The Rules for My Yearlong Shopping Ban

I decided to start a yearlong shopping ban. My shopping ban is going to start on October 1, 2018. I talked about my motivation behind it all and the people who inspired me to do it in my previous post, My Yearlong Shopping Ban. This post is going to be all about the rules of my shopping ban.

The Rules for my Yearlong Shopping Ban

The idea of a shopping ban doesn’t terrify me – it excites me! Why? I only ever buy what I need and favor experiences over stuff. I’ve been living out of a suitcase since 2014 and absolutely love it.

I’ve also adapted some pretty neat frugal habits over the years that help me thrive. For me frugal living is all about saving money, spending it in accordance with my values and enhancing my experience of life.

Over the next six months, I will be going through some rather big life changes. While planning out my shopping ban I made sure to account for these changes. Some of the changes are:

  • Finishing my trip around the world
  • Moving to a new country
  • Getting a new place to live
  • Finding work that I love

The rules of my yearlong shopping ban

The rules of my yearlong shopping ban are fairly simple. They will help me to stay on track and function as a guideline for what I can and cannot buy in the next 12 months.

What I am allowed to buy:

  • groceries and basic kitchen supplies (namely trash bags)
  • meals out and treats
  • basic toiletries (soap, floss, oil, toothpaste, etc.)
  • ingredients for making DIY products (shampoo bar, soap, body balm, deodorant, face masks, cleaning products, etc.)
  • essential clothing items
  • piercings
  • camera equipment
  • basics for my new home
  • basic cooking and baking tools
  • business books
  • gifts for others

What I am not allowed to buy:

  • clothing (except for the essentials that I need)
  • travel gear
  • junk food
  • coffee/tea to go (I don’t drink coffee and have a handful of cups of tea per year)

That’s everything that I am allowed and not allowed to by. I tried to keep these lists very basic by focusing on the most important stuff. Of course, if something breaks down or is in need of repair I will either replace it or have it repaired.

Doing a yearlong shopping ban while I am finishing my trip and moving to a new country is definitely going to be a challenge. I will make sure to post updates throughout the year about my experience and any changes I may have made.

A good example: Now that I am traveling I eat out a little more often than I usually do because I don’t always have access to a kitchen. Not allowing myself meals out would, as of right now, not be sustainable. While I have access to a kitchen most of the time, whenever I do not I am at least partly reliant on meals out.

I also have trouble resisting delicious food that’s just a dollar or two and have so much fun documenting my favorite places to grab vegan food around the world. That being said, whenever I move I will switch back to my usual routine of eating out a couple of times a month or not at all. Bear in mind, when I talk about eating out I refer to places that offer amazing vegan food for around $5. Yeah, I am super frugal.

I am currently working on my approved shopping list, which will go live this week.

When you look at my two lists, can you spot anything that I might be missing? Is there something you would add? Have you ever done a shopping ban? I’d love to hear about your experience!

More shopping ban content:

Updated: November 2018



  1. Christina Thi
    October 2, 2018 / 4:40 AM

    Hi Nina, this is a neat idea. Since you are already frugal and living out of your suitcase, which incentivizes you to keep your pack light, did you already follow some of these rules pre-ban? How are these rules different from your daily spending habits? Or are the rules formalizing what you were already doing?

    • Nina
      October 2, 2018 / 4:50 AM

      Hi Christina,

      I only ever buy things when I need something and have been living this way for years now. I’ve been following all these rules for years and very little that I’ll be doing now will greatly differ from what I usually do.

      Yes, exactly! The rules are formalizing what I am already doing šŸ™‚

      I see the shopping ban as a great opportunity to promote frugal living, a lifestyle that I am so incredibly passionate about! It’s also a great opportunity to share everything that I usually do such as tracking my expenses, planning out purchases at the beginning of each year, shopping for clothing only twice a year (if needed) and just being really mindful about it all šŸ™‚

      Hope that makes sense! šŸ™‚

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.