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Save Money with Educator Discounts!

One of the best money-saving tools for homeschool parents are “educator discount cards” that typically provide 10% or more off of educational products and supplies.

I have used discount cards at book and craft stores and to cut costs on printing and photo copies. Most of the educator discounts are limited to in-store purchases and the amount of the discount varies from one store to another – but it all adds up to big savings!

Most companies that offer educator discounts require some kind of identification in order for you to qualify for the discount. You may be asked to provide:

  • A teacher photo I.D. card
  • Proof that you belong to a homeschool program or organization
  • A copy of your school letterhead
  • A copy of a document that you may file with the state in order to legally homeschool

Once you provide the necessary “proof” you’ll receive the discount card entitling you to savings on homeschool supplies and resources. Below, you’ll find a list of some of the national companies that provide discounts.

  • Apple – Offers up to 15% off their educational product line to homeschoolers. Get the details at the website.
  • Barnes and Noble Bookstore – Get 15% off soft cover books and 20% off hard cover books. B&N also offers “Educator Appreciation Weeks” a couple of times throughout the year when they discount many products and provide free refreshments.
  • Book Warehouse – Take an additional 15% off on already low prices when you make in-store purchases.

  • Borders Books – Receive up to 25% off on in-store purchases of books and some other products. Sponsors semi- annual “Educator Appreciation” events.
  • Fed-Ex/Kinkos – Get 15% off on most products and services at participating stores. To receive your National Educators Discount Program discount card, fill out the online application.
  • Jo-Ann – Apply for the Teacher Discount Rewards Card at this craft and fabric store by registering online, you will receive 15% off each total purchase (some exclusions apply) all year long.
  • Michael’s – This craft store offers a “Teacher Appreciation Week” annually. (In 2009, it’s taking place August 12-18.) Take 15% off purchases including sales items. Must present Teacher I.D. to get the discount.
  • Microsoft Academic Discount Pricing – Get up to 40% off on specific products to home educators who can provide written proof of either belonging to a nationally-recognized homeschooling organization, or is expressly recognized by a local school district as an acceptable alternative to an accredited or state- recognized/approved educational institution.
  • Office Depot’s Star Teacher Program – Earn rewards on purchases. Receive a 15% instant discount on qualifying design, print & ship services. Office Depot also offers a “Teacher Appreciation Breakfast” in the weeks prior to the opening of school. Teachers get free breakfast, discount, and gift. (Varies by store.)
  • Office Max – MaxPerks for Teachers Works program provides “rewards” with each purchase and for recycled toner and ink cartridges that can be applied toward future purchases.
  • Staples Teacher Rewards Program – Earn rewards based on select purchases and recycling ink cartridges.

Please remember that the companies listed above offer discounts for educators and may question purchases that don’t seem to be “educational.” That is their prerogative, so be respectful of their policy guidelines that may change without notice. Not all of the stores in a particular chain will participate in discount programs. It may save time to call and inquire before visiting any given store.

Do you want to find local retailers and other organizations that offer discounts to homeschoolers where you live? Check out the Homeschool Buyers Co-Op database. Just enter your state and zip code in the search engine and see what’s available within a select mileage radius of your home.

The Homeschool Buyer’s Co-Op also offers free Homeschool I.D. Cards that you can use to secure educator discount cards.

Finally, no matter where you shop, don’t forget to ASK if they offer an educator’s discount. Your wallet may be pleasantly surprised to find that many stores do.

Do you know of other national companies that offer educator discounts? You are welcome to list the name of the company and provide a complete url (for example, http://www.Homefires.com) in the comment section below. Thank you!

Copyright 2009, Diane Flynn Keith, All Rights Reserved.

WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR E- ZINE, BLOG, OR WEB SITE? You can, as long as you include this complete blurb with it: “Diane Flynn Keith publishes the rave-reviewed Homefires Ezine . If you’re ready to save time and money, ease your anxiety, and learn how to have fun homeschooling, get your FREE subscription now at http://www.Homefires.com.” (Please make sure the link is live.)

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