GROCERY SHOPPING WITH YOUR TODDLER CAN EASILY BECOME A REWARDING LIFE SKILL FOR THEM.
Parents who bring their kids grocery shopping know how important it is to keep them occupied.The last thing any parent wants is to have their children throw tantrums at the grocery store. It only prolongs the grocery shop and adds stress to what could be a fun shopping trip of grocery games.
Growing up my siblings and I would goof off at the grocery store and not give much notice to the food that surrounded us. In essence we kept each other busy which seems like a parenting win although my parents missed a valuable opportunity to educate us about where we were, what we were doing there and why it was important.
Missed opportunity means- you can’t get the time back but you can certainly get back into the game when needed. It was too late for us kids as we eventually stayed home and played while our parents went grocery shopping. As I got older I found grocery shopping to be relaxing and fun for me because it puts me in a happy place. I love to cook and to me food really is love.
Even when I moved out and bought my first flat I was intrigued about grocery shopping so much that I’d do it a few times a week. It was mainly because I enjoyed it but also because my refrigerator was tiny so I had to do frequent grocery shops.
Becoming a Dad
When our son was just a baby he had toys dangling from his car seat which one of us would push him around in with the stroller. This seemed to keep him occupied and happy while we quickly did our grocery shopping. Even better was when he was fast asleep in the vehicle which meant a quiet shopping trip was on the horizon.
Fast forward two years and we have a toddler who is inquisitive about EVERYTHING.
The infant car seat is gone, the stroller is gone and he’s ready to take on the world like an adult. Hey, wait a minute little dude you’re only two and a half. So? Kids don’t care and expect to soak up as much new information as they can when and wherever they are. I should also add at any time of day. Yawn, that’s why parenting can be a struggle for parents who need their sleep but can’t get it.
Any time we go grocery shopping we do our best to make sure our son is well rested so he’s alert and happy instead of in a mood. Although we can’t always avoid it we’ve found it’s best to have a happy baby then one that is sleepy and unhappy because they can’t sleep. There’s no where left to sleep for him but uncomfortable spots, in the shopping cart or in our arms.
The minute we walk through the door at Zehrs our son points to the coupon board and says, “coupons” and it melts our hearts. We walk over to the board while Mrs. CBB is off and away with our grocery list. I hang out with our son and we play grocery games that he absolutely loves.
Grocery Games begin
What I’ve found out being a new parent is that kids have the attention span of a gold-fish. He flip-flops from one thing to the next especially if he is overstimulated by certain environments such as the grocery store.
The grocery store is big, lots of lights, filled with people but most of all he knows there is chocolate hiding somewhere in the store. Ha! Since our son clings to me at the grocery store Mrs. CBB and I have devised a plan that works for our family.
When you grocery shop at Zehrs one of the coolest things they offer for parents and kids is free fruit and a free cookie from the bakery. Kids like their food samples too you know. I’ve used these free snacks as prizes for our son when he successfully wins the grocery games we play.
One of the biggest perks from playing grocery games with our son is that he has shown a big interest in cooking and being in the kitchen. He helps us peel onions, chop stuff with his plastic knife, stir cake batters etc.
Almost every recipe you see on this blog recently he has participated in creating by helping to stir or crack eggs. It’s quite amusing to watch him get right into the kitchen fun with us since Mrs. CBB and I both love cooking.
Just recently we decided that we would buy him a play kitchen so he had his own space. I was lucky to find a wood kitchen from Melissa and Doug for $60 on Kijiji- score! All it needed was a bit of cleaning and a stock up and it was ready for our little chef.
His new kitchen occupies part of our kitchen which is great because when we cook, he cooks too. We’ve stocked his refrigerator with empty food boxes, egg carton with Dollar store eggs and all sorts of bits.
Knowing that we’ve got his attention in the kitchen is important to us. We find it’s essential in providing him grocery games that educate him about the food he eats.
I’m almost certain that most adults don’t think about having fun at the grocery store especially with their kids. The problem is you’re missing out on a valuable resource that can teach your child a life skill.
Over the past year I’ve come up with 3 grocery games that we play from the moment we get into the grocery store. I don’t expect everyone to do the same as we do but I’m hoping to inspire some of you who cringe at the thought of bringing your kids to the grocery store.
Forget the worry and add some grocery games. It may add a bit of time to your grocery shop if you’re alone with the kids but think about how much better it will be without whining or the tantrum.
3 Grocery Games I Play With Our Son While Shopping
Never stop educating your children. Just because you think something is silly others might find it fun like your child will. I’m almost certain that when your kids grow older you’ll find stories to chat about. I was called, “The Dude” from our son the other day.” I’m not sure where that came from or whether that means I’m a cool dad.
Colours and Shapes
We also explore colours and shapes throughout the store. It could be marketing signs, pre-made hamburgers, 1lb of butter, cheese packaging etc. it could be the shape of the box or the shape of the fruit. He knows his shapes very well and practices them everywhere he goes including hexagon, pentagon and octagon.
