As I reread Shopping for Your Classroom (a post by yours truly), I remembered that I forgot! Yep, I forgot to mention another teacher trick and favorite, stretching that dollar by using coupons and teacher discounts.
I've signed up for teacher rewards at:
Office Depot (I love their Star Teacher Rewards Program!)
JoAnn Fabric and Craft Stores (they sell awesome organizer drawers/bins, craft supplies, scrapbook papers, fabric for bulletin boards, and seasonal decor)
~ Don't forget to sign up to receive JoAnn's mailers with valuable coupons, or find them in your newspaper
Hastings Books (I'm not sure if Hastings still issues a teacher discount card- several locations I've presented my card at have been surprised, not knowing what it is, though when they scan it, the discount is still applied to my purchase) Hastings also sends out fliers with coupons, and you can sell your used books (in excellent condition) to them for used book credit.
If membership is free, don't forget to sign up for store cards for groceries, sporting goods, crafting supplies, home decor, etc. Many of these businesses have small barcode cards that easily slip onto your keyring. If you don't want a ton of these little plastic tabs hooked into your car and home keys, keep a separate ring for just the membership cards!
* I buy snacks, plastic storage baggies, kleenex, air freshener and kitchen supplies for centers at grocery stores- might as well get them at a discount!
* While Dear Daughter uses our Dick's Sporting Goods card more often than I do for her volleyball gear, coupons and discounts are issued to us that can be used on any item in the store, including tennis shoes for me, or new rubber balls or jump ropes for my recess tubs.
* I don't believe Michael's Arts and Crafts Store offers a membership card (I could be wrong!), but you can sign up for email coupons and their weekly flier. Coupons can also be found in your local paper, and trust me, those 40% off coupons certainly do come in handy! Have you seen my desktop organizer/caddy (white, lazy Susan style)? It's from Michael's:
~ I just clicked around on the Michael's site and found The Knack, where teachers and parents can sign up for newsletters, project ideas and "special offers.." After registering, you'll receive a coupon for 50% off of any single regular priced item- handy dandy!
* Hobby Lobby also emails out coupons!
It can't hurt to ask when you're in any store if they offer a membership discount card or teachers' reward program- just make sure that membership is FREE before you sign up! Remember that if you supply your email address, you just might end up receiving a bunch of junk mail from businesses partnered with the store you originally signed up with- opt out of those or have them sent automatically to a junk or spam file so you don't have to worry about them clogging up your mailbox.
UPDATED Monday, July 27
Do you know of any other businesses or stores that offer teacher discounts? Let me know and I'll add them to the end of this post (and if you blog, I'll be happy to link back to you)!
** Stacy at Living a Life of Purpose says that Borders Booksellers has special teacher discount days (remember to bring your teacher i.d. when you sign up at one of their locations)...
** Jan says Staples also has a teacher reward card...
**...and Anonymous encourages us to sign up at Ann Taylor to get a 15% discount off of every purchase and at Barnes and Noble to receive 20% off (yes, you'll need to provide proof that you're a teacher!)