How to Make Grocery Shopping Fun for Kids

Rarely has grocery shopping ever felt like a chore. From meal planning to letting me push the cart, helping to place groceries in bags at checkout to loading our car before we left, my parents always did a great job of including me on a weekly task that always felt like fun. To this day, I still view grocery shopping in a positive light!

I can completely understand why grocery shopping with kids might not be at the top of everyone’s list of enjoyable things to do, but I think it can be a great experience if you keep a few things in mind. Below are five tips for making grocery shopping fun for kids (and you!). 

Meal Plan Together:

This may not always work, especially if you have kids with more picky palettes, but my mom always asked us what we wanted to eat for dinner that week while she was preparing her list. We would rattle off recipes we enjoyed (some were frequent repeats!), and we would see how many of us were on board. The ingredients for the winners were placed onto the list, and we could get excited about that week’s meals. We would always chat through breakfast and lunch options too.

I’ve always thought meal planning together works well because I was able to be involved in making meal choices. I also knew decisions had already been made prior to the grocery store, so I was less likely to ask to add items to the cart that had not already been talked about before shopping.

Go on a Scavenger Hunt:

Another way to make grocery shopping fun for kids is to make your shopping trip into a game. Playing I Spy is always an option, but I’ve found creating a scavenger hunt with help from Shopkick is even more engaging. Simply open your app, view the items available to be scanned at your grocery store, and try to find as many as possible while you’re walking down the aisles. It’s engaging for kids because they feel encouraged to shop through the store with you, and it offers them something fun to do while you fill your cart. Plus, you earn kicks (reward points) you can redeem for a free gift card! 

Opt for Kid-Sized:

The inventor of kid-sized carts deserves an award! I remember being thrilled the first time I spotted a kid-sized cart at my grocery store. I insisted on not only pushing the cart myself but also filling it with as many items as possible. Having “my own” cart kept me endlessly entertained, and I know I’m not the only one! Today, I love seeing kids pushing carts at the grocery store because I can tell they’re excited to add new items to their cart as quickly as possible. While a smaller cart might not be large enough for a weekly trip to the grocery store, it is perfect for when you need to run inside for a few additional items throughout the week! 

Watch Videos:

Another great way to use your Shopkick app while grocery shopping is to watch videos. There are often videos available after scanning items, which allows you to earn additional kicks. Plus, your kids can also explore the Discover Tab to earn even more kicks while they watch videos from the comfort of the cart. Again, you will be well on your way to a free gift card! 

Time Alone with You:

Grocery shopping was always something my mom and I did together, and this “chore” always felt special as a result. Now, I have many friends who opt to turn grocery shopping into a date with their kids. Often, they will ask their older child to grocery shop with them alone while their younger child stays home with their partner. They have found it’s a great way to encourage one-on-one time and check off an errand at the same time. The great thing about kids is they are typically completely entertained by simple tasks, especially if they get to spend time with you!

What are your best tips for making grocery shopping with kids fun and engaging? Let us know on Facebook, and don’t forget to download Shopkick for free!

New gift cards now available on Shopkick

Want stuff from Amazon without spending a dime? Shopkick, the free app that rewards you with gift cards for shopping online or at your local grocery store and mall, just added Gift Cards to their list of rewards. Gift Cards never expire and can be redeemed towards millions of items!

How does it work?

During your normal shopping runs, earn Shopkick points (called “kicks”) simply by walking into stores like Best Buy or OshKosh B’gosh and opening the app at the entrance. At the grocery, scan product barcodes around the store to earn kicks. It’s like a fun treasure hunt! No purchases are necessary to earn kicks, but you can earn bonuses if you make a purchase and scan your receipt.

When you’re at home or just browsing on your phone, earn kicks for visiting online stores like Groupon or Spring and making a purchase through the Shopkick app. In no time you’ll be racking up hundreds or even thousands of kicks! Redeem those kicks for $5-$25 Gift Cards or many other free gift cards from retailers like Best Buy, Sephora, Target, and Walmart.

Don’t have Shopkick? Download it now.

Happy Shopkicking!


* is not a sponsor of this promotion. Except as required by law, Gift Cards (“GCs”) cannot be transferred for value or redeemed for cash. GCs may be used only for purchases of eligible goods at or certain of its affiliated websites. For complete terms and conditions, see GCs are issued by ACI Gift Cards, Inc., a Washington corporation. All Amazon ®, ™& © are IP of, Inc. or its affiliates. No expiration date or service fees.

Freezer Meals: A Busy Parent’s Saving Grace

The 6:00 Scramble

We’ve all been there: it’s 6 pm, you’ve just walked in the door and are greeted with the dreaded question, “What’s for dinner?”  Whether you work full-time, part-time, or stay at home, life as a parent is hectic at best. It’s amazing how quickly the day slips away and before you know it, tummies are growling and you’re searching the fridge for enough leftovers to piece together a meal. All too often, we throw our hands up and declare, “We’re going out for dinner!” For a family on any kind of budget, this option is not sustainable. Not only is eating out less nutritious than a home-cooked meal, it can cost a small fortune over time.

