Typical Tuesday. Need to grab some stuff at the grocery store and then I’m out. Easy peasy. No seltzer bottles to return today, forgot to clip my coupons, so I’m skipping any extra savings on this trip. No biggie. I don’t meal plan, but I just need to grab the usual stuff. This should be a quick and dirty trip to the market, yes? YES? NO. NO. No, it is not. It never is. And I’ll tell you why. Because I go shopping with a preschooler, that’s why.

This princess lunchbox is not the grocery list.

This princess lunchbox is not the grocery list.

So, just for the heck of it, I timed our adventure as we went grocery shopping today. It took us about 52 minutes to get from the deli to the frozen food section. Stop & Shop has approximately 14 aisles. We spent about $57. If this was a word problem and I was to apply a mathematical equation, the answer would be that I am doing something seriously wrong and getting out of the store within a reasonable amount of time never seems to be something that I can do. And obviously I suck at math.

Crashing the cart.

Crashing the cart.

CP and I bumble around the store, loading up the cart. My tutu-clad “little helper” crashes said cart into things and is likely to have a full-fledged meltdown if I don’t let her eat a quarter pound of sliced provolone while we wheel around the store. She nearly spirals into the void if a conversation with an acquaintance that I happen to bump into runs a little too long. She’s in the cart, out of the cart, pushing the cart, riding on the cart. She touches almost everything and there’s a 50% chance she’ll need to use the potty while we’re shopping. Don’t get me wrong — it’s not a complete time-consuming, soul-crushing shit show. She helps out a little. That little 3.5 year old knows what kind of bread we eat and can load groceries on the conveyor belt. And she’s incredibly friendly. The produce guy is like her best friend. But mostly, we’re wasting a lot of time.

Fetching this loaf of bread resulted in a finger injury which cost us an extra 4 minutes.

Fetching this loaf of bread resulted in a finger injury which cost us an extra 4 minutes.

I’m guessing that there are some ways to make going to the grocery store a more efficient and speedy task. Leaving my little helper at home is not really an option, as I prefer to shop midweek on the way home from work –- have you been to a grocery store on the weekend? I don’t recommend it. So, these are the only tips I’ve created for myself to try and ensure a quicker trip:

1) Insist that child use the potty before we leave school.
2) Bribe child with cheese during the shopping trip and a cookie after dinner.
3) Try to limit conversations with people I run into.
4) Attempt to have more of a “plan” before I walk through those automatic doors.

Yup. I already do all of these things.

Looks like it’s going to take a while before I master the art of speedy grocery shopping.

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