I heart Target. Doesn’t everyone? It’s such a beautiful, peaceful place, filled with aisle after aisle of ways to fuel my nasty shopping addiction. For me, Target is retail therapy at its best. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good old fashioned mall trip when I’m feeling the blues, but the mall is filled with things that don’t fit my post-two-baby-body, and that I can’t afford. Yes, I love to shop at Target. The only issue I have with the place is their lack of daycare. I mean really, wouldn’t that be a goldmine? Until that day arrives, I’m forced to enter my favorite place in the world with two whiney toddlers in tow. Ugh. My boys are, for the most part, well-behaved. But any well-behaved child can grow a couple horns and a tail when they are forced to be buckled into a cart and simply look at all the things they want to get their hands (and mouths) on. I think I would despise the place too. The trick to avoiding this fate is to make it an enjoyable experience for all.
- Give in to popcorn - It may seem over-indulgent to buy your kids a snack just so you can go shopping, but I’m here to tell you I’m not above it. You have to ask yourself which is worse: not being able to shop without a snack in your child’s hand, or have your children continually rebel against shopping trips. I made my choice. If you are shopping at Target or other superstore, you can easily find coupons on their website or even via smart phone which make popcorn and other snacks dirt cheap, so you don’t have to feel guilty about spending the money. It only took me one instance of my son dropping a half bag of popcorn ALL OVER the aisle for me to start bringing little bowls with handles. Now when they drop it, I can manage the clean-up by myself. And don’t forget drinks/sippy cups, it doesn’t make sense to pay for drinks too.
- Better yet, eat lunch there - A lot of grocery stores in our area have great food options, even if they are a bit pricey. Target’s food is affordable and many Walmarts have McDonalds or Subways. The trip becomes more like a fun event, rather than a chore. Once properly fed your child will be a lot less likely to melt down. Just make sure it isn’t near naptime!
- Do the work at home! - Don’t wander the aisles aimlessly trying to think of something else you need. Check the circulars from your Sunday paper, or online, so you already know what is on sale. Keep a good list, then stick to it while at the store. It keeps the cost down as well! Save browsing for times when you can escape your house without the kids.
- If you are an extreme couponer- wear a backpack - You will look silly, but it makes getting in and out of the store that much easier. You can also tote anything your kid will need as well.
- Bring a friend - Who says playdates have to be at a park, your home or even the mall? Meet for lunch, then get some shopping done while catching up and letting your kids interact from cart to cart. You might get a little more talking done than shopping, but at least you can check the essentials off your list.
- Let them help - If your child is older, let them help with a few things on the list.
By guest blogger Joanna from the Bragging Mommy