Thursday, June 14, 2012

OW. FOR REAL.

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So in the spirit of teaching my kids stuff (#111 - 116)  (and also in the spirit of Our Cupboards They are Barren), yesterday we went to Smiths to learn about grocery shopping and using an ATM card.

(I love Smiths Marketplace.  The warm fuzzies some of you have for Target, I reserve for Smiths.)

(If there isn't a Smiths by our new house I am totally cancelling the lease.)

I let the kids (including the two year old) (DANGER DANGER) each take a cart and then we proceeded to v-e-r-y  s-l-o-w-l-y make our way through the store.

VERY SLOWLY.

Leading four kids with four carts (including one kid who continually shouts "I SMASH YOU") through a crowded grocery store = total insanity.

(I am not even kidding when I say that my heels were bloody by the time we got out of there.)

(DO NOT GIVE A TWO YEAR OLD A CART.  It is TOO. MUCH. POWER. for them to handle.)

(Also, WHY IN THE NAME OF HEAVEN don't the mini-grocery carts have bumpers?  WHY? WHY?)

(Other things my children learned yesterday: two new swears.  I'm so proud.)


I gave the three oldest lists.  For Megan (10) and Emma (9), the lists were general (bread, eggs, 2% milk, toilet paper, bananas, generic light canned pears) (which meant that we had to talk about what "generics" were) and I asked them to look at the different prices to see what the best deals were.

We talked about how sometimes an item might look like it's cheaper, but if you look at the size/number of ounces you are actually paying more. I also gave them each a budget and had them try to figure out if they had enough money for the things in their cart.

For Jake (7), we kept things a little simpler.  His list was pretty specific (Powerade Zero, Comet, etc.) in most cases.  When it wasn't specific, say for "cereal", I had him pick out the three cereals he liked best and then we compared what the prices were and picked the least expensive option.

Josh, meanwhile, was randomly throwing every kind of crap on the face of the earth into his cart (Goldfish! Oreos! Fudge Sticks! French Vanilla Cappuccino!) and as soon as he put something in, I went behind him and put it back on the shelf (although he was pretty insistent about the fudge sticks).

For my own sanity I didn't just let them take off, I made them stay on the same general aisle and pick out their stuff as we went along.  The other shoppers were not all that thrilled that we were continually blocking the aisles (other than the grandmas who by and large thought we were all ADORABLE JUST ADORABLE), but we tried to smooth things over with lots of "excuse mes" and by quickly moving out of the way as much as possible.  (Teaching politeness and grocery store etiquette, CHECK.)

When we were (finally) (FINALLY) done (seriously, this took FOREVER, but it was fun - other than, er, the part where MY HEELS WERE BLEEDING) (HAVE I MENTIONED MY HEELS WERE BLEEDING?  NO?), we took over two of the self-check stations so that two kids could check out while I helped them, while the remaining kid could attempt to keep Josh from absconding to Mexico.

They entered our fresh value card id number, checked and bagged their own groceries (including the produce), swiped their coupons, and then I let them use the debit card to pay (their favorite part, bar none).  (SECRET CODE.)  (DRUNK WITH POWER.)  The girls were very impressed by the How Much You Saved Today part of the receipt and kept reminding me How Much We Saved You Today Which Probably Means You Should Buy Us Slurpees.

I am nothing if not totally addicted to slurpees right now (SUGAR FREE mango - 20 calories for 8 ounces ARE YOU KIDDING ME), so that was our next stop.  At the Sev (as we like to call it in the hood) I gave them each some change and had them each take their own drinks to the counter and figure out how much change they needed to give the clerk.

I can't say that the clerk was all that thrilled to be part of our object lesson, but there was nobody else in the store so - SHUT IT grumpy store clerk.

They really loved this.  Megan took her receipt home and put it in her scrapbook, that's how much of an impression the whole thing made on her.  (The children's museum trip they took earlier in the day with their awesome babysitter - apparently not worthy of recording, but GROCERY SHOPPING WITH MOM = A DAY TO REMEMBER.)

We will definitely do this again, and next time I want to talk more about what KINDS of foods to buy - looking at ingredient labels, how to pick out fruit, etc.

And next time I will LEAVE JOSH AT HOME.

(I love you Josh, you little turd.)

31 comments:

  1. I love all of you turds. You are one brave mama, trying these unthinkable grocery stunts.

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    1. Brave or stupid. One or the other. xoxoxo

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  2. All I can say is....W.A.Y. T.O. G.O! I should have done this with all of you when you were growing up. On the other hand, no. Grocery shopping way my only "me" time.

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    1. I remember that we used to beg you to take us shopping and the LOOK you would give us was like - MY PRECIOUS. MY PRECIOUS. It still makes me laugh, and I understood it, even as a kid. Also I remember that one of the reasons you gave us was that then we would beg for ALL O THE JUNK.

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  3. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for teaching your kids common grocery shopping courtesies. You should do workshops on the topic - namely, how to navigate a grocery store without blocking the aisle with your person/cart/kids/etc. etc. and thus, incurring the frustration and fuming of fellow shoppers. (As if you don't have enough to do already.) Just saying - there's a need out there for this.

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    1. I would teach a workshop. It would be called I AM A HUGE AISLE BLOCKING HYPOCRITE BUT AT LEAST I APOLOGIZE AFTERWARD. ;>

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    2. Be thou not a hypocrite and be thou a good example. At least you apologize and are not totally clueless of the log jammed you've caused. I admit that I have been guilty of this sin on occasion. I feel like an idiot when I do it because grocery store aisle blocking probably one of my top pet peeves.

