The place I hate most in the world. And a printable for you.

I loathe the grocery store.

I’ve never liked going grocery shopping, but in college would go with the roommates and then eventually The Hubby and it wasn’t horrid.

But then we had kids.  And it turned dreadful.

A typical grocery trip looks something like this:

Gwyn, Cal and I walk very slowly from the car to the store, hand-in-hand, since my youngest now refuses to be carried.  Rain, snow, wind. We do the slow walk. Once in the store I have to convince them to sit in the cart, usually with a bribe of a bakery cookie (praise you bakery ladies for giving little samples) or by opening a can of kiddie puffs. Most of the time this works, but on the off-chance it doesn’t it means I am wrestling a squealing monkey in the child’s seat while the other is running to another cart telling me why it is better. I tell them the kiddie car carts are filled with germs and haven’t been washed yet today because while they’re a nice distraction for about two minutes, they never contain my two for the duration of the hell-hole trip and then I am trying to throw kids back in the cart while trying not to mush the bread.

We head right for the bakery and this buys me five minutes. I am RACING around the produce aisle while instructing Gwyn not to squish the food as it piles around her.

I make it to the meat section and see that the cookies are almost gone and I start to panic. A good distraction I have found is to let Cal put the food in the grocery cart, which he likes to do. This also means Gwyn is dodging cans of green beans.

Sometimes, I pack a lunch (yes, you read that correctly) and this is when I whip that business out. It also means I am catching sandwich crust in-between aisles and picking up trails of goldfish we’ve left behind.

We make it about three-fourths of the way through when my youngest refuses to sit any longer and I am then pushing the cart with one hand/my hips while trying to catch my toddler who is nose-diving for the floor. That grocery cart seat belt? Doesn’t work on my child.

I decide to ditch the last items on the list and head for the check-out, scouring for the shortest line. This is my biggest challenge while we wait, so I try acting a fool as a distraction and when we reach the front the kids help me load the items on the conveyor belt as I try to catch the ones that might break when thrown too hard, like  you know, eggs.

As the checker slowly scans each item it doesn’t fail that I get one who likes to chat and doesn’t see that I have two orangutans howling at me. I get the one who will admire things they’ve never seen before in my pile , read all of the birthday cards I’ve chosen or decides to tell me about a recipe they once made with a particular item. I am always asked if I would like to sign up for a rewards card and am told all of the benefits, too.

And just recently, as I was paying and finishing up, Cal dumped a giant bag of pretzel sticks upside down in the grocery cart which sent me just about over the edge. As I am on the ground picking up what seemed like hundreds of tiny pretzel pieces, a long line formed behind me of staring on-lookers. An employee with a broom thankfully came to help, but every time I would push my cart forward more pretzels would trickle to the ground making their way through the maze of grocery bags and leaving a nice trail all the way outside. It was like that Plinko game on The Price is Right.

And then I cried.

Now, I don’t always cry, but on occasion, yes, it all just builds up and it happens. Thus, my hatred for the grocery store.

Now, I am here today to share with you something that has made my experience a WHOLE lot easier, sometimes even leaving me with a semi-smile on my face because we managed to leave without crying from anyone and minimal food thrown on the floor.

I created this  Grocery-Menu Planner to cut my grocery shopping time almost in half.

Grocery Meal Planner Pic

I created this grocery/menu planner to coordinate with the way that I navigate through the grocery store, starting in the produce section and going around the perimeter of the store and then through the middle aisles. Each sheet of paper contains two lists allowing me to cut the sheet in half, and I even print on both sides of the paper so that I can just flip to the back when done with a week. After I grocery shop, I tack the paper to the fridge so that I can remember which meals I planned for which days of the week. You’ll notice it only includes meals for Monday-Friday and that’s because I hardly ever plan meals for the weekends. We usually eat out, decide what to make together or eat leftovers.

This printable also makes sure that I never backtrack for an item and if the store simply doesn’t carry something I just circle it so that it is easily visible and can be remembered for the next store.

So, if this will keep you from pulling out your own hair after you leave the grocery store, then please, download and save this printable!

Grocery-Menu Planner

Thanks for stopping by!


  1. Pia Maheras says:

    Lol, great blog entry:-) When my boys were toddlers, I made grocery shopping my “soul time.” I waited till my hubby got home, headed to the store, and then peacefully strolled around the isles…I seldom took them with me!

    • I WISH I could do that, Pia! I would So take advantage of that. My Hubby is in home stretch for completing his degree while also working and is seldom home at a reasonable hour where I would want to go grocery shopping after a long day. BUT, someday I WILL do this!

  2. I have to give you so props. I would have cried too. I don’t know how you do it Lady! I am very impressed. Love the grocery list and how you sectioned it off. I almost always write my list in a similar fashion but it would be so much easier is a table like this. Definitely printing this off to try next time I go to the store, which I’m sure will be tomorrow!

    • Some days are worse than others. This pretzel day… one of my worst. 😉 I have learned that it is a little easier if I go when Gwyn is at school and if I have food to distract the little dude. And honestly this printable saves me so much time! I love having all of the items sectioned off like that in each category. Sounds like you are the same! Let me know if it works for you!

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