The Year of Less: How I Stopped Shopping, Gave Away My Belongings, and Discovered Life Is Worth More Than Anything You Can Buy in a Store by Cait Flanders – Review


Author: Cait Flanders 

Publisher: Hay House 

Publication date: January 15, 2019 

Pages: 216

Price: $21.00 CAD (paperback) at Indigo Books & Music Online


In her late twenties, Cait Flanders found herself stuck in the consumerism cycle that grips so many of us: earn more, buy more, want more, rinse, repeat. Even after she worked her way out of nearly $30,000 of consumer debt, her old habits took hold again. When she realized that nothing she was doing or buying was making her happy—only keeping her from meeting her goals—she decided to set herself a challenge: she would not shop for an entire year.
The Year of Less documents Cait’s life for twelve months during which she bought only consumables: groceries, toiletries, gas for her car. Along the way, she challenged herself to consume less of many other things besides shopping. She decluttered her apartment and got rid of 70 percent of her belongings; learned how to fix things rather than throw them away; researched the zero waste movement; and completed a television ban. At every stage, she learned that the less she consumed, the more fulfilled she felt.

The challenge became a lifeline when, in the course of the year, Cait found herself in situations that turned her life upside down. In the face of hardship, she realized why she had always turned to shopping, alcohol, and food—and what it had cost her. Unable to reach for any of her usual vices, she changed habits she’d spent years perfecting and discovered what truly mattered to her.

Blending Cait’s compelling story with inspiring insight and practical guidance, The Year of Less will leave you questioning what you’re holding on to in your own life—and, quite possibly, lead you to find your own path of less.         -Goodreads

First Sentence 

“The idea was born on a trail, as many of mine seemed to be.”


Like I always say, I’m not really into non-fiction when it comes to reading but I do have a very keen interest in reducing my toll of produced waste and being more environmentally conscious so in a way, this book was perfect for me.

When I go to stores, sometimes I buy something I know I don’t need just because it feels weird to leave empty-handed. All of my income is from my birthday/Christmas gifts and my stable hand job on the weekend, which, all together, doesn’t rack up much. I used to no be bothered by this, I mean, what am I going to do with it anyway? It’s not like I need to pay bills! Buy the perfume or that book! Who cares?! I realize now that this was a really bad way to be dealing with my money, especially if I have a bunch of unopened perfume bottles and unread books sitting on the shelves back home. Plus, yeah I just thought of it as something I’d do now because my responsibilities are limited and none of them require my money, but what if it became a habit? I could become a hoarder! (Well, I might already be a book hoarder but I’m dealing with that.) Flanders explains how she stopped hoarding and how it helped her out financially and physically all while sharing with us some rough stories of hers. (Which, in my opinion, makes the read so much more entertaining!) Plus, Cait Flanders is a Canadian author which makes this read so much cooler because I’m supporting one of my own!

But there were really only two categories I could see: the stuff I used, and the stuff I wanted the ideal version of myself to use. The stuff I wanted the ideal version of myself to use was everything I had once bought in hopes that it would somehow make my life or myself better.

Final Review/Recommendation


I give this book three stars! I really enjoyed reading this one, it was entertaining and inspiring, I actually also did a big purge in my room after reading this and I got rid of a lot of useless stuff!

I’d recommend this book to someone who wants to learn more on how to be a mindful consumer or to someone who just wants some down-to-business truth and some good tips on how to make your life better while needing less stuff!

The ban uncovered the truth, which was that when you decide you want less, you can buy less and, ultimately, need less money.


Let me know what you thought of my review or of this book!

have and amazing weekend!

-Emma 🙂

PNG cover source