Year of No Shopping Report: 1st Quarter

Well, I survived the first three months of my Year of No Shopping! To be honest, I didn’t shop much last year so this gets easier and easier. I did, however, get 2 flat tires during these first few months, which cost more than my shopping did…. Ugh winters in NJ make for lovely driving conditions.

In case you forgot, here’s a link to my New Year’s Resolution post where I mention the Year of No Shopping.

So let’s recap..

The beginning of the year was a little tricky because I had a target-dollar-bin habit.

Random Shopping Urges in January:

  • Walking into Target on Jan1 and seeing the dollar bins filled with Valentine’s Day supplies! And they had Galentine’s Day too! Leslie Knope is my spirit animal (oh and she’s a hoarder), so I had to tear myself away. THAT WAS JUST DAY 1.
  • On Jan 3, I thought I would order a zip pouch for some planner supplies. Then stopped myself, because that’s insane. I know I have a pouch somewhere. And I have a sewing room FULL of items to make a pouch if necessary.
  • On Jan 4, I wanted tea. Somehow I have survived 5 years of living in my own house without a tea kettle, but today I wanted to order one on Amazon Prime. I blame the snow storm and Whole30 for this one.

I generally consider myself a disciplined person, so this process is enlightening. Amazon Prime has truly ruined me. After that it really did get easier.

Now I feel a little overwhelmed when I walk into a store without a plan. My Target re-arranged itself this year to bombard customers with homegoods in every corner of the store (literally). I love everything, but no longer feel the need to buy something without a specific use.

I DID SHOP A LITTLE: for Easter. Remember this Easter post last week? We needed a tablecloth, a few placemats, and glasses. But I knew exactly what I wanted going into those stores and walked out if I didn’t find it.

And I buy books through Book of the Month, Kindle deals, random Amazon recommendations… it’s hard to resist. And I love writing in books! I need to have my own copy, but I’ve also gone to the library a lot lately.

I just wanted to be honest with you πŸ™‚

While this challenge isn’t about how much money I was spending, we did see a nice impact on our budgeting!

How does this work again?

Let’s talk a little bit more about how my year of no shopping will work. A lot of people asked when I said this was a goal for me, and at the time I hadn’t fleshed out all these details. In the inspirational New York Times article, Ann Patchett originally limited herself to no shopping for clothing, then realized she should limit electronics and really anything extra. For gifts, she allowed herself to buy books and that was it.

I’m going along with the same thought process, but sometimes it’s hard to detail what’s unnecessary vs. a thoughtful purchase. And if you don’t struggle with this, you might think I’m completely insane. However, I feel like most people I know vaguely understand what it’s like to make several spur-of-the-moment purchases, and then look around at all the clutter in their homes wondering where it came from.

Still not you? Cool. Good for you.

For me, “no shopping” comes back to intentionality and joy.

Am I just stuffing stickers and notebooks into my heart where I should be cultivating a friendship? Or better yet, could I save all the money spent on tiny purchases to buy something big like a couch that I love?

Am I strolling through a store because I’m distracting myself from a stressful work project? Going for a run would be healthier and might release some of that pressure.

As Patchett mentions as well, sometimes if you just wait a few days you don’t even want that item anymore.

So what is off-limits for the year?

  • Clothing: this is the obvious one. I’ve gotten pretty good at this, because my sister gives me a lot of her clothes haha does that count? yes!
  • Office Supplies (I don’t I’ll actually run out of ink in any of my pens any time soon, and I have quite the notebook collection)
  • Home Decor/ Organization: unless I can say, “there’s nothing else in my home to meet this need, and it will serve a purpose for all seasons for the foreseeable future” it’s probably not going to make the cut.
  • Craft Supplies: my office/ craft room is exploding. I don’t need anything for a LONG TIME. Or at least until I can sort through what I have and organize it better. How can I buy something new if I don’t even know what I have??

What’s ok to buy?

First of all, this challenge isn’t really about spending money. It’s about intentionality and simplicity. So if I truly need something, I’ll buy it. For example, someone asked if I would still be buying food and toothpaste. The answer is yes.

I would love love love if there was a grocery shopping service in my area that didn’t cost $20+ per trip. But there’s not (#lifeinthecountry). So I will plan all my trips carefully, order what I can online (Butcher Box for meat, Hello Fresh-style for some dinners), and try to get in and out.

I told my sister how much I hate grocery shopping, and she said, “Really? I love grocery shopping!”
“No, you love shopping… all kinds.”

Ok, so here’s a more specific list:

  • Food (obviously) and general necessities: Patchett suggests going through your stuff first before buying. She found multiple shampoos and lip balms that she hadn’t used
  • Make Up… this is a necessity πŸ™‚ but I’m not going to be VIP at Sephora anytime this year.
  • If I have a gift card: I feel like this is against the spirit of the challenge, but whatever. Gift cards are nice.
  • Experiences: I loved skiing this winter, and maybe I’ll go to the movies occasionally. Again, the challenge isn’t about not spending money, but the reason behind the purchase.
  • Running Shoes: these are a necessity, as well. You can really hurt yourself if you run on bad/old sneakers.
  • Gifts for others: Kind of… these will probably be handmade or something pretty specific.

How are you doing with New Year’s Resolutions?

I reread that post from last year, and totally forgot my word of the year was intentional. But I have been intentional, so good job Danielle!
Do you remember any of your goals for the year? Maybe refresh and try again in Q2!

yea of no shopping on

Photo from kaboompics, because she’s the best!