Parents are surprised to hear a prominent college professor and author say that there is an easy way to save money on school supplies. When parents went to the Clemson professor for a price comparison, they turned a nice $500 investment in school supplies into a $300 bill.
READ: How Long Does It Take To Save Up For Back-to-School Shopping?
One of those parents said she paid $700 for supplies for her children, but was surprised to see the professor suggest she save on school supplies with a simple strategy and coupon book.
On his radio show The Professors in the Morning, author Matt S. Caruso gave some back-to-school supplies as an example of how to save money on school supplies, and talked about how coupons can be used in the school supply department, but said that the biggest key was only buying what the principal asked for.
READ: What You Don’t Know About Back-to-School Sales
“If you can come back to my office every semester and get a note from your kids’ principal that says ‘please spend this much money on books,’ for school supplies, you can save a ton,” said the university professor.
One parent reached out to Chris Kirkwood, founder of ScoreCard, to warn parents of the dangers that comes with using a professor’s advice to save money. Kirkwood encourages parents to make smart food and beverage choices and examine the freshness of produce to prevent some of those purchase items that he believes could become classroom staples.
READ: Learn How to Spend Less on Everything
“The second piece [of advice] would be for parents who are a little more skeptical about this,” said Kirkwood. “You’re not going to be able to cut 40 percent off your child’s cost. Any time you go to buy those materials it’s going to be going up in price. If your child doesn’t need that kind of prepackaged product.”
Mr. Caruso did tell the parents who didn’t like his suggestion that there was a compromise. His advice would be to save money on the rest of the list and then combine it with some other items and get ready to return to school with three different lists.
Parents who were excited to learn that their university professor had some great, cheap back-to-school shopping tips should also be relieved to know that one of the parents and their child’s principal ended up having dinner with him afterwards.