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.
Arts and crafts chain Michaels offers a 15 percent discount to educators buying "products designed for the classroom" in store.
Arts and crafts retailer A.C. Moore offers the same 15 percent discount but excludes only gift cards, classes, and custom framing, so teachers can feel free to pick up supplies for their own use.
THE NEW YORK TIMES
Teachers can stay up to date on current events for 50% off with a discounted faculty subscription to The New York Times. America's newspaper of record offers four weeks of access through NYTimes.com and mobile apps for $7.50, and $1.88 for every week after that.
Aerosoles offers teachers 15 percent off purchases of $40 or more in store or by phone (800-798-9478).
ANN TAYLOR LOFT
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.
Shoppers at Banana Republic can deduct 15 percent off in-store purchases of full-price items.
If scouring shelves of discounted books brings you joy, join the Educators' Book Club at Book Warehouse. The nationwide chain boasts low prices already, but 15 percent off and additional discounts on large orders can be had by filling out an Educator's Card at a store.
BARNES & NOBLE
Save at Barnes & Noble by enrolling in its Educator Program. Members get 20 percent off purchases for classroom use, up to 25 percent off during Teacher Appreciation Week, and other special offers via email. (Some discounts apply to homeschoolers, too.)
THE CONTAINER STORE
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.
T-Mobile advertises a $60 break on select smartphones. The wireless carrier's educational discount is available only by phone (1-855-402-1595).
Sprint offers teachers, administrators and other education staffers discounted monthly service plans.
Bose offers special educator discounts of up to 15 percent on headphones, speakers, sound systems, and other products. Inquire about the "Educators' Program" by phone (800-353-4207) for details on offers and available products.
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).
Costco has an exclusive online-only offer for teachers who join as new members. Those who sign up can receive over $60 in special savings.
How could a company called Scholastic not have educator deals? Popular children's books, activity books, and resources for new teachers are available at Scholastic's Teacher Store with savings starting at 25 percent.
Laptops, tablets, and other computers aren't cheap, but special offers for educators can chip away at the price tags. The HP Academy offers 20 percent off the company's products and free shipping.
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.
Dell has a Member Purchase Program that includes local government employees such as public school educators. It offers price breaks on laptop and desktop computers.
NATIONAL PARK SERVICE
Educators who enjoy the outdoors can take advantage of a 15 percent discount at Eastern National outlets and stores inside national parks and online for pins, patches, maps, caps, water bottles, and other products. The National Park Service also offers resources for educators.
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.