Plenty of retailers offer deals and discounts for educators in recognition of how hard they work preparing the next generation -- often for not much money. Even the United Nations celebrates their efforts with World Teachers’ Day on Oct. 5. The United Federation of Teachers maintains a list of discounts, including more than 30 available only to members of the American Federation of Teachers and the New York State United Teachers affiliate. These range from preferred rental car pricing and discounted movie tickets to 10 percent off Goodyear tires and a $500 mortgage gift card from Wells Fargo. But any educator can take advantage of numerous other discounts year-round, too. Just be prepared to present a school ID, pay stub, or other valid identification. Don't miss these opportunities to save.
Among a handful of retailers offering teacher discounts on in-store purchases is Ann Taylor Loft, purveyor of affordable, work-appropriate women's clothing. The store gives teachers 15 percent off full-price purchases.
Classroom setup and year-round maintenance can get expensive -- schools don't always supply enough containers and shelves for books, arts supplies, and more. The Container Store offers educators the Organized Teacher Discount Program, in which special discounts are sent out throughout the year.
Best Buy doesn't formally offer teacher discounts or rewards programs, but a number of trusted sources report price matching for teachers on manufacturer's coupons, including products from the Apple education site. If you find a price lower than what's offered at Best Buy, call to see if your local store will honor it.
Adobe produces industry-standard design and video software products, including Photoshop and Premiere. For educators who need them in the classroom, they're available at discounted rates of $20 for the "Creative Cloud" -- although the company won't hassle approved buyers who want to purchase Adobe products for themselves (and students get the same 60 percent price break).
Apple price tags may seem daunting for some, but the tech giant does cut students and educators a break at the beginning of the school year. Its education pricing program offered discounts up to $300 on select Mac computers until Sept. 25. Apple was also offering Beats wireless headphones with the purchase of certain Macs. Call to find out what offers are currently available.
Staples has one of the best-known rewards programs for teachers, with enrolled educators earning up to 5 percent back in rewards and up to 10 percent on art and teaching supplies. They also get free shipping on online orders costing more than $15. Teachers who spend more than $1,000 over 12 months get free copying and printing services.
Physical and mental health is especially important when leading a classroom full of energetic kids. Health insurance plans sometimes offer gym membership reimbursement, and unions offer location-specific discounts. Chains that play ball include Crunch, Gold's Gym, New York Sports Club, and New York Health & Racquet Club.
Ask ticket booth staff at museums, aquariums, and other public institutions if teacher discounts are available. A handful, including the Boston Children's Museum and Chicago's Field Museum and Shedd Aquarium, even offer free admission.