The most inefficient way to do shopping

I used to love shopping! I would go for hours, try everything in twenty different colors, buy nothing and come back pretty happy with myself that I had wasted a whole afternoon doing nothing. That was before kids.

Life after kids has got to be more organized – even for me! Freedom comes on a drip when you are a mom, so you better use these moments wisely. It’s all a very relative freedom anyway because when you have kids, you usually only go shopping for what you NEED. Not what you want.

Based on the past ten years of experience, I think it is pretty safe to say that the most inefficient way to do shopping is to take your kids with you. Even when you are shopping for them. ESPECIALLY when you are shopping for them!

The other day, for example, I needed to get some skates for my kids. Two shops were potentially offering what I needed. Here is what I would have done, had I been by myself:

Drive to the first shop. Stop there. See if they had what I needed. If yes, buy it. If not, get back in the car and go to the second shop. See illustration below…









In the worst case scenario (where I have to go to shop number two) this would have taken me, what, 45 minutes? And I would have driven 8 miles. MAX.

But as I had my kids with me, this is what we did:

As I was going to pull to shop one, the kids insisted that they wanted to go to the other one because it was better, nicer, fancier. In shop two, Kyle found some skates, but for Jake, no such luck. Everything was either too big or too small. He was so desperate to buy something that he went for skates that were three sizes too big. He convinced himself, me and the shop attendant that with enough pairs of thick socks (I reckon twelve?), it would be fine. The kids also wanted hockey sticks but there was none in shop two. So they begged me to go back to shop one. We had to drive two miles up the road in order to make a U turn, then drive down four miles to find another turn to go to shop one. Once in shop one, we found some hockey sticks and also twenty different pairs of skates in Jake’s size. I decided to buy him the right size because I am a good mother on occasions… Then we had to drive to shop two to get a refund on the pair of skates that did not fit. By the time we were finished, the boys were crying that they were hungry – no wonder, we had been on the road, driving around in loops for a good two hours. So I stopped to get them something to eat. Total time spent: three hours. Distance covered: 25 miles. The illustration below sums it up pretty nicely…


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