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When my kids were little I would shop one or two times a month, depending on how often my husband was paid. With five of us, I could buy in bulk, and not worry about using it all up before it spoiled. My biggest problem then was keeping enough of any favorite item in stock! Now I’m in a different season of life. My kids have kids, my senior mom is living with me, and I'm a full-fledged member of the Sandwich Generation.
My caregiving has increased but my shopping needs have decreased. Except, of course, when I am babysitting grandchildren. I love having them spend the night, the day, or even the hour. Depending on the needs of the week, I might have several visits, no visits, or one or two visits. It is only problematic when it comes to making sure I have enough food for our needs. I rarely drink milk, but they love milk with cereal. I try to avoid having cookies in the house, because I have NO willpower. But when the school age crowd is here, I need to have snacks to pack in their lunches.
What’s a Sandwich Generation Granny Nanny to do? Tiny comes to the rescue. Tiny as in tiny options. I discovered there are tiny little bottles of milk, much like the bottles delivered to my house when I was a very little girl. (Can you tell I’m a also a member of the Baby Boomers Generation? 🙂 ) These aren’t glass and I’m very glad for that. Less for me to break! 🙂 But they are small. I think they are about a pint. They also seem to have a very long shelf life. So I am reasonably safe keeping one of these in the fridge for those fun overnights. Then I just have to remember to give it to them if it gets close to the expiration date.
Tiny packages of snacks and cookies are also wonderful. Keebler, Kraft, and Nabisco all have great sets of pre-packaged cookies and snacks. They are even nice enough to keep many of them to 100 calories per package. Not only are they great for school lunches for my grandchildren, they are wonderful for helping me stick to a healthy and low calorie diet. As I like to say, a healthy grandma is a grandma who is up to plenty of fun activities for grandparents and grandchildren, such as playing and wrestling and having fun with her grandkids! My particular favorites are the Oreos and the Ritz Snack Mix. My granddaughter and I also love Smartfood’s White Cheddar Popcorn when I can find it.
I always look for healthy, no-sugar fruit juices in small containers. Capri Sun and Libby’s both have delicious options there. For the lunch itself, the grandkids really love the Lunchables. I keep a couple around at all times. Now, I know what you’re thinking. These choices are a bit ungreen, more expensive, and sometimes not that healthy. That’s true for a large family on a day-to-day basis. But for all of us Sandwich Generation grandparents who need to be prepared for unexpected visits, they are a real lifesaver! I waste a lot less food since I’ve switched over to buying these, not to mention that these are great ways to save money as well. I can even order several of these online at Amazon when I need to, saving me precious time and money! That means more play time and reading time with those sweet grandkids! My grandma was right. Good things DO come in small packages!
For more Family Friendly Ideas, pop over to Homemaker Barbi's Family Friday. 🙂 And…