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How do you Keep your Kiddos Entertained While Grocery Shopping?!

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Alright, so I’ve received quite a few emails from readers with this question, “How do you grocery shop with kiddos in tow AND use coupons AND compare prices AND survive the trip?”

This is a great question and one that I’m very interested in hearing some tips and feedback on. Some of my suggestions (these may be basic to some of you)– bring snacks, pick the cute carts that have little cars attached (aren’t those fun to steer?) and make sure to bring along a Fisher-Price Doodle Pro (or something similar)! I also like to have my 8 year old son figure out whether using a coupon on a product or buying the store brand is a better choice. He feels very important when I let him make these decisions and I know by doing this he’s learning just how far a $1 can go when you shop smart.

Do you have any tips up your sleeve?! Any creative ways to keep your kiddos entertained? Let us know!

Join The Discussion

Comments 263

  1. Debbie

    I used to tell my children that I would buy them ANY piece of fruit from the produce section at the end of the visit if they did NOT ask me for anything else during the whole time. It’s amazing how kids come to value strawberries or cherries when they are considered a reward and a treat!

    • Mandy

      I don’t have kids but I really like this idea and someday when I do have kids, I’m totally going to use it! how smart!

    • Jaden

      I absolutely LOVE this idea! I think I’m going to try this next time I take my two year old shopping…

    • Robyn

      I absolutely love this idea. I have a 10,9,&7 year olds I have to take to the store (I home school). I’ll try this on my next trip. Thanks again.

  2. Angie

    We go to walmart and get the popcorn chicken cups from the deli…then just pay for the empty cup after. I give my 7 year old the coupon and he find the products.

    • Mrs. B

      I do the same thing w/ the popcorn chicken at Walmart! Plus, we go say HI to the lobsters in the tank. Every now and then if she gets fussy I’ll give her a toy to hold off the shelves and at the end of the trip, she has to say goodbye to the toy. She understands that she doesn’t get to take it home. She also likes to hold my coupons or the grocery list.

  3. Laura

    I have a 7, 5, and almost 3 year old, and purposefully make all three of them come shopping with me to just one or two stores on the way home from school every couple weeks. It’s kind of like an exercise in banging my head against a wall, but the goal is (and I am convinced it’s possible) that someday we will get to the point that they have all learned how to behave nicely and not act like this is the only chance they will ever have to annoy a sibling or behave like a pack of wild monkeys. Otherwise, I do most of the shopping while my older two are in school and my little one is happy to have her own bag of snacks that she can carry and select what she would like. Some stores have the little shopping carts that she can push and she likes to do that, I just have to watch out for my ankles! My kids all do have a healthy respect for my coupons though and are experts at spotting BoxTops!

    • Ashley

      Laura, I laughed out loud at your “wild pack of monkeys” comment! That is so funny, but probably because I can soooo relate to you!! Thanks for the laugh today!! πŸ™‚

      • Penny

        Ditto on that , I leave my ” pack of wild monkeys” at home so I can concentrate. I refuse to pay for a shopping cart with a TV in it, defeats the purpose of using coupons and shoppong smart.

        • Tara

          The have shopping carts with TV’s in them? Wow I have never seen that before. How much does that cost?

        • Joy R.

          On NO!! That sucks….not sure where you are but come to Texas (Houston area). At the Signature Kroger stores they are FREE!! (Wonder for how long though….hmmmmm)

        • Robyn

          They actually have those…wow…shopping has gone to a whole new level. πŸ™‚

    • Joy R.

      Bwwwwaaaaaaahahahaha!! Too funny! But yes, those little carts are a lifesaver…if you can survive getting hit and run over a million times. Or telling the little one, please don’t run over the nice lady with the walker! I LOVE the cars that now have the movies playing in them!! LIFE SAVER! And when all of that fails, my 8 and 3 yro girls each have a coupon file…. πŸ™‚ I give them each a list with 3 items and coupons to match and they get to help me shop for the items with the “baby baskets!” (So cute to see them do this!) This also is helping my 3 yro to learn to read….I will give her things like “MILK”, “APPLEs” or “EGGs”, now, she can read those words on her own!

