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Penny pinching 101 for students

Where to find the best student discounts

Young men can stock their wardrobe with graphic tees, comfortable denim and more at the Joint Base Lewis-McChord Exchange. (Credit: Christel Kelly)

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The life of a student encompasses its own unique brand of challenges and perks. More often than not, students can be found suspended in limbo between education and career, scraping together pennies in order to ensure both literal and metaphorical dues have been paid in blood, sweat and countless study sessions.

Fret not, for the life of a student also has options more advantageous in nature -- among them: the student discount. For information on businesses that offer discounts and special promotions, grab your student ID card and read on.

To take advantage of year-round savings and supreme cost-cutting conditions, make the trip to the Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES). In addition to hosting promotions throughout the year that both students and parents can utilize, AAFES regularly offers name brand items at tax-free, value prices.

"The Exchange strives to make the best deals for warfighters and their families," explained AAFES employee Alexandra Pirkle. "Children's apparel is priced up to 60 percent off the suggested retail price to maintain value for military shoppers. School supplies are available year-round -- either on sale or competitively priced. There is always a sale on electronics for school and play, from personal computers to headphones to video games and consoles."

Looking for more reasons to shop AAFES? "The Exchange offers more than great deals for students. First- through 12th-graders, including homeschooled students, who maintain a B average or higher, are eligible for a $5 exchange gift card every grading period during the 2019-2020 school year," enthused Pirkle.

Students who make the grade can also enter the worldwide sweepstakes to win a $2,000, $1,500 or $500 Exchange gift card. Drawings are held in June and December.

Some student discount goldmines are located within proximity to specific colleges and universities. For University of Washington Tacoma campus pupils, a collective of discounts can be found at businesses on or around campus, such as: clothing store Bleach, Anthem Coffee and Tea, The Rock Wood Fired Pizza, The Swiss Restaurant & Pub, SAVOR Tacoma Creperie and more.

Clover Park Technical College learners are invited to take advantage of discounts and promotions at Xfinity, Samsung and Pierce Transit, while scholars at South Puget Sound Community College can find cost savings at Arby's, Dick's Sporting Goods, Hulu and Spotify.

Select businesses also offer state-wide price deductions at various locations, including a selection of restaurants, retail stores and entertainment companies. Young and hungry students can nosh frugally at Buffalo Wild Wings, Chick-fil-A, Subway and Pizza Hut, while others can shop ‘till they drop with savings from Jo-Ann Fabric, Urban Outfitters, Eddie Bauer and Goodwill.

Take care of tech-needs at Apple, Dell, Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile, and snag discounted software from Microsoft, HP and Norton. Amtrak and Greyhound give discounts for those with Student Advantage Cards, while Allstate and State Farm Insurance companies deduct dollars with good-grade incentives.

Looking to explore Washington on a budget? Tacoma Art Museum and Open Art Studio offer savings for Tacoma dwellers, while Seattle's Woodland Park Zoo, Urban Yoga Spa and the Japanese Garden are great options for Emerald City day trips with a discount.

Though the life of a student is ripe for enrichment, growth and development, it is also often filled with financial scarcity. Luckily, you can diminish the monetary pain through many local and convenient avenues. All one must do is look.

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