I've been thinking through a dilemma these past months.
The dilemma is "how do I run my weekly (or bi-weekly) errands and shopping without sacrificing an entire day of homeschooling, and without running myself ragged?"
Saturday is out. Grocery stores in Town on weekends? INSANE. All 60,000 county residents are in the parking lot or the store aisles, I swear.
Evenings? I did a very-late night shopping a couple weeks ago, and decided that wasn't really for me, either, though it had it's perks. Putting groceries away at midnight wasn't one of them.
My mom suggested I sacrifice that one day of school, and make up for it on Saturday. I haven't tried this yet, but unless Hubby is working that Saturday, I prefer not.
So yesterday - payday - Hubby got home fairly early. I was able to throw dinner together (a cabbage roll casserole - it was a hit) and take Baby out the door with 8 minutes left before the bank drive-thru closed. I made it there in 7.
From there I went into Town, to a mainstream grocery store that has a great "Weird Food Section." ( I started calling it that waaay back before I would be caught shopping in 'those aisles,' and now it's my favorite part). I was able to park close to the front, even at 6:30, and got what I needed in good time. The only downside was that it was WINDY and COLD and I'd hurried out without a jacket or longjohns beneath my skirt! Brrr! Well, that and the fact that all the 'clearance' bananas, yogurts, organic milk, etc. was gone, if there had been any there earlier.
After that, I paused in the van to nurse baby, and then made my way to Costco. Again, I got front-row parking, and the store was pretty sparse by way of shoppers. Add to that my ONE accompanying child, and it was a pretty mellow experience. A vacation, nearly. :)
I nursed Baby again, and changed her, then instead of heading straight home (the straight-shot road home from that end of Town is under construction for the next 18 months anyway) I stopped at the home-improvement store for a couple items. I was home by 9:30 and didn't have to offload my purchases alone in the cold.
I think this plan might just work, at least for the seasons that Hubby isn't working late. I may take one of the older girls with me for future trips and enjoy some special time with them. All good.
Now, if Hubby had just remembered to have the kids work on the list of small chores while I was gone, it would've been perfect. :)