Grocery shopping for two households

ericasjJuly 4, 2008

DMom is back in her own home after the stroke, speaking normally, getting stronger, BUT she is no longer driving. This is fine with me, as it's been a worry for a long time. But it means she can't do her own grocery shopping anymore.

I did take her out to a regular supermarket once since her hospital release. It was exhausting for both of us, and I never want to do it again! I can see getting her out to a small store like Aldi's or Rite Aid (for the outing as much as anything.) But we've got to find an alternative for the main shopping trip.

So, how do you get food into your LO's house? Buy things for them while you're shopping for yourself? Do an online order for delivery to their house? Do you pay for it then get reimbursement, or have them put money on a gift card in advance?

One thing I've already thought of is making a master list for her to mark up what she needs. But I need more ideas about the whole logistics of it, especially with gas prices the way they are and feeling disorganized about my own errands already. Right now, I'm spending just about double on gas than I was pre-stroke, from all the running around.

(Boy, I miss the days of my childhood when we had a milk man, a bread man, and an egg man delivering every week!)

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I always did her shopping when I did mine. I sorted the stuff when I was loading it into my car, and always had a cooler for frozen items. I paid with a checkcard to her account.

She's living in my home now which simplifies things to some extent, but I did it that way for years.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2008 at 2:23PM
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Years ago when I did my grandmothers I went on a separate day but gas prices were not what they are today. I would do mine on Thursday after work and hers on Saturday. She would give me her debit card to pay.

At first she would go with me and it made a long trip and she didn't like big stores. After a while she was getting tired easy so I would go and take her to KMart or something like that to get out. A master list sounds like a really good idea because I use to tell my grandmother to write things down that she needed when she thought about it. She never did so it made it harder for me but after a while I knew what she liked and didn't so I would go from there.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2008 at 5:44PM
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I would do both mine and my folks at the same time. I would have their order bagged one way, like paper n plastic, and mine just plastic......that way I knew whose was whose, could get theirs in and put away in no time and be ready to go home and do mine.
I used their check card, made it quick and easy.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2008 at 10:27PM
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Interesting that you all used a debit/check card to pay for their things. I'll have to run this by DMom. She has a check card but never uses it. Right now there are a lot of things beyond groceries that I've bought for her, that I have to tote up and get reimbursed for. It sure would be easier if I could have just paid for them out of her account to begin with.

I still want to get a master list together, but I learned something else this week. It's important that I don't just take her word for what she needs, I need to look in her fridge and cabinets myself and judge what she might run out of before the next Big Shopping.

I ended up buying $50 worth of stuff, much more than she's used to getting at all at once. She used to just buy a few things she could carry in easily, then go to another store a few days later. I want to look ahead and stock up on things she might need over the next 2 weeks.

Thanks for your tips.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2008 at 11:24AM
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Great suggestions. Using a debit card is by far the easiest way to go. However, you could also use one of her credit cards or have your name added to her checking account and just use checks.

Having a master shopping list for her to fill out is a good idea. You might want to take some time to inventory what she usually has on hand and in what quantities. That would give you a better idea of what and how much she needs. You could put a whiteboard or chalkboard in a central location near the kitchen and have her jot down items as she runs low.

I've never bought all my mom's groceries, but since she moved into an assisted living facility, I'm responsible for purchasing her Depends. And I buy her snacks & beverages. As others has indicated, I usually buy these items when I'm doing my own grocery shopping. I have them bagged separately and then deliver them when I visit her.

By the way, I understand completely how tiring it is shopping with a frail elderly loved one. It's exhausting for both of you. You doing the shopping on your own is the best way. Good luck.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2008 at 1:46PM
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There are printable grocery shopping lists available by Googling 'master grocery list'. You could leave some with her to check off during the week. And it might help you out with one of the aspects of shopping for another - a jog to look for things in low supply, etc. that she might not have thought of when you do your cupboard and fridge checks.

Been a few years since I did this for an elderly Aunt; gas was much less an issue and she always knew exactly what she wanted down to the ounce size of the cans and specific brand names. I'd pay out of pocket and she would look at the register tape and write me a check immediately. But the bank/check card would have been very handy.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2008 at 8:45PM
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You are such a good daughter to help your mom out so much! I know exactly what you are going thru. We ended up starting a Discover card that I use ONLY when buying things for my folks. We went thru the reimbursement and the confusion and I always wondered if Mom and Dad thought they were paying thru the nose and at the same time, I knew that sometimes I forgot to charge them for the carton of Pepsi or whatever. It's a bookkeeping frustration!
My parents got to the point where they were eating very simple things to prepare, just warm up and eat, so I ended up doing some of the choosing. I knew she liked a variety of fresh fruit, so I tried to pick up what was in season. She also kept a general list of things she wanted. Luckily my dad is up and around and can help do some of the carrying in. I tried to include a surprise something everyonce in real fruit frozen pops or something, or a little mini Boston creme pie. One of my issues was that they really like to buy lg. quantities of cleaning supplies, TP, kleenex, etc. at Sam's. So that was a pain, cuz it was alot to buy at once. But I have finally gotten them away from that since they are now in a little apt. in an independent living facility. Now I am buying very little food, just a few snacks (they really like the 100 calorie cookies or crackers in a bag, Nabisco does some of them, 6 bags per box and lotsa variety).

It's important to talk with her and see what she really wants. If there's trust issues, be careful cuz they can snowball fast.

My Dad now has Alzheimer's, so luckily he's up and around and can still carry in the pepsi, but putting away anything is a struggle for him. He can't even put away the clean laundry! So, are YOU doing laundry? Cleaning? Dishes? My parents started getting poorer and poorer at those things, so I said, okay, time to move to somewhere where someone can do these things FOR you! It took a couple of months to get them to go along with it, but it's been a blessing. They've been there 2 yrs. Now they are needing to move where Dad can get some special care, he's starting to wander at night. So, see, things change all the time, and we all need to adjust.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2008 at 11:27AM
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