Moms on Edge Wins Again!

Alibaba.com Sponsors Annual 2008 E-Business Champions of the Year Award Ceremony

Contest Inspires International Businesses to Tap Into Online Resources

CHICAGO, June 13 /PRNewswire/ — Alibaba.com announces the five North American E-Business Champions of 2008: Jane Ivanov, Elena Neitlich, Gene Rumley, Brandon Dupsky and Phil Weil. This annual contest, held in the U.S. for the first time, recognizes credibility, achievement and innovation among entrepreneurs using the Internet as a tool for business.

Sponsored by Alibaba.com, the world’s largest online business-to-business marketplace for global trade, the contest hopes to inspire international businesses to think about the added possibilities the online world offers.

Contestants submitted and posted their e-commerce success stories on Alibaba.com, which were evaluated by judges and the level of interest from online forum members. The chosen contestants won a trip to the Chicago E-Business Champions Award Ceremony at 6:30 p.m., June 18 at the University of Chicago’s Gleacher Center. In addition, they are entered into a pool to win an all-expenses paid trip to China for the Global E-Business Champions of the Year Award Ceremony in Hangzhou in August.

2008 E-Business Champions

Jane Ivanov

Founder and CEO of Eve Alexander LLC, located in Indianapolis, Ind., Ivanov has been an Alibaba.com member since 2004. While she was pregnant with her first son, she realized how difficult it was to find attractive lingerie available to pregnant women. So, she set out to change that with EveAlexander.com, maternity and nursing lingerie and apparel. Before launching her new business, Ivanov utilized Alibaba.com to find the right manufacturer to produce her product line at a reasonable cost.

Elena Neitlich

As a solution to her child’s sleeping problem, Neitlich, co-founder and CEO of MomsOnEdge.com, created new products to elicit peace, quiet and good behavior in children. Neitlich’s company, located in Osprey, Fla., fills an untapped niche in the children’s market – parenting tools that reduce stress and improve family time. Using games, toys and techniques to which children immediately respond, Neitlich attracted the attention of parents everywhere. Working on a tight budget, she needed manufactures that were willing to make only a small quantity of goods. She found the perfect match through Alibaba.com in 2005.

Gene Rumley

Rumley decided to tap into Alibaba.com after he received high quotes from domestic translation service providers for his fuel and oil treatment products company called BellPerformance, Inc., located in Lake Mary, Fla. Originally a company with all domestic buyers, Rumley decided to look beyond American boundaries to access a worldwide base through the resources at Alibaba.com. As a member since 2006, he has started using the online marketplace as a resource for personal projects as well.

Brandon Dupsky

As owner and CEO of OnFair.com, Dupsky used the power of technology and e-business to launch his Lincoln, Neb. company in the global market. OnFair.com, an online retailer specializing in consumer electronics and surplus inventory, has a projected 2008 revenue of $1 million. Creating relationships with international suppliers and buyers through Alibaba.com, Dupsky was able to have a more competitive and profitable supply channel for his online business. Previously sourcing domestically in the United States, he was no longer able to compete in the global market because of the added expense. Alibaba.com linked him directly to international manufactures, which allowed him to give savings back to the consumers and revitalize his business.

Phil Weil

Before Weil decided to go into the fan business in San Diego, Calf., he used Alibaba.com to find the right manufacturers for his products. Decobreeze.com, a manufacturer and distributor of decorative, home decor products, started as a collection of fans. After some time, Weil decided if he wanted to grow his business he needed to adapt to his customers specific needs. So he started developing new items for the retailers and distributors and again sourced the products through Alibaba.com for quick and effective factory contacts in a variety of product types. Weil describes Alibaba.com as “a tool that takes us mere mortals and transforms us into superheroes by the click of the mouse.”

