to run in and pick up milk, or when I have a small shop I need to do, I'll bring one of them.  They accompany me to Target, to WalMart, to the mall. But they don't do the weekly shopping.

I know that many people don't have an option. I know I'm lucky to even have the option of going alone.

I'm not sure when I started grocery shopping on Friday nights (I think it was when Madison was a baby and hated the grocery store with a passion), but I know that I love it. I go all by myself and it is wonderful. The girls are in bed, the store is almost empty, and I can just take my time and relax. No one is annoyed when I stop to check a recipe on my phone, pull coupons and start comparing prices, and double back to pick up things I forgot.  I've gotten into a pretty good savings routine and, although I am nowhere near an extreme couponer (nor do I want to be), I save at least 40% every week.  Grocery shopping is relaxing. Crazy, right?

Well, last week, that wasn't going to happen. When Friday night shopping trips don't work out, I'll usually try to go another evening - alone - but I couldn't find another time that was going to work.

So I went Friday morning.

With both children.

Honestly, it really wasn't that bad. 

I was anticipating multiple potty breaks, no room left in the cart for groceries by the time I fit two kids in there, whining and crying when the cart stopped for too long (since my little one likes to be moving at all times), asking for everything they saw, grabbing at shelves, crowded aisles, potential meltdowns, and overall, a hugely stressful experience where I spent way more than I needed to and probably still would end up not getting everything I needed.

I think because my expectations were so low, it was easy to be pleasantly surprised. 

We stopped for the potty on the way in, and that was that. Whew.

I was lucky enough to get one of those tractor trailer sized carts like they have at Target.  While it definitely made navigating the store a little more challenging, I had a place for my kids, coupons, purse, and food. Whew.

Food was a perfect distraction. I'm pretty sure we brought in more food than we took out. I packed a small bowl of grapes, a squeeze pouch of fruit, a cereal bar, a container of goldfish, and a water bottle for each child.  And they went through it.  But that cut down on any fussing and whining when I was stopped to look at coupons or compare prices. They each had a snack box and they were perfectly happy.  Oh, and Madison got to scan the barcodes when she wasn't snacking. She was absolutely thrilled by that job.  Whew.

They didn't really ask for anything. Ok, Reagan doesn't talk, so I'm not sure that was a triumph. But Madison definitely talks enough for the both of them. I'm not sure why she was so restrained. My guess is that she didn't necessarily recognize some of her favorite treats, because she doesn't really see them in their packaging? Whatever it was, I was thankful for it. Madison asked for apples, bananas, and eggs. I was happy to say yes to all three. Whew.

Aisles? Yeah, they were crowded. At least compared to Friday nights. But my annoyance at aisle traffic was mitigated by how many smiles and compliments the girls received.  Lots of grandmother types on Friday mornings who were happy to strike up conversations and tell me how well behaved the girls were. Whew.

Now the end of the trip is where things had the potential to get hairy. The snacks were depleted, we'd been in the store for about an hour, and I needed to check my list, make sure I had the coupons ready, and get in line to check out. Waiting in line is where my girls are the worst shoppers.  It doesn't help that I have horrific luck whenever I shop with them. The person ahead of us always has an issue.  When I use the self scanner, I am always randomly selected for an audit, which requires standing in line for an actual cashier, who then has to call a manager, who has to basically rescan half the items and make sure I'm not shoplifting.

So Friday, I was expecting that my luck of a good trip was about to run out. The store was crowded, so every register had a line. Reagan was starting to lose it, and I needed to concentrate on my coupons and other deals.

Therefore, when I saw the big barrel of lollipops, I went for it. What a perfect reward for two well behaved girls. They didn't beg, so I wasn't giving in, and it was something that would keep them occupied.

Madison picked out her own - watermelon, good choice - and then I allowed her to pick one for Reagan. She did, and I didn't really think too much about her choice. I scanned both, unwrapped them, and handed them to the girls. My passengers were quiet throughout the entire checkout, even when the cashier was confused by the rebate check and we needed to wait for her to figure it out.

Then I heard the manager start laughing and say "well, you are having a great time!" I looked at Reagan.


This was as we were getting into the car (yes, I did buckle her completely and correctly before we left). She was COVERED. And completely happy.

You know what? Worth it.

Probably won't give up my Friday night solo trips, but at least I know that I can have a successful - if a very sticky - grocery experience with both girls.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Real Time Web Analytics