    • Jenn

      Laura – I have an 8, 4 and almost 2 year old, so I can totally relate to your “wild pack of monkeys” and exercise in banging your head agains the wall comments. Thanks for the laugh!

  4. Anon

    I don’t take the kids and it’s much easier and faster! Husband watches them at home and if I have to bring them my kids are pretty well behaved! As long as I get fruit snacks πŸ˜‰

  5. Pamela

    If I have both my kids with me (3 year old and 9 month old) I try to limit the amount I buy and go to only one store. Snacks are always a good thing to take with us. I usually try to leave the boys home with daddy while I get away and do my more detailed shopping that requires me to concentrate (coupons, deals, more than 1 store).

  6. Myla

    I take little notepads and ask my kids to draw pictures of items we put in the cart. My son also likes to help get items off the shelf. It makes him feel important.

  7. Anneke F

    I honestly avoid it with my 17 mo. old. I go on Saturday nights all by myself and consider it some “me” time. I love to go shopping and find the best deals so this is no punishment for me. πŸ˜‰

    • Suzanne

      Ditto – I have an 18 mo old and only take him when absolutely necessary! I feel a little bad b/c I think I should be teaching him to go along and behave but I also think 1. there’s plenty of time for that (but yes, I will start when he’s still young) and 2. Mommy needs some me time! I agree with you, the shopping is fun so it’s good for me!

  8. Heather R

    i dont bring my kids, i cant, or i end up with items im not buying. i have a 3 year old, almost 2 year old and a 7 months old.

    the 2 and 3 year old have learned to unbuckle themselfs and climb out of the buggie. or they pull items of the shelf behind me and fill the buggie with stuff.

    we spend more time getting spankings then shopping.

    when i havnt had a choice but to go with them, i push the double stroller and pull the buggy, i have my coupons and everything in a baseball card holder so that i see everything without digging and searching.

    • megan

      Wow! Kudos to you! I can’t imagine shopping with 3 that little, with no one to help out! I thought it was bad with my 2 month old & my wild 20 month old!! I have yet to take them shopping together by myself! I either take 1 alone & leave the other at home with my hubby. Or we both go shopping & get 2 carts! 1 for the baby, 1 for the toddler! Daddy gets the toddler because he listens to him best! lol πŸ™‚

  9. Erin

    I don’t really have to do anything special to keep my four year old entertained. I’ve always lived close enough to stores that it was never a major ordeal to go, and when I do go, I’m usually shopping from a list, not just aimlessly browsing. My son is getting to the point that he’d rather go play with the kids at the gym or something than go to yet another store with me, so it might be a fight to get him there, but once he’s there, he generally doesn’t need anything to keep him entertained. I just talk to him while I’m shopping. He likes talking about what’s on the giant pics on the walls at Target (coffee beans, popcorn, blush, lipstick) or looking at the giant seasonal decorations they hang. At grocery stores, he keeps his eyes peeled for blinkies. At CVS, it’s the free candy samples. Sometimes I’ll let him play with a toy–something with buttons, and he’s occupied til it’s time to go. I’ve never had a problem getting him to put the toys back, either. He just doesn’t expect to keep them. I also let him pick specific products and put them in the cart (what flavor of yogurt he wants), or I let him push the cart if the store has those small kiddie carts.

  10. Stephanie Werner

    If you have a Fred Meyer nearby, the FP Doodle Pro is regularly priced at $7.50 there. Can’t believe how much more expensive it is on Amazon!

  11. SavLucEvMommy

    I usually go while my 3- and -5- year- olds are at preschool, so it is just me and my almost-2-year old. I while either bring him a snack (he is a cereal FANATIC) or grab him a free cookie from the Publix/Kroger/Target bakeries, and if he gets really cranky, I will give him my iPhone- I have lots of preschooler games and episodes of Dora, Diego, Handy Manny, and Little Einsteins on there, which he loves. This has been a HUGE help, not just for shopping, but especially for trips to the doctor or dentist with any of my kids.