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  4. You probably, I'm sure, did not mean for this post to make me feel guilty. I'll just try to covert the guilt feelings into inspiration. I definitely want to do this with my kids. But . . . maybe one kid at a time. Because just reading this exhausted me.

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    1. This is my whole goal in life, instilling guilt in my peers. HOW DID YOU KNOW.

      (Although I'm sure you don't swear at your kids. So there's that.)

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  5. Convert, not covert. Since obviously my guilt feelings are right out there in the open.

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  6. Grocery carts clipping the back of my ankle is one of my greatest fears in life. That is a painful injury for sure!
    I took my kids to the store all the time with me and made them participate. Now I've got a 17 year old that can manage all our household shopping on her own, and basically manage our finances.
    btw - love your blog and am enjoying summertime fun vicariously through other peoples blogs. All our kids are college age now, and summers are a lot less fun at our house. They'd better hurry and start sending some grandkids our way.

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  7. Oh my gosh Sue, so funny! Absconding to Mexico, hahahahaha!!!!! Would you believe that for years, YEARS, I never even thought to look at the per ounce price for cereals and only bought boxes under a certain dollar amount. So dumb. I think it was only in that last year or two I actually though DUH...now (finally) my kids know...if it isn't a cereal under twenty cents an ounce...don't even ask for it. Speaking of FUN grocery store experiences...imagine me, holding a one-year-old who couldn't sit up due to a mild stroke at birth, dragging a screaming two-year-old along the ground by his leash (Yes, I was THAT Mom) and pushing my cart with my ginormous pregnant belly. Fun times. Fun times. I really can't believe I survived those days of 3 baby boys in 2 1/2 years! It's great material for guilt tripping them now though! Ha!

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    1. I hear you Michelle. When my oldest kids were little, I had a 3 year old, 2 year old, and baby. We had groceries DELIVERED, The End.

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    2. That's because you are MUCH smarter than me! Ha!

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  8. We tried the mini-cart a couple of months ago. ONCE. Because I almost killed my child due to the anger of the cart smashing. So kudos that yours are all still living.

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    1. I don't know what else is as good for creating quick bolts of irrational fury.

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  9. Wow. Just wow. I'm planning on going to Costco today and stocking up FOR THE ENTIRE SUMMER, just so I don't have to take my kids grocery shopping.

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  10. Wow. I would have never thought of doing something like this, but this is a GREAT idea. What a way to teach them how far money goes and actually how to even shop. I wonder how many kids leave home and have never had to buy their own groceries.

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  11. There is a special place in hell for the person who first thought of the idea of giving kids their own mini-carts at the grocery store. No. Just...no. I do not have patience any more to do what you did. My children will grow up to be consumer ignoramuses (ignorami?) and I DON'T CARE.

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  12. Anonymous11:47 AM

    I am not brave enough to do this. Or crazy enough.

    You have lucky kids. I'm sure they know.

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  13. Oh man you are one brave brave woman. Something inside me snaps when I get hit in the heels at the grocery store. I become a nasty nasty mom! But really one day I will suck it up and be brave enough to do this. Cause my mama did and it is one of the best lessons we learned.

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  14. This is truly one of those life skills that everyone needs, but few ever learn early enough!! I was always with my mom when she did grocery shopping. (As an only child, I went everywhere with mom!)

    Even though mom never gave me specific "learn to shop" lessons, I learned anyway...by osmosis I guess! lol!

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  15. Well, I let my 4 youngest walk about a mile to the pet shop to look at the pets--all by themselves--after they finished their chores today, so I think I can keep my Supermom title, after all. But I do want to get up the courage to teach them to grocery shop sometime soon, too.

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  16. One of my favorite posts in my Teach Your Teen to be a Smart Shopper, but you've got me beat starting the process with kids this age. I think its such an important skill that many parents fail to teach. Now my sons come home bragging when they find a good deal on something and I was so proud of them. Of course they are usually finding a good deal on Satan worshipper shirts at Hot Topic or something, but hey at least they aren't paying full price for them!

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  17. I need to do this with my kids, thanks for the idea.

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  18. You're killing me Sue! My kids are lucky to get a hot meal, much less help me shop for it :-) Every time I take Janie grocery shopping, I remember that one of the definitions of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results :-)

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  19. YOU are one brave lady. NEVER would I have attempted to take my kids (had 5) to the grocery store like that. You know, the bleeding heels and all. Plus my nerves would have got the best of me, and someone might die......just saying.
    GOOD JOB though and a great teaching experience for the kiddos.

    It was nice to see you visited my blog............I've followed you off and on for a couple of years now, and recently lost contact again.
    So, I'll be in touch girl.

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  20. SUE! How dare you keep on writing hilarious stuff while I fell off the face of earth for a few months. THE NERVE OF SOME PEOPLE. Sheesh. But rest assured, I am going to attempt to keep my head above water long enough to check in regularly, so you may now resume the hilarity, without guilt. You're welcome.

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  21. And by the way, great momming. If your daughter scrabooks her receipt, I'm pretty sure it means you get to go straight to heaven. Nice job.

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  22. Anonymous10:14 AM

    I WANT A SUGAR-FREE MANGO SLURPEE RIGHT NOW. *pouts*

    - swizzly

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  23. Oh my goodness. This post made me laugh so hard!! And, as was said earlier, thank you for teaching your babies shopping etiquette. Your story reminded me of a few weeks ago when my 3-year-old spotted one of those teeny tiny shopping carts and as we went through the store, I kept hearing horrible noises behind me. I'd turn around a look and I kid you not, she had that thing up on 2 wheels. The wheels were all sorts of "eeeeeeeeeek quit it, you're hurting us eeeeek"

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