I have to say that even though I've only been a OAMS for a week, I am loving the freedom. As I've said before I have been an avid couponer for 3 years. I swore by it and for 3 years it was the only way I could keep our minimal $30 grocery budget working for us. However if there is one thing I have learned over time it's to know when something is no longer working for us and make a change. That's where OAMS came into play and I feel free. Don't get me wrong I still coupon. I have my favorite coupon sites I still check once a day for the best deals but knowing my weekly menu plan and grocery shopping doesn't depend on it is freeing to the extreme.
There was a time when grocery shopping was actually fun for me. You read that right, I said FUN. I loved Sundays because the grocery ads would be at my door and I loved seeing what amazing deals I could get that week. I loved going to the store with my stack of coupons and seeing how much I saved.
I still love seeing how much I save when I use coupons but I love that if the sales for that week aren't great it doesn't matter to me because I already have everything I need for my family to eat for the month. I love not having the pressure every Friday or Saturday to have to go to the store, that even if there are good sales I don't have to go to the store if I don't want to. It's an amazing feeling after years of shopping weekly, fighting for the deals, ordering coupons, etc.
Last weekend was a perfect example. There were some great sales with coupons at my local Kroger. Some of them so good, I was kicking myself for already having done my shopping. As the week went on I had a mental list of a couple things I knew I was gonna have to go to the store for, milk and bread. They also had Rotel for a great price with coupons, all of $0.22 a can. I bought 4 of these for my OAMS trip on the previous Saturday and a lot of my recipes call for it so I knew I had to pick a few of these up as well. As for all the other "Great Deals", it was actually really nice knowing I didn't have to go get them. Normally I would be preparing a list over a couple days, searching online for coupons to purchase, getting to the store to find out they were sold out of most items anyway, and inevitably pure frustration would ensue as my meal plan for the following week would be ruined because I couldn't get the food with coupons I had planned.
I don't have to worry about that!!!! It's awesome!
Now don't get me wrong, I will be a little irritated if the Rotel isn't stocked, because we use it so much, and if the mac & cheese I can get for free with coupons isn't there. But it's nice to know I can just get a rain check for those items and move on without having to rethink my entire meal plan for the next week. It's nice to know it's not a big deal this week or any other week during this month. This is one of the perks of going from an avid weekly couponer to OAMS.
It's also great knowing my weekly small trip to the store for milk and bread is just that, a small trip. I have spent so many weeks and hours planning my Friday or Saturday shopping trips of 4+ stores, making meal plans, and sorting/clipping/organizing coupons that when Friday rolls around now, I am free to sleep in if I want (that is, if Grant will actually let me sleep in) because I don't have to go on a big shopping trip. Instead I can spend that time doing something I enjoy, relaxing.
My hope in starting my OAMS adventure was to simplify my life and I think this just may do the trick. I'm already starting to feel less stressed.