  12. Kiddo Savings

    One reason I LOVE shopping at our local Super Target is I can buckle the two older kiddos in the 2 seater buggy. Stop off and get them each a small icee (useing the coupon online of course).. This keeps them entertained!!

    When I hit up Publix its usually just my oldest son & me.. I give him his own envelope & he gets to grab two of each peelie, sticky, or tab coupon he sees.. Keeps him busy and he LOVES doing it!

    • Michelle G

      Ooo, good idea. I think I will try that now. Thanks!

    • Robyn

      My girls also go around the store and get the coupons for me too (without me telling them…they really get into my couponing).

  13. BrandyK

    I almost always have my 1t6 month old with me and he has taken to wanting to try to climb out of the cart, so I now wear him on my back in my Freehand Mei Tai. He usually falls asleep now. πŸ™‚ OTOH, when my four year old is with me, it’s a constant battle, that girl is HIGH energy! I have tried everything. So far, the free balloon as entertainment and buying a container of cut watermelon to eat throughout the trip seems to work…for now. lol.

  14. Anonymous

    Lots of CANDY! lol That’s what keeps my daughter in the cart and quiet.

  15. Katie

    I try very hard to not take the 5 kids along (the oldest is 9 the youngest is 1). On the rare occasion that I do have to take them they know they have to be extremely well behaved or they won’t come again for months. When I park in the parking lot I can hear them all reminding each other, “Remember, nobody say, I want.” I always get a lot of compliments on my childrens’ behavior.

    • dawn

      that is great! i think it is awesome they “remind” eachother to behave too! nice job!

  16. Heather

    I have 4 kids & I try to either go grocery shopping when the 2 oldest are in school or I go late at night so daddy can watch them & mommy can have a break! Who would’ve thought grocery shopping would be a nice little break for me?! I love going by myself! When I do have to take my 2 younger kids I really don’t have to do much to entertain them. (Thank God!!) My 3 year old entertains himself by speaking to everyone we pass & my 1 year old stays entertained by holding my pen for me. I enjoyed reading all the comments. I might need to fall back on some of those ideas at some point. πŸ™‚

  17. Ashly

    I make my 2.5yr old a shopping list from pictures of last weeks adds. I cut out stuff we regularly buy (milk bread ect). I have her help paste them on a paper and make her list (I pull the pics of stuff I am planning to get) At the store I get my 8 mo old set and hand the 2.5yr old her list and a pen. She spots items ansd crosses off stuff as we put it in the cart. It sounds like a lot of work… but it keeps my little busy body in her seat!

    • kim

      wow -what a great idea! My little three year old would LOVE this….

    • Susan V

      OMG-I LOVE this idea! I’m so stealing it! LOL! My 2 1/2 yr old will love it!!!

  18. Nicole

    How sad is it that I have to make sure my hubby and my oyo are entertained? I’d leave them at home but normally I go to Target right after work, so I’ve got both of them in tow. They entertain each other for about 20 minutes, but my son gets cranky which makes my hubby lose his patience. So by the time we make it halfway through the store I’m pulling out snacks for dad and son πŸ™‚ That’ll pacify them until we make it to dollar section (we start out near the pharmacy), pick up a $1 toy that makes noise which gets us through the checkout. I’ve got a whole system πŸ˜‰

    • Melody

      I would laugh out loud if my son were not napping! This happens with my husband too, he loses his patience which tries my patience.. It’s honestly easier when it’s just me and my son because I know I’m the one in charge of entertaining. He’s 18 months old and really easy-going so I’m lucky. I always have a sippy cup and a snack of some kind, usually a toy. I only go when he’s well fed and well rested, no where near nap time. My trips are meticulously planned, so I’m not wandering around. I used to just check out sale prices while in store and try to match coupons, but we both ended up frustrated because it took so long. I go in for what I need and get out, I might miss out on a few deals this way, but we have more than enough stockpile! Plus, when I wander, I end up spending more money than I had originally intended.

