Saturday, September 1, 2012

Educator Discounts Leave Money in Teachers' Wallets

A new school year has begun and you are well prepared.  The lesson plans are done and your room looks like "Paradise Island".  You completed a school purchase order before the end of the previous school year and by some miracle the shipment came through over the summer.  You were thrilled to see that box of goodies at your classroom door when the teacher work days arrived!  Besides that, you took advantage of those back-to-school deals the big named stores offered a few short weeks ago.  Thanks to your careful planning, your classroom is well stocked for the year ahead. 

But now you've realized there are a few more "must haves" to survive the school year ahead of you.  Like most teachers, you've already reached into your own pockets to make up the difference between what you were allotted by the district and what you will need in order to have a great year.  Unfortunately, you can't justify spending more money right now because you have your own personal budget to balance.  This usually includes a mortgage or rent payment, some dreaded student loans, and the everyday expenses of life itself.  You can't buy all the things you want for your students so you'll have to make the most with what you have.

The good news is there are great deals out there that teachers can take advantage of to save lots of money.  Three of my favorite stores are Barnes and Noble, Michael's, and Staples.  I use each one for different purposes.  Luckily, all of these "Bricks and Mortar" have a deal for educators. 

I love walking into Barnes and Noble and smelling the coffee.  But I'm not there for coffee.  I've come to get my hands on wonderful children's books that I can use for a read aloud or an informative book to compliment a science or social studies unit.  I've brought my faculty identification card along with me.  My identification card permits me to purchase any books for the classroom at twenty percent off.  Typically, at some point during the fall, Barnes and Noble will announce an educator's appreciation week.  During the educator appreciation week, an additional five percent is discounted making the total discount twenty-five percent instead of the usual twenty percent.  This promotion gets a little sweeter.  Teachers can also apply the discount toward the purchase of personal items during the educator appreciation week.  You will need to sign up for the educator's discount program in order to partake.  The sign-up process is easy and hassle free!

Take the ID card with you.
Michael's is the place for getting materials for arts and crafts activities.  Children always love a craft!  The little ones are so proud of themselves when they get to take home something they made in class.  I especially like the sparkly glitter glue.  It always seems to make any project look marvelous.  Michael's offers teachers a fifteen percent discount on materials for classroom use.  I also grab the forty percent off coupons in the newspapers and through e-mail.  I apply the forty percent off coupon toward my single most expensive item and use the teacher discounts for the other purchases.  You'll need to let them know you're a teacher and show your school identification card in order to get the discount.

 No teacher can function without basic office supplies such as tape and sticky notes.  The Staples office supply store has a unique teacher discount program.  Sign up with the Staples Rewards program.  Start saving empty ink cartridges and ask members of the school community to donate their empty ones.  Collect up to ten ink cartridges a month.  Take them to Staples and you'll soon be downloading a coupon from you computer worth twenty dollars.  Each ink cartridge recycled is worth two dollars back on materials for your classroom.  One of the new requirements of this program is that you purchase some printer ink from Staples every few months. 

Here are some pictures of the goodies I bought with my twenty dollar coupon the other day.  The eraser dice are for center games.  They were three dollars a pair.  I bought three sets so that was nine dollars of my twenty.

Most of my binder clips escaped into the abyss last year.  The replacements were three dollars. 

The coffee cup tape dispenser was a luxury item.  I wanted something cute for the children.  I think this will do the trick.  It was on sale for seven dollars.

The grand total for the items above was nineteen dollars plus about fifty cents tax.  But I got all of it for free because I recycled the ink cartridges through the Staples Rewards program!

It's nice that these big named stores have not forgotten about the teachers and wish to support education.  Get those discounts and use them!

Lessons by Molly © 2012  All rights reserved.
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