What To Give Up For Lent: The Ultimate List Of Ideas From Over 100 Catholic Moms!!!

I want to start out by saying that rather than just thinking of what to “give up” for Lent, you should also think of what you can “take up” during Lent. The idea is to try adding more prayer, fasting, and almsgiving to your life during the Lenten season. (When we “give something up”, that falls under “fasting”.)

Sacrifice through fasting is important because during Lent, we are reflecting on the 40 days that Jesus spent in the desert with no luxuries at all. When we sacrifice, we remember Jesus. Sacrifice also helps us to exercise our muscle of self control, which is very important as Christians.

I asked for ideas on the Catholic Icing facebook page and ya’ll did not disappoint!!! I was really impressed with your Lenten creativity! Here’s your compiled list for kids, teens, AND adults to give up during Lent. Some of these ideas are good for the whole family to sacrifice together. I’ve organized it into different categories so you can make sure that all of your selections are not from the same area. Remember to pray about this decision to see where the Holy Spirit is leading you.

Food and Beverage Ideas To Give Up For Lent

  • your favorite snack or beverage
  • junk food, sugar, candy, gum, desserts, etc.
  • caffeine, soda
  • sugary cereal/breakfasts
  • chocolate
  • fast food
  • eating out
  • after dinner snacks
  • drink water only
  • one certain food category: bread, cheese, meat, condiments, salt

Technology Ideas To Give Up For Lent

I have an entire post about limiting technology and screen time during Lent with over 50 ideas! Be sure to check it out!

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  • limit screen time by certain hours or days of the week
  • give up TV or a favorite show
  • delete your favorite apps from your phone for Lent
  • find a way to limit yourself with social media
  • video games

Bad Habits To Give Up For Lent

  • leaving the lights on
  • biting fingernails
  • using bad words
  • gossiping
  • interrupting
  • rolling eyes
  • whining
  • judging others
  • complaining
  • holding grudges
  • smoking/alcohol
  • bickering with siblings/family

Prayer To Add For Lent

Almsgiving To Add For Lent

  • When you have things that you’re “fasting” and it saves you money (for example, not eating out, not eating meat, not making unnecessary purchases) donate the money to the less fortunate rather than keeping it.
  • Give up shopping (don’t spend unnecessary money on clothes, technology, entertainment, etc.)
  • Put one item from your pantry into a donation box each day. Deliver it to a food bank at the end of Lent.
  • Make an offering box for your home for Lent. Put your spare change in every day and donate it when Lent is over.
  • Choose a new charity to support
  • Start tithing if you don’t already do so
  • Do the 40 days 40 bags challenge and donate the extra items in your home rather than selling them
  • Spend time with the elderly
  • Volunteer at a soup kitchen
  • Try to do the works of mercy with your kids
  • Choose one item from your life to donate per day
  • Donate a dollar a day to online charities


Out-Of-The-Box Ideas For Lent

  • put a bean in your shoe each day
  • give up multitasking
  • encourage kids to make extra sacrifices with St. Therese’s sacrifice beads
  • add physical activity or daily exercise
  • vow to have no wasted food in your home
  • go green/recycle
  • listen to Christian music only in the car
  • give up single use plastic/disposables
  • give up makeup
  • give up napping
  • give up sweat pants/leggings 😛
  • stop speeding
  • finish your half completed projects
  • no electricity for Friday evenings
  • silent dinner table on Fridays
  • Lenten cleaning– clean 40 areas of your home

And you can track all of your Lenten resolutions with this awesome printable for families! 🙂

You’ll find all of my Lenten resources for kids here


  1. Such a nice cute idea!!! I love you Lacy

    • So sweet! Thank you!!! 🙂 I’m so happy when others find my resources useful! {{hugs!}}

  2. ERIKA STONER says

    Using your ideas for 2020 Lent for our parish sacrifice cards! Thank you for putting them out there!

  3. Hi Lacy!
    Is there a way to get a printable copy of this list without getting all the images/ads in it? I wanted to add it to the Lent planning pack binder so I have a one spot to go to yearly! It makes it more doable for me! Thank you for taking the time to do this! Sometimes I get stuck on chocolate and there are so many out of the box ideas that work! -Theresa

    • Great idea! But I don’t have it lol. You’ll have to copy and past it in chunks. Sorry. Seriously love this idea though! Good job growing your binder!

  4. I love this list of ideas for Lent! I’m going to try a few of them this year!