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Teachers get free food, deals and discounts for Teacher Appreciation Day Tuesday. Where to save.

·9 min read

Tuesday is one of the biggest freebie days of the year for educators nationwide.

May 3 is Teacher Appreciation Day, also known as National Teachers Day.

But it's also a week of deals as businesses are showering teachers with everything from store discounts to food freebies.

Teacher Appreciation Week officially kicked off Monday and runs through Friday. The savings last longer at the nation's two largest office-supply stores, Staples and Office Depot.

Some restaurants are offering teachers free meals, buy-one-get-one free deals and discounts.

This week also brings deals for everyone with Cinco de Mayo Thursday. On Friday, National Nurses Week starts and runs through May 12.

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Google Doodle Teacher Appreciation Day

Google is celebrating Teacher Appreciation Day with a special Doodle Tuesday.

"Today’s Doodle honors all the resilient teachers who have worked tirelessly to shape our future generations," Google said in a blog post. "Teachers today wear so many different hats—they are community builders, mentors, mediators, and even tech support for virtual and in-person learners."

Teacher Appreciation discounts 2022

The dates of the teacher deals and participation can vary by location. Most offers require teachers to show a school ID.

Also, some will require teachers to have a restaurant or store app or be signed up for emails or loyalty programs. To be on the safe side, always check with your closest location before heading out.

Zaxby’s BOGO meal for Teacher Appreciation Day and nurses Tuesday

Zaxby’s has a buy-one-get-one deal for teachers and nurses Tuesday. Buy a boneless wings meal and get a boneless wings meal free, while supplies last, at participating locations.

The company said this deal can be redeemed online, in-store and through the app. Order two of the boneless wing meals and one will be discounted when checking out.

Zaxby’s has BOGO free Boneless Wings Meals for teachers and nurses on May 3, 2022.
Zaxby’s has BOGO free Boneless Wings Meals for teachers and nurses on May 3, 2022.

Smashburger Teacher Appreciation Day $5 burgers for all

Smashburger is discounting all Single Classic Smash Burgers to $5 Tuesday with code TEACHER at all participating locations, in-store, online or through the chain’s app. The chain said this deal is available to all guests, not just teachers.

Barnes & Noble Teachers Day free coffee

On Tuesday, for National Teacher Appreciation Day, Barnes & Noble Cafés across the country will give teachers a free tall cup of hot or iced coffee or tea when they show their valid teacher’s ID.

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Nekter Juice Bar Teacher Appreciation Day $3 smoothie

On Tuesday, Nekter Juice Bar will offer 16-ounce superfood smoothies for $3 to all teachers with valid ID at participating locations. Teachers must show valid ID.

McDonald's Teacher Appreciation Week 2022 deals

While McDonald’s doesn’t have a national Teacher Appreciation Week deal this week, some locations have regional or local deals for teachers with many falling on Teacher Appreciation Day Tuesday. Check with your McDonald’s to see if there is a local offer.

If your McDonald's doesn't have a special for teachers, check the app for other deals including free fries.

Chick-fil-A Teacher Appreciation Day 2022

Chick-fil-A doesn't have a nationwide deal but several locations are offering teachers a free item or meal, most on Tuesday. One way to find out if your local restaurant has an offer is by checking its Facebook page.

Johnny Rockets free shake for teachers, nurses

Starting Wednesday through May 10, Johnny Rockets is offering healthcare workers and teachers with a valid ID a free Original or Deluxe Shake with any in-store purchase at participating locations.

Buffalo Wild Wings Teacher Appreciation Week discount 2022

Buffalo Wild Wings is offering teachers and school staff a 20% discount through Friday for dine-in orders as well as “in-store pay” pickup orders. To get this deal, teachers and staff will need to show a valid school ID.

Potbelly Teacher Appreciation Week freebie

Potbelly Sandwich Shop is offering teachers a free cookie or regular-sized soft drink when they order any entrée all week through Sunday, May 8.

To get the freebie, the company says teachers need to flash their work ID or badge to the cashier. This deal is for in-shop orders.

Freddy's Teacher Appreciation Week free sundae

Freddy's Frozen Custard & Steakburgers is giving teachers a free one-topping mini sundae Monday through Friday at participating locations. To redeem, teachers must present a valid ID for dine-in or drive-thru orders. No coupon or app offer is needed but the chain said there's a limit of one sundae per person with a valid ID.

Marble Slab Creamery ice cream deal for teachers, nurses

Marble Slab Creamery is treating teachers and nurses with a buy-one-get-one-free small ice cream through Friday for its Heroes Week initiative. A valid ID is needed.

Great American Cookies Teacher Appreciation Week free cookie

Great American Cookies is giving teachers and nurses a free Original Chocolate Chip Cookie through Friday with any purchase and a valid ID as part of the Heroes Week initiative.

At co-branded Great American Cookies and Marble Slab Creamery locations, one freebie must be selected.

Insomnia Cookies Teacher Appreciation free cookies

Insomnia Cookies is giving teachers a free six-pack of cookies with a $5 in-store purchase through 3 a.m. Saturday, May 7.

