This week, businesses are showering teachers with a little love – in the form of store discounts and food freebies.
Teacher Appreciation Week officially kicked off Monday and runs through Friday, but the savings start Sunday at the nation’s two largest office-supply stores, Staples and Office Depot.
Throughout the week, some restaurants are offering free meals, buy-one-get-one free deals and discounts.
But the biggest freebie day for educators is Tuesday, which is Teacher Appreciation Day, also called National Teachers Day.
Tuesday also is when McDonald’s offers its new Caramel Brownie McFlurry for free, and Taco Bell has an early Cinco de Mayo giveaway of free crunchy tacos. These two deals are open to teachers and non-teachers alike.
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Dates of the teacher deals and participation can vary by location. Most offers require teachers to show a school ID.
To be on the safe side, always check with your closest location before heading out. Also, some will require you to have a restaurant’s app or be signed up for emails.
Teacher Appreciation Week discounts
Costco: Teachers can join Costco as a new member and receive a $20 Costco Shop Card. This offer, which does not note an ending date, is through SheerID, which verifies eligibility. Learn more on the SheerID Costco page.
Epson contest: Five teachers will be selected to receive an EcoTank ET-4760, an extra set of replacement ink bottles and a ream of EcoTank Paper through a social media contest Monday through Friday. Go to @epson on Facebook, @epsonamerica on Instagram or Twitter and enter for a chance to win by commenting on Epson’s sweepstakes posts using the hashtag #EpsonTeacherAppreciationSweepstakes. There will be one winner each day. Learn more in the contest rules.
Office Depot: From Sunday through Saturday, teachers who are Office Depot and OfficeMax Rewards members will receive 25% back in rewards on a qualifying purchase when they present a unique coupon and rewards number at checkout. The coupon will be available online at officedepot.com/teachers beginning Sunday.
SheerID: Teachers can find additional discounts through SheerID, which has partnered with several brands for Teacher Appreciation Week to provide exclusive offers. Find a list at sheerid.com/shoppers/teacherdeals.
Staples: Teachers get 20% off in-store purchases for Teacher Appreciation Week from May 2-9 when they present a valid school ID at check-out. In-store only and exclusions apply.
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National Teacher Week deals, freebies
Buffalo Wild Wings: Teachers get 20% off orders at participating sports bars Monday through this Friday for dine-in or takeout when they show a valid teacher ID.
Capriotti’s Sandwich Shops: The chain is looking for nominations of teachers to reward them with a free half or small sub. Send nominations to Capriotti’s through a direct message on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook with the name and email address of your favorite teacher and why they are your favorite teacher. Capriotti’s will then load their CAPAddict account with a free sub offer. Nominations will be taken through 11:59 p.m. PT Sunday.
Ford: Teachers and consumers who take a virtual test drive through May 7 will receive a $50 e-gift card that can be used to contribute to teacher requests on DonorsChoose. The company says it will fund $1 million worth of classroom resource requests through the nonprofit that provides teachers a platform to receive funding for their school needs. Learn more and take the test drive at drive4urschool.com/teachers.
Huddle House: Teachers with a valid school ID get a free meal and a beverage on Wednesday at restaurants nationwide.
Insomnia Cookies: From Monday through May 9, teachers get a free classic cookie with their teacher ID, no purchase necessary. Or they can get a free six-pack with any purchase.
McAlister’s Deli: Teachers get a free tea Monday through this Friday when they show their school badge or ID. Also, through Thursday, the chain is taking nominations for a teacher to win free catering on its website. To submit, you’ll need to include your name, email address, the name and email address of the person you are nominating along with why you are nominating them. Those who submit a nomination will receive a free tea promotion code to use within 14 days but will need to be a member of the McAlister’s Deli rewards program to redeem. Winners will be announced May 7.
McDonald’s: While McDonald’s doesn’t have a national Teacher Appreciation Week deal, it does have a free McFlurry offer via its mobile app Tuesday. There also are some regional deals for teachers. Some restaurants across Ohio, Northern Kentucky and Southeast Indiana are offering a free bakery item with any purchase Monday through this Friday for teachers who show a valid school ID. Check with your McDonald’s to see if there is a local offer.
MOOYAH Burgers, Fries & Shakes: From Monday through Wednesday, get $3 off a $10 or more purchase on the MOOYAH Rewards App or online order using coupon code THANKS.
O’Charley’s Restaurant + Bar: Teachers get a free slice of pie when dining in Monday through this Friday with a valid ID. One free piece of pie per check, and the teacher’s deal is not valid with any other offer or discount.
The Parking Spot: Through May 7, teachers can get 25% off airport parking and 10% off thereafter at the nation’s largest near-airport parking company with 37 lots across 22 U.S. cities. To take advantage of this deal, teachers need to create an account with a school email address.
PDQ: Starting Tuesday through May 13, with the purchase of 10 or more boxed lunches, customers will receive $1 off every box.
Ruby Tuesday: Get a free garden bar or cheeseburger Tuesday with fries or tots when teachers show their school IDs.
Sonic Drive-In: This deal is in honor of teachers but open to everyone with the Sonic app. From Sunday through May 9, use promo code TEACHERS at checkout online or in the app to unlock a free large drink or slush with any purchase.
Tijuana Flats: Teachers get a free entrée on Friday by using the code TYVM2575 at checkout. Valid ID must be presented when arriving at the restaurant to pick up the order, and the maximum value of the free item is $9.99 plus tax. The chain says it may have a limited menu online and on the restaurant’s app this week because of “projected high order volume” but said items that appear unavailable online or on the app can be ordered in-person at restaurants.
Zaxby’s: The chain with more than 900 locations in 17 states is offering teachers with a valid ID a buy-one-get-one Big Zax Snak Meal Thursday while supplies last.
Chipotle Teacher Appreciation deal?
Chipotle Mexican Grill hasn’t yet announced a 2021 Teacher Appreciation deal, but the chain is giving away 250,000 buy-one-get-one free coupon codes for Cinco de Mayo through the Chipotle IQ trivia game.
The five-day contest kicked off Monday at www.chipotleiq.com and continues through 11:59 p.m. PT May 7. There will be 50,000 prizes given out each day for people who answer all 10 questions correctly on the game.
Learn more about the contest here.
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Taco Bell: Get a free taco May 4
Taco Bell says it has created a new “lunar phase” that it has dubbed “Taco Moon.”
And since the fast-food chain says the moon will look like a taco on Tuesday, it will offer free tacos around the world. In the U.S., the free tacos will be crunchy, the chain said in a news release.
But when the offer is available depends on how you order it.
The free taco is available all day Tuesday when ordering online or through the app, and it’s available from 8 to 11:59 p.m. when ordering in-store.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, which is Cinco de Mayo, Taco Bell will also offer its rewards members 150 bonus points on the $5 Build Your Own Cravings Box and the $15 Build Your Own Taco Party Pack. Learn more at tacobell.com/taco-moon.
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Follow USA TODAY reporter Kelly Tyko on Twitter: @KellyTyko