Grocery Shopping Alternatives for the Busy Mom (or “I Can’t Go to the Store with All My Kids!”)

Going through those sliding glass doors with all the kids, armed with my shopping list and a well-planned route through the store, can be likened to a “mission impossible”. So, when I come home with all the groceries intact and all the children accounted for, it’s mission accomplished!

But, I admit, there are days when I’m willing to forego the thrill of grocery shopping with the kids because, well … it’s safer to stay home. So, my wonderful husband receives that all-too-familiar text message in the afternoon: “Sweetie, can you stop by the store on your way home? Milk, eggs, bananas, chocolate hazelnut gelato.” (Yes, the gelato is for me … don’t judge.)

Here are 5 more ways to get your grocery shopping done without having to buckle any kid in their car seat.


Shop When the Husband is Home

If you like to compare prices or do complicated coupon transactions, it’s probably easier for you to do the shopping instead of sending your husband to run that errand. Even though lines tend to get longer at stores in the early evenings and on the weekends, this is usually the best time for me to go by myself because the hubby is home from work.

Shop swap

Do you have a friend in the same predicament? If you and your friend shop at the same store, perhaps you can arrange a swap, as in “I’ll buy your groceries for you while you watch all the kids, and next week, you can shop while I babysit.”

Shop online

Reese, Hacker.
If you want to avoid going out altogether, let’s remember that you’re living in the age of online convenience. Many grocery stores offer a delivery service. I’ve never done this with our local supermarket but have taken advantage of ordering household items on Amazon, where sometimes, the deals are better than what you can find in the store. Not to mention the nice perk of having everything delivered to your door … and even better if you’re an Amazon Prime Member and you have a 2-day free shipping advantage. [affiliate link]


Shop and pick-up

Maybe you like the ease of purchasing groceries from your laptop but don’t want to fork out the delivery service fee every time. Some stores have begun launching a curbside pickup option for their customers. A friend of mine has taken advantage of this service at her store. She orders everything online and picks up her items at the designated time. And I thought the Starbucks drive-thru window was a genius idea!

Shop Your Pantry

The best way to avoid going out to the store and save money at the same time is to use up what you have. Look through your pantry. Take inventory of your fridge. Come up with a meal plan using the items you have on hand first, and you may find that it’s not necessary to go to the grocery store after all.

… except to get that gelato. 🙂


If you have kids, how do you get your grocery shopping done?


Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Thank you for your support! I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” Click here for more information on my disclosure.

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23 thoughts on “Grocery Shopping Alternatives for the Busy Mom (or “I Can’t Go to the Store with All My Kids!”)

  1. Great post! Love these ideas. I remember when Michael was a toddler, it was such a treat to go grocery shopping by myself! Ah, the little luxuries of motherhood.

    1. Yes … often a luxury that I can’t seem to get used to. Whenever the hubby takes all the kids to give me break, I’m at a loss as to what to do. When he says go shopping, I say, “What??? By myself?”

  2. I love the shop your pantry idea. I always end up buying food when we have perfectly viable options sitting right here at home. Good way to save money (and stress)!

    1. Yes, when I started forcing myself to use up what I had on hand, it opened up a door to new recipes because I had to find dishes that used what I had. It’s a win because I think everyone was getting tired of the same stuff for dinner. 🙂

  3. Good stuff! I like to shop when the hubs is home or sometimes I will take one tot and leave the other one at home. It’s Rare that I go with both boys in my own, only because they get super restless or want to start eating everything right away! I also have done online grocery shopping which is amazing. Great post!

    1. Hey, long time no see! Did you change your blog? Thanks for popping in here and commenting! I’ve done what you do too … taking just one kid shopping. It’s a good way to get one-on-one time with them too!

    1. I’m definitely liking the convenience of shopping online, even though I can’t buy everything that way. There are just some things that I prefer choosing myself, like produce.

    1. Yeah, might as well help each other out, right? You gotta swap with someone who tends to shop for the same kind of stuff that you do. I know someone who shopped for a friend and had to call her from the store because she didn’t know where to find certain items or even what they were.

  4. That is a wonderful and very handy post Ai. I always enjoy reading your blog bcoz you have so many useful tips. Most of the time I and my husband go together for grocery shopping and bring our daughter too. But sometimes, when I really need to explore some options, I prefer to go alone and my husband stays home with my daughter.

    1. Thanks a lot, Jaya! Your comment means a lot to me! I really appreciate you taking time to read some of my posts! I’ve enjoyed your posts too and connecting with you through the FB group!

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