About Alibaba.com Limited

Alibaba.com (HKSE: 1688), a member of the Alibaba Group of companies, is the world’s leading B2B e-commerce company. Alibaba.com runs an international marketplace (http://www.alibaba.com) focusing on global importers and exporters and a China marketplace (http://www.alibaba.com.cn) focusing on suppliers and buyers trading domestically in China. Together, its marketplaces form a community of around 30 million registered users from over 240 countries and regions.

Website: http://www.alibaba.com/
Website: http://www.alibaba.com.cn/
Website: http://www.EveAlexander.com/
Website: http://www.MomsOnEdge.com/
Website: http://www.OnFair.com/
Website: http://www.Decobreeze.com/

Why Good Manners Matter

“…the principle of civil reciprocity is a solid one, for which reason it is occasion for total, staggering dismay that it appears to be on its way out.” Lynne Truss fumes in her wonderfully, hotheaded bestseller, Talk to the Hand  #?*! The Utter Bloody Rudeness of the World Today, or Six Good Reasons to Stay at Home and Bolt the Door.

 

“Shut up Mom!” hollers a three year old from her perch in the grocery cart. “Is this all there is?” a six year old questions, as he unhappily chooses a lollipop from the reward bag his teacher has just handed him. “I was going to invite my friend Jordan, but he couldn’t make it, so I had to invite you…” laments a 13 year old boy to a classmate, as he chews an enormous bite of a sandwich…with his mouth open…

 

“I don’t want to prepare her for a cotillion, maybe I could just get her to look up at me and stop ‘texting’ for a moment, when I ask her about her day?” says the dad of sixth grade Stephanie.

 

People are mourning the loss of etiquette. The search term that brings the highest number of people to my parenting blog, day after day, year after year is “children’s manners”. Parents want their children to be well mannered and they themselves would like to be treated with dignity and respect…maybe even a little deference.

 

Kids are kids and expected to say outrageous things from time to time. The days of “children should be seen and not heard” are long gone. However, children need to be trained to not only place their napkins in their laps, but to be aware that they are members of a large global society. As the credit card commercial says, “Membership has its privileges”. Membership also has its responsibilities, the biggest responsibility, valuing the other members.

 

If kids aren’t displaying good manners, it is not a big stretch to assume that parents aren’t teaching and/or modeling good manners. A father, who demonstrates boorish manners, gives the green light to his child to use boorish manners; dad might even think it is funny when his child acts out in public. The problem is we (instructors, teachers, coaches, admissions officers, and bosses) don’t find the child’s behavior funny, and we (instructors, teachers, coaches, admissions officers, and bosses) quickly pass him over. Sadly, the ill-mannered child never had a chance; his father chose his behavior, and the consequences of that behavior, for him.

 

Why aren’t parents teaching manners if they would like their children to use good manners, and they know that their children must exhibit good manners to succeed?

 

It does seem, from the many parents that I interview, that parents today are not too keen on being the “bad guys” to their children. Parents want their children to have manners, but cringe at correcting their children’s bad behavior. “I hate to come home from work after not seeing my kids all day and have to start disciplining their behavior; I would rather just goof around with them.”

 

Other parents didn’t receive manners training themselves, so teaching manners to their children is not an option. “I feel at a huge disadvantage. I wasn’t taught manners as a child and I am very uncomfortable in certain social situations. I struggle at business events because, I hate to admit it, I don’t have a lot of tact, sometimes, I inadvertently blurt out some inane and completely inappropriate comment.  I just do not even know where to begin to teach him a better way to behave.”

 

It is not uncommon to hear parents today say that their children are “gifted”, “brilliant”, “testing for genius”, or possessing “perfect pitch”. Perhaps these parents are so busy pointing out the great, it is difficult to see the not-so-great? Maybe these parents are fearful if they say anything deemed negative or judgmental, they will damage their children’s psyches? Maybe pointing out a child’s “not-so-great” behavior makes the parent look “not-so-great”?