  19. giselle

    Make a list for them, Make a fun scavenger hunt for clearance tags!! Get them excited about the deals, even my 4 year old will ask after a trip “did we do good? How much did we save?”

  20. Michelle G

    Playland at Fred Meyer is a great help. And, at grocery stores they get a cookie after shopping is done if they are good. We have left the store without cookies before, but it only happened once, now I just have to quietly say their name and look at them and they know to be good. I have 5 in my charge and we live too far out of town to bother wasting gas when my hubby gets home. I don’t make a trip into town unless I am picking my kids up from school, and I do my errands then. I think if you do it regularly, they get used to it, like anything else, let them know the expectations, and stick to them. My kids sing and talk to each other and we chose products and find coupons together. No, it’s not fun, and it does take a long time and yes, I have to have my son and his younger cousing far apart from each other or they take off and play hide and seek or pull each others hair or bit, but I can get it done. I just think when I am at my breaking point, I have it so much better than some others out there. At least I can afford a house and food to feed my family.

  21. Megan

    Never take the kids. I get off work at 12:30pm, and the kids get off the bus at 3:30. Plenty of time for grocery shopping and deal shopping without my little peeps:)

  22. What?

    I am with Erin. I just try really hard to teach my kids what I expect while out. I also provide home daycare and I teach/treat the kids I watch as my own. I have often gone to Walmart or Target with a 4yr old, 3 year old, 2 year old, and two 1 yr olds. We have clear rules on what I expect and rather than bribing them to behave, they know if they don’t they will lose a regular privilege. This way I am not loading them up with sugar, or trying to keep track of tons of snacks. I do believe in positive reinforcement, but I also believe that there is a difference between a reward and a bribe and it can be hard to keep them seperate. If I always gave the kids all candy or snacks when in a store, how would they behave if I forgot them just one time. I don’t want to set myself or the kids up for that! But also, to each his own…what ever works for each individual parent.

  23. Dana

    I have 3 boys 11,8, and 4. I do most of my shopping while the older 2 are at school and have tried various tactics to get my 4 yr. old to be quiet long enough for me to concentrate on what I’m doing. Although he’s getting big for the shopping cart, I let him sit and look at pictures on my cell phone and have been known to let him call friends and family so he’ll be busy talking while I’m busy shopping. Don’t knock it, it’s works. ☺

  24. Allison

    We like to go to Publix …they have the cart for the kids for them to drive! Also, there are free cookies from the bakery that my kids love!. We also will play games while I am shopping for example what color is a paticular fruit or what is the item called. It helps them learn new things. They are now starting to notice the blinkie machines and they start to collect them for their mommy … it is great! My kids are learning to be shopping savy at 6,4,and 2!

    • Brandy

      Don’t forget the coloring books and crayons. Instead of getting them at the end of the trip, get it when you arrive and let them color during the trip (if they’re sitting in the buggy I guess.) This probably would work until the novelty wore off…one, maybe, two times.

  25. Shelle

    Find a friend to trade shopping days and playdates! I shop on Tuesday and kids have a playdate. My friend shops on Thursday and playdate is at my house.
    It doesn’t always work out, but when it does…. it’s amazing how much I can enjoy grocery shopping without children!

    • Tara

      That’s an awesome idea! Now…to find someone who wants to swap dates with me. I don’t mind taking my 18 month old with me, but he starts to mind about halfway through, and that makes little concentration on good deals.

  26. Melissa

    My iTouch. Downloaded with Diego shows, and headphones. It’s amazing how much more I can get accomplished with my 2 year old now that I have the iTouch!

