How to grocery shop with twins.
Let’s talk about leaving the house with twins. It needs to be done.
I’ve talked before about how the best way to get used to getting out with twins (on your own no less) is to just do it. Seriously, pack up your twins and get out.
But it isn’t just enough to be able to leave the house. At some point, you are going to have to get things done. One of the most common questions about getting out with twins? How in the world do you make it through a grocery store with twins?
Buying groceries is a must. And yes, you can order online and have them delivered or pick them up. But in the early baby days, it is good for you as a mom to get out of the house, and this is a great way to do it.
And as your twins get older it is good for them to see how food makes it into your house.
So let’s do this. Let’s talk about the different ways you can get errands done with your twins in tow. Here is how to grocery shop with twins.
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How To Grocery Shop with Twins
Let’s get straight into this. Shopping with little ones can always provide fun challenges. (Fun is a good word for it, right?) But it is necessary.
I have found there are 3 main ways to grocery shop with twins until they are old enough to walk on their own reliably. (That age varies from child to child.)
Baby Wear One or Both Twins
I admit I am not the biggest fan of babywearing, but it is certainly appealing for shopping.
You can double wear, though this might just draw more attention to you. (I have to say I am very impressed with moms that can double baby wear.)
Or while you wear one baby the other can be in the car seat in the shopping cart. If your babies can sit independently that one in the cart can sit in the normal kid seat.
If your babies are still very young, the one not being worn can stay in the car seat in the basket of the cart.
Safety note: Only put the car seat in the front of the shopping cart if there is an appropriate attachment to strap into. Car seats are not meant to just lock into the child seat in the cart. The cart can tip and this can also damage the anchoring system of your car seat.
An alternative is to push the non-worn twin in a single stroller.
Where do the groceries go?
If you are wearing both babies the shopping cart is free to use like normal grocery shopping.
If you have one twin in the cart you can put the groceries around the car seat and under the shopping cart. (Pro tip: Put a shopping basket under there to keep items from rolling around.)
You can also purchase the Cart Mama Shopping Cart Attachment This lets you put the groceries around the side of the cart.
Pros of Babywearing
By wearing one baby you only need to push one thing around the store, the cart.
Babywearing can also limit the attention you get. They see a baby on you and assume the car seat in the cart is empty. Boom, undercover twin outing.
Cons of Babywearing
You do have to wear one or both babies. I know some people swear by wearing, but all three of my babies hated it. So it isn’t for everyone.
If you only wear one baby at a time you have to choose who to wear and who to keep in the car seat. That shouldn’t be a big deal, but mom guilt has a way of getting in wherever it can. A rotation system could help with this.
Use a Stroller and a Shopping Cart
If you don’t want to baby wear, or if your twins are too big to wear, you can use the stroller-cart combo. You put the kiddos into their stroller and use a shopping cart for the actual groceries.
You can also just use the stroller and forget about the cart.
Where do the groceries go?
If you use a stroller and a cart the groceries go in the cart. You push the stroller and pull the cart.
If you use just the cart you can carry a shopping basket with you, or use the storage area under the stroller to hold your groceries.
Pros of the Stroller and Cart System
A big pro is your twins will be comfortably in their stroller. And you have plenty of room for your groceries in the shopping cart.
If you choose to not use a cart you can move pretty quickly through the stor, you just might have to limit what you buy to what you can carry or put under the cart.
Cons of the Stroller and Cart System
Pushing a stroller and pulling a cart means you take up a lot of space. Double strollers can be a bit large. It takes some practice to get down.
If you use a basket with just the stroller you can’t carry as much. And if you use the bottom of the stroller to hold your groceries you want to make sure you don’t let anything get lost under there.
I had a fear that people would think I was shoplifting, but if you empty out that area and it is just items that you are purchasing you should be okay.
Use Two Carts to Grocery Shop
As your twins get older, you usually don’t use your stroller as much. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t nice to keep them contained while shopping.