 

Many people hypothesize the reasons behind (per the sub-title in Lynn Truss’ book), “The Utter Bloody Rudeness of the World Today.” Maybe the trend is a consequence of high divorce rates, increasing single parent homes, the great number of two working parents, political correctness, video games, The Media, The Internet, the pornification of society…maybe a combination of the list? But is the question even relevant? None of these “possible causes” are going away any time soon.

 

So it becomes our job as parents to accept the culture as it is today, and teach our children good manners. Arming our children with manners and values allows them the opportunity to make good choices when faced with the curve balls, “the world” will inevitably throw at them.

 

Respecting and valuing others, developing high integrity and making others feel at ease, are probably the key reasons that society practices good manners. Manners put us at ease with those people that we know. Manners make us feel safe around complete strangers.

 

It would be anxiety provoking, to say the least, if there were no rules of social etiquette. What if, when browsing through a dress rack at the mall, it was perfectly acceptable for the stranger browsing alongside us, coveting the discounted blouse we got to first, to pop us one in the jaw and wrestle us to the floor for the garment? How often would we go to the mall?

 

It is okay that social standards have relaxed over the past 75 years. Rigidity and strict rules don’t fit today’s world. Pinafores, cotillions, white gloves, dessert spoons, sipping tea from the saucer, and pillbox hats seem out of place in most social circles. But the basic tenets of etiquette still hold strong and true.

 

Proper table manners, pleasant conversational skills, appropriate dress and the use of tact are social graces that make interacting with others easy and agreeable. Etiquette rules that embrace the goals of respecting and valuing others, having high integrity and putting others at ease, make living side by side easy. It is hard to argue the merit of good etiquette.

 

Fail to teach children manners and fail them. Without proper manners training, children will run into awkward situations as they mature that will probably limit their options for success. We want our kids to be participatory members of a thriving and exciting, civil society. The last thing that parents want for their children is for them to have to “Stay home and bolt the door.”

 

 

 

 

The Time is NOW to Teach Kids Good Manners

Moms from all over the world, and especially here in the USA, contact me every day to share their concerns about raising kids. One of the biggest issues, I am asked about, is children’s manners and respect. Moms everywhere are concerned about their kids learning table manners, communication skills, sharing, and all of the basic social courtesies that create a civil society…they are worried that as a society we are doing away with everyday etiquette.
So many etiquette challenges…For instance, teachers voice their frustration with kids who interrupt class without raising their hands. Moms complain about table manners, use (or non-use) of “please” and “thank you”, challenges kids have entering conversations, and lack of tact when a child doesn’t like something or when another child makes a mistake. Kids are kids, and nobody wants to do anything to break their wonderful spirits or sap their energy. At the same time, many parents and teachers wish there was a fun and easy way to instill the basics of etiquette, manners, respect for others — all in an engaging way that kids actually enjoy and that lets them express their natural creativity and “kid-ness”.

You asked for it so we created a solution: An engaging and simple system to teach kids etiquette, manners and respect

If you are a Mom or teacher who loves working with kids and would like to prepare your own kids and perhaps the kids in your community for a lifetime of success — while earning an excellent extra income stream —  then I would like to invite you to check out our wonderful new program called Etiquette Moms. Go to our new site http://www.etiquettemoms.com to learn more.The goal is simple: Create an army of caring Moms and teachers who instill good manners and habits in our kids. This program is nothing like the old, stale, boring etiquette classes. Instead, it is MODERN, fun, and uses tons of great games and activities to teach kids proper habits while having a great time. You and your kids will love it!

If you want to make a difference and lay a foundation of success for your children and the children in your community, please visit Etiquette Moms now. Before you know it, you could have a wonderful new way of earning extra income and spending time with your kids.

 

 

 

 

Now you can join an amazing group of like-minded moms and teachers, and take action to make a huge difference in the lives of your own kids, and in the lives of kids everywhere! Plus, we could all use an extra income stream these days, and this program shows you how to create your very own part-time or full-time etiquette training business. I can’t think of a better way to earn an excellent income than by providing an incredibly valuable service for children!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 

 

 

 

 

 


Family Time Should Not Include Video Games

As the mom of two little boys and the designer and manufacturer of a line of games, toys and parenting tools I have a unique perspective on children’s toys, games, and products. I also have attended Toy Fair every year in New York where all of the new toys are introduced to the trade before they hit the stores.

