Do you discount?

I had $80 worth of gift card money to spend at a local food joint called Pat and Oscars (Greek/Italian food). Girl Ninja and I have two friends visiting from Seattle this week so we thought it would be perfect time to use the cards. Upon our arrival, we were pleased to learn Wednesday is Pat and Oscars’ “teacher discount” night. Our already free meal ended up coming with a 20% discount. Can I get a booya for Girl Ninja getting us a filthy-sick-nasty discount!? best discounts

If it wasn’t for the giant sign on the wall, I can guarantee you we wouldn’t have asked if we were eligible for any kind of discount. It makes me wonder, how many times have I paid full price for something when I didn’t have to? Probably far too many.

A few months ago, I went to Coldstone with a buddy of mine (yes, it was a total man date). He is a firefighter and, as you know, I’m a fed. Right before my friend paid for his ice cream, he asked the cashier if they offered discounts to local firefighters. I thought the question was silly. Who asks that? Turns out my friend does, and it also turns out Coldstone offers such a discount. By asking one simple question, he instantly saved 15% on his bill.

Following his lead, I then asked the cashier if they offered any discounts for federal employees. She looked at me like I was stupid, and I walked away paying full price (insert sad face here). Maybe next time I’ll ask her if they give discounts to Ninjas. If she tells me “No” again, I’ll judo chop her in the eyelid!

Even though it didn’t work out for me that time, It’s time I start being and asking any/every place I go if they have any discounts. Between my employment with the fed, Girl Ninja being a teacher, and both of us being AAA members, I’m sure there are plenty of deals to be had. Here’s what I know of so far…

Apple: Discounts for both educators and govt employees.

Hotels: Most hotel chains offer discounts for federal employees or AAA members.

Cell Phone Providers: Word on the street has it Verizon offers a discount to federal employees? Can anyone confirm this?

Bookstores/Craft Stores: Most offer some type of discount for teachers.

Anne Taylor Loft: I’m pretty sure Girl Ninja peed her pants with excitement when she found out LOFT offers educator discounts.

Car Insurance: GEICO gives discounts to federal employees. p.s. did you know GEICO stands for Govt Employee Insurance Company?

And that concludes my list of Epic-ly Epic Discounts. If you know of any others, please feel free to add them. Heck I don’t even care if I’m ineligible for them. Teachers, police officers, NRA members, Boy Scouts, YOU… drop a line in the comments below and tell us what deals you know about.



  1. Lowes and Home Depot both give 10% for military and verterans year round. I constantly ask for a discount, even if I know the store doesn’t have one. You would be suprised how many times it works. I recently asked a smaller hardware store if they honor lowe’s military discount, the manager said no but gave me the discount anyway for “customer satisfaction”
    That kinda made me feel good too 🙂

    It never hurts to ask, even if you get looked at all weird-like

    • Oooh vets too?! WOW. Ninja, Verizon does give federal employees a 15% discount. You can also get one for most cell phones using a .edu email address – including alumni email addresses!!!! It’s technically called a business discount, but you’re billed directly. I have no idea how they think this works, but I use it with AT&T!

      Most places offer military discounts but don’t advertise; many Staples & Office Depots offer educator discounts.

  2. This may be more for Girl Ninja, but J.Crew also offers a 15% student/educator discount at both mall and outlet stores. It perfect for my Fiance and I because right now I’m a student, and he’s a teacher. Ha.

  3. Hey Ninja…just letting you know that Verizon does in fact have a 15% discount for federal employees. I don’t think that it applies to phones and accessories but it definitely applies to your monthly service plan. I have no idea about the other cell phone carriers as Verizon is the best where I live so I am sticking with them.

    You may also want to check out and ProMotive is a website that has numerous companies that offer discounts based on your occupation. While law enforcement is one of the categories, there are many others so everyone should check it out to see if they fall under one of the groups. The other website is a Military/Law Enforcement discount site for Oakley products. Many of the items offered on the site are only available to M/LE. Both sites have a registration and verification process so it can take a few days to get full access to either site.

