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.
Operation Homefront partners with Dollar Tree to collect school supplies for military children as part of their Back-to-School Brigade. Dollar Tree stores collect supplies 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.
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.
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 Banana Republic, Claires, eBags, New York and Company, Old Navy and The Buckle. If you're mall shopping, be sure to ask for a military discount in every store you stop in. Some malls, like the MacArthur Center in Norfolk, Virginia, offer military discounts in many of their stores.
Does your student need new glasses? GlassesUSA.com offers a military discount, including 60% off all frames.
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, AC Moore and CVS.
Looking for backpacks and lunch bags? Pottery Barn Kids has an adorable collection of both, and they offer a 10% in-store military discount.
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.
Need tech support? My Nerds offer military discounts as well.
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.)
And check out Defense Mobile. Defense Mobile offers mobile phone service at a price the military community deserves on the nation’s largest and most trusted networks.
Click here for more details about military discounts on cellular and wireless plans.
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.
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