For most teachers it’s getting down to the wire on prepping the classroom for the upcoming school year. To help our fellow educators we’ve put together a cheat sheet of some of the best teacher discounts and back to school sales 2014.
For General Supply Alternatives
We all know that the big name brands in retail and office materials will offer general discounts for most teachers, which is great! But with this short list, we look beyond the Walmarts and Staples of the world and offer alternative discounts at the click of a mouse. Here are some alternatives to check out:
- Classroom Direct – Part of School Specialty, Inc., Classroom Direct is an online portal for all kinds of materials including those for test prep, physical education, special education, early childhood education and more. Their Hot Buys section is currently offering up to 56% off and supply orders of $49 or more ship free!
- Scholastic – “The Teacher Store For Educators Only.” This robust website offers services for all stakeholders in the education community including administrators and librarians. Right now the site is offering a savings of 25% and more off proven classroom solutions, professional library resources, class décor and more.
- Discount School Supply – The online outlet claims to have the lowest prices on school supplies and equipment for early childhood educators.
- Teacher Storehouse – With over 30,000 products to choose from, Teacher Storehouse provides learning resources for educators, 10% cash back rewards and best of all no tax!
- Really Good Stuff – Your home for fun and creative classroom teacher supplies. We found this one special because it advertises that it is tailored to equipping educators with materials specific to Common Core standards.
Other General Supply Discounts
Many people know of the popular dollar stores in our local neighborhoods which could be great ways to save on small items. Although not advertised, at most Dollar Trees, teachers can get an extra 10% off with their school IDs. Also don’t forget to Price Match at Walmart as this is the best time of year to take advantage of the offering. They mostly include brand names, not store brand items but keep your eyes open for those items as you are doing your general shopping.
For The Tech Savvy Teacher
Technology is increasingly becoming an integral part of the teaching and learning experience which is why we have put together a list of some of the best opportunities for savings on tools for the physical or virtual classroom.
This is one of the loftiest discounts ranging from 25-75% off retail prices and is available through the Adobe Teacher and Student Store. Qualifying is easy, all you need is a formal document like an official letter or paystub issued by your institution with your name, school and current date. Teachers of homeschooled teachers area also eligible. Top Software:
- Adobe Captivate 8 – Reimagine the way interactive eLearning is created for a multi-device world utilizing responsive authoring, use actors, voices interactions, quizzes and more.
- Creative Cloud – Bringing together all-new desktop and mobile apps and more connected ways of creating and sharing.
- Acrobat XI Pro – It’s more than just the leading PDF converter, the Acrobat XI Pro is packed with smart tools that give you more power to communicate.
With the boom of iTunes U and the increasing number of educational apps to assist you with instruction, the Apple Store offers 5-10% discounts via Apple.com’s Edu Store for faculty and staff. Another insider tip for those who use specific apps on iPads is to check out the company’s Volume Purchase Program where you can download a larger number of the same qualified app up to 50% off. The administrator of the account would download redemption codes to distribute to specified accounts. Contact apple to learn more. Check out a comprehensive list of the best iPad apps teachers need presented by Educators Technology. Here are a few free favorites:
- Educreations – Forget the chalk and blackboard, or even the dry erase markers, Educreations is a free iOS app that turns your device into a recordable iPad. It is ideal for creating video tutorials and animated lessons and even incorporates social media with digital sharing features.
- Math Ref – Numbers often serve as an alphabet to the universal language of math. Browse over 1,400 formulas, figures, and examples to help you facilitate instruction with math, physics, chemistry and more.
- StoryKit – The #1 free storytelling app that allows users to create an electronic storybook via illustrations by drawing on the screen, using pictures and text and even recording audio to attach to the tales.
The company offers digital storage, sharing and protection products to help you stay organized and protected in the digital age. Teachers and education staff get a bonus of 20% off products through the WD Education Store. All you need to do is create a free account using your school or university address to get started.
All teachers and students can appreciate the use of videos for instruction and PBS makes it easy for teachers to find the perfect content compliment to their curriculum. You’ll find that may of the savings presented in this piece often come along with subscriptions of some sort. The PBS teachers program is similar as it offers up to 10% off your purchase once you sign up at ShopPBS for Teachers. The company has regular sales for members and this season is offering 15% off PBS Kids DVDs through the end of august.
Other Electronic Discounts
Almost all the big names have some sort of discount available other options include:
- Bose – Up to 15% on most music systems and accessories. Call their sales team at 1-800-353-4207 and request information on the “Educators Program” for pricing and order placement.
- Lenovo – Primarily for college and university teachers, Lenovo offers an Academic Purchase Program for purchase discounts.
- Sony – 10% off select products by registering for Sony Education Store. Additional opportunities for purchase discounts available when shopping in behalf of your school.
- Cell Phone Companies – This discount varies by provider, but teachers can save on their personal cell phone bill, sometimes up to 20% per month if you have a valid .edu email address.
For The Crafty Classroom
Fostering creativity is an important part of any learning environment which is why this list is all about the art supplies and all the little knick knack items that can be used in almost any craft classroom.
- Lakeshore Learning – 20% off in store throughout August including classroom organizers, plan books, pocket charts, stickers, classroom décor, bulletin boards and more. In addition, Teachers Club Members can save 15% on their purchases and receive exclusive monthly specials.
- JoAnn Fabrics – 15% off in store and online by enrolling in their Teacher Rewards Program. Plus hurry into the store this weekend Saturday August 9-10 for their Teacher Appreciation Day offering 25% off in store purchases.
- The Container Store – 15% off in store and online by registering for the Organized Teacher Program. Special offers are available for members throughout the remainder of 2014.
- Michaels – 15% off your entire in store purchase every day, from bulletin boards to fun and educational games, this craft superstore makes it easy to make your classroom fun. And there is no membership required. Simply show your valid educator ID at checkout. Also right now they are having their Semi Annual Storage Sale!
- Hobby Lobby – 10% discount is offered to a number of community organizations including educational institutions. The one catch for this deal is that you have to pay with an organizational check or credit card.
- Hancock Fabrics – 10% discount in stores for educators, students, school personnel and homeschool parents with their exclusive Red Apple Card.
- Blick – 10% discount in stores and non-sale, in stock items and 10% off orders of $50 or more online, plus special mailings and in store events. Although not exclusive to teachers, it is available by signing up for The Preferred Card which is offered for free.
- Ben Franklin Crafts – With campuses throughout Washington state, we’re giving a shout out to our local community up in the pacific northwest with this listing. Ben Franklin Crafts located in Bonney Lake, outside of the Tacoma area, offers educators a 10% discount year around with your certification or ID at checkout.
Other Craft Discounts
In addition to these craft specific options remember that the general stores often have a good selection of supplies. Or go directly to the source – Crayola for example offers a Gold Star Teaching program for teachers to receive discounts from its online store and even test and provide feedback on new products and associated lesson plans. Also one online resource that usually comes up for party planning that offers teaching supplies is Oriental Trading. This is a great site especially for purchasing specialty items in bulk.
How Will You Save?
Remember that there are always ways to shop smart. It’s just finding them that’s the trick. Hopefully some of these resources help out our educators find resources for back to school sales 2014. A few more hints: watch for coupons, follow companies on social media for the latest updates and new sales, shop surplus stores and consider drug stores for everyday items.