  27. Tresa Beardslee

    I have shopped w/all 4 of my kids 10, 8, 6 & 4 and I can’t say enough about organizing! There isn’t any amount of “treats” that can keep them entertained long enough! I hate shopping w/my kids. I love my kids, but would rather be shot than to shop w/all of them! I still have to take my 4 yr old with me every week because he’s not in school yet. I make sure I have everything organized by store, list coupons, etc. (shop at 4 stores every week to get all the great deals!) We live a half hour away, so I can’t make a bunch of runs into town. I shop once a week. I bring lots of snacks. He has no interest in helping me just driving me crazy while we are shopping & I’m trying to THINK!! I have brought the portable DVD Player & gotten a special movie that he can watch & that helps sometimes. I’ve tried the Leapster, but he could care less about sitting & playing that when we are in the store. It’s nice to know I’m not the only one who brings a ton of snacks! My husband thinks it’s ridiculous, but I’d like to see him try to coupon w/a “lit’l monster” in tow πŸ˜› He also has to use the restroom about 6-7 times while shopping (must have a small bladder). Very frustrating!

  28. Sheila

    Free cookies at the bakery at the end of the trip, if everyone is good.

  29. Anon

    I DON’T!! If I can avoid taking them with me- at all costs… I will…Even if it means I am in the grocery store on Friday or Saturday night at midnight!!!!! It is not even productive to have them with me… It is absolute chaos with them!

  30. Ruth

    I have a few things…
    1. I think it is important for children to learn the art of shopping. Not just spending money, but learning to behave in a store – especially if they do not like it. There is something to be said for teaching them patience in a situation they would rather not be in.
    2. I have 3 preschoolers – 5, 3, 14mo. I normally go when my 5 year is in preschool, but my normal routine before this year was to haul all of them with me each week. It was a trip! Let me tell you, but they all know what I expect of them.
    3. I always go to Meijer for most of my shopping. The big reward for my kids is the Penny Horse Ride after checkout. I consider starting my shopping trip at 10am too late. It is snack time and getting toward nap time. My goal is to be checking out by 10:45am.
    4. As for during the trip, snacks are always a good plan, but I try not to do the crumbly ones. I don’t want the store employees to see us coming and cringe! My latest gadget-y thing is to take my ipod with shows of Super Why and WordWorld and give each kid an earbud. πŸ™‚ I try not to overuse it because it eats into my premise of teaching them to learn to shop. But there are mornings that – man oh man – am I glad I have the little thing!!!! lol

  31. Magnolia

    My kids behave pretty well for smaller couponing-trips to drug stores like Walgreens or CVS (trips that take under 20 minutes)…. but for my BIG BIG every-2-weeks grocery shopping trip at Wegman’s, which can involve around 30 or 40 coupons, I will usually leave them home with Daddy. (BTW, I don’t know how many people have a Wegman’s in their area, but they have been great with all my coupons…allowing overage, no eye-rolls/annoyed cashiers… plus they double Q’s under 99 cents! Unfortunately, they don’t allow free-item-Q’s or BOGO Q’s if they are printed from the internet…. although some cashiers will push ’em thru anyhow…)
    If the kids come along, I usually utilize W-Kids, an in-store childcare area in Wegman’s…My kids love it!

  32. Amy

    I love shopping with kids. It is a routine we will treasure and hopefully pass along ..So, we all hit the Produce section first and they get to pick 2 kinds of fruit each and bag them. The kids are 6 and 8. They love their fruit picking time!! The rest of the grocery trip they well behaved!

  33. Aspen

    I take all three of them (4 yrs, 2.5 yrs, and 1 yr. )! One hangs on the back – his job is to put the stuff on the bottom of the cart, one sits inside the basket – her job is to separate the groceries into transaction piles, and one sits in the baby seat. It’s an adventure, but they are pretty good.

