I love grocery shopping. Is that weird? Back in our pre-kid days, I used to love lingering at the store, leisurely reading labels, analyzing choices, and imagining new meal ideas. Jeff and I would sometimes go together and make an event out of it. Many of our early dates were spent studying at the U Village QFC, which is where we learned that it is indeed possible to eat a whole pint of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream with a pair of plastic knives.
Then along came the kids, and suddenly grocery shopping wasn’t so fun anymore. It became more of a race to get in and out of the store as quickly as possible. No more lingering in the aisles. And if I made it to one end of the store but forgot to pick up an item from the other end, we’d just have to live without cheese for the week, or whatever else it was. I needed to get organized.
Based on the suggestions of other wise shoppers out there, I created lists of our staple items, broken down by aisle or section, for the three main stores we frequent: Safeway, Trader Joe’s, and Costco. When we run out of something, we draw a little box next to the item on the list (hearkening back to my residency days of endless checklists). This serves two purposes: (1) at the store, I check things off as I go, aisle by aisle, and I don’t need to dash back to the start for a forgotten bottle of mustard and (2) it jogs my often foggy memory to recall whether we might be running low on a staple, such as garlic or . . . canned pumpkin :)
How do YOU manage grocery shopping with kids?