The Life-Changing Magic of a Shopping Ban with Cait Flanders – EP 22

We are so excited to have Cait Flanders, author of “The Year of Less”, on the podcast today! Cait underwent a two-year shopping ban that changed not just her finances, but her life.  Cait is here on the podcast to tell us more about her experience, and give tips to others considering a lifestyle change. 


  • CookSmarts – not an official sponsor, but we are big fans! It’s a meal planning service that provides 4 meals per week and they have regular, gluten-free, paleo, and vegetarian versions AND they’re offering 3 free meal plans and 20% off paid meal plans through Sept 26th (with more sales in the coming months). Nobody should say no to 3 free meal plans so head to If you do make a purchase you’ll help support the podcast. 
  • Nothing – buy nothing, spend nothing. nothing. try it out!

Notable Notes:

  • Cait Flander’s book “The Year of Less” was our first book for our Frugal Friends Book Club in the month of September. So it goes without saying that we are thrilled to be speaking with the author! Cait speaks candidly about the realities of this shopping ban experience, while still maintaining herself and dignity in the process.
    • Questions for Cait from Jen and Jill:
      • How was the second year of the shopping ban and how has life been since?
      • Were you surprised by the peripheral issues and difficulties that the ban brought up for you? Did you anticipate so much ‘soul-searching’ and emotional/mental growth?
      • What do you recommend for people who want to do a shopping ban?
      • Overall what has stuck the most? (i.e. shopping being something we bond over, spending and mindfulness, needing friends in the process, overcoming rationalizations, etc.)
      • What feedback have you received from readers? Any exciting stories that others have shared with you about the impact you’ve had?
    • Questions from the Community
      • Leah: “In the book, you compare and contrast your physical addictions with your spending addictions; wondering about comparing and contrasting between working through each?”
      • Jessi: “What was your favorite part of the shopping ban? And the thing you were most excited to purchase after?”
      • Emily: “So many minimalism writers and creators say to give up the stuff to find what matters but no one talks about how they found what matters after they gave up the stuff. I feel like you’ve tried to fill this gap better than anyone, but what are your thoughts?”
      • Chris: “Have you always had a love for numbers and stats or did you just do it for the book/blog.”
      • Jennifer: “Will you ever blog or podcast again?”

BILL OF THE WEEK – Thanks Cait for sharing your ‘bill’ with us this week!

  • If you want to submit your bill of the week visit to leave us a bill!

Book Club

If you’re reading along with us in the Frugal Friends book club we’re still giving away October’s book, “Your Money or Your Life” by Vicki Robin & Joe Dominguez.

If you want a free copy of November’s book we are giving away ONE for every FIVE reviews we get this month, no limit!

  • To enter, leave us a review on your podcast listening device (not just iTunes), screenshot the review and send it to
  • We’ll select the winners for this book at the end of the day October 31st.

Thanks so much for hanging out with us! If you like what you hear, hit the subscribe button and we will fill your hears every Friday with frugal goodness! Also – head over to our Facebook group Frugal Friends Community for more content and camaraderie throughout the week.

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