It’s amazing how well he concentrates when it comes to education and playing these grocery games. If we left him in the cart and simply did our grocery shopping we know we’d be missing out on a weekly opportunity to encourage our child to explore the grocery store.
Always make sure to celebrate the win with a yummy treat. This way your child will want to go grocery shopping especially if they know there is a prize waiting for them at the end.
Name that Fruit and Vegetable
We spend the largest portion of the grocery shop playing grocery games in the produce section. Why? There are so many fruits and vegetables to go through and he loves it. You can hear him shouting out loud sometimes, apples, bananas, oranges, mushroom, carrots.
The other shoppers find it fascinating and cute. My goal is to have him know what everything is before he turns 18, ha. While we are playing our grocery games we make a pit stop at the free fruit stand for kids and pick out a banana or apple. I let him pick what he wants to give him that freedom he craves at the grocery store. This becomes part of the grocery games we play because he feels in control of the situation.
We play the how many grocery games which encourages our son to count. He’s already up to over 30 which we’re pleased with. What I typically do with the math games is hold up a number of products and ask him to count them.
Sometimes we count all of the jugs of almond milk in the dairy section which he finds amusing for some reason. I think because he can actually touch them as the bunker is wide open and at his level.
A little fun goes a long way especially if it’s meant to help educate your child about what they will one day have to do themselves.
By the end of the grocery games he is exhausted especially if he’s been on the ground walking as the store is quite big. As Mrs. CBB is checking out we’re waiting in front of the cashiers to help bag the groceries and push the conveyor belt button.
Bringing your child grocery shopping is one thing but finding out what types of grocery games appeal to them can be rewarding for the parent and the child. Establish boundaries, offer rewards for successful completion of grocery games and allow your child to lead the way. Soon enough he/she will be doing the grocery shopping for you. See- Parenting Win.
Discussion Question: Do you play any grocery games with your child/children at the grocery store? Please share them in the comment section as I’d love to try them with our son and I’m sure others would enjoy reading about them too.
March/April Grocery Game Challenge
Join in the 2017 Grocery Game Challenge (GGC) fun and post your grocery shop in the comment section of each GGC blog post. Here are The Grocery Game Challenge rules to get you started and where you’ll also find a link for the 2017 GGC schedule. Please feel free to download, save and even print the schedule.
Post your shop and you can be next.
New monthly prize: See the Grocery Game Rules
March 2017 Blog Posts:
- Our weekly menu plan based on a $265 Grocery Budget– GGC #1
- Critical 6 Point Consumer Exit Grocery Store Check-list– GGC #2
- 4 Expensive Impulse Purchases You Should Dodge– GGC #3
- 10 Everyday Products You Should Sniff Test Before Buying– GGC #4
Free Money Saving Tools 2017
Click, Save and Print. It’s that easy!
This is the budget that brought us to debt freedom back in 2013 and now I’m offering to all of you for FREE. We still use this budget every month as it helps us to see our overall financial picture.
Free Money Saving Downloads are awesome lists that were created to get us on track to work towards reaching our budgeting goals and now we are sharing them with you.
Get organized with a FREE freezer inventory, meal plan, shopping list, price comparison list and much more all for FREE.
CLICK HERE to download all the free lists and even our family budget spreadsheet. So many free resources at your fingertips.
Ultimate Grocery Shopping Guide 2017
The Ultimate Grocery Shopping guide is ongoing with new informative money-saving posts added every month.
Even if you don’t live in Canada there are some amazing budget saving tips that will help put you on the path to more savings at the supermarket.
Share this guide with your friends and tell them about Canadian Budget Binder especially if they are struggling with their grocery budget.
The time is NOW to get started saving money on groceries so please enjoy the many money-saving posts in the The Ultimate Grocery Shopping Guide.
2017 Grocery Shop Results
Yearly grocery budget for two + 1 Toddler 2017: $3180 or $265/mth
(The above total does not include the stockpile budget of $300/year or $25/month.
Points Overview (add any other sections you need to show us your savings)
- Total Grocery Budget for this Month: $265
- Total Grocery Budget with any carry-overs $265
- Total Gift Cards used to date: $0
- Total Rewards Points redeemed this week: $0
- Total Rewards Points used to date: $0
- PC Points Plus Earned to date: 431,000
- Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP) to date $0
- Shoppers Optimum: Just under 850,000 Optimum points (I will update this twice a year) $1500 worth of free stuff.
Coupon Apps (add any other apps you use to save money)
- Zweet to cash out : $18.25
- Checkout51 to cash out : $24.50
Our Grocery Shop This Week
All totals below already have tax factored into them.
This was a no-shop week for us but we’ll back into the swing of things for April starting next week.
- Total to spend this month : $265
- Stockpile budget 2016 : $25.00
- Stockpile budget used this month: $10.99
- Total coupons used this week: $0
- Total coupons used to date: $0
- Total in-store discounts this week: $0
- Total in-store discounts to date: $67.91
- Total spent this week: $0
- Total spent so far this month: $263.60
- Total over/Under spend this shop: over
- Total over/Under spend for the month: n/a
- Total left to spend for the month: $1.40
- Total Spent To Date 2017: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan $231.06+Feb $255.16+March ($5 budget increase) $263.60
Weekly Overview (your final thoughts)
I can’t believe it will be April this weekend. Although we are only 4 months into the grocery game I want to point out that shopping this year has been easier so far. After putting into play just about everything I talk about on this blog whether from the fans or stuff we create has helped us lower our bills and keep our son engaged at the grocery store.
