That's why in this edition of Stretch Your Dollar, we found some great discounts that give teachers a break.
From discounted paint to free bread and even deals on mobile phone services, we found deals for teachers at local retailers.
Just a couple of days before school started, we caught middle school teacher Shelly Hulbrit at the Crystal Children and Teacher Supply store spending the last few hours shopping for new classroom accessories.
"I teach seventh grade Texas history at Pin Oak Middle School," she said.
Like most teachers, Hulbrit spends her own money getting her classroom ready so she always is looking for teacher discounts.
"You get a discount on your cell phone bill, you know, if you have your ID," Hulbrit said.
That's right. AT&T offers qualified educators up to 17 percent off their wireless service.
"I love it. It really helps a lot," Hulbrit said.
As far as clothing retailers, Ann Taylor Loft, Banana Republic and J Crew all offer a teacher discounts of 15 percent off full priced merchandise. If you sign up with Ann Taylor Loft's teacher discount program, you have access to teacher appreciation nights and other promotions.
At New York & Company now through Wednesday, it's 30 percent off for teachers and their spouses. The deal is normally 15 percent off.
Over at Michael's craft store, teachers get a break every day with 15 percent off. At Half Price Books in Rice Village, teachers can apply for an educator's discount card to save 10 percent all year round.
"They bring in some kind of proof that they are a teacher and we give them a card and it's 10 percent off anything they purchase any time after that," said Shawn Lasley with Half Price Books.
Half Price Books also offers free books to teachers for their classrooms. Just ask an associate for details.
"I know they have a lot of trouble paying for their own supplies every year. They end up paying out of their own pocket so I definitely think it's a good thing," Rachel Marseglia said.
At Sherwin Williams, Houston ISD teachers get a discount of up to 50 percent off paint. That's $15 for a gallon of paint. Check with your area Sherwin Williams for any restrictions.
HISD told us Panera Bread will give teachers with an ID leftover baked goods at the end of the day to use in parent-teacher conferences or other meetings.