To get this in-store deal, teachers need to show a valid work ID or credentials and mention the deal. There's a limit of one per customer and availability varies by location.

O'Charley's Teacher Appreciation Week free dessert

Through Friday, O'Charley's Restaurant + Bar is giving teachers a free dessert with the purchase of an entrée and a valid ID or badge. Dine-in only.

Freddy's celebrates Teacher Appreciation Week 2022 from May 2-6.
Freddy's celebrates Teacher Appreciation Week 2022 from May 2-6.

Sonic Drive-In DonorsChoose donation match

Sonic Drive-In will match 50% of each donation to teachers’ requests on DonorsChoose.org, a national nonprofit that allows individuals to donate directly to public school classroom requests submitted by teachers. The match is up to $1.5 million total.

The fast-food chain also is giving away free cheeseburgers with purchase to all enrolled in the Sonic Teachers’ Circle, a free rewards program for educators available through the chain’s app. Teachers had to be fully verified by Monday and can redeem a reward for a free cheeseburger Tuesday through May 17.

To join the Teachers’ Circle, download the Sonic app and register. Teachers need to open account settings and under “Account,” select “I’m A Teacher” and provide information to sign up. The program is available to educators employed by K-12 schools, colleges and universities nationwide.

Staples Teacher Appreciation deals 2022

Staples is increasing its Classroom Rewards through Saturday and giving away free teacher gift boxes, while supplies last. Teachers will receive 20% back in rewards and get up to 5% in rewards for themselves. Exclusions apply.

According to Staples, teachers "can stop into their nearby Staples store for a free gift box of supplies, exclusive coupons and a handful of surprises from our print team."

Learn more at Staplesconnect.com/teacher-appreciation-week.

Staples and Office Depot are bringing out some great Black Friday deals.
Staples and Office Depot are bringing out some great Black Friday deals.

Office Depot Teacher Appreciation 2022

Office Depot and OfficeMax have two discounts for teacher appreciation but the savings last after the school year is over.

Now through June 25, teachers can get 20% off their qualifying regular-priced purchases and can get 20% back in Bonus Rewards on a qualifying purchase, up to $50 in rewards.

To redeem either deal, teachers must present a valid teacher ID, a coupon and rewards member number. Coupons are available at Officedepot.com/cm/rewards/exclusive-savings.

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Dollar General teachers discount

Dollar General is giving teachers 5% off each month for a limited time. To get this discount once a month, teachers need to sign in or create a Dollar General account and verify their teacher credentials. Then they'll need to add the "exclusive teacher-only DG digital coupon" through the retailer's app.

The coupon will appear 24 to 48 hours after verification and to redeem teachers can enter their phone number at checkout.

Teacher deals at AT&T, Xfinity, Michaels, Crocs and more with SheerID

Third-party verification service SheerID, which collects information that assists in verifying eligibility, has partnered with several brands to offer exclusive teacher deals for Teacher Appreciation Week and beyond, including AT&T, Xfinity, Michaels, Levi's, J. Crew, Vineyard Vines and Crocs. Find deals at Sheerid.com/shoppers/teacherdeals.

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Samsung, Verizon, Academy Sports, offer teacher discounts with ID.me

ID.me, another verification service, also has partnered with brands to confirm eligibility for teacher discounts. See the list of businesses at Shop.id.me/teacher.

Laffy Taffy Teacher Appreciation contest

Laffy Taffy is looking for 500 of America's funniest teachers. The brand will deliver free "Laff Bites Tropical" candy care packages to the first 100 teachers each day, Monday through Friday, who share their favorite joke and register at LaffyTaffyTeacher.com.

The daily giveaways start at 6 p.m. ET each day, while supplies last. Teachers can enter themselves, but parents and students can also nominate "a funny teacher to receive a care package." All teachers who receive care packages will also be entered to win the grand prize of $5,000 to use for a vacation to a tropical destination.

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More deals for teachers

Some individual franchises of national chains also have freebies and specials for teachers. For instance, the more than 400 Applebee’s locations owned and operated by Flynn Restaurant Group are giving teachers and nurses a free appetizer with any entree purchase through May 15 and a valid work badge.

Some locally-owned businesses also will honor teachers, and one of the easiest ways to find out is to check restaurants' social media channels.

When is Teacher Appreciation Week and National Teacher Day?

Since 1984, the weeklong acknowledgment occurs on the first full week of May every year, with National Teacher Day on the Tuesday of that week. In 2022, Teacher Appreciation Week is May 2-6. Teacher Appreciation Day or National Teachers Day is Tuesday, May 3.

When are Nurses Day and Nurses Week 2022?

National Nurses Day is Friday, May 6, which kicks off National Nurses Week, which ends Thursday, May 12.

Contributing: Jordan Mendoza, USA TODAY

Follow USA TODAY reporter Kelly Tyko on Twitter: @KellyTyko. For shopping news, tips and deals, join us on our Shopping Ninjas Facebook group.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Teacher Appreciation 2022 deals: Select McDonald's, Staples and more