By: Jennifer Ripepi, MD
First and foremost, I found that preparation is key to a successful venture. Review the store ads either in print or on-line. If you do your shopping the first 2 or 3 days of when the weekly specials are advertised, you are more likely to find the items that are on sale. Different stores have different days of when prices are in effect so double check what your favorite store offers. This step helps you to work within a budget and you can even begin to plan meals for the week. Cutting coupons and comparing those to the store ads may also help you to save money on the items you need. You can also check out some money saving apps for your phone. A couple that are popular are Ibotta, Checkout 51 and Saving Star.
Make a list! How many times do we finish shopping and forget some important item? Keeping a running list in your kitchen may help. As you empty one of your stock items, then you can add it to the list. Too many times, our list at home (ominously referred to as "The List") begins as soon as I get back from the store. Just another part of being in a family!
The inside of the store has some aisles a health-conscious family should avoid. Snack foods like chips, pretzels, crackers, candy and cookies and the soft drink sections are huge parts of many stores. These foods rob our health and we really do not need those in our pantries. Feel like you "have to have it"? Get the smallest size available. Or better yet, do without and look at your total at the end of your trip.
The shelves are set up for eye level shopping. Your child sitting buckled into the seat of the cart will see sweetened cereals and the items at the checkout that are there for impulse buying. Plan for letting them know that Choosy would pick something else. Perhaps even talk about being Choosy at the store beforehand. It may save you some tantrums later.
What are your grocery shopping tips? Do you engage your children in the experience and let them help out when picking out produce? Do you discuss what the foods are that they are seeing?
About the Author: I have been a pediatrician for over 25 years. My husband and I have been privileged to raise 4 bright and healthy children. I have tried to gather wisdom from the families I have been blessed to meet during my journey. I believe in practical and flexible parenting to help raise healthy adults. I love to garden, hike, travel and cook and I am looking forward to hearing from Choosy followers.