1.) Food is a great distraction- it will keep the kiddos occupied, satisfied, and quiet. Either bring your own snacks (I usually do this) or buy a treat at the store. I know, we are trying to save $, not spend it, but places like Target have great cafes (and coupons for it). For example, I got my kids a popcorn and drink for $.50 total (see picture above).
2.) Let the kids help! Some places like Town and Country have little shopping carts that are great for the little ones to shop with (see picture below). My son absolutely loves this and it makes him feel so special and important! With 3 kids, 3 years and under, sometimes his shopping cart is the only place I have to put my groceries! Give him some coupons and let him find the products on the shelves to fill his cart with!