    Keep up the good work!

  4. CAA (Canada’s equivalent to AAA) offers some awesome discounts on hotel, car rentals, attractions, etc.(I’m sure AAA does the same). It’s also worth a check with your employer to see if they have discounts available for their employees. My employer gets discounts for many attractions (ie: Canada’s Wonderland), some sporting events, and once a year, we get a MAJOR discount at a nation-wide furniture store… we saved a bundle when we bought our king-size bed and mattress set a few years ago. Hubby’s employer has a kick-ass discount for their cell service; my 3 year old cell’s dying a slow & painful death, so as soon as Hubby’s made it through his probation in the next month, I’m getting a new phone…. sa-weeeet!

  5. Verizon’s discount, at least for USPS employees (should be the same as regular federal employees), is 18% off voice/data for the first line on your plan.

  6. All the phone carriers have Government discounts. I believe there was a deal/regulation drafted awhile ago. As far as I know, it only applies to the actual employee’s line, though.

    • I’m a City Government employee and I get a pretty nice discount with AT&T. I’m not sure what you mean about the employee’s line, though.

    • Logan
      It applies to the employees account. When I combined cell phone plans, I was made the primary because I had a discount through the government and the person I was combining with did not.

  7. Tell Girl Ninja that the Limited also offers discounts for educators. And to sign up for their mailing list. They send out coupons like crazy…and good ones at that. I once got a coupon for 50% off a suit and then I used my educator discount on top of it…hello 65% off a suit!

  8. My husband is a disabled vet, and so he gets discounts everywhere! He used to laugh at me when I asked every place we went to, but now he loves it because we usually always save at least 10%, and that adds up! We saved over $35 on our new shoes at Finish Line the other day because they offer a 20% discount! Lots of places also offer student discounts, and since I am still in grad school, I am elegible for those. The movies, many restaurants, and lots of places in the mall (this one surprised me, but many of them offer 10-20% if you are active or retired from the military.)

  9. just found out AAA offers a discount for movie tickets. you have to buy the tickets through the web site, but it saves some dough!

  10. Verizon does have a military discount as does Sprint. Also, Dairy Queen used to give you free sundaes with your meal..i think on Wednesdays but maybe everyday. Most fast food places have discounts too, you just need to ask!

  11. If you are a member of the Farm Bureau in your state, they offer pretty good discounts on cell phone service, hotel rentals, and car rentals. (plus, their insurance is way less expensive than the big name companies in Texas and their agents are friendly)

  12. AT&T and other cell phone providers also give discounts for specific university alumni. I think I get a 10-15% discount on my monthly rate for being a PSU alumni member. If you are a registered (paid) member of any university alumni society you’re usually eligible for a number of discounts be it related to university events or corporate partners (insurance, cell phones, travel, etc.)

    Always become a member of any frequent flyer / hotel rewards / rail rewards programs before you travel to rack up points and member discounts. You can also tie in discount codes to rental car companies to earn frequent flyer miles or a better rate.

    Warehouse club memberships (Costco, Sam’s) can have some extra perks – cheap gasoline if you use their gas stations, discounts on business services, etc.

  13. Banana Republic Outlet gives a discount to AAA members. I’m not sure if the regular store does since I normally just stick to the outlet.

  14. I can’t say much for either federal or educators, but if your company has a huge presence in a specific area, try to see if you will get discounts at local stores. The other day, I found out I get 15% off of my meal when I show my work ID at the local deli. HELLO!

  15. All the wireless companies have gov employee discounts around 15-20%.

    Payless Shoes gives 10% off if you show your AAA card.

  16. Most big companies have local (and national) discounts – so people who work for one should check with HR or on their internet. My company has a page dedicated to employee discounts. Most cell carriers are on the list.

