Shopping Ban

On July 7, 2014, I set out to complete a yearlong shopping ban.

The rules for the first year were fairly simple: I couldn’t buy anything new (with the exception of a few items on my approved shopping list) unless I had to replace it. I also wasn’t allowed to get takeout coffee, as it was my biggest vice and I wasn’t comfortable with how much money I was spending on it each month.

Here’s what happened in Year 1:

I successfully completed the ban on July 6, 2015 – and then decided to do it all over again.

The rules for the second year were essentially the same – and included a new approved shopping list – but I considered the second year more of an experiment than anything else. Why? Because the one thing I regretted not doing in Year 1 was tracking everything I did buy. So, that’s what I did in Year 2.

I didn’t track how much food I bought or consumed (simply because it would take a lot of time, and I don’t waste much food as it is). Instead, I tracked how many physical items I purchased (including items that needed to be replaced), so I could show what one female consumer might need to buy in a year.

Here’s what I purchased in Year 2:

I completed the two-year shopping ban on July 6, 2016 – and no, I did not decide to do it again! Instead, I am writing a book about my experiments with consuming less of everything, in a self-help memoir titled The Year of Less. I am so excited to be working with Hay House on this project and I can’t wait to share it with you. <3

Until then, if you’re thinking of doing a shopping ban of your own, I’ve written a guide to help you map it out and ensure your own successful completion:

Good luck, friends!