How to outsmart your kids in the grocery store


by Mia Gradney/ KHOU 11 News

Posted on July 27, 2012 at 4:26 PM

HOUSTON—Going to the grocery store can get out of control in more ways than one; especially when you have the kids in tow. A few extras can quickly add up and just trying to stay on task can cost you tons of time.

The easy solution? Leave the kids at home; however, that is not always an option especially for single mothers or women whose husbands travel extensively for work.
Katy wife and mother of two, Jennifer Rios, shops with her two boys, 6-year-old Alex and 3-year-old Nikolas. While she brings the boys along she dares not do it without a shopping list. It’s her way of outsmarting her kids at the cart. When asked, “what’s the most challenging part?”
“Keeping the boys on track,” she replied.
Alex and Nikolas are curious as they can be and full of energy. The grocery store with its colorful displays, plus treats and temptations, can easily become sensory overload, but Jennifer came with a plan that started at home. She made a shopping list in advance… to save herself both time and money. 
“We have to stick to the list,” Jennifer says.
The shopping list is by far the most useful way she involves her boys. Alex and Nikolas think it’s a game.
“Definitely taking turns. I’ll have my oldest pick the first item, or my youngest pick the first item. And they get excited because they’re helping,” points out Jennifer. “I think when they’re not helping that’s when things go awry.”
Keeping her boys involved is key to avoiding unnecessary items in her cart. Although it is not always so much about what got added to her grocery cart, but what never made it in the first place. 
Rios admits to getting home and realizing she didn’t get everything she wanted from the store because she was distracted by her children. That’s why she tries her best to keep the boys busy when they’re food shopping. 
Small tasks like gathering veggies are a big victory for mother and sons to celebrate on a grocery trip-turned-scavenger hunt. There is a prize at the end and a lesson to be learned, even if the boys don’t realize it. Best of all mom can get what she needs in a hurry; in and out in 30 minutes.