Grocery store horror stories -- and how to avoid them

Grocery store horror stories – and how to avoid them

July 15th, 2013

1062449_sad_snot-nosed_kidBy Aimee Heckel

Christine’s kids are perfect in the grocery store. They have never thrown a tantrum over not getting to eat the ice cream right now, or not being allowed to stand straight up in the child compartment while the cart’s moving.

Nope, never.

Get 7 percent Cash Back from Walmart through July 16 at 11:59 p.m. MDT.

“My children are perfectly behaved in all situations, especially in public,” she states with complete and obvious honesty. “Or I’ve blocked all of these incidents. Whatevs.”

Indeed, bringing your young kids shopping can be traumatizing enough to cause a mama to suffer PTSD and back-outs.

It’s no wonder more and more moms are choosing to do their grocery shopping online. Not only can you save money and get Cash Back at retailers like Walmart, but you won’t be stuck buying those extra treats to keep your kids from screaming, or have to apologize to everyone in line for your tantrum-throwing child.

To make us feel better about ourselves, we asked moms for their craziest grocery store horror stories.

“One time I told him we didn’t have enough money to buy a toy, and he tried to go through my wallet to prove I had the monies.” — Isabelle, of Denver

“Oh, I just heard a horrible story about a little boy who peed in a mop bucket in a restaurant! Oh wait, that was Justin Beiber. Never mind.” — Lynn, of Windsor, Colo.

“I hate King Soopers and any other grocery chain that has the stupid kid-car thing mounted to the front of the grocery carts. First of all, it’s a total pain to navigate that thing. It’s like a tour bus! It’s heavy as hell, too. But, oh, if my kid didn’t go through a phase where she would lose her mind and throw a complete diva meltdown hysteric display if she couldn’t have the grocery cart with the car on the front. Because other kids do it. The one time we did, she couldn’t keep her hands and feet in, so she lost that privilege real quickly. Now I just give the dirty stink eye to all the moms who do use that thing. Because they wreck grocery shopping for me.” — Rae, of Detroit

“To be totally honest, I have blocked out every memory of my children being bad at the store. In fact, I try really had not to remember the time when Jane was so beside herself because I wouldn’t let her buy balloons that I left the store and my entire cart full of groceries behind. Knowing full well that I would have to come back and shop and select each item again.” — Tina, Lafayette, Colo.
“My 6-year-old son licked the frost on the freezer case and got his tongue stuck. Think Christmas Story.” — Rhonda, of Arvada, Colo.

“Once we stopped at the Walgreens drive-through to grab ‘scripts and when the lady spoke to me he screamed from the back seat, ‘I want chickie nuggets and, um, fries!’” — Erin, of Erie, Colo.

“Once, an employee at the Goodwill saved my life. My daughter was losing her mind on the floor for, as far as I can recall, no reason whatsoever. The employee suddenly started making loud chicken noises, and it startled my daughter so much that she snapped out of it. To this day, I still think about that old lady and want to send her a tip or a love letter.” — Annie, of Longmont, Colo.

“One horrible, horrible day, my daughter completely lost all of her senses and bodily functions because she couldn’t get the kiddie grocery cart to go in a straight line. It’s called the crazy wheel, kid; it’s a fact of life! Every grocery cart has one. I literally walked away from her and into another aisle (it wasn’t like someone was going to kidnap her in that state, for Pete’s sake — and it wasn’t like I couldn’t hear her shrieks of murder-death-torture-hell, so I knew where she was). I pretended to be reading the back of a box of brownie mix while she worked it out, shaking my head to the other shoppers like, ‘Who’s horrible piece of kid is that? Not mine, no way. I’m sterile and loving it.’” — Aimee, of Longmont, Colo.

Want to never experience another grocery store meltdown again? That’s a rhetorical question.

Here’s how online grocery shopping works:

1. Go to and type in Walmart. This will bring you to the Walmart coupons and Cash Back page. By going through here, you can automatically get 1.5 percent Cash Back.

2. Click one one of the deals that best fits your needs, such as “free shipping to a nearby store.”

3. Go to Walmart’s grocery page. Here, you can get meal ideas and do shopping, just like at a brick-and-mortar store, but without the whole pushing-a-cart-with-a-funky-wheel part. If your items are in stock, you can pick them up at the nearest store that day. If not, they’ll order them and get them in store in just a few days.

4. Look for items that will ship free to your door, if you don’t even want to go to the nearest store.

5. Beyond food, you can also order cleaning supplies, soap, beverages and, well, everything. After all, it is Walmart.

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Aimee's passion for storytelling has brought her around the world as a journalist, writing award-winning news articles about Haiti and Uganda. Aimee studied international journalism at the University of Heidelberg in Germany, and she majored in journalism and German at Colorado State University. When she's not writing stories for a Colorado newspaper, she travels and volunteers for Think Humanity, her family's nonprofit that helps refugees and disadvantaged people in Africa. She's also a mom, a wife and a furious bargain-hunter. Reach out to her at, find her travel board on Pinterest, follow her on Twitter, or ping her on Google+.

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