10 Back-to-School Deals for Military Families

Children from the Magnolia Village housing area on Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi, board the school bus Aug 7, 2017, on their way to school. (U.S. Air Force photo/Savannah G Stephens)
Children from the Magnolia Village housing area on Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi, board the school bus Aug 7, 2017, on their way to school. (U.S. Air Force photo/Savannah G Stephens)

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.

 

1. Operation Homefront's Back-to-School Brigade

Operation Homefront partners with Dollar Tree to collect school supplies for military children as part of their Back-to-School Brigade. Dollar Tree stores put out collection barrels through August 9, and then Operation Homefront volunteers distribute them to military children at events throughout the country during the back-to-school season. Visit the Operation Homefront website for more information and 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. Click here for a list of participating states and dates.

 

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 stores like Old NavyBanana Republic and New York and Company. 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.

 

4. Shoes

No back-to-school wardrobe is complete without new shoes. So take advantage of the military discounts offered by Payless and Rack Room Shoes.

 

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 and AC Moore.

 

6. Backpacks and Lunch Bags

Looking for backpacks and lunch bags? Pottery Barn Kids has an adorable collection of both, and they offer a 15% 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.

 

8. Computers

If you’re looking to buy a computer or other necessary electronics, check out the military discounts offered by Dell.

Need tech support? My Nerds offer military discounts as well.

 

9. Wireless Communication

Most cell phone providers, like T-Mobile, offer military discounts, so if you’re in the market for new cell phone plans to keep in touch with your active student, contact your provider to ask what they offer for military families. (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.

 

STAY UP TO DATE WITH ALL MILITARY DISCOUNTS

Whether you're an active duty service member, a military family member, or a veteran, stay on top of all the military discounts you're eligible for, from travel accommodations to auto and entertainment deals. Sign up for a free Military.com membership to get full access to all discounts.

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