Whether you’re eagerly anticipating its arrival or trying instead to savor your few remaining vacation days, the 2022-2023 school year will be here soon. In fact, National Back to School Prep Day on August 15th is just right around the corner, and then right around the corner from that is… well, school.
One reason that many educators aren’t overly excited about back-to-school preparation? Unfortunately, many of them are having to pay more money out-of-pocket in order to acquire the classroom supplies they will need.
A 2021 survey by the non-profit organization AdoptAClassroom.org found that teachers were spending an average of $750 of their own hard-earned money on classroom supplies. That is the highest amount ever recorded by the annual study, and represents a 25% increase in out-of-pocket spending since 2015. Additionally, nearly a third of all teachers surveyed (30%) reported spending $1,000 or more.
And the average out-of-pocket cost is sure to increase again this year, amid supply-chain woes and inflationary trends that are negatively affecting the cost of school supplies. A May 2022 survey by AdoptAClassroom.org found that “ninety-six percent of survey respondents said that rising costs are negatively impacting their classroom’s access to school supplies.” The organization also reported that, since 2020, the price of pencils has increased by 40%, and a ream of paper has become nearly 60% more expensive.
With out-of-pocket costs for educators being higher than ever, teacher discounts have emerged as more important than ever. So we’ve put together a guide to back-to-school teacher discounts for the 2022-2023 school year, which should help curb the costs of classroom essentials.
Teacher Discounts for Back-to-School Classroom Supplies
Meijer: For the second straight year, Meijer has extended their 15% back-to-school teacher discount, which will now be in effect for the entire 2022-2023 school year. Teachers can access the 15% discount by going to their local Meijer Customer Service desk and presenting a current school ID. Teachers will then be handed a paper 15% off coupon that can only be used in-store and during that shopping trip.
Target: This year, Target has brought back its popular “Teacher Prep” event, which lasts from now until September 10, 2022. Educators can save 15% on school supplies and more by participating in the event, which is run through the retailer’s free loyalty program, “Target Circle.”
Office Depot: This retailer’s rewards program includes exclusive teacher offers, like 20% back in bonus rewards (with a limit of $50 per rewards member) and 40% off print services. These are in-store offers, with coupons that you can print out or just show on your mobile device.
Pencils.com: This online retailer offers teachers and administrators a 10% discount on all orders. Just sign up for a Pencils.com account and then you can apply for the Educator Discount program and start fighting back against that 40% pencil inflation!
Back-to-School Book Discounts for Teachers
Barnes & Noble: The B&N Educators program is free to join, and provides teachers with a year-round 20% discount on books, games and toys for the classroom. You’ll also receive occasional email offers and information about exclusive educator events. Plus, you’ll be able to take 25% off almost any item on special “Educator Appreciation Days.”
Half Price Books: This new and used bookseller offers a Half Price Book’s Educator Discount Card that allows teachers to save 10% on purchases throughout the year. The retailer also has a donation program that allows educators to request and pick up donated books and media for their classroom.
First Book Marketplace: First Book is a non-profit organization that provides books and educational resources to schools and other children’s programs for free or at a reduced cost. If you are a teacher at a Title I or a Title I eligible school, you may be able to join their community for free and start receiving free new books for your classroom library!
Save on Back-to-School Basics… and More
It’s unfortunate that teachers so often have to break into their own piggy bank just to improve their classroom and enrich the educational experiences of their students. And the steady rise in average out-of-pocket spending, combined with current supply-chain issues and inflationary trends, may make this year’s back-to-school shopping the most burdensome yet. We hope that this guide will point you towards some more cost-effective options and reduce overall expenses.