Monday, February 27, 2006

Grocery Tip #2: No Gimmees

I usually have two carts at the grocery store. One for groceries and one for various children. I can't go to the grocery store without at least 3 people stopping me to ask “Are they all yours!?” but that's a topic for another list.

Anyway, if you can't get to the grocery store sans children, then you have to make sure that you lay down the law before walking in. Rule number one: “NO 'Gimmees.'“ Let them know that there will be consequences, and then keep your word!

Without this discipline, I am likely to give in if it has been a long tired day and I just can't stand to listen to a child endlessly whine about how deprived and abused he is because I won't buy a $4.69 box of Pokemon cereal. Nip it in the bud!!!

My grocery store has mechanical pony rides for just a penny. If a child dares to say anytime during our grocery trip, “I want,” “Can I have,” or “Gimmee!” they do not get to ride the pony at the end. I had to endure a little temper tantrum the first time or two, but you can bet the farm that they quickly learned not to bug me for goodies.

Another tactic is to grab a special treat at the beginning of the trip - perhaps a cookie or string cheese. As soon as the “gimmee” leaves their lips, the treat is promptly put back. And don't give them a second chance - the very first infraction gets a negative result. Better they cry now than
you later.

The “gimmees” isn't an issue with my older children, as they have been trained from when they were very little. (Though they have been known to say things like “Hey Mom we ought to get that when it goes on clearance!” Which I don’t mind at all.) If the “gimmees” are a problem with your older kids, you'll need a different punishment than skipping a pony ride or a cookie, of course. Perhaps older children with the “gimmees” can be given the task of unloading and putting away the groceries all by themselves, right after they draw a nice warm bubble bath for you to relax in (Calgon take me away!).

I promise that the grocery shopping tips are going to get meatier in the weeks ahead but, as I said before, we are taking baby steps. Make sure this week that you are implementing both Tip 1 and Tip 2.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Grocery Tip #1: Don't Go To the Store Hungry

Every Monday I'll post a new grocery saving tip. I don't present them all at once because I want you to take baby steps. I want you to be a success.

I know that this probably goes without saying, but let's say it anyway. Make sure that you have a full tummy when you go grocery shopping. More importantly, make sure that any children who tag along have absolutely filled-to-the-brim tummies!

Grocery stores go to great lengths to psych you out and convince you to buy, buy, buy. You have to out-psych them. If you walk into that grocery store hungry, you are more likely to give into the temptations that Store Manager Bob is throwing in your face. If your wee ones are hungry, they are more likely to be unruly thus tiring you out.

Now if you're tired and hungry the kids will have an easier time wearing you down and breaking your resolve as they beg for all those colorful attractive prefab foods that require a mortgage to purchase.

So, make sure you go shopping right after lunch, not right before!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Free Pancakes at IHOP!


FREE PANCAKES! NO STRINGS ATTACHED!On February 28, 2006 from 7 AM to 2 PM IHOPs across the country will celebrate National Pancake Day (also known as Shrove Tuesday) by offering our guests a free short stack of pancakes*. This is going to be our biggest one day celebration in our history.

National Pancake Day has a rich history that stretches back centuries and has always been a time of celebration. National Pancake Day always falls on Fat Tuesday and this year it will be a celebration at IHOP.

So gather your friends, family and neighbors and come to your local IHOP and enjoy a short stack of pancakes on us. All we ask is that you consider making a donation to a great charity like First Book or other local, worthy cause. Where else would you celebrate National Pancake Day than IHOP? See you there.

* Limit one free short stack per guest. Valid for dine-in only, no to go orders. Not valid with any other offer, special, coupon, or discount. Valid at participating restaurants only, while supplies last.

Monday, February 13, 2006