I am pro toy. I love creative board games, building blocks, puppets, books, puzzles, science projects, sports equipment and crafts. I seek toys, products and games that engage, challenge, educate, encourage movement and that are fun. I especially love toys that encourage family time. And am thrilled when a birthday invitation arrives and I get to take my kids to a toy store to buy a gift.

Unlike the average lay person who strolls the toy aisles with casual interest, I painstakingly study each shelf, taking detailed notes about the designs, age appropriateness, quality of packaging, attention to detail, and overall toy concept. “What is the mark up on this item?” “Did the manufacturer have an inspector in the manufacturing plant assuring the use of safe products?” “How much damage is this wasteful packaging going to do to the planet in my child’s lifetime?” “What kind of a hit is this toy maker going to take when smart and thoughtful moms and dads say, ‘No Way!’ to this doll that looks like a prostitute?”

I ask myself questions with my mom hat on, “Would a child lose interest after 15 minutes and leave this toy discarded on the family room floor?” and “How many pieces will get sucked up in the vacuum, roll under the couch, get eaten by the dog, or get flushed down the potty while dinner is being prepared?…Will it be fun for mom and dad to play too?”

I make it a point to get children’s perspectives on toys. I teach Tae Kwon Do to a wide age range of children and interrogate them after class about their varying interests. I volunteer in my six year old child’s classroom very often and have in-depth discussions with the children about what they enjoy doing and playing with and I get down on the floor and play with my three year old and his friends and watch them delight over things that roll.

A recurring theme repeats itself over and over to me, “Will you play with me?” “Watch me do this!” “Mom, check this out, check this out!” “Do you want me to make one for you?” “I am going to dress up as a pirate; can you dress up as Wonder Woman!” The resounding theme is: be with me, play with me, connect with me, and share yourself with me!

As I hear the welcoming and joyful invitations to play from the many kids I have the honor and privilege of being around, I can’t believe the rotten choices we are given in retail stores for juvenile products.

Of all the choices, I find video games to be the most rotten and scary. Children are begging us to give them our time and attention, and we are handing them insipid tech toys that isolate them from us, their siblings and their peers. As if it weren’t bad enough to immobilize a child in front of the television or computer at home for hour after hour, manufacturers have scaled the units down so that kids can play video games in the car, instead of speaking with us; play video games on the playground, instead of hanging on the monkey bars; and even play video games at the dinner table, instead of eating with the family.

Video games, computer games, DVD players and ipods discourage face to face interaction, requiring the user to stare sedately at a screen, or tune people out with earphones. These devices also discourage creativity, imagination and activity. We have all heard the frightening reports of increasing childhood obesity, high cholesterol and diabetes; however we continue to offer toy choices that limit mobility.

There isn’t a lack of creative toy design. There are many wildly clever toy designers that figure ingenuity, originality and inventiveness into their products. The problem is lack of interest from the masses. Small toy stores that once offered interesting choices have been pushed out by the enormous box stores that, due to their large size, can offer toys at lower prices. The risk is too high for most independent manufacturers to sell to the box stores. For instance, if a box store orders a huge amount, 100,000 units perhaps, and those units don’t sell, the small manufacturer is often required to buy back the inventory, and can be bankrupted with one terrible phone call. The result: kids get slim pickings. Video games sell, so stores offer more and more video games.

With envy, I have watched children burst out of classrooms into the sunlight and run screaming onto the playground desperate to blow off their pent up energy. I try to remember what it feels like to want to run until I fall down. It has been my pleasure to work side by side with kids for hours as they enthusiastically learn how to tie dye t-shirts, make soap, knead dough, construct cities with blocks, and kick or punch through boards. I marvel at their creative energy, their willingness to take on new things, and their social ease and intelligence. After years of teaching kids, I have never had a single child say to me, “I think that instead of cracking these eggs into this cake batter we are making together, I would rather play a video game, alone, in my room.”

