8 Hy-Vee Hacks Every Parent Should Know

By Rachel Tiemeyer
March 11, 2020

Sponsored by Hy-Vee (Columbia)

Many years ago when I started having children, I quickly realized that grocery shopping with small people in tow can be a nightmare. I knew I had to hit a small window of opportunity to get in and get out without major meltdowns.

That’s honestly why I started shopping at Hy-Vee. I learned over the years that there are at least eight shopping hacks that made for the best grocery store trip ever with my kids.

Do you know all of these? Come with me, fellow parents, on a typical Hy-Vee trip and see what you may be missing…

1. Parking Perks

Let’s start from the beginning, shall we? The kids are fresh and your window of opportunity has just begun..hurry!!

Good thing the parking lot is not only easy to get in and out of (unlike Walmart’s confusing maze of unending rows), but they also have convenient reserved parking for pregnant women and parents with babies. I love their love for new moms!

2. “I Can Help!”

Now, as you enter the store, let the fun begin.

At some stores, there are kid-sized shopping carts that your child can push alongside you to be a “helper”. If it’s a quick trip, these carts can help keep him engaged along the way. (If it’s a long trip, then…may God show you mercy, dear parent of little ones.)

3. Go Bananas

Congrats, you’ve made it into the store successfully without drama. Now, we’re at the produce section, and it’s time for the first snack stop: fresh fruit!

Did you know each of your children can have a free banana, clementine, or apple? Yep, help yourself and then pat yourself on the back for this awesome parenting decision.

4. Say Cheese

Banana has been downed and you’re rolling up to the deli area. Be sure to swing by the counter and ask for a free cheese slice of your child’s choosing.

Shoot, we’re getting close to hitting enough food groups now for this to count as lunch, no? Oh, that’s just me?

5. Cookie for Your Monster

Have the kids had a fruit or vegetable? (Banana) Check. Protein-rich snack? (Cheese slice) Check. By the time you’ve sauntered down to the bakery section and are 1/4 of the way through the store, it’s time for dessert, right?

Stop by the bakery counter for a free cookie from one of the nice staff. Your child will be busily munching on it for the next few aisles if you’re lucky.

6. Last Stop, Floral Shop

Ok, you made it through the aisles with nary a tantrum but here comes the check out line. (Nooooo.)

Never fear, the floral department is near. Send your kiddo to the counter to ask sweetly for a balloon and they will return with a free one in hand to keep them busy while you pay!

7. Short Lines

Hy-Vee obviously knows my heart’s greatest desire by this point–to get the heck out of there as fast as possible!

Three words, friends: Short. Check-out. Lines.

I’ve timed my wait at Walmart to be at least 20 minutes on more than one occasion (while 20 check-out lanes sit unused, huh!?). At Hy-Vee I rarely wait more than one minute. Oh blessing of blessings.

8. Make Hy-Vee Do the Work For You Next Time

You made it through your shopping trip quickly with full-tummied, balloon-gifted babies, but maybe you’re thinking what I’ve thought many times before. Wouldn’t it be easier to just order my groceries online? Now, you’re really getting smart as a parent. Hy-Vee has you covered with Aisles Online!

Chime in! Are there other hacks I’m missing??

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19 replies
  1. Jacqui says:

    We have a HyVee in Rochester, MN that offers FREE child care for 2 hours while you shop. My absolute favorite perk. You can get your shopping done and also sit at a cafe for some me time.

  2. Aubrey says:

    I’m a nanny and just today we got a slice of cheese and a cookie for each kiddo. West broadway hyvee in Columbia MO is not giving out free balloons during construction because there is no electricity going to the floral department. But will be back to giving free balloons soon.

  3. Jessica Porter says:

    They provide free wifi in Columbia stores! So if you want to hand over the electronic devise, you totally can without using all your data. It’s what I do between finished cookie and checking out!

  4. Daniell says:

    I love our online shopping at Hyvee. Plus I save money when I do it online because items are not mysteriously being added to the cart!

  5. Livvy says:

    As an employee of Hyvee, I used to work in Flotal (but it wasn’t working out for me. That’s another story). While I was working there, I have never heard that a balloon was free when children came and asked for balloon. (There’s a worldwide helium shortage so it’s pretty pricy. 1.99 for one lateelx and 4.99 for one of the Mylar balloons on display.) I recommend asking the hyvee floral if they give away a free balloon. I don’t know how it is at other stores, but I’m not sure that policy is followed at the one I work at. Definitely familiarize yourself with the store policies. It isn’t always the same across the company.

    • Rachel says:

      Our Columbia stores used to give away helium balloons, but now it’s just one filled with air on a stick. I actually like it better, since it can’t fly away when we step out of the store. I’m not sure what other Hy-Vees do in other communities, though. Good advice to ask first.

    • K says:

      As a fellow HyVee employee, in our store (whose floral department was featured in this blog) we offer free, non-helium balloons to visiting children. As you pointed out, it would not be cost efficient to offer free helium filled ballons. But it is nice to offer something to make the children feel special. 🙂

  6. Amaris says:

    I always brib my girls that they have to be good so they can ride Henry the Hyvee horse at the Broadway Hyvee. The cashiers always hand out tokens to ride him. Haley even prayed for Henry the Hyvee horse to get better when he was out of comission for a week.

  7. Sachia says:

    We have tried samples in the delivery department of different salads they make 3rd food group…woot woot! I also have them carry the sale ad and circle things they want!