Well, friends, I have successfully completed one month of my 2018 shopping ban! Woohoo! I’m actually feeling really good and haven’t had too many temptations yet.

In this post you’ll find:

  • A refresher on the rules to my shopping ban
  • What I bought in January
  • My January temptations


A refresher on the rules to my shopping ban

The main rules of this ban are no clothing and no household items. In addition to being allowed to buy groceries, I also don’t have any restrictions on basic toiletries, basic cleaning products, basic cosmetics and gifts. I’m allowed to buy sporting equipment and replacements for products that become unusable (after an initial assessment about whether I can do without).  I’m also allowed to exhaust a 5 item quota for ‘free purchases’ throughout the year. These can be anything I like, but once I’ve bought five items, I cannot buy anything else.

My tentative 5 item quota list

  • A pair of winter boots – for casual wear in winter, I wear boots pretty much exclusively. I’ve thrifted the last couple of pairs, but the last ones didn’t make it through last winter.
  • A bridesmaid dress – for a wedding I am in this August.
  • An high quality umbrella – mine broke last year.
  • An office appropriate cropped sweater to wear with pencil skirts – I have one such sweater and for the past two winters have wished I had a second.
  • A tote or laptop briefcase for work – my tan coloured Mamuye tote by ABLE is amazing but it would be great to have something smaller, more structured and in a dark colour for work, especially for work related travel.
  • MATTER jumpsuit – I have been eyeing this off ever since I tried on Hannah’s last year in March. Obviously it hasn’t made it off my wishlist yet, but perhaps it will…

What I bought in January:

To stay accountable, I’m tracking everything I buy, even if it’s allowed.

This month I didn’t make any purchases that count towards my 5 item quota.

From my allowed purchases, I bought:P1224758

  • 1 x bottle of generic conditioner
  • 2 x birthday gifts (candle, tablecloth and cheeseboard from Oxfam)
  • 1 x packet of incense (Oxfam)
  • 1 x bamboo dish brush
  • 1 x soap (Lush)
  • 1 x shampoo bar (Lush)
  • 1 x conditioner bar (Lush)

I’m not thrilled at buying a bottle of generic conditioner (which I purchased in a pinch on the first day of January while on holidays). I also bought the incense sort of on auto-mode without really questioning whether that purchase was allowed. But overall, looking at this short list, I’m actually pretty proud. The Lush products are basic toiletries and totally allowed – plus they should last me a number of months. It just goes to show that you actually do not need many things to get by.

January temptations

  • Pair of deep red heels. An eBay notification came up for a pair of deep red heels.  I used to own the same type of heels years ago, but I wore them out and have been searching for a secondhand replacement ever since. I then became slightly fixated on a pair of Everlane day heels in dark red velvet after I saw them on Style This Life. But did I want them so much to exhaust one place from my 5 item quota? In the end I didn’t.
  • An e-book. Hmm. This led to some interesting internal questioning.  Are books counted? Should they be? I decided that buying hard copies is definitely not allowed  – I don’t want to accumulate more stuff. But e-books? What about e-books on sustainable fashion? In the end I decided that e-books are also out. Part of my motiviation for this shopping ban is that I want to enjoy what I already have and I have enough unread books to keep me happy for the year. Plus, there are plenty of resources on ethical fashion that I can access online.

Have you ever tried a shopping ban? What do you think of my January efforts so far?

Yours Fairly,




  1. Emma Barrington
    February 2, 2018 / 3:08 PM

    I’m thinking I may just join you on this :)

    Instead of buying presents last night I made homemade pressies instead (salt scrubs )

  2. February 5, 2018 / 4:57 AM

    Wowee-great job! I may have to try an all out shopping ban for February! I did more damage than I would have liked in January. Time to set some hard and fast limits!

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