That One Time I Cried in the Grocery Store Parking Lot


This post was created in partnership with Frontier Co-Op, all opinions are our own.

A few weeks ago I hauled both my little boys to our local natural grocery store on double coupon day. I was doomed to fail from the beginning. The night before I had combed through the online advertisements to cross-check the deals and specials. I meal planned, printed out my shopping list, and set my reusable bags by the door. I was so optimistic, full of hope. 

Little did I know I would sit crying in my car in the grocery store parking lot just a few hours later. 

Everyone understands that grocery shopping is a necessary task. But not until you become a parent do you fully realize that weekly shopping trips are a special form of torture. Visits to your local market will leave you sweating in the checkout line as your toddler takes a temper-tantrum to next-level status. Or you’ll find yourself ripping open a not-yet-purchased applesauce pouch in an attempt to satisfy a fussy baby. 

I knew that shopping with my 4 and 2-year-old boys was a true test of my abilities. But I was determined to get those double coupons, even if I had to brave the store outnumbered by my offspring. It all started to go south the moment they refused to sit in the shopping cart. Let them walk, I thought. It’ll be fine, I thought. Oh, how naive I was. What followed was a shopping trip failure of epic proportions. There was crying (not me) whining (again, not me) yelling (me) running (not me) and a desperate attempt to located a potty ASAP. 

I went $50 over budget on my spending and once I finally got everyone loaded into the car I cried. For the first time in over an hour of chaos, my boys were absolutely silent. 

Feeling physically and emotionally exhausted by this point, I pulled out my phone and sent a text to my friends:

How often do your kids make you cry when you go shopping?

Every. Single. Time. 

It doesn’t need to be this hard, does it? 

No. There has to be a better way.


Once the groceries were put away at home and apologies were said, I pulled out my computer and searched for the elusive “better way” my friends and I agreed had to exist. And it does, it’s called Frontier Co-Op. I immediately started to browse the site to see what products were available. The best part? They carry many of the natural and organic products I go out of my way to shop for at my local natural stores. But for a better price!

How to Shop

If you haven’t heard of a co-op before, or aren’t currently a member of one, it’s a really cool concept. The company is owned by the members. On the website, it states, “Co-ops operate in the shared interests of their members — and that extends beyond financial interests to the underlying values of the members. We were founded amid the idealism about food, the environment and social justice of the 1970s “co-op movement.” Neat, huh? Frontier Co-Op cared about the environment long before it was trending. 

There are two ways you can shop Frontier Co-Op. The first is by selecting a Co-Op Membership Account, which requires a single-one-time fee of $10.  The second is a Non-Member Account, which has no enrollment fee but you do pay a slightly higher (7%) price for your products. 

The best part of both options: NO MINIMUM ORDER REQUIREMENT!

You shop the site just like you would any other online shopping website. 

Welcome to the Frontier Family

I’m not alone in my search for a better shopping option to purchase natural, high-quality products for my family. Remember those friends I texted through my tears? We all want a better way to shop. Together we can start a buying club which is an amazing option for friends, neighbors, families or community groups to share in the benefits of wholesale pricing! That means that my mom-friends and I can create an order for baby products, coffee (because, motherhood) essential oils, household items, toiletries, pantry staples and snacks for the same wholesale price that our local natural grocery retailer is paying. 

The Welcome Box

When you sign up to start a new buying club you’ll receive a welcome box from Frontier Co-Op. I tore open my box as soon as it landed on my doorstep and I was so excited to see the sampling of products they sent. Everything was carefully packaged and arrived in perfect condition. My first thought when I opened the box? It smelled SO GOOD. 

Which must be due to the AURA CACIA Discover Relaxation Kit they included. I don’t think there could be a more appropriate product for a group of moms to receive! I mean, this oil blend is called Chill Pill. #nailedit Something else that smells like heaven? The Stoneworks Dyer Sheets. Due to the wind and crazy static electricity we experience in Flagstaff my husband has been requesting I purchase dryer sheets. But I don’t like the product options at the big-box stores. Imagine how thrilled he was to see this item in the welcome box. 

I’ve had kid’s toothpaste on my shopping list for months, yes – months. And I have yet to purchase it. Becuase I always forget when I’m rushing through the store since it’s not an aisle I typically shop. When Frontier Co-Op sent this Dr. Brite Natural Strawberry Sky Toothpaste I literally cheered, I can finally check that off the list! My family also loves Bug Soother, such an awesome company, and product. And I’m addicted to Burt’s Bees Beeswax Lip Balm

My pantry and spice cupboard is always slightly lacking. I don’t know how many times I’ve set out to make a recipe only to have to improvise and skip seasonings. It’s like Food Network’s Chopped around here most days! Frontier Co-Op started their company selling herbs and spices out of a tiny cabin in Iowa. So they included two of their signature products, the Frontier Crushed Red Chili Peppers and a sample of the Frontier Co-Op Himalayan Pink Salt. I regularly purchase Simply Organic products, but the price from Frontier Co-Op is much better than my local natural store! I was so excited to see a jar of Simply Organic Ceylon Cinnamon in my box. 

I’m making a strong effort to eliminate one-time-use plastic from our home, so how perfect is this Ziptuck Reusable Lunch Bag Set from Full Circle and ChicoBag Reusable Shopping Bag they included. Also tucked into the box was a Sale Catalog and some literature about Frontier Co-Op. I also find their website to be super-user friendly and easy to navigate. 

I really enjoyed reading and learning more about the company and why they operate the way that they do. As consumers, we have the power to, “vote with our dollars” as some would say. So choosing to spend your money with a business that aligns with your own personal beliefs is a very rewarding option. 

Will I cry in the grocery store parking lot again? Probably. But maybe much less often now that I’ve found Frontier Co-Op and I can participate in a buying club with my other mom-friends. It takes a village, right? And if my village can shop for awesome natural products from the comfort of our couch, you bet we’re going to do it.