We Did a Buy Nothing Month and This Is What We Learned


buy nothing

Could you buy nothing for a full month? My husband and I tried it, and now we’re hooked. We liked it so much that we now implement a “Buy Nothing Month” every other month!

How To Try a Buy Nothing Month

Implementing a Buy Nothing Month is simple. All you do is choose a month not to buy anything outside of a few necessities that you designate ahead of time.

In our case, we allowed ourselves to buy necessities like groceries, toilet paper, and toothpaste. There were no coffee shop stops when I needed a quick boost, and no eating out at restaurants or grabbing takeout when we were too tired or too busy to cook dinner. We are actually notorious for relying on takeout, but after being forced to cook daily, we found that it wasn’t so hard when we got better at meal planning.

Every family and situation is different, so your own rules may vary. We decided to continue our regular date night because it is so to our relationship and therefore our family’s wellbeing. The main thing is to make the rules work for you.

The Biggest Challenges of Not Buying

We learned that marketing is very powerful, especially when it comes to online shopping.

Online shopping is so easy, it becomes mindless. My husband would actually order things online and forget he had done so by the time they arrived. He didn’t shop online during our Buy Nothing Month, but he did save quite a few items to his cart. We joke that next month we will have a huge bill, but the fact is that some of the things he would have already purchased, he doesn’t want anymore.

A trip to Target was another eye-opener to the power of marketing. I walked in to get one thing I needed and I felt compelled to buy things that looked nice, or I could ‘use’ in my house or kitchen. Target product placement is on point! But as I sit here writing, I can’t even remember that kitchen tool I could ‘use’, so I guess it wasn’t really all that useful.

The Best Things About Buying Nothing

Buying less stuff made us less stressed. We weren’t as worried about packages being dropped off and potentially stolen. We didn’t have to return things to Amazon or other stores because they weren’t what we wanted. In general, having less stuff just meant dealing with fewer things coming into the house and less mental load. We didn’t have to think at all about breaking down boxes, finding homes for these products, and being overwhelmed by all the stuff we already have.   

We enjoyed our Buy Nothing Month so much that we decided to do it every other month for the rest of the year. And I am sure our savings account is thanking us!

If you are interested in hearing how next month goes, let us know in the comments below, or share your own experience!

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Jennifer is Student Midwife who runs Little Ones Welcome, a holistic practice where she integrates Western and Eastern perspectives on Fertility and Pediatric health. She offers services in Acupuncture, Elimination Communication, and Post-Partum Preparedness. Jenn lives in San Francisco with her Husband Oliver, Son Eli, and Dog Franklin. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time outdoors hiking, walking, gardening, or just listening to the ocean waves. Jenn especially loves traveling, enjoying a good meal, and just chillin' with her boys !


  1. I love this! I’ve done this in the past just personally and it’s so helpful. I now find that I fill up my online shopping cart for fun but then just walk away and not purchase. It’s like shopping without spending the money!


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