As summer camps wind to a close and kids make their final splashes at the pool, parents have one thing on their minds: back-to-school shopping.
But when you add up the cost of all the items on your kids’ classroom supply lists, backpacks, clothes and shoes, back-to-school is expensive! The following is a list of discounts to help military families get the kids off to school in style while staying within your budget.
Make sure to visit the Military.com Discounts Center for more discounts and articles. And sign up for the Military Deals and Discounts Newsletter to get even more discounts and information in your inbox on how Military Families can save big.
1. Operation Homefront’s Back-to-School Brigade
Operation Homefront is partnering with Dollar Tree to collect school supplies for military children as part of their Back-to-School Brigade. Dollar Tree stores will collect supplies from July 7 to August 14, 2014 and then Operation Homefront volunteers gather and distribute them to military children during the back to school season in August and September. Click here for more information and to find programs in your area.
2. Tax-Free Shopping Days
For a few days each year, some states offer a “sales tax holiday” right around back-to-school time when shoppers can buy specified items tax-free. This is a great way to save on back-to-school necessities like clothes, shoes, and other school supplies. To see if your state participates in the sales tax holidays, click here.
3. Clothing and Accessories
By the time summer is over, the kids have either outgrown all their school clothes or worn them ragged from vacation and camp. Update their wardrobe with new clothes and accessories using military discounts at All American Clothing Co., Banana Republic, Beyond the Rack, Claires, eBags, Fresh Produce, New York and Company, Old Navy, The Buckle and thredUP.
Does your student need new glasses or contacts? NEX Optical Shops are offering an eyewear special until September 16, 2014 when using a MILITARY STAR Card. And GlassesUSA.com offers a military discount, including 30% off all frames.
No back-to-school wardrobe is complete without new shoes. So take advantage of the military discounts offered by Payless, Nike, Foot Locker, Adidas, Rack Room Shoes, Shoes.com, Stride Rite and Steve Madden.
5. Classroom Supplies
Most schools now expect parents to help stock classroom supplies like pencils, crayons, notebooks, folders, scissors, glue, and binders, as well as necessities like tissues and hand sanitizer. Find these supplies and use military discounts as Michaels, Jo-Ann Fabric, CVS andWalgreens.
6. Backpacks and Lunch Bags
Looking for backpacks and lunch bags? Pottery Barn Kids has an adorable collection of both, and they offer a 10% in-store military discount.
7. Tutoring and Test Prep
Does your child need a little extra help with homework and studying?Tutor.com, where expert tutors are online 24/7, offers free tutoring for military families.
Do you have older kids getting ready for college testing? eKnowledge donates their SAT and ACT College Test Preparation Programs to service members and their families. You pay only a minimal price per standard program to cover the cost of materials, processing, distribution and customer service. Click here to learn more.
8. Computers and Electronics
9. Wireless Communication
AT&T Wireless, Boost Mobile, ntelos Wireless, Sprint, T-Mobile, US Cellular and Verizon all offer military discounts, so if you’re in the market for new cell phone plans to keep in touch with your active student, you have a great variety to choose from. (Some offer military discounts on devices and accessories as well.)
10. Exchange Price Match Policy
Don’t forget that the Navy Exchange (NEX), the Marine Corps Exchange (MCX) and the Army and Air Force Exchange (AAFES) all offer price matching. That means if you see a lower price for the same item at another store, bring proof to the Exchange and you can buy that item for the competitor’s price. Click here for more details.