It’s easy to collect excess stuff and food in the kitchen and pantry, and it’s easy to lose focus and forget how to set up an efficient kitchen or a useful, healthy menu plan. So, during 31 Days to Simplified Grocery Shopping, we’ll take the necessary steps to simplify and streamline our food-related efforts.
Last Time: Create a simple price book.
Grocery Shopping Tip: Take your kids with you. Yes, really.
I totally understand why most people opt to do their grocery shopping in the evening or on weekends, when they can go alone. Sometimes I do, too. But I try not to make that my normal routine, because I think it’s good for the kids to get to the store, too. That doesn’t mean I think everybody must, or that everyone should do it the same way I do, of course. But if we do think our children are a blessing to us, then we need to act like it in real life and not just affirm it in our minds.
Three Benefits of Taking Your Kids with You to the Grocery Store
- They want to get out of the house, too. At least, my preschool and homeschooled children can get as stir-crazy always being at home as I can. Just like I sometimes feel like I just need to get out and about, so do they. And, the more often we go, the more practice they get, the better it all rolls (typically).
- It is part of living life together and apprenticing them in life. It’s not that I think they’re learning math by seeing prices or colors by helping me bag produce, but that they are learning by experience what goes into choosing and purchasing food. They know that we don’t buy anything and everything our heart desires, but that we have to make smart choices. They know their way around the many types of foods and when they are off on their own they will be no stranger to navigating a store and making food decisions. Another aspect of this point is that when all the little eyes are with me, I make better food choices. I can’t sneak candy and junk to stash away for myself. Because I would, just as they will when they get a chance, but they and I will also have years of good habits that will bring us back after wayward interludes.
- It is good for society to have children around. The more that families with 4 or more children stay out of the public eye, the more the public eye assumes it’s weird. Yes, sometimes I get rude or thoughtless comments on my crew. However, I get more compliments than censures. Part of that is that we live in a very family-friendly town, but it’s also because I’m reaping the fruits of daily discipline and training. I figure it’s putting that at-home work to good use. We can go out and speak and act politely and cheerfully, learn to be aware and considerate of those around us, and be a public testimony to the blessing of children. That doesn’t mean we aren’t noisy. That doesn’t mean that we aren’t sometimes in people’s way. That doesn’t mean that sometimes there aren’t tantrums. But sometimes being the mom with a screaming baby that the old lady helps to her car is a blessing to the community, too. It happens. Someday I’ll be the old lady helping the overloaded mom. It does mean that overall, more often than not (this is where frequency helps our odds!), people exclaim over the children, “What helpers you have!” Positive reinforcement and praise from outside the family is a better encouragement than a piece of candy (not that candy hurts, either).
I’ll be spending this week in our 31 Days series going over the details that make taking your kids with you more manageable and sometimes even truly helpful.
Tomorrow: Kids at the Grocery Store: Pep Talk
Mystie Winckler began menu planning at 11 years old when her mom delegated one dinner a week to her. Marrying at 19, she’s had a lot of practice over the years. But between growing and homeschooling her family, meal planning often requires brain power that just isn’t there any more. Simplified Dinners is her solution to take the effort and thought out of healthy, frugal cooking. And now it is available for you, too!