  17. Amazon has a student as well as a Mommy program. The Amazon student gets you 1 year free of Amazon Prime along with 2 day shipping for $3.99 (I think) and several discounts. I’m not sure what the Mommy program gives you besides deals on baby essentials as I don’t have a child.

    Sony has an Education website for the Viao.

    If you’re a student, sign up for (need .edu address and be currently enrolled), through them T-mobile gives you a student discount of 10% off your monthly bill.

    Also, check if your employer has an area that lists all of the local employee discounts you get through them.

  18. I will confirm that Verizon offers a 18% discount to government employees. I think ATT offers the same too. I receive it as a teacher. A while ago, a bakery offered me a senior discount (not high school senior) and I turned it down. I felt insulted that she thought I was old enough to receive that! I guess it is my gray hair that gives me away. I no longer feel that way and routinely ask for my “senior” discount.

  19. Coleman (as in the comping equipment company) offers a discount to employees of non-profit organizations.

  20. I get a discount from AT&T for my employer (actually, former employer, but you think I’d tell them I changed jobs?! Heck no.) Also, Banana Republic & Gap give I think a 15% discount to AAA members, but they never tell you that, so you have to bring it up when you’re checking out. My old roommate was a cop and he’d do the same thing your friend does. Plus more AAA shopping discounts:

  21. AAA discounts apply to more than just hotels. Their website lists all kinds of places to get discounts and they frequently post coupons. We’ve saved a bundle or gotten free upgrades on car rentals when traveling.

    Senior discounts can be huge. If you’re over 50 you should ask for senior discounts every where you spend money. Different companies have different ages for what they call “senior” so it never hurts to ask.

    Also AARP (my mom’s been a member for years) gets to all kinds of discounts.

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  23. If you work for larger companies lots of places give corporate discounts just for showing your ID badge. I just became an AAA member, sounds like I need to start carrying my card around with me!

  24. Borders/Waldenbooks offers teacher discounts, or at least they did when I worked there. McDonald’s gave free coffee to firefighters and police when I worked there.

    I work for a large company and Sprint gives me 20 percent off my cell phone bill every month! It’s worth asking your cell-phone provider about this. Apparently my company spends so much with Sprint every year for the higher-ups’ Blackberries, etc., that they decided to offer the discount to all employees. The company did not tell us, though–a nice Sprint employee did the research for me, otherwise I would have had no idea.

  25. Ask around with your service providers. I work for a massive corporation and we get discounts on everything from gym memberships, cable tv, and even movie tickets. Never hurts to ask =)

  26. The Limited also gives a discount to teachers. It is somewhere in the range of 10-20%. LOTS of people have teacher discounts – but of course they don’t advertise it. 😉

  27. […] Do you Discount? on Punch Debt in the Face is a good reminder that when it comes to discounts, you usually don’t get them unless you ask. […]

  28. I am totally obnoxious and regularly try to negotiate lower prices. My hubby works for state gov and we regularly get awesome hotel rates with the govt rate. It would take a long time to tell you all the places I’ve negotiated lower prices!!! With a bit of nerve, you can save a lot of money.

  29. I always feel awkward asking for discounts. I’m sure I could get a AAA discount some places. And apparently there’s discounts through my public radio membership…but I don’t really look up the possible discounts before I go anywhere.

    It’s possible I could be saving all sorts of money when I go places, but I guess I’d have to get in the routine of looking up where I could get the discounts.
    I did find a site where you can enter your memberships and they’ll find your discounts as you shop online:

  30. Just a small point (my mother runs as small business): if you ask for a pensioner discount, don’t also expect a AAA (RAC in this country) discount. Lots of businesses are running very close to the wall at the moment.

    In fact, I’d go so far as to say a lot of them are doing it tougher than you are and it might be nice to NOT ask for the discount.

    That’s controversial on a PF blog, I know, but if you want those same businesses to be there NEXT year (when they may be more able to give you that discount), perhaps you might want to forgo it this year.

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