After watching kids playing merrily on the playground or grinning from ear to ear as they run all day on a beach, how could any parent opt to instead sit their children in front of a television for hours of passive, inactive, button pushing. If I were a kid and I knew everything that I know now, I would revolt.

I guess it is our job, as caring, loving parents, to revolt for them.

Let’s stand up for our children’s right to actively experience childhood, and stop handing them devices that discourage running, jumping, imagining, reading, growing, learning, and moving? Let’s encourage face to face interaction and give our kids the attention that they need and crave and that we promised them the first time we held them. Let’s limit the amount of video monitors that we expose our children to, in favor of games, toys and crafts that appeal to their energized, smart, clever and funny nature. Let’s choose to put down what we are doing in favor of being with our kids. There will be plenty of time to do what we want when we blink and our kids are grown.

Potty Training-A Simple 4 Step Formula for Initiating Toilet Training.

moe-logo.jpg“I’m so done with diapers!” groans a mother as she looks at the high price tag on the jumbo pack of diapers. “Is it time for my child to start potty training?” 

Potty training is a big milestone for children. But how do parents know when to start? Intuition, expectations, common sense and observation play key roles in initiating potty training. 

Step #1-Create a Parent/Child Team

Potty training is a combined effort between parent and child. Some parents may assume that they are in charge, while other parents place the child at the helm. In actuality, potty training is a partnership. Parents provide support, potty training tools, books, and dry clothing; children do the “going.”

Grasping the concept that potty training is a team effort between parent and child, and not a command and control situation, is critical to success. Strict, impatient pursuit of the goal puts undo pressure on the child, resulting in stress, anxiety and in some cases delayed potty training.  

Step#2-Starting early doesn’t ensure quick results

In depth research on intensive potty training has proven that initiating the process early is in fact correlated to extended duration of potty training. Those parents who start training prematurely find that the potty training process lasts longer.  Children must develop bladder and muscle control before they are able to control toileting.

Parents may adhere to this rough timeline of readiness: 15-18 months the child senses that his or her clothes are wet; 18 months the child may urinate on the potty if placed on it; 2- 2 1/2 years the child might alert the parent that he has to go; and 3-4 years the child may have the ability to “hold it” and visit the bathroom alone.   

Step#3-Determine readiness by child’s development

When deciding to begin the potty training process, chronological age may not be the correct indicator for readiness. The parent should look for signs that the child is developmentally ready. This is especially true for babies who were born prematurely and children who are developmentally delayed. 

Some good signs of readiness are: child can sit and walk well, child can stay dry for 2 hours or more, child is interested in doing what big kids or grownups do, child is able to follow and execute simple instructions, and child seems to understand what the potty is for and uses words relating to using the toilet.  

Parents should assess the temperament of the child. Important questions to ask are: is the child able to focus, what is her attention span, does the child frustrate easily, is the child easily angered or discouraged. 

For most children potty training occurs between 2 and 3 years, with the majority of children potty trained by 4. 

Step#4-Go on now, go!

Today is the day! Parents should make sure that the child is in good health, and that the household is calm with no impending turmoil such as a move coming up, a new baby being brought home, or a parent going away on a trip.  

Dress the child in easy to remove clothing like sweat pants with an elastic waist. Snaps, buttons and zippers are difficult for little hands and time consuming to manipulate when the urge arises. To reduce the pressure on the child, allow him to stay in diapers during the early days of potty training. Gradually transition him into underwear for short amounts of time as his dry times become more and more extended.  

After a meal, nap, or when coming in from outdoors are good times to encourage the child to hop on the potty. Parents should be on the look out for indicators of when the child may have the urge to go.  

