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The Minimalist Back to School Shopping Guide of Minimalism

It’s that time of year again, isn’t it? You go to a store and there’s back to school stuff stuffing the shelves of, well, everywhere! I think this gets most parents giddy with excitement though. In fact, I think local Liquor Stores would make a pretty penny using back to school advertising tactics to sell champagne, sparkling wine, and other celebratory beverages!

Back to school time is funny. We see ads with kids reluctantly tagging along with their parents, scuffling through the aisles of Walmart, K-Mart, and other “Marts” offering amazing Back to School bargains. People somehow get sucked marketed into thinking they need all that new school gear. New backpacks? What happened to your backpack from last year?

“Mom, that’s a Transformers backpack, I need a Pokemon backpack now.”

Hey, this isn’t the kids fault, it’s the parents for enabling that type of behaviour. If you constantly buy stuff when your kid asks for it then you’re setting them up for some HUGE disappointments down the road…“Wait, I have to spend my own money on this stuff? This sucks. MOOOOOOM!”

Anyway…Back to school shopping is a complete waste of your precious summertime and in most cases, your money. Why spend any more time inside if you don’t have to – and to go shopping at that? Worse, you’re shopping for someone else who could care less about that stuff.

This is commercialism at its finest folks!

But there is back to school hope!!!

And we can help with our new club. It’s The Minimalist Back to School Shopping for Minimalists Club. Or T-M-B-T-S-S-F-M-C.

Sounds like a mouthful, what’s this T-M-B-T-S-S-F-M-Club you speak of, oh highly-educated one?

The Minimalist Back to School Shopping For Minimalists Club is for those parents looking to find that easy, simple, effortless, non-difficult way of saving bundles of money on back to school stuff. We send you our daily recommended list of back to school items via an email or text message telling you what to buy. Which means you’ll receive absolutely zero emails and/or texts a day!

Wow, sounds amazing, where do I sign up?

The Minimalist back to School Shopping is for members only, and for a limited time, membership is now just three easy payments of only $19.95.

Okay, but seriously, I live in a privileged country, and have seen many privileged children go back to school shopping with their parents to update their wardrobe with the latest ‘trendy’ attire. They grab all new binders, paper, pens, pencils, the newest style of backpack. Parents, if you’ve got this stuff already, take that back to school money you were going to waste on your kids new Pokemon backpack and donate it to a good cause, like any one of these charities that help underprivileged kids who help get stuff to kids in actual need of back to school stuff.

And if you’re a parent who donates their previous scholastic materials to buy new stuff the following year, well, your hearts in the right place, but stop and think of all that wasted material. In all likelihood, oil was involved in the making, shipping, packaging, and selling of that item. Again, a donation can go a long way.

Okay, but what about new clothes?

What about them? It’s still summer when you go back to school, you just wear the same clothes! And unless your child had a growth spurt over those 2 months of summer, they could easily wear the same clothes from the previous school year.

Geez, I even saw a furniture store with a big ‘Back to School’ headline and they were advertising futons and dressers for college/university students. Ridic!

So is there a way to go back to school shopping if you’re striving for a minimalist lifestyle? 


Stop trying to make every event about finding a minimalist way of doing it, especially when that day revolves around buying STUFF!

I see in forums and groups people trying to attach minimalism to everything. Stop the insanity! You’re overthinking things – especially when it comes to back to school stuff. Leave it. Move along.

Look, I don’t have kids, so I’m sure I’ll get attacked from that angle. But if I did have kids, I still wouldn’t go back to school shopping! I didn’t go back to school shopping when I was younger either because we didn’t have a lot of money. But more importantly, there were always binders, pens, pencils, and a backpack in decent enough shape that we could use….that, or, you know, just use the stuff from the previous school year!

Now go sell all your stuff! (except your kids school stuff)



5 thoughts on “The Minimalist Back to School Shopping Guide of Minimalism”

  1. At the end of my first year of high school, a few friends and I noticed that an awful lot of kids didn’t bother to clean out their lockers completely at the end of the school year. The amount of stuff was unbelievable – we scored not just pens and pencils, but binders, calculators, art supplies, unopened packages of paper – you name it, we found it! After that, I don’t think any of us bought school supplies again; in fact, it became a bit of a “school’s out!” tradition. The janitors just dumped it in the garbage, so not only did we save money, but we kept it out of the landfill.

  2. Hi,

    Usually, the price of school supplies can seem stifling, especially when having multiple children in school with different needs and different price ranges! A college student needs a car to drive to and from college, the high schooler a new wardrobe and laptop, while the middle schooler needs a new phone as he is getting to the age where communication is a must, and the elementary schooler a new backpack and lunchbox! The sooner you start making small purchase, the more economically stable you feel as you don’t have to throw in all of the money at once! Thanks so much for sharing!

    1. That’s just it Josephine, it can SEEM stifling, but only because everything you mentioned is a WANT, not an actual NEED. A college student doesn’t NEED a car, they can take the bus, cycle, or walk if close enough. A high schooler doesn’t NEED a new wardrobe at all (in fact, what’s wrong with the clothes they had been wearing)?. Same goes for your new backpack/lunchbox for the youngling — that could be a hand-me-down from a sibling, or an easy Thrift Shop purchase!

      People don’t need to make back to school purchases at all, and they would be more “economically stable” (as you say) if they didn’t get sucked into the “back to school” marketing tactics of the retail world in the first place.

  3. Very true except…. I have witnessed my 12 year old daughter grow almost 3 inches in the last 2 months. I am thankful for dresses and shorts at the moment but knowing that fall is just around the corner I am going to take advantage of back to school sales and get her a couple sweaters and pants while the deals are sweet because after that it is pre Christmas pricing.

    1. Ahh, the growth spurt. I wore many of my brothers clothes during those days! If your daughter is anything like I was, Thrift shops aren’t an option because it has to be latest/greatest/freshest gear. It’s tough being a teen!

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