3 Tips for easier shopping with kids

When the kids are little, shopping is tough - you’re already tired, you have to take a bunch of stuff with you (I do NOT miss nappy bags), and you have to manage everyone’s needs and emotions while trying to complete a simple task that used to take 30 minutes and now takes closer to 2 hours.

As they get older, shopping with kids gets a little easier physically, but you still have the emotional side to manage - kids don’t always want to come shopping with you, in-store fights and tantrums are never fun, and toilet requests always seem to happen when your trolley is full and the checkout line is long.

You’d think a stroll around Target would be lovely, but everyone wants to go in different directions and buy everything they see and fall in love with on the spot!

Shopping with kids is never going to be completely smooth (at least not in my experience), but there are a few little things you can do that make a big difference in how enjoyable the task is.

Here are my 3 favourite tips for easier shopping with kids:

Full tummies make grocery shopping easier.

Our local Woolworths has free fruit for kids right as you walk in the door, it’s fantastic! If you don’t have anything like that at your supermarket, take fruit or snacks with you for toddlers to have as they sit in the trolley, or plan your grocery shop for right after a meal or snack. Bring water too!

Delegate & reward.

Primary school-aged kids love helping out, so divide your shopping list by the number of kids you have and either send them off to find items and bring them back to you, or if that would be too chaotic, go around the shop together and have them spot and grab their items as they see them. Let them help scan the groceries at the checkout, and if budget allows, give them a dollar or two at the end to either save or use to buy themselves a treat as a thank you for helping with the shopping.

Photos for Christmas / Birthday wish lists.

If you’re at the shopping centre and your kids love pointing out toys, books, clothes, etc that they LOVE and MUST have, we tend to get stuck either feeling like the bad guy that says “No” all the time or feeling like the pushover who buys things on the spot because we don’t want tantrums in public. One of my favourite alternatives to those is to be just as excited when the kids point something out and say “I love that! Let’s take a photo for your Christmas / Birthday wish list.” It works like a charm - the kids are happy that you’ve validated their feelings, there’s a chance they can have the item in the future (but you haven’t promised - it’s a wish list, not an order form), and you have some great ideas saved on your phone for later when it comes to birthday or Christmas shopping. Everyone wins!

I hope you found these ideas helpful! If you’re ready for next steps in making life easier as a parent, you might to check out my popular House & Family Binder. It’s a simple set of prints to help you reduce the mental load and streamline the running of your household, and I’m adding digital versions of each planning print too to make it even easier to use! Check it out here anytime.

x Marissa