50 freebies for teachers

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By

Hanna Horvath, CFP®

Hanna Horvath, CFP®

CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ & Managing Editor, Growth

Hanna Horvath is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and managing editor for growth at Policygenius. She helps produce the Easy Money newsletter, and owns all growth initiatives for Easy Money. She recently passed her exam to become a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ in November 2020.

Hanna's work has appeared in NBC News, Business Insider and Inc. Magazine. She is regularly quoted in top media outlets, including CNBC, Best Company and HerMoney. She has also appeared on the Money Moolala podcast and All's Fair podcast.

Prior to Policygenius, Hanna wrote for KNBC in Los Angeles and WNBC in New York. When she isn't writing, she's (often) running, (usually) cooking and (sometimes) doing photography.

Updated November 15, 2021|7 min read

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Teachers have a tough job and even tougher salary to budget on. Luckily, there are a host of freebies and discounts available to educators and their students. May 7 is National Teacher’s Day, which makes it the perfect time to shop for your classroom.

Here’s a complete list of all the great deals for your students, school and most importantly, for you!

1. Decorations

Looking to enhance your classroom walls? Get free printables from We Are Teachers.

2. Money tips

You can get tips, tricks and one easy money thing to do each week sent right to your inbox, thanks to the free Policygenius newsletter. Sign up here.

3. Books ...

Organizations like First Book and Kids Need to Read provide free books for classrooms in need.

4. ... & more books

The Barnes & Noble Educators program gets teachers 20% off purchases on anything used for the classroom. They also have appreciation days where they give an extra 5% off.

Here are some tips on how you can save on school supplies.

5. Coloring sheets

You can get free printouts for students (or yourself) to color, courtesy of places like Crayola.

6. Bullying toolkits

The National Education Association offers toolkits and downloadable training modules to help educators identify and intervene bullying in the classroom.

7. Meditation

Taking a few deep breaths can calm your nerves after a stressful day in class. If you need more help calming down, Headspace, a guided meditation app, offers free access to educators.

Here’s a list of other free apps that make your life easier.

8. Supplies

Retail giant Walmart offers seasonal discounts to teachers, as well as $50 Teacher Rewards Cards to educators of participating schools. Teachers can also buy discounted gift cards online.

9. Rulers

Get a set of six-inch rulers for your classroom by filling out an online form via Rent Calculators.org.

10. Classroom pets

Petco teamed up with the Pet Care Trust to make the Pets in the Classroom program, which makes it possible for teachers to bring pets into their classroom. You can read more about the program and grant application process here.

11. Microsoft Office

Whether you need to create a document or a PowerPoint presentation, teachers and students can enjoy Office 365 Education for free. All you have to do is provide a valid school email address.

12. Photoshop & more

Teachers can get over 60% off on a subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud. With access to over 20 apps, you’ll have all the creative tools you need for graphic design, photo editing, video production and more.

13. Cavity-free candies

Yes, you heard that right. Zollipops, a candy line that’s actually good for your teeth, is offering up free samples of candy to classrooms willing to participate in their One Million Smiles campaign to reduce tooth decay for children. Not only do you help a good cause, you and your students can enjoy free lollipops and taffy.

Want to learn more about Zollipops? Read our Q&A with 13-year-old CEO Aliana Morse.

14. Toothpaste

Speaking of healthy teeth, Colgate is giving out free toothpaste and toothbrushes for up to 25 kindergarteners or first-grade students, to help teach them about oral hygiene and health. All you have to do is apply online to receive the kit.

15. Insurance quotes

Living on a teacher’s budget isn’t easy, but that doesn’t mean you should forgo financial protection. You can get free quotes for life insurance, or disability, home, and auto insurance — a policy is probably cheaper than you think. We can help you compare costs.

16. Credit reports

Americans can get their credit reports free every 12 months via AnnualCreditReport.com. Here’s why that three-digit number is just so important.

17. Credit scores

Many personal finance sites, like Credit Sesame and Credit Karma, will provide your credit score for free each month. So will some credit card issuers. Learn how to improve your credit in 30 days or less.

18. Organizational help

Fill out an online form and The Container Store’s Organized Teacher program will send you discounts throughout the year to help keep your classroom tidy.

19. Free lessons plans

Scholastic offers free classroom resources including lesson plans, interactive guides, educational games and e-books.

