Retailers across the country offer special deals in early May to honor educators on National Teacher Appreciation Day. But you don’t have to wait for a specific date (or Teacher Appreciation Week) to save big bucks at stores that give teacher discounts. You can get great deals all year round—if you know where to look.
Osi Juergens, who taught at elementary and middle schools for 15 years, says her favorite and most-used educator discount is Loft’s “Loft Loves Teachers” program that gives teachers an in-store 15% discount on full-priced merchandise all year long. You just need to show a valid school ID. “It’s a fabulous place for teachers to purchase very good work-related clothing” such as professional-casual sweaters, shirts and slacks, Juergens says.
Members of the National Education Association (NEA) can check our NEA Discount Marketplace for available cash-back offers from Loft when shopping online.
In August 2023, just in time for back-to-school shopping, you’ll be able to combine your 15% discount with other offers, says Loft’s Jennifer Girvan. In addition, the teacher discount will be available both in-stores and online during that time. She recommends checking your local Loft store for details.
Loft also is a big supporter of teachers’ classroom needs by partnering with DonorsChoose.
Debra Spector, who has taught kindergarten through sixth grade in California, says her first experience with discounts for teachers came by accident. As she chatted with a clerk at J. Crew, she happened to mention that she was a teacher. The clerk told her that the company gives all teachers (and college students) a 15% discount when they show valid school ID at checkout.
The J. Crew teacher discount can be used both in stores and online (excluding the factory stores and website), and it’s limited to 4 times per month. You’ll need to verify your current educator status via SheerID.
In addition, NEA members can check our NEA Discount Marketplace for available cash-back offers from J. Crew and J. Crew Factory when shopping online.
Alicia Griswold, who has taught English literature and French composition, was able to afford a new MacBook years ago with an Apple Education Pricing discount. She also scored a free printer and iPod. “The whole deal was really great,” she says.
To maximize her savings, Griswold plans to make all her major shopping purchases during tax holidays, whether she’s buying school supplies or other things she uses in teaching. “I went during the Georgia Tax-Free Week” and saved even more, she says.
Apple’s discounts on computers and Apple software are available to faculty and staff of K-12 schools and to college students, professors, faculty and staff. There’s also a section of discounts for schools.
NEA members also can check our NEA Discount Marketplace for available cash-back offers from Apple.com when shopping online.
Many educators also recommend Michaels arts and crafts supply stores’ 15% off everyday discount for verified teachers. You can apply online or ask a store associate for details. You’ll need to have verified your school employment status first.
When you need paper, binders, folders, copies, laminated pages, and other office supplies and printing or copying services, check your favorite store’s special offers for teachers. For example, the NEA Office & Classroom Supplies Program offers special educator discounts and perks.
Also, search our NEA Discount Marketplace for available cash-back offers by selecting the “Office Supplies” section of the navigation menu.
Updates on educator programs from Barnes & Noble and The Container Store
Barnes & Noble changed its membership structure in mid-April 2023, eliminating the Educator Discount Program. However, a representative of the company says that existing active members of the educator program at the time of the membership change would be eligible to receive one year of Premium Membership free of charge. Check your online Barnes & Noble account for details, or visit your local store for assistance before October 31, 2023.
In addition, their existing institutional and bulk discount programs do provide discount options when you’re making purchases for the classroom.
The Container Store no longer offers its “Organized Teacher Discounts” program, which was popular with educators who want to keep their classrooms in tip-top shape. However, the store’s “Organized Insider” program does offer the best possible discounts for all of its organization-minded customers.
Tips to find additional educator discounts
While some stores are revamping or removing existing educator shopping programs, others may be adding new special programs that aren’t widely known yet.
Do your favorite stores offer educator deals or a teacher discount code? If you don’t know, you should ask, recommend many teachers who use educator discounts. Some stores may not announce their educator special offers but will give discounts to teachers who request them. Some stores may not have a teacher discount policy but may be willing to give discounts if teachers ask for them.
“Ask the sales clerk,” wherever you’re shopping, Spector says. Always carry your teacher ID or staff card in case the answer is “yes.”
Browse through sites like Gift Card Granny, Brads Deals and our own list of “Top Discounts for Teachers and Education Professionals” to find even more special discounts and deals for educators. You may find some apply only to limited areas, contain outdated information or may have expired. But you’ll discover companies that have offered educator deals in the past. Would they be open to doing so again? It can’t hurt to ask.
And, of course, you’ll always find great NEA Member Benefits special prices, offers and deals right here on neamb.com. Our NEA Discount Marketplace, for example, gives you access to ever-changing deals we’ve negotiated exclusively for NEA members, plus you can earn cash back on purchases.
For a quick list of our programs and services, download our easy-to-read guide.
If you’re looking for teacher discounts when you travel, find money-saving tips in “Your Pass to Fun: Get Discounts on Tickets to Popular Attractions,” “8 Little-Known Vacation Deals for Teachers,” and “Find Tons of Fun At Free Attractions in Top U.S. Cities.”