  34. Aaryn

    My husband, two litlte boys and I all go to Kroger after church on Sundays. We use two carts (my husband puts the boys in one of the car ones and I have a regular one). My husband gets the boys goodies from the sample bins around the store and a few things on my list, and I get the rest (and hold on to the coupons). We are in and out in 30 minutes, and it works out great b/c they are just doing the store markdowns as we get there. I usually go to Target once a week with my almost two year old while my 3 1/2 year old is in school and he does awesome without anything. He just likes to put the items in the cart and be “Mommy’s big boy helper.”

  35. Tracey

    I let my 3 year old use my iphone to play a few preschool apps that I have on there! She loves it!

  36. michelle

    OUr store has kid sized cars so my 3 year old pushes his cart while I have my 1 yo in the big cart i am pushing. My 3yo gets to pick out a couple coupons of things he is going to “buy” basically his snack or cereal or something and they go in his cart. Our store has cookies for kids too. So first thing my 1yo says when we go into the store is “CaaCaa” (meaning cracker or cookie) (c:

  37. Becca

    A lot of grocery stores in my area and where my parents are in Va will give your a FREE, yes FREE cookie at the bakery. Nothing fancy usually a sugar or chocolate chip cookie but it is a GREAT reward if they can behave for half the trip. If they can get through half or most of the shopping trip then we can go and get the free cookie from the bakery. I Don’t let them get it in the beginning because it leaves too much time for them to act up afterwards and they get too fussy to close to the end… plus the sugar kicks in right about the time we get home so they can run it off while I put things away!

  38. Erin

    Be totally prepared! I do little sponatious couponing when my kids are with me. (They are 3 and 1 year old.) I try to stick to my list of matchups that I prepared and sorted by isle before my trip. And snacks are a must!

  39. Rita

    I try to rememer to bring his coloring book & crayons.

  40. Ashley W.

    I keep my daughters Nintendo DS in my purse…….it hasn’t failed me yet!

  41. Dee

    I enjoy taking my 13yo son with me. He has become quite helpful! Just yesterday, he spotted a rebate form on a product and said “Hey mom, after this rebate and your coupons, this would make a really good moneymaker!” *Sniffle, sniffle*, I am so proud of my big guy!! He is becoming quite the little savings finder!

    While I shop from my list, he is my spotter for clearance merchandise, and checks for coupons in my binder for them. It works out well.

  42. KRISTA

    I take my 3 year old, and as long as I make him feel helpful then he is very good. I ask him to hold my coupons that I am going to use so I can keep track. And then I bring the Leapster for when he get’s bored with that. It requires a little bit of multi-tasking, but we play games while shopping or I just talk to him to keep him entertained. And he helps me pick out things, he loves to smell the laundry detergents. Weird I know!

  43. Jennifer

    I prefer to take no children at all. I typically shop at night when my kids go to bed. I do usually stop at Giant Eagle after my daughter’s ballet class on Wed. nights since it is not close to our house but is close to there. I go with a list and coupons ready. My 4 year old daughter is entertained by looking for blinkies and getting me coupons from them! She’ll bring one to me and ask “how many of this one do you want”. So she’ll stand there and wait for them to come out. Totally keeps her occupied! She’s my coupon helper!

  44. BeataS

    Get them involved in the shopping process! My daughter, who is 4 1/2, loves to have her own mini grocery cart, which most stores have nowadays, and she gets to have her own shopping list, with snacks, fruit and other items that she can add to her cart. She has so much fun doing this. πŸ™‚

    • katrina

      none of our store in my area have mini shopping carts. that would be awesome! (:

  45. mamabear

    I have a 5yr and a 18mo old and they both go with me everytime. I hand my 5yr old a coupon and tell her to find whats on the pic. so its like a scavenger hunt. As for the boy, well we do what we can to keep him from tearing up the store πŸ™
    1. keep it short
    2. coupon organization
    3.SNACKS!

  46. Michelle

    Well- I have a 3.5 year old BOY… meaning energy is high and attention span is short, and I really have to watch for random items ending up in our cart if we get too close to something tempting πŸ˜‰ I came home with 4 extra boxes of jello once, that, well- were at least cheap and always come in handy!