Accompany the child to the potty and stay with him. The visit to the bathroom should be short and sweet; five minutes is plenty of time. Offer reading material, or use a fun potty training tool or toy to make the five minutes engaging. Important: if the child wants to get off of the potty before five minutes, don’t force him to stay. 

Praise, praise, praise! Little milestones deserve lots of hugs and kisses. It is really something for a little tyke to hop on the potty by herself, pull up her own pants, or make it into the bathroom (even if only to be a little late.) Be kind, patient, sensitive and proud. Don’t scold the child for having accidents, ever.

Top Three Mistakes Parents Make When Dealing with Separation Anxiety

Moms on Edge LogoSaying goodbye is one of the most difficult tasks that people learn in life. Learning to handle separation is an emotionally difficult task that begins in infancy. Too often, parents and caregivers mishandle the child’s transition between them, and the child is left feeling scared and abandoned. “Maybe mommy isn’t ever coming back.”

 

Failing to provide the necessary support that children need, to separate well, may have a negative effect on the child’s future relationships. The parent’s own feelings of anxiety and sadness, or on the opposite end of the spectrum, insensitivity to the child’s emotions, can have a profound effect on a child’s level of separation anxiety.

 

If separating is handled with sensitivity, children develop confidence and independence and feel secure when left in the hands of a loving and competent caregiver.

 

Mistake #1-Ignore the child’s fears-Many parents think that ignoring a child’s anxiety, anger, stress and fear makes separating easier. Mom or dad might believe that springing the separation on the child and sneaking out, like ripping off a band-aid, won’t give the child time to get worked up, tearful and upset. Other parents may not be sensitive to the fact that separating is a big deal, “Why is he so upset, I am just running out for an hour.” Don’t tell the child his or her feelings are insignificant.

 

Solution: Explain to the child calmly, clearly and briefly, what he or she should expect. Use the same ritual before each separation. For example: enter the room, hang the child’s coat, put the snack away, take out a loved toy, give a big hug and kiss, etc. Do not sneak out or use a distraction to duck out of the room. In new situations, parents should allot adequate time to hang around while the child becomes acclimated to his new surroundings. The parent should reassure the child that mommy/daddy is coming back soon and should expect the child to feel some distress. Separating is tough.

 

Mistake #2-Emphasize the fun and excitement of the activity-Disregarding that the child is feeling frightened, and instead focusing on how much fun she is going to have, does not ease separation fears. The child may be confused and not understand why she is being left and wondering if mommy or daddy will ever return. While upset the child is not able to focus on the fun things in store for her while mom is away.

 

Solution: Short absences initially (30-90 minutes) are easier for children. Ensure that the child understands what is happening by using the same description of the situation before each separation. “Mommy is going to have her teeth cleaned, remember we passed the dentist’s office on the drive over here? I will be back shortly to pick you up and then we will go to the park and have our lunch. I know that you feel a little afraid because this is a new place to play and I am leaving. Miss Melanie is really kind and happy to play with you, I like her very much. I love you and I am coming back to pick you up as soon as my teeth are shiny.” Explaining what to expect gives the child a sense of control.

 

Mistake #3-Neglecting to give the reunion its proper consideration-“Grab your coat, let’s get in the car, we are late!”…is not a proper hello after being separated from a child. Having a conversation with the caregiver before acknowledging the child, is also a mistake.

 

Solution: Handling the reunion between parent and child with sensitivity is just as important as the goodbye. The child is relieved that the parent has returned as promised. Develop a warm and loving routine used for returns. Positive relationship development relies on reuniting with joy and happiness. Using a special routine honors the loving bond between parent and child.

 

How to Survive the Supermarket with Kids in Tow

Moms on Edge Logo“Before kids I used to happily peruse the supermarket aisles, slowly selecting interesting new items, scrutinizing labels and creating a few evening meals in my head as I shopped. Now I have two small kids and my creative shopping days are over. I run through the store and I am lucky if I get half of the essentials that I need to get through the week,” writes a frustrated mom when asked about her biggest daily stressors. 

