buy nothing lent.

I mentioned in my last post that I’m planning on repeating my challenge that I took on in November during Lent this year. (If you’d like to know more about that, click on over here.) Namely: Buying nothing. Well, nothing other than necessary food and healthcare items. But that doesn’t sound half as dramatic or interesting, does it?

I had such a rewarding experience last November that I honestly have been wanting to repeat it ever since I finished.  I had set my sights on March, and when I realized that Lent begins on March 1st this year, I realized that it would be a great Lenten observance, as well.  Not only is it appropriately penitential, but it’s also a great way to remove things from your life that get in the way of your relationship to God, like all that stuff you just bought at Target and haven’t told your husband about. Ahem.  And that is the point of Lent. So instead of doing a Buy Nothing March, I’m going to to a Buy Nothing Lent that will last up to Easter. Here are the guidelines I’ve set up for myself.

Buy Nothing Lent:

  1. I’ll buy groceries, of course, to feed my family.  But no personal “extras”… fancy sodas, little cups of yogurt that I particularly like and splurge on sometimes, and minimal “convenience foods”.  No takeout. *As a side note, last time I did this, I tried to be in the spirit of the challenge by really trying to use up what was in my pantry and freezer as much as possible. While I really liked this aspect of the challenge, I’m also trying to eat a bit healthier, and the two things were not always compatible.  So I’m giving myself a bit more wiggle room this time to allow for buying of a lot more fresh food.*
  2. If there is a medical need, I’m definitely going to have that attended to.  I mean, I’m not going to sit there with a head wound wondering if doctor co-pays count as “buying” something.  Common sense, guys.
  3. No impulse buys. No little presents for the kids. (They do not CARE.) No online shopping whatsoever.  Trips to Target are strongly discouraged. (Only because I can’t control myself there and I know it.)
  4. I’m still going to pay my utility bills and Netflix because I’M NOT A CRAZY PERSON.

I’m really looking forward to getting started, and would love it if some of y’all would join me in this Lenten journey.  Not a Lenten journey type of person?  That’s cool!  You could do a good old-fashioned Buy Nothing March.  Not a commitment to random internet challenges type of person?  That’s cool!  Just maybe spend some time in March thinking about how you’re spending your money and how that reflects your values.  However you go about it, I’d love to hear how it goes for you.  Follow along with me here, or catch me over on Instagram (#buynothinglent #obvioushashtags), or send me an email or send word by carrier pigeon.

If you need some motivation, here are my previous posts about Buy Nothing November:

buy nothing november.

halfway through buy nothing november.

the end of buy nothing november.

I know, you’re impressed by my creative use of snazzy titles.  I’m really good that way.  See you next Wednesday.

11 thoughts on “buy nothing lent.

  1. This is a good idea! I’m doing the Contentment Challenge right now and March will be my last month of that, and coincidentally, April is my birthday month. (Does it count if OTHER people buy stuff for you? :-p) So I’m joining you!

  2. OK my comment disappeared, so I hope I don’t double post. But if I do, just delete one. 🙂 Last month of the Contentment Challenge is March, so I’m joining you already (the idea is that you don’t buy anything except what you need, so it’s basically the same thing.) And your hashtag game is so awesome.

    1. Sweet Alicia! How is this going for you? I know you’ve had a lot on your plate since the beginning of Lent! How is everything?

  3. Looking forward to joining you for this! Its a really good Lenten penance and fits with 40bags40days, which I’m also doing. Ironically, I hope to sort of epically fail at this challenge as, God willing, we hope to buy our first house during this time! But all the more reason to save on all the litlke purchases.

    1. Angela! Your first home! So exciting! I think that’s definitely worthy of an exemption. 😉 And yes, I think this would be most fruitful combined with something that gets rid of all the extra “junk”! And no better time to do it than before a big move, eh?

      1. Thanks for asking! Buying nothing is going “well” in the sense that I haven’t bought anything extraneous except a few meals out for convenience sake. On the other hand, its getting harder and harder and I’m amazed at my own addiction to buying stuff! But its been a really good Lenten penance, as I’ve found it easier to avoid buying treats than to avoid eating treats.

        And we did find a house! We close in May.

  4. I’ve never done one of these – at least, not voluntarily. 😛 I’ve done it involuntarily a number of times unfortunately, which has made me shy away from the whole thing – I don’t want to go there or feel that way again!

    But I imagine as a voluntary discipline, rather than a life catastrophe, it would have a different emotional effect. I hope it’s going well for you! We’re more than halfway now! 🙂

    1. Hi Desiree! I’m so glad you brought this up- this has been one of my goals both times I’ve done this- to gain a better empathy and understanding for those who truly have no choice but to do without. As you said, it’s very different doing it voluntarily than being forced into it, but it doesn’t give me a better idea of what so many families struggle with on a regular basis. We’ve been through lean times, but have rarely had times when we literally could NOT buy anything, so it’s been very eye-opening for me. Thanks for coming by and commenting!

Comments are closed.