how to take all the kids to the supermarket

One thing I don’t do very often is take everyone grocery shopping. My preference is to take a maximum of 2 but it’s school holidays, daddy was working interstate, we were down to our last nappy, we needed more fruit and snacks to get through the week and I had to go

woolies shop

here is how we did it

– get there early…9.05 for me – early for us in the school holidays.

– park near the trolleys – not so close that one will end up on your car but close enough.

– put your littlest ones in the trolley – for me that would be my two little runners, if they are in the trolley we can work fast and they can’t help themselves or run in opposite directions.

– get eldest daughter out of the car and on to her crutches – it was touch and go whether I was going to need the wheelchair and trolley but big brave girl did the crutches. Phew!

– have a little pep talk before you enter that we are not buying dvds, lollies or toys while we are in there. Just what is on the list. Of course I bought myself a bag of lolly snakes and hid them on top of the fridge.

– have your list and work quickly

– don’t forget the milk and bread – I forgot the bread! Of course I forgot something

– smile sweetly when people stare at you but keep walking – very important, do not stop to chat just smile unless you know them (remember, smile and wave!). I mastered this with baby twins when everyone wants to stop for a chat.

– when the lovely check out lady says are you collecting stickers say yes please and get the kids to all look up and you might score some extra stickers

– make a quick exit and straight to the car (a mini bag of vegie chips each for good behaviour,  a quiet trip home and because we had some snacks again)

– go home, put the groceries away and pat yourself on the back. You did good!

Do you take everyone to the shops? Online groceries for you?


  1. anne seery says:

    Well done and kudos for your big brave girl….what a champion :) The lolly snakes are really for great grandma though when she visits, right? 😉

  2. Yep, took them all with me, had no one to help, I tried to shop on pre school days so I had 1 less, when my 2 nd was about 4, she actually tipped the trolley over full of groceries at the checkout trying to climb in while I was wrestling with the 2 yr old, newborn and 6 yr old, she wasn’t hurt luckily. It’s just as crazy now they are older and they cost more to feed lol!!

  3. You are brave Corrie! I order my big grocery shop online and there’s only the two of us.

  4. I hate taking my two girls to the grocery store and avoid it at all costs 😉 Online shopping it is!

  5. You are amazing!! I can’t handle taking my five year girl to the supermarket, let alone a bunch of them!! Well done!

  6. Well done. I took 3 of mine in to do the fortnightly shop today. Still trying to calm the nurves lol

  7. Well planned and executed, Retro Mummy! So glad to hear your little ones have the experience of shopping. I teach a Year 3/4 class and am amazed at the number of children who have never been to the supermarket. One of my favourite excursions is to our local supermarket. We each have $3 and need to purchase a piece of fruit and a yoghurt or custard for morning tea. My kiddos estimate, weigh, perform mental calculations, weigh up cost benefit options and get to go through the self serve checkout. They love it! Such important life skills.

    • oh yes well one on one time for our kids on the weekend could be a shopping trip with daddy so they are certainly getting exposed to the supermarket:)

  8. Wendy Forster says:

    Well done, they will never learn good supermarket skills if they never get to go.

  9. Gosh, you are braver than me. My kids seem to go feral in supermarkets – it must be the lights and noise or something – overstimulation and knowledge that its going to be completely boring seems to send them wild. T x

  10. Taking my four to the supermarket… All the more harder when you have the oldies commenting too!! (Good AND bad!!). Never, EVER after school!! I try and avoid it at all costs, and generally only have my 3 year old when the other 3 are at school, but you have no choice during the holidays!
    Online shopping is an option for me, but I prefer not to use it – it is far more expensive, though if money wasn’t an issue…
    I try and give the kids individual lists to tick things off, and we talk about labels and cost per kilo etc. I try and coax the little one into the seat of the trolley and bribe him with food and cuddles. I try and bring food for all the kids as well, generally a piece of fruit, as we almost always go in the morning when everyone is freshest and as early as possible so it’s not as busy.
    Longer trips to the shop (eg clothes shopping, birthday present shopping etc) with my crew almost always involve bribery – eg at the end if you behave, there is a treat (eg packet of teddies, trip to the park, library etc).
    Needless to say, it can become expensive!!

