Monday, May 13, 2013


You know the saying "Never go grocery shopping while you're hungry"?


Don't do it.

It's somewhat like sending an alcoholic in to a bar to get a glass of water, or sending a kid into a candy store to grab some celery.

It won't end well.

I have a little secret- you know those sweet people strategically placed throughout the store?  You know the ones I'm talking about...  They are over-eager diet saboteurs.  That's what they are.

First, they prepare some yummy tidbit of something that you know (in good conscious) that you should not consume.  Then they lure you in by tempting your children... first.  And then they've got you.  Because who the heck would deny their "starving" children of a sample (or 12) of something that good?  Right?


I'm THAT mom.

You know the one...

When we walk by "Sample Lady", my kids rarely even ask any more, because I know what will happen.  If I say yes, the kids get a sample, and then she practically shoves it down my throat...  or perhaps I'm exaggerating a wee bit.  But you get the picture.  It's rude to say no at that point, right?  I mean, this IS the South, and we do have a certain level of hospitality to maintain, right?

*sigh*  Okay, perhaps not.  But it was really good justification for a time.

But here's the deal- I know that once I sample something, inevitably I'll (accidentally, on purpose) forget something else that I "NEED" and be forced to walk by that sweet sample-lady again on the way to the front of the store... and then sample-lady will give us more, because she, too, is weakened to the "starving children" stare my kids offer as we walk by.  And THEN...

In my weakness, I'll give in and not only take another sample, but (gasp) I'll buy the "yummy snack" that we don't actually want or need.  And then maybe I'll justify that purchase so I'll feel better about it, and I'll think to myself "Heck.  You've already gone this far... just pick up a few more..."  And so it continues.

Don't judge.  You know you do it, too...

So here's the challenge.  Plan ahead... again.

Make a menu, and from that menu, make your grocery list.

Check it twice.

And, ho, ho, ho... stick to it!

I'm such a nerd that I actually know the layout of my favorite stores.  As I'm preparing my list, I will write the items in order of where they can be found in the store.  The completely eliminates the need for back-tracking, AND if it's not on the list, I'm not allowed to buy it.  (says me)  This also eliminates the need for 7652872 shopping trips every week.

In addition, this opens up the door for the kids to have a fun time in the store.  How can grocery shopping be fun (you ask)?  Turn your shopping trip in to a scavenger hunt.  Seriously...  It works, and it's a dual-purpose activity.  Not only does it promote a little family fun, but if I go to pick up something and my little readers see that it's not on the list, they hold me accountable.

So we're walking down the frozen foods aisle to pick up our favorite bread (Ezekiel bread) and I pass by the  "frozen yummy awesome crap".  I am tempted by the crap but my kids are uber-competitive, so they don't allow me to stop.

They're like little drill sergeants:  "Eyes forward, ma'am....  focus on the goal- finding the next item on the list."

So we go through the store, aisle by aisle, and we don't kill each other, we don't melt down, and we don't leave with things we don't need.  I set the expectation before we even go in to the store, so my kids know not to ask for things that aren't on the list.  And... I try to plan my shopping trips AFTER a meal so that there is no unnecessary temptation.

Does it always work this way?  No.

Do I ever leave with things that are not on my list?  Occasionally.

But by planning my weekly menu, I am twenty times less likely to grab a quick pizza during the week or "frozen yummy awesome crap"- especially if I've already grabbed all of the necessary items from the store.

Please do not misunderstand me.  I have treats.  I love my treat days, and they sometimes include frozen yummy awesome crap.  And then I pay the price... which is why I'm trying to help you (us) reach your (our) goals in a way that is practical and, at times, very gratifying.  So consider these challenges to be more like the ideal plans to help you (us) avoid temptation.

Speaking of, I better run and prepare my "emergency fund" snacks for the week (Click here for more on that).  Have a good one!

And join us again for more from

The Fat Girl,

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