How can you avoid this seemingly inevitable scenario? Two words: freezer meals. Freezer meals are a cost-effective, time-efficient way to provide your family with a home-cooked, nutritious meal on busy weekday evenings.

When to Prepare Freezer Meals

There are two ways to prepare freezer meals that can easily fit into most busy schedules and tight budgets.

  1. Clear a day to spend a couple of hours in the kitchen cooking and prepping meals you can pop in freezer.
  2. As you cook a meal you’ve already planned to cook, double the recipe. Eat one and freeze one.

Depending on how busy your week is and how long your attention span is, option 1 might be the best choice for you. It’s a great way to get a large amount of meals done at once and stocked in your freezer. Sundays are usually a popular day to clear the afternoon and prep some meals for the week ahead. It also helps to enlist the help of a partner or little people. Kids can be a big help in the kitchen — it can be easier than you think to find things for them to do. Washing vegetables, stirring, measuring, and pouring are great for little hands, and best of all they’ll be learning a skill instead of killing time in front of a screen.

Choose about 4-6 recipes to make and plan the order in which you will cook them. Ideally, you would choose at least 2 recipes that have the same main ingredient. Cook the meat or main ingredient in bulk and use it for both recipes. Also, choose a couple of recipes that you don’t have to cook completely, but can prep the ingredients, freeze, and cook later. Crock pot recipes are great for this. Nothing is more satisfying than looking at a freezer full of ready-to-go meals.

Option 2 is a great way to make freezer meals when you don’t have the time or energy to devote an afternoon to cooking and prepping meals. Simply double a recipe you’re already cooking. Portion half of the cooked recipe into a freezer-safe container. Eat half and freeze half!

5 Freezer-Friendly Recipes

Favorite Freezer Meals from our community of moms!

Spicy Turkey Tacos – from Taste of Home  

Don’t let the name fool you. The only thing that really makes these tacos spicy is the Pepper Jack cheese on top. Regardless, these are deeelicious! To freeze these bad boys, complete step 2 from the recipe instructions and freeze the amount you want to save for later. When you’re ready to eat, place in the refrigerator the night before. Heat the already prepared taco meat in a skillet and assemble according to the recipe. For a healthier version, these also work great with whole wheat tortillas.


Tomato Bisque – from 100 Days of Real Food

I’m not a huge soup fan, but this tomato bisque is out-of-this-world delicious. I could bathe in it. I like to cook this in the summer when tomatoes are in season and freeze a few batches for the colder months. Our family loves to make this with grilled cheese sandwiches. Yum! This can easily be adapted for vegetarians: just omit the bacon or prosciutto.


Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole – from Money Saving Mom

This is a great go-to freezer recipe. It’s incredibly easy to throw together and tastes great. The recipe is for four casseroles and can be easily reduced if you don’t want to make that much.


Shepherd’s Pie – from Four Generations Under One Roof

I grew up eating my dad’s Shepherd’s Pie and it’s a comfort food I regularly make for my family — my dad never used a recipe and neither do I. However, this is a yummy version that freezes great. This is also a great recipe to eat half, freeze half. To freeze, double the recipe and freeze the desired portion in a freezer-safe container. To use, thaw in the refrigerator the night before and pop in the oven according to the recipe.

To make my version of this recipe, replace the canned and frozen corn with shredded carrots and sliced celery. Sautee onion, celery and carrots in 1 tbsp. of butter. Layer the vegetables on the bottom of your dish, ground beef in the middle, and mashed potatoes on top. I top it off with a generous layer of shredded cheese. Cheese makes everything better!

Slow Cooker Stuffed Bell Peppers – from the Recipe Critic

Making this recipe will lead to your most productive day ever. There’s nothing like having dinner done by 8am that makes you feel like you can conquer the world. You’ll take one look at those yummy stuffed peppers and proudly declare, “Bring it on world!”  When looking to save time while cooking, the crock pot is your best friend.  To make this recipe as a freezer meal, mix all ingredients minus the peppers together. Put it in a large Ziploc bag and pop it in the freezer. To use, thaw in the refrigerator the night before. Prepare the peppers according to the recipe and stuff with the thawed ingredients.


Freezer Meals Tips and Tricks:

  1. Choose recipes that have simple ingredient lists and use ingredients you already have on hand to save time and money.
  2. Use disposable containers such as aluminum bakeware so you don’t monopolize your everyday dishes. Gallon-size Ziploc bags are a great space saver. Fill with your freezer meal, lay flat until it freezes, then store vertically. If using glass containers, make sure you leave enough room for the food to expand.
  3. When cooking meat such as chicken or ground beef, cook an extra pound and store it in the freezer. Having already cooked meat is an easy way to throw together a quick meal in a hurry.
  4. Having packs of slow-cooker meals ready to go in the freezer is a great way to maximize your time. Simply put the prepped ingredients in a bag and pop it in the freezer: no cooking required. That way it’s ready to dump in the crock pot.
  5. Remember to label every container that goes in the freezer with the prep date and the contents. Avoid mystery-meal and strange-smell incidents — masking tape and markers are your friends!