Guest Contributor & MilSpouse, Allison Hester
With school starting back up, it is helpful to know where you can save on school supplies, clothing, backpacks, and other necessities. Military Families have many great options and access to discounts, both in-person and online, to save some extra money at the start of the new school year.
A lot of popular stores and brands offer military and/or student discounts if you show your ID. Examples include Office Depot, Michaels, Footlocker, Shoe Carnival, Academy Sports, Old Navy, Eddie Bauer, and many others. The best thing I have found to do when shopping is to either look the store up online ahead of time or just ask when you are checking out.
However, there are some other unique back-to-school offers for military and students that you may not be aware of – check them out here!
Back to School Brigade
First, for Military Families facing financial struggles, Project New Hope, Inc., can help. Each year, their Back-to-School Brigade campaign partners with Dollar Tree and Operation Homefront to collect and distribute supplies to eligible Military Families. Children can receive a backpack filled with school supplies.
A growing number of outlets require that you enroll with ID.me before you can gain access to military discounts, particularly for shopping online. It works similarly to flashing your military ID in the store, but some stores also require being enrolled for shopping on-site. A neat feature is that you can add the ID.me extension to Chrome on your computer so that you automatically know when a discount exists. ID.me also offers exclusive discounts, so search their website for specific stores.
Here are a few ID.me examples:
- Dell: 10% off PCs and electronics for military families.
- Sam’s Club: Through ID.me, Sam’s Club offers special military prices on membership fees, which are lower than the discount you will find at the store. These offers vary.
- Reebok: Military and students both get a whopping 50% off through ID.me. Wow!
Microsoft: Both military and student discounts of 5% to 10% are available on qualifying Microsoft products. The biggest benefit is that students and the military can get Office 365 for free.
Target: You can get special military discounts through the Target Circle program for military members and their families. To get started, you must be verified through your Target account online.
Tutor.com: Through this program, military members and their families can get free online tutoring 24/7 in over 150 courses, ranging from kindergarten through college and beyond.
Finally, as I am writing this, my son is getting ready to start his first year of college – thanks in large part to one of the biggest back-to-school military benefits out there, the Post-9/11 GI Bill. Through this amazing program, qualifying service members can transfer their GI Bill education benefits to their spouse, or in my case, our two children. That includes the cost of in-state tuition, books, and even a monthly housing allowance. It is an amazing program and one I highly recommend looking into if you have not already. It will be a game-changer for my Military Family!
About the Author
Allison Hester has been a Military Spouse for 25 years. Her husband, Michael, serves full-time in the National Guard and spent two year-long tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, starting when their two children were toddlers. Allison has been a professional freelance writer and graphic designer for 23 years.