No-Buy Curious

Hello! I am interested in exploring a No-Buy year in 2024, or other period of time if I decide a year isn’t right for me/my family. I plan to post resources and information as I learn, and maybe I’ll track my experience here as well. Feel free to join me!!


The inspiration: Hannah Louise Poston. I know a few of us on this forum are fans! To start, I’ll be reviewing her Youtube playlist about the topic/her experience.


I would LOVE to do a no buy year. But I think that for me, I need at least another year of babies growing/my body/soul/sense of self adjusting before I can.

We will definitely be doing a low low low spend Jan-April though!


Have you read the Frugalwoods no buy months and her… 4? Year no clothes buy write ups she’s done? I remember enjoying those reads.

I used to pretty regularly do no buy months, we would try for 2-3 per year. Currently that is not my season of life :smiling_face_with_tear: lol.


If you manage to do that with a baby, good for you! I did some no buy months before having kids, but I’ve never been successful once kids were here, even when I tried. I can’t imagine being able to do it.


I Read a Book about doing a no buy back in my more grungey anarchist eco village living days and remember being surprised she was still buying groceries and household goods. I assumed she would get all her food for free/grow it and make household items because, well, that’s what my grunge anarcho friends did.

I’ll see if I can find it but mostly I think about how much my life has changed that I didn’t perceive her style of no buy as a challenge. (Back then I made $100 a month and lived at work, so I wasn’t doing a lot of buying)


Haha that was definitely my understanding of them when I first heard the term too, I was like wow go hard and forage and trade, cool! Then reality was like… wait I just won’t buy this one pair of pants this month, end elective spending list :joy: …we won’t talk about now. It would be valuable but very, very hard to pivot now.


Found the book from 2007 I read originally


Yeaaaa I remember one of my dearest wishes was for a root cellar and I thought if I had that, I would have made it


For this to be possible, I think any and all Baby things would be excluded and this would be a personal no-buy situation. Agreed that growing and changing little kids makes it tough! But I’d like to renew my focus on getting fewer things online/prioritizing looking locally & secondhand first.


HLP’s No Buy Rules:

  • Gifting (giving and receiving) is allowed
  • Replacing is allowed
  • Spending gift cards to replace is allowed
  • Food and experiences are allowed
  • Health and safety should not be impacted (if you need a coat, and you live somewhere cold, get a coat)

She says:

I’m not trying to ruin my life. I’m not even trying to deprive myself of nice things. I’m just trying to change my habits, and refocus my attention and energies on the things I already own.

I’m going to look into other sort of “public” people who have recorded No Buy experiences and see if they have different rules.

This is very much a take what I want leave the rest sort of exploration!


I’m interested for 2024. I just found like 5 boxes of clothes in my attic that I’ve put away “just in case they fit me again some day”, and I still have a zillion clothes and knick-knacks and kitchen things. Having a real reason to not impulse-buy Halloween dish towels or whatever would be very helpful.

I’m thinking about how to include my kids. They’re just getting into buying things with their allowances, but they also have way more than enough stuff already. Maybe I don’t buy them things, just clothes, but they can get their own fun items? IDK.


I imagine it’s really tough to implement this sort of thing beyond the self. Maybe, instead, it could be a sort of 1-in-1-out sort of trade for your kids. If they acquire a new item, they could consider selling or giving one away (maybe help organize a family yard sale?)


That’s a good suggestion!

I do sell things to Once Upon a Child, and usually I have them donate what they don’t want, then give me store credit for an extra 10% money. My 7 year old has said more than once that he’s sad that they don’t give us real money. So maybe giving them a portion of that money would be helpful.

Really the problem is that Squishmallows are stupidly cute, and everyone in our extended family agrees with that, so now we have exponential yearly growth of the number of Squishmallows in our house :sweat_smile:


Ugh it’s so true. There is no cure for their cuteness. My sympathies.


The premise of this video is very interesting. HLP’s No-Buy Year was focused on makeup/skincare/home goods, so everything she’s listing is from those categories. It makes me wonder what I’d look back and wish I had bought before the No-Buy. But I think doing a big rush purchase before starting would kind of negate the purpose of the experiment?


I’m here to either follow along or maybe join in some challenges!

I’ve been testing the waters with no-buy from the 1st to 20th of each month. I write down anything I want to buy, and then review the list on the 20th and concentrate all my buying in that last week or so. It’s been 2 months and I really like it so far! Fewer things feel necessary, and it’s helped control what felt like a hurricane of boxes and packages.

In addition to BN and hand-me-downs to friends, I’ve also been selling brand name things on ebay and poshmark. I’ve only been listing things that are likely to sell for more than $20.


Oh REALLY. I am so intrigued by this method. Please keep us updated!


One of the OGs in this space is Katy Wolk-Stanley who has the blog The Nonconsumer Advocate. She’s not completely no-buy and never has been - she thrifts pretty regularly and often flips her finds. Anyway, her rules are not buying things new except for I think underwear and a few other things (sheets, maybe?). Yes I’m dating myself by recommending a blog :slight_smile: No-buy/no-waste was how I started down the frugality path. I started really limiting what we bought new, realized we were starting to save a ton of money, and found MMM.

I think kids are the hardest to no-buy, but also the easiest to 1-in-1-out and only getting free/thrifted stuff.


Ahhh thank you for this recommendation! I’m pretty new to the concept so anything that’s old is not to me! I intend to make thrifting a cornerstone of my personal no-buy rules. Might end up being more accurate to say I’m doing a No Buy New year…