With small children in tow, visits to the supermarket can be unproductive and filled with anxiety. An extra twenty minutes of indecision, waiting at the deli, or traveling unneeded aisles, is just enough time for kids to lose their marbles and cause the parent to flee the store, shopping incomplete. Supermarket shopping must get done, and bringing the children, for the majority of parents, is the only viable option. 

Survival Tips 

  • Create a weekly menu.

On Sunday, find 7 simple dinner recipes made with basic, healthy ingredients. Include an easy lunch menu for 7 days and then decide breakfast choices for the week.  The Food Network website yields hundreds of tasty, easy to prepare meal ideas like beef stroganoff and tacos. Writing a weekly menu will relieve the stress that families feel each evening when deciding what’s for dinner, leaving more time and energy for family time. 

  • Make a list.

Using the weekly menu, make a shopping list on the front of a plain envelope (reason for envelope in next tip) of all of the items needed to prepare the week’s breakfast, lunch and dinner meals. The food list complete, go through the house and add to the list, beverages, paper, cleaning, and bath and beauty products running low. A pad of paper and pen in an accessible area lets family members jot down items they need. 

  • Study the floor plan of the grocery store.

It is really helpful to know the layout of the grocery store when creating a grocery list because the list can be made to correlate to the store. For example, if the deli is the first place passed and the dairy is next and then meat, deli items should be grouped at the top of the list followed by all of the dairy items and then meat. Although seemingly obsessive-compulsive, correlating the list to the store layout eliminates doubling back and can save enormous amounts of time.  

  • Clip coupons.

After the list is created, find coupons that match items on the list. Only use coupons for those items regularly used, or those items the family might enjoy trying. Put the coupons needed for the current shopping list into the envelope with the grocery list printed on it. Place a check next to those items on the list that have a coupon. Don’t add extra items to the list just to use a coupon. Compare prices, sometimes another brand might be cheaper than the brand with the coupon. 

Do be creative with the weekly menu to incorporate coupons, for example make chicken instead of pork chops if there is a chicken coupon. Don’t compromise on health to use a coupon; don’t buy a 10% juice beverage with a coupon instead of 100% juice without a coupon or settle for high sugar cereal with a coupon in place of a healthy cereal without.  

  • Choose off-peak hours.

It is much more efficient and pleasant to schedule supermarket visits when the store is empty. Mornings, after people are at work and older children are in school, are quiet in grocery stores and lines are short or non-existent. Later evening for working parents, or early mornings on weekends are typically light. Take note when visiting or just call and ask a store manager, “When is the store is at its most quiet?” Schedule visits during off-peak hours. Workers are much more pleasant and helpful on a whole when not facing hoards of impatient customers. 

  • Hug the perimeter.

The healthiest items in the supermarket are found along the perimeter of the store. Fresh produce, meats and seafood, and the dairy cases all sit along the outer edges. The majority of cart time should be spent along the perimeter. Fresh foods are, more often than not, healthier than the ready-to-eat foods found in the middle aisles. The amount of sodium and fat added to fresh foods while cooking is up to the cook, not the manufacturer.  

  • Ask for help and bring a pen.

Supermarket workers are knowledgeable and generally willing to help. Instead of wandering the aisles in search of a product, ask. Staff will often go out of their way to locate a hard to find item. The butcher can slice cuts of meat and chicken exactly as recipes call for, saving prep time at home. It is perfectly reasonable and a good use of time to alert the butcher or deli clerk, and shop while they are preparing the order.  

Bring a pen and cross items off of the list as you put them in the cart, or you will waste time checking and rechecking your list. Finally, accept the bagger’s offer to bring bundles to the car. Let the bagger push the cart, load the groceries into the car, and return the cart. The parent can keep the kids safe in the parking lot and buckle car seats and seat belts. Safer and a time saver – and baggers often like to get out of the store.