    This is what I do when he is my shopping partner :

    Target… popcorn is amazing incentive, cheap and keeps hands busy. We also stop by the dollar bins on the way IN- pick out a few books to browse through, and by the end of the trip he is done with them, so we put them back. Yes, we actually walk to the bins and replace them, we do not ditch πŸ˜‰

    Stickers and notepads, envelopes… whatever scrap paper you have handy. Usually the cart gets decorated too.

    Sometimes I let him walk for a while with me first, or at least let him pick out what cart he will be riding in… this seems to help with having to sit for so long. I mean- really- is that plastic seat very comfortable? little legs dangling and probably falling asleep? I’d whine too.

    I talk to him, not at him- we discuss what we are buying, what it’s used for, what color we want to get if there is a choice… what is his favorite… yadda yadda. It makes shopping fun, and I really cringe when I see the poor mom at her wits end screaming at 3 kiddos down the cereal aisle. It does not have to be that way, especially when the cursing starts… yikes. ( note: I have been that mom screaming, at just 1 kid- so believe me I am not throwing stones here! it happens! but I don’t say bad words…lol)

    other than that, I wait until Dad get’s home. Not always an option, business keeps him out of town a month at a time, so I have learned to be very creative!

  47. Leigh Ann

    I only have two kids–boys 3 and 6–so it’s not as crazy for me as you amazing mommas with four or five kids…you guys rock! My secret is that I NEVER, NEVER-EVER, EVER go to the store without my list made, coupons already pulled and everything organized by aisle. It is incredibly anal-retentive, I know, and yes–occasionally I miss out on deals because I don’t tend to carry my entire coupon stash with me to the store, but I can get in and out with both boys without any meltdowns, tantrums or extra junk in my cart. They know if it’s not on the list, we don’t buy it. It takes more time on the front end to get organized, but I do it in the evenings after they’re in bed so I can think (relatively) clearly. It’s my little system and it works like a charm. I hope that it’s teaching my little rugrats about controlling impulse buying urges as well as seeing the value of a dollar.

    Oh. And my other secret is that I never ever go to WalMart with my children. I don’t know why, but they either pump some sort of freakish chemicals into the air of that place or do something to the lights that only children can see that turns smiling, well-behaved children into maladjusted, screaming freak-children. So yeah–no Wal Mart for our gang.

  48. Susan

    I have several methods that I use with my 5 year old, who thinks he’s old enough that he shouldn’t have to sit in the kiddy seats anymore.
    1. I get packaged crackers and let him munch on them as we shop.
    2. I let him pick “flavors” if we don’t have a specific type of something we are looking for.
    3. I make up silly songs to sing to him as we go around the store, like, “Stinky sock, stinky sock, you smell really bad! Stinky sock, stinky sock, don’t be mad.”
    4. He keeps track of what’s on my list, and he can usually find things on the shelves. (He can read.)
    5. If he gets out of hand I’ll tell him that we aren’t going to play any games when we get home if he doesn’t shape up.
    6. If he sees anything on the shelf that he wants he always asks me, “Do we have a coupon for that?” Cause he knows that if we don’t he isn’t getting it! πŸ™‚
    7. Even with all of these things I do, I’m usually exhausted by the time I get home.

  49. Lisa

    I use the Leapster . I love it and so does my son(age 5) – since I am not big into kids plugged into video games the leapster is the exception since I choose the games( non hero) educational ones. I use it for longer car trips, grocery store, waiting for food at a restaurants and waiting at the doctors office.

  50. katrina

    When I really want to compare shop I leave the kids at home. However, when I do take them along I let them pick from the coupons what treat they want. We never used to buy all the goodies like gushers and fruit roll ups but now that I coupon we can get them for next to nothing so they are just excited to be getting those things. My 8 year old is really into couponing. He looks for the clearance isles because he knows we can find good deals and he might be able to pick up a cute toy for really cheap. (:

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