  11. Melissa says:

    Sounds like you had a result this morning! Apart from forgetting the bread!! I only have two kids maximum to take but guaranteed when I get home and realise I needed something else!

  12. Oh well done! I am constantly reminding my four kids that I am a very considerate mother and do the grocery shopping during school hours. I particularly like to remind them when they are on the verge of complaint, with a “Shall we go grocery shopping?”. This always silences them and their very best behaviour and gratitude always appears!

  13. I have become very sold on online groceries. Even though you pay quite steeply for the delivery I save money. No kids nagging for things, no impulse buying, it is just what I need and I can check the cupboards as I go. Plus I do it after 9 with a cup of tea in hand and the kids in bed!!

  14. So impressive Corrie. I only have one kid (4) and I try not to go grocery shopping with him. Every time we do, he wants to push the trolley!That said, we were at Costco today and he was most patient! Perhaps times they are a changing.

  15. I only have two but send them off to find things off the list, plus the older one near 10 likes to sit on the little bench seat inside the store with the oldies. Mind you yesterday I stopped to talk to an old work friend and found them piling the rather large soft toys one nearly as big as my 7 year old into my trolley and giggling. Oh and bribery is good with the Jamie oliver cards!!!

  16. Love it, love it, love it! You are one of those mums I look at and say “How does she do it?” Your kids are beautiful! You so deserve those lolly snakes, enjoy!

  17. When I had mine – I discovered the stores opened at 7 am. So I fed the youngest and went off with my list Saturday am. Best time of my life – and the only time alone. Too early for anyone else with kids to be there either. Worst moment was when I forgot $60 worth of groceries at the pick up spot because I was so focused on picking up the oldest at nursery school. They weren’t there when I dashed back. Someone needed them more than me.

  18. Naomi S says:

    I’m a single mum of 4, one has cerebral palsy and one has autism. I regularly shop with all of them. With a bit of organisation it can be done. I would prefer to do it on my own – God knows its cheaper that way! – but that’s not always an option.

  19. This so much sounds like my trips! Especially the people looking? Why? With a 16 month old and 2 1/2 yr old as my youngest I utilise my big kids as fetchers.. Only problem is when the trolley doesn’t release, stupid coin locks that get stuck and then when you finally get one the baby set buckle is broken. Times like that I think I should shop online. Oh and when Mst 2 sits on the bread! Or the trolley gets so full I need to let him out and he makes the most of his escape.. Again, I use my big helpers at this point because of course it’s as you go through the check out :)

  20. Yes. I take all four to the shops. We’re famous there for our meltdowns.

  21. Caroline says:

    Yes I have twins too and what is it with people stopping you to ask inane questions etc? Usually when they’re already screaming, you’re clearly frazzled and the eldest singleton has done a bolt or similar! Lol.. Fun times..! But I do take my 3 grocery shopping when I have to and I find giving them jobs helps immensely. Even if it means 3 kids driving those mini trolleys like maniacs, I think they really like the chance to be part of it!

  22. Lindsay says:

    Shopping used to be a complete nightmare! Sometimes, I would pretend the children weren’t mine by saying things like ‘what would you’re mummy think of that behaviour!?’ And they would look at me quite puzzled. However, I’ve recently started offering a prize for the best behaved child during the weekly grocery shop and am amazed that my usually totally unruly 4 children all magically transform into perfect angels. They offer to help, push the trolley and silently walk beside the trolley. The older ones help with the younger ones. Seems to bring out their competitive spirit.

  23. laughed out loud at the lolly snakes lol

  24. laura martinelli says:

    Well done you! For me its 5 x ages 1, 3, 6, 8 and 9. I ran out of nappies yesterday so had to do the dreaded “let’s all go to the supermarket” dance.. Usually like you I stick to 2 max, but prefer to do it when the Daddy is home – so much less stress keeping the ducks in order, and no “are they all yours”/”you’ve got your hands full”/”god bless you” comments! Win win! It’s not very common here in NYC to have so many ducklings! xx

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