Some grocery stores have fun carts with cars that hold two kids. But not all of them, and those carts are usually in short supply.
Plus when we shop we have three kids, so if all three want to ride we need two carts.
For this, you can use a two-cart system. (This is what we use when shopping with all three kids.)
Put your twins in the basket of one cart. (Or one in the basket and one in the child’s seat.) Then use the other cart for the groceries. (Or third child.)
There are products like Buggy Bench Shopping Cart Seats that give an extra seat to your cart. But twins are expensive enough, I didn’t want to buy anything extra just for groceries.
Push one cart and pull the other. I have found it is easiest to push the cart with my twins in the basket and pull the other cart.
Where Do the Groceries Go?
Easy, they go in the open cart. No need for anything extra.
Pros of the Two Cart System
You don’t need to plan ahead for this method as there is nothing else you need for it to work. Just carts.
You can have more than two kids ride. Helpful for bigger families.
There is plenty of space for groceries as you have a whole cart basket to fill.
Cons of the Two Cart System
You do have to shop with two carts. Like with the stroller-cart combo, this means you take up more room.
With practice, you can get pretty good at pushing one cart and pulling another. I do prefer to do this sort of shopping when I know stores will be less crowded.
But with twins you are kind of a how anyway, so you get used to people sharing.
One con for this method with toddler twins is that your twins can mess with each other in the basket. You have to find creative ways to offer up consequences to issues that arise. (Get more ideas to handle twin fights–> Twinemies: What To Do When Toddler Twins Fight)
More Posts To Help
Additional Tips For Grocery Shopping with Twins
A few extra tips for successful shopping with twins.
Time It Out Right
I know sometimes we all need to grocery shop and there is nothing we can do. But do your best to fit shopping into your schedule.
This means don’t go during nap time, don’t go during feeding times. Do what you can to set yourself up for success by planning out your shopping trip time.
Set Your Expectations and Tell Your Children What They Are
Toddlers can understand simple expectations. We always review the rules before we even get out of the car. Every. Time. (Try our behavior mantra with your kids!)
Now, let’s be real. Even the best-behaved toddler will have their moments. We’ve all been there. But overall I think kids live up to the standards you set for them, so it is a good idea to review the rules.
(Learn more about giving kids ownership of their behavior by reading this post.)
I know some moms worry if they take their children grocery shopping their kids will ask for all kinds of treats. And yes, kids will ask for treats. They’re kids.
But I have found if you are consistent with your rules, kids don’t fight too hard.
For example, we do a lot of grocery shopping at Super Target. Every time we go we say hi to the toys. And we never buy any.
Sure, sometimes the kids ask for one. But overall they don’t have any problems not bringing anything home with us. We never buy toys when we grocery shop, so they don’t think to fight this rule.
So be consistent. If there are no treats in the checkout there are no treats. If you don’t buy cookies you don’t buy cookies. Kids learn pretty quickly that they aren’t going to get something.
Why Even Take Your Children Grocery Shopping?
Why even bother with all of this? There are so many grocery pickup and delivery options, you never have to take your kids inside a supermarket.
I think it is important for kids to see how food comes into the house. They learn that it doesn’t just appear, someone has to take the time to go out and run the errand. Families need to work together to meet the needs of everyone.
There are also so many learning opportunities in the store! By grocery shopping with the family your children are exposed to:
- Budgeting and Cost Comparison. How do you stick to your budget? Why does comparing costs matter?
- Nutrition. What’s a nutrition label? How do you know what is a healthy food to eat?
- Meal Planning. How do you put a meal together?
- General Food Knowledge. How do you know if a fruit is ripe? What are the different cuts of meat? What kind of milk do you buy?
So many basic life skills are learned through observation and participation at the grocery store. It is worthwhile to share the experience with your children.
These are the big ways I have found to make grocery shopping with twins easier. Sure, it isn’t always pretty. Kids will be kids, but overall we are successful.
Grocery shopping can be an educational and fun family outing. How do you grocery shop with your twins?
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