My 19-year-old son moved home from college for the summer. While I’m thrilled to have him home, I’m not thrilled with how much food he eats.
Goodness, it’s like I’m Jesus feeding the 5,000. Only I’m not Jesus with His knack for multiplying fishes and loaves and there’s just four people in my house!
My teenage daughter is tough to shop for as well. She wants very specific items as she strength trains this summer, plus goodies she’s seen used by her favorite influencers.
Hence, I came up with 10 reasons why grocery shopping for teenagers will make your head spin.
Inspired by real-life events, aka my life.
Because if you thought it was hard shopping for little kids with their screaming, whining, and pickiness, I’m pretty sure teens have them beat!
- Bigger kids means bigger appetites. Yup, teens eat a lot. One day your teen may be eating like an average human being and the next day–poof!–he is eating two of everything. And he’s still hungry! I’ve never had to buy so much food in my life. Am I feeding an army? Nope, just teenagers.
- Buying huge quantities of food for teenagers is expensive. And you’re not only buying for your teens, but for their hungry friends or teammates. I’m pretty sure I’m still paying off the water polo team meal I hosted years ago when I provided a breakfast that rivaled a Las Vegas buffet! Teens also prefer the latest, pricy brands of toiletries like makeup or hair goo used by their favorite influencers or athletes which means you can’t save a few dollars buying generic brands.
- It’s physically exhausting grocery shopping for teens. Sure, you aren’t pushing those burdensome shopping baskets shaped like a race car that they enjoyed when they were little. But it isn’t any easier to push a basket up and down the aisles burdened with all the food and drink that people with insanely fast metabolisms can eat. Or lugging copious amounts of overflowing bags into the house when you get home.
- Grocery shopping for teens is mentally exhausting. Not only am I calculating how much food to buy and how much it costs, but I’m considering my teens wildly different tastes. They never agree on the same thing. So whether I plan a meal ahead of time, or stare hopelessly at a chuck roast in the meat section waiting for inspiration to strike, I feel like I’m solving an algebraic equation as I try to recall which one doesn’t like tater tots, who still hates onions, and what was that recipe we ate last month that everyone liked?
- Teens never remember to tell us what they need ahead of time, no matter how many times they’ve been reminded. Nope, it’s not until I’ve already picked up my online order or packed the car after my in-person trip and headed home that they text me they need toothpaste. At least they are big enough to go get what they forgot themselves. That’s one perk of having older kids!
- Teens are always trying new things, which is good for them, but usually a pain in the keister for us. The child who ate nothing but butter noodles and chicken nuggets until he was nine is suddenly vegan or pescatarion. So you must learn new rules about what you can buy as you say goodbye to the usual items you purchased on a weekly basis for the last five years.
- Teens are socially conscious to a fault. If it’s not fair-trade, non-GMO, organic, and dolphin-safe they probably don’t want what you brought home. Until you remind them that it’s your house, your wallet, and you turned out just fine growing up on Twinkies and PopTarts washed down with artificially flavored Hi-C poured from a giant tin can!
- Grocery shopping for teens can be crazy because they change their minds. Case in point: my teen loved a certain cereal so much that I stocked up and bought six boxes when it went on sale. Of course, that was the exact week he announced it wasn’t his favorite cereal anymore. Don’t worry–he had no choice but to eat the cereal no matter how much he whined about it.
- Yes, teenagers can be just as whiny as little kids. Maybe your teens are the pillar of maturity but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve approached the check out lane only to be surprised by my very big children begging me for that new flavor drink or pack of gum they’ve spied. “Please mom? I won’t ask for anything else and oh, I don’t have any money, can I pay you back, unless you want to treat me because I am your beloved child and I helped you so much today?”
- Speaking of which, they aren’t as helpful as they think they are. Sure, they can reach things on high shelves or fetch something from the next aisle. More often than not, though, they toss extra things into your cart that they just HAVE to have. Or they stand in front of your cart mesmerized by something on their phone, totally oblivious that they are blocking the way. Or they are slow to help, or even disappear, when it’s time to bring the groceries into the house. Thanks, kids!
Yup, grocery shopping for teens will make your head spin.
There is joy in the craziness, though. Providing for them and simply being with them never gets old. But if they would only tell me ahead of time that they need more dental floss.