Mother reveals she bought nothing new for herself for a whole year

Mother reveals she saved £1,800 by not buying new clothes for a YEAR – but says the best thing she got back was the time she would’ve spent online shopping

  • Amy Moore, 40, decided to not buy any clothes or household goods in 2019
  • London mother-of-two only bought cleaning products and University books  
  • She estimates she saved £1,800 but said the greatest gift was having more time 

A mother revealed how she saved almost £2,000 by not buying new clothes for a year.  

Amy Moore, 40, from London, ‘loves clothes’ but wanted to change her lifestyle in order to streamline her life and reduce her impact on the environment. 

At the start of 2019, Amy, an acupuncture student and mother of two children aged six and seven, vowed not to buy any new clothes or ‘non-essential’ household goods. She also cut back on make-up and skincare products. 

In total, Amy estimates she saved £1,800 through her new shopping habits – but said the greatest benefit was getting the time back she would have otherwise spent shopping.

Amy Moore,  40, from London, decided to not buy any clothes or household goods for all of 2019. She is pictured here at birthday party where she borrowed a ski outfit from a friend

Wanting to do her bit for the environment, the Acupuncture student (left)- who has two children aged six and seven – gave up all new things, after she was inspired by a friend who stopped buying single use plastic. She is pictured with her sister

Speaking to exclusively to Femail she said: ‘I think time is the main thing it’s given me this year, which I needed the most, is time and headspace. 

‘I’m studying for a degree in Acupuncture and my husband has his own business, so I needed to be super intentional with my time. 

‘I didn’t spend time scrolling and buying online because a 20 per cent off voucher had landed in my inbox (I unsubscribed from all online retailer newsletters).

‘I didn’t spend time sending it all back, I didn’t nip into the shops on the way home only to buy something I wouldn’t wear and didn’t need. 

‘I didn’t spend time browsing for that perfect outfit that would make me feel amazing, I felt amazing as I was.’ 

Amy is pictured left in a coat, her last purchase of 2018. At the start of 2019 she decided not to buy anything new. Right, on a trip to Ibiza she wore recycled outfits and borrowed clothes


1. Start small

Don’t get overwhelmed by trying to do too much too fast. Start by integrating just one small change into your everyday life, like using a re-usable cup for your morning or having one meat-free evening meal a week, then building in more sustainable swaps once the first one has become a habit.

2. Make your goals realistic

We give up on our goals when we feel like they’re unattainable – start by thinking about what’s feasible for you in your life and work from there, whether it’s using less plastic or making sure you recycle. Choose goals you know you can realistically stick to.

3. Collaboration is key

Whether it’s doing a clothes swap with your friends to save buying new clothes or asking for recipe tips from family to keep meat-free meals exciting, always ask for help – this makes it more fun, plus helps keep you accountable, and you might even inspire the people around you along the way!

4. Remember why you started

Don’t lose sight of the reasons you created your sustainable resolutions, be they to help the planet by reducing waste or help your wallet by choosing to buy second hand more often than not, to remind yourself why it’s worthwhile sticking to your goals.

5. Be resourceful

Make the most of local opportunities in your area – using buying and selling communities such as Gumtree lets you buy and sell second-hand without the need for packaging and shipping, helping to lower your carbon footprint and reduce unnecessary waste, while getting friends and neighbours involved in things like carpooling for the school run or the weekly food shop gives you a chance to get your errands done while lowering your environmental impact.


The mother-of-two was fed up with the clutter in her home and told how she was inspired to take action after her friend challenged herself not to buy any single-use plastics for a year. 

‘I thought, “I bet I could buy nothing new for myself for a year”,’ Amy recalled. 

She continued: ‘I believe that small changes are better than none at all. There are lots of easy but impactful changes that if we all make together can make a big difference. 

‘Starting with trying to use more of what we have, instead of consuming more, borrowing or buying second hand where we can.’  

Throughout the year, Amy bought only bought food and and gifts for others. 

She also purchased minimal makeup and skincare products for hygiene reasons, as well as stationery and books for University, a reusable water bottle and two nonfiction books. 

She continued: ‘There are lots of easy but impactful changes that if we all make together can make a big difference. Starting with trying to use more of what we have, instead of consuming more, borrowing or buying second hand where we can.’

Amy said the only time she felt an urge to buy new clothes was before a university reunion, when she would be seeing friends for the first time in a few years.  

She said: ‘Before I went on the night out, I felt like I needed something new, when I was there I realised I really didn’t, it’s all mindset.’

Amy added the toughest thing not to buy was new shoes during the sweltering summer.

She continued: ‘I had a pair of sandals from about three years ago, a pair that rubbed me and some Espadrilles that hurt if I walked too far in them, so I was glad when it was boots weather again.’

While she bought new clothes for her children, Amy added that she was much more mindful going when making purchases.  

‘Buying used/nearly new toys from charity shops or online sites like Gumtree, rather than toy shops, the kids really don’t mind if it’s second hand. It also made me more mindful of what I was buying generally. 

In total she saved more than £1800 by not buying anything, but Amy added she was happier about the amount of time she saved. She is pictured in a jumper she borrowed from a friend

‘Trying to reduce single use plastics by things like, for example, switching to using soap in a soap dish rather than liquid soap in a plastic pump bottle. 

‘Switching to bamboo toothbrushes for away from home. Using resuable food bags for sandwiches and fridge stuff. Making sure to carry a reusable water bottle and coffee cup.’

At the start of this year, Amy wasn’t rushing out to get something new as her mindset about buying has completely changed.    

‘I’m not in any rush to buy anything,’ she said. I do really need some jeans as I’m down to my last good pair. 

‘I was thinking of buying essentials like jeans and shoes that I need, but then buying everything else from charity shops. 

While she bought new clothes for her children, Amy added that she was much more mindful going when making purchases

‘But I haven’t decided what my new rules will be yet so that’s why I still haven’t bought anything in 2020. 

‘I read somewhere that we’re conditioned to consume, that we’re made to think we need a new outfit to feel good about ourselves. 

‘I love clothes but I think by doing this my relationship with them has changed. I wouldn’t buy anything now unless I absolutely loved it and couldn’t live without it.   

‘Sounds funny but I think I got more bored of my clothes when I could buy new ones. You know when you open your wardrobe and say to yourself “I have no clothes, I’ve got nothing to wear”.

‘Knowing I could only wear the clothes in my wardrobe actually made them more appealing.  I put things together that I wouldn’t have worn together before, to make new outfits. It forced me to be more creative with what I have.’

Source: Read Full Article