That’s our food shopping week!!
Coupons and Coupon Apps
Here are some great places you can find Canadian Coupons! These are your latest Checkout 51 offers which you can use to help save money. We’re finding less and less coupons in the stores these days. What are your thoughts? Are coupon apps taking over the paper coupons?
If you notice I’m missing a valuable link please message me and I’ll get it added to the savings list below.
Sign up for the Nielsen Canada Home Scan Program and you can earn rewards points fast to redeem for awesome products or gift cards. I did this in the UK and loved it!!
Plus check out these other hidden areas online to get more coupons!!
If any of these links are broken please report them to me.
- Healthy Essentials Printable Coupons (Johnson and Johnson)
- Danone Coupons Get up to $25 in coupons
- Clorox Coupons Sign up to print coupons in the Clorox family which include Greenworks, Glad etc.
- Kraft Canada Sign up and receive recipes and coupons by email
- MySavings.com Printable Smart Source Coupons
- Walmart Canada Printable Coupons
- Proctor and Gamble PandG Sign up for printable coupons
- Hidden Coupon Portals You Should know about – I found this over at Save a Loonie and you’ll want to sign up for notifications and check out the site so you get notified every time a hidden coupon is available from Save.ca, Brandsaver, Smart Source etc.
Grocery Game Challenge 2017 FAQ’s
- Grocery Game Challenge RULES: Read the rules first and if you have any questions email me or comment on this post with your question and someone will answer you as soon as possible. The rules have been updated to reflect changes for the 2017 challenge year.
- Do I have to be Canadian to post my Grocery Shop?: No, you don’t have to be Canadian to post your shops. We have fans who post their grocery shop who live all over the world.
- What is the monthly prize and who can claim it?- The monthly prize is a $10-$20-$50 PC Loblaws Gift Card and for our out of country friends it’s $CDN via PayPal. Please see GGC rules.
- When does the Grocery Game close each month?: The Grocery Game Challenge closes at midnight of the last Sunday of the last post for the month but you will still get a ballot when you post your shops even if they are late but I encourage you to stay on schedule. If you choose to post monthly or bi-weekly you will only get 1 ballot for that shop. It’s a proven fact the minute we stop doing something scheduled that we end up forgetting to do it altogether. Don’t let that be you! You can post your shops all month-long.
- Does your Grocery Budget include health and beauty and laundry products?: No, our Grocery Budget includes such items as shampoo, conditioner, laundry soap, fabric softener, dish soap etc. As of 2014-2015 we no longer include such items in our grocery budget so we can see actual food numbers at the end of the year in order to plan accordingly our budget.
- Do you stockpile food? We don’t mind stockpiling items that won’t be affected by expiry dates or have long expiry dates but not so much food any longer as we found we weren’t eating it fast enough. Stockpiling is still great and just one way to help cut your budget to save money if you do find items that you can buy in bulk at a sale price.
- Canadian Coupons:Where can I find Canadian Coupons?: Here are your latest Checkout 51 offers that you can use to help you save money in the Grocery Game Challenge. There are many great Canadian Couponing websites online that share weekly coupon match-ups so you can plan your grocery list.
- Best Coupon Apps: Coupons are slowly fading with mobile coupon apps being the big rave these days. Just recently the popular coupon site Save.ca that mailed coupons to households has gotten involved with the addition of a new mobile Save.ca app joining forces with the many other coupon apps available. If you find an app that I don’t talk about please let me know as they are always being added and I’d like to review them.
- What is the Best Flyer App- We use Flipp on our Iphone so if you wan to have all your flyers in one spot download Flipp from the Apple Store or get it on Google Play.
- What is an FPC?: An FPC is a free product coupon which means you can get a free product as described on the coupon.
- What is GGC?– The Grocery Game Challenge of course!
- How Do I Know what stores accept coupons?: If you are not sure it’s always best to call the store and ask.
- How Do I Grocery Shop?: I can tell you about grocery shopping and what we do in terms of shopping to save money and how it works for us. There are no wrong or right answers, just smart choices.
Nobody is perfect, heck we struggle with this part of our budget like many people do. This is why The Grocery Game Challenge is one of the most popular hang out spots for people who want to save money on groceries.
If you’ve just joined The Grocery Game Challenge 2017 get ready to look at your grocery budget by learning;
- Where you are spending money
- How much money you are spending
- How much money you are saving every month
If you want to learn everything I know about grocery shopping in Canada check out my Ultimate Grocery Shopping Guide! It’s FREE!
If you know a topic that should be discussed send me an email. If I use your topic I will put your name in a draw for a prize at the end of the year.
You’ve made a wise decision to take control of your grocery budget now show me your shops and let’s get saving!
Welcome to The Grocery Game Challenge 2017!
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