BY: TIPHANNE EVANS
- Start NOW. Let’s be real. Your loved one is not going to suddenly wake up the morning of their 22nd birthday with the skills to pick out the perfect avocado from a sea of “just okay” avocados at the grocery store. Shopping takes practice, and it is never too early to start. So, don’t spend time worrying whether they’re ready, jump right in!
- Start SLOW. Help your loved one as much as needed at first. As time goes by and their confidence grows, slowly start stepping back. Instead of helping them write their grocery list every time, take only a quick look at it before leaving. Start hanging back in the store, only checking in every few isles. Eventually, they’ll take the lead, and you can regroup before check-out.
- BUDGETING is everything. We will never know whether the chicken or the egg came first, but we are 100% confident that the budget should come before the list. Setting a budget will give your loved one a starting point for their shopping list, help contextualize the value of money/the items they’re purchasing and allow them to exercise their decision-making skills.
- Be CONSISTENT. Pick a time once a week for grocery store prep and one for your trip to the store. Set a budget and do not stray from it. Make a list and stick to it. Consistency is key for helping your loved one create a good habit!
- Investigate and create a list BEFORE you go. Teaching your loved one to shop based on need is a great place to start. Sit down with your loved one and create a shopping list template that’s organized by simple categories. Before each shopping trip, help them work through the house one category at a time and practice only adding items that are getting low or need replacing. Once they are confident in shopping for essentials, start working on adding in items for upcoming occasions.
- STICK to the list. Getting through a Target run with just the items on your list is an award-worthy feat. You must make it a priority when working with your loved one to become an independent shopper. As hard as it can be to hear the word “no,” sometimes we all need to. If they get into a habit of buying items not on the list, soon they will get in the habit of just going to the store to buy whatever catches their eye. Stick to the plan!
- Be OKAY with mistakes. Give your loved one a little grace if they overspend, buy the wrong item, or act up in the store. Don’t get frustrated and give up; instead, push through and walk through the moment with them. It will get better if you don’t give up! It’s a learning process.
BONUS TIP: If shopping in-store isn’t your thing, try ordering your groceries online for delivery or curbside pick-up! H-E-B, Whole Foods, Tom Thumb, Kroger, and Central Market all offer their customers online shopping!
Tiphanne Evans (pictured on the left below) is a Resident Life Coach here at Daymark Living! She is dedicated to helping Daymark residents navigate life on their own and works tirelessly to help them acheive their goals!