20. Craft supplies

You can find everything from seasonal decorations to craft ideas and even baking supplies at Michaels, where teachers get 15% off their entire purchase including sale items.

21. ... & more craft supplies

Enroll in the teacher rewards program at Jo-Ann for 15% off everything everyday in-stores and online.

22. Flu shot

A flu shot comes without a copay as long as you have health insurance. Learn where you can get a flu shot for free.

23. Speakers

Bose offers special prices for U.S.-based educators, so teachers may be able to snag a deal on speakers or sound systems for their classrooms.

24. Clothing ...

Clothing store J. Crew and its sister brand Madewell both offer a 15% discount to all teachers with valid ID.

25. ... more clothing ...

Teachers get a 15% discount at clothing retailer Ann Taylor Loft if they show a valid teacher ID in store. And this deal is valid all year round.

26. News subscription

Faculty and students at certain high schools can get a New York Times subscription for free. You may also want to check out this list of best news websites for more deals.

27. Podcasts

No matter what you teach, a free podcast covering the topic probably exists. Assigning your students to listen to a podcast for homework could be a cool change of pace for your class. Here’s a list of personal finance podcasts to get you started.

28. Apple products

Techies rejoice! All year round, teachers and faculty can save with discounted prices on Apple products like MacBooks, iMacs and iPads.

29. ... & Apple skills

Use Macbooks or iPads in the classroom? Apple Teacher Learning Center offers free courses to help you make sure you’re getting the most out of your tools.

30. Coding lessons

Learn to code for free — so you can teach your new skills to students! — at freecodecamp.org. (To learn more about the non-profit, check out this interview with founder Quincy Larson.)

31. Costco coupons

Get a $30 Costco Shop Card when you sign up for a Costco membership through its partnership with the NEA.

32. Tax-free shopping

Many states offer sales tax holidays during the summer, perfect for teachers looking for school supplies. Check to see if your state offers tax-free shopping. Here’s a list.

33. An online library of resources

Teachers who sign up for Epic! have free and immediate access to over 40,000 eBooks, videos, quizzes, and other educational resources for K-5 students.

Looking for even more freebies? Here are some back-to-school freebies for teachers and students.

34. Hotel discount

If you’re a public school teacher, you may be eligible for a discounted stays at Marriott hotels. Just make sure to select the ‘Government and Military’ option under the Special Rates section at the beginning of your hotel search.

35. Car rental

Hit the road! Teachers can save on a car rental through Alamo if they’re a member of the American Federation of Teachers.

36. Admission to the aquarium...

Aquariums throughout the country offer free admission to teachers, like the Shedd Aquarium in Illinois.

37. ... & SeaWorld

SeaWorld Orlando and SeaWorld San Diego offer teachers free admission when they register online, plus teaching tools and even special trainings.

38. A trip to the zoo ...

The Central Florida Zoo invites teachers to visit the zoo for free if they bring a group of 10 or more.

39. ... & the Country Music Hall of Fame ...

Tennessee teachers receive discounted entry to the Country Music Hall of Fame with an ID.

40. ... Children’s Museum ...

Members of the Massachusetts Teachers Association (MTA) can receive half-price admission Don’t live in Boston? Check out these free museums for families.

41. ... Natural History Museum...

All California K-12 teachers get free admission to the Natural History Museum in Los Angeles with a school ID or a current pay stub, and educators can see new exhibits early on special Teacher Preview Days.

42. ... & Orlando Science Center

Florida teachers get free entry to the Orlando Science Center if they show their current teaching certificate, school ID or most recent pay stub. Don’t live near one of these museums? You still may get ...

43. Free museum entry

Teachers with a Bank of America credit card can get free admission to participating cultural institutions across the country on the first full weekend of every month through its Museum on Us program.

44. Organization app

Task management app TickTick gives qualifying teachers a 25% discount for its premium plan.

45. Genetic testing

Get an education discount on DNA testing from 23andMe.

46. Discounted mattress

Birch and Helix each give teachers 15% off on mattresses.

47. Sustainable footwear

Toms offers students and teachers a 10% discount on its products.

48. Project management software

Teachers at K-12 schools or universities get free Basecamp accounts for classroom work.

49. Accounting software

Teachers need budgets too. Intuit Quickbooks offers free licenses to educators.

50. PCs

Apple isn't the only option for teachers looking for discounted hardware. HP and Dell offer discounts on their products as well.

Carrie Pallardy contributed to this article.

Image: Element5 Digtial