Discounts Galore: Back to School Shopping Guide for Teachers

July 28, 2015

It’s back-to-school time and there’s a lot of prepping to do to get the year started -- decorating classrooms, ordering supplies, planning schedules and mapping out lesson plans. For most teachers, this time of year can be costly.

Fortunately, some retailers want to lend a helping hand in the form of teacher and educator discounts. Here is a short list of retailers and local groups that are there for teachers and their pocketbooks.

Teacher 2 Teacher Educators Consignment Sale: Now in its second year, the Teacher 2 Teacher Educators Consignment Sale is set to take place August 7-9. This great event helps both teachers looking to sell classroom items they no longer need, and teachers looking to purchase everything from decorations to supplies to lesson plans. If you are a first year teacher, you can register online for a pass to go to the pre-sale the day before the sale is open to the public. Consigners and volunteers also gain access to the pre-sale day. Enjoy free parking, free admission, and other surprises.

RAFT: Resource Area For Teaching (RAFT) has been going strong for five years. It’s a place where teachers can shop for low cost supplies, participate in workshops, and also donate gently used items for others to benefit from. With a low $25 membership ($20 for renewals), you have access to the supplies you might need as well as support and ideas from other teachers. It’s definitely worth checking out and networking with other educators across the state.

The Bookies: This is a hidden gem in Denver Central, not only for educators but also for parents. Every day, the customer receives at least 10% and they have more books than you would think for that small of a space. They seem to have the biggest teacher resource stock in Denver and they will discount your order the more you buy for the classroom. They tout themselves on personalized customer service so although you will be able to order online, the end of your purchase will be in the store so they can confirm that you are getting what you ordered.

Lakeshore Learning: There aren’t many physical Lakeshore Learning stores around, but fortunately anyone has access online. They offer many games and activities for kids in and out of the classroom, which is even beneficial for parents who want good educational toys at home. From now until August 6, teachers can enjoy a 20% off discount in store or online. An added bonus to shopping their online store is free shipping on purchases over $79. Throughout the year they also offer a 15% off discount for classroom supplies. This website is a great resource for educators. Although they don’t have a regular discount for teachers, they have affordable pricing and sales galore. They offer free shipping on purchases of $75 or more and you can earn 5% loyalty rewards on every purchase that go towards all future purchases.

Craft Stores: Michael’s offers a 15% off discount for educators year round. The discount is only offered for in-store purchases but with all of the locations around, you would still find some great deals. Hancock Fabrics offers an in-store discount with their Red Apple Card. Jo Ann Fabrics gives you an in-store discount on top of a percentage back in their Teacher Rewards Programs. Both retailers also offer great coupons throughout the year.

Home Stores: Home Depot and Lowe’s offer coupons and percentages back into rewards programs, not to mention avoiding sales tax when you present your tax-exemption paperwork at time of purchase. Lowe’s also has a program called the Toolbox for Education grant that can get you a $5,000 grant for your school. This is a great way to pick up unique items for crafts and class projects. Need to get your classroom organized? The Container Store offers a Discount Program for educators that will get you a discount year round.