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Jobs have useful perks

By on October 2, 2009

bakery sign
photo by unk’s dumptruck

Finding a job can be tough. If you’ve been laid off, are looking for a part-time primary or second job, or are returning to the workforce after being a stay-at-home parent, it can feel as if there aren’t any jobs out there. One thing to consider is that many jobs don’t seem appealing at first glance. For example, maybe the pay is far less than you’re hoping for, but there might be perks that make the job worth taking. Some companies such as Starbucks, Kroger and United Parcel Service offer healthcare benefits to part-time staff. You can ask whether the position has any extra perks, such as free or discounted cell phone, gas or parking allowance, flexible spending accounts, adoption or tuition assistance, fitness incentives, community discounts, restaurants, etc.

What jobs have you done that had useful perks?

Here are a few additional jobs with budget-friendly perks.

CARE PROVIDER: If you’re working at a child-care center, you might get discounted child care for your kids. This can be a great advantage. There isn’t any extra transportation, and you can check in on your children to see how they’re doing. You wouldn’t think an adult care-provider position would have many perks. Kita in New Jersey shares: “My part-time job is taking care of mentally handicapped adults. We take them out into the community. Fairs, restaurant meals and movies are all free for staff. They also pay for me to take the defensive-driving course, which reduces my insurance. And flu shots, too.”

MOVIE-THEATER EMPLOYEE: Work at a local movie theater, and many companies will let you see new releases and/or provide free concession food. Along the same lines, video-rental stores will often let you rent free movies and games.

MUSEUM EMPLOYEE: Employees often are given free passes to exhibits and discounts for the gift shop.

UNIVERSITY EMPLOYEE: Many universities offer free tuition for their employees. Some even extend it to immediate family members of the employee, too. That’s a huge perk that can really pay off. Some universities offer season passes to athletic events, local gardens and the planetarium.

RETAIL CLOTHING: There are generous discounts (10 percent to 50 percent) given at many retail-clothing stores. Plus, you’re first to see when items are clearanced, too.

FLORISTS: Many florists will let you take home older flowers and plants or provide a discount on merchandise, such as balloons, gift baskets or giftware. Because holidays are so busy, some florists will buy food for their employees, too.

BAKERIES: Work in a bakery, and there’s a chance you can get many bakery goods free or discounted. This can be especially nice for special occasions. Another reader, Jill in New Jersey, shares: “I used to work at a bakery and could take home as much bread/muffins/bagels as I wanted when I was closing. (Food we didn’t take got donated to a soup kitchen.) Tuesdays, we got to take home cakes that didn’t sell. Holidays, we could take home unsold pies. Believe me, my family and friends did not go hungry. I’m talking big black garbage bags full of stuff.”

COMMUNITY CENTER OR GYM: Some have on-site child care. A great way to stay fit. Often, family members are given deep discounts, too.

SALON: While not every salon gives free haircuts, nails or waxing, some do offer these perks. Most offer a discount on products and services. Often, stylists simply swap their time and service.

HOTEL WORKER: Work at a hotel, and get free or discounted rooms. This often will include hotels in the chain. This can be a wonderful perk when planning a vacation or getaway.


  1. Rhiana from A Frugal Life

    10/2/2009 at 6:37 pm

    These are great ideas! I used to work at Godiva Chocolates when I was younger and they would encourage us to sample the new chocolate flavors when they came in. That was fun and fattening.

    Also, my friend worked at Neflix and employees are given free accounts, must save alot on entertainment bills!
    .-= Rhiana from A Frugal Life´s last blog ..Frugal Food: Sweet Potato Salad =-.

  2. Polly

    10/4/2009 at 11:07 pm

    Yes, temporary jobs during a long lay off period can have perks. My husband is working at a pizza shop at present and can take home leftovers. Every time he works double, which at this time is 4 nights a week, he brings home all kinds of pizza, and personal strombolis, johnny dogs, pepperoni rolls ect. It really is a great perk since we have a 20 year old who thinks pizza shop food rules. It really helps to put food on our table during this lean time. My husband also is allowed to eat whatever and as much as he wants during work. Because his work is more then just a pizza shop he gets a large variety of healthy foods like lean meats, salads, soups, vegetables & fruits. I think that is a huge bonus since it’s important for him to have healthy foods since he’s a diabetic and at least 4 days a week he can eat his fill of very healthy fare.

    My oldest works for a pharmacy as an assistant manager. The pay scale is low, and he does not get close to 40 hours a week, but what he does get is health insurance and all perscriptions at cost! In addition he has the option to purchase stock in his company. Something my Grandfather did and now my Grandmother is sitting on a bundle in her old age. I don’t think these are small perks in todays job market

    I think knowing the economic tide at this time seeking a job with perks could make a big difference in your life.

  3. Lisa

    8/5/2010 at 5:42 pm

    I’ve not had any jobs that had any type of perks. My husband’s “perk” is his health insurance that we have to pay $900 a month for and that is the lowest it has been in 6 years with the same company. Actually he’s been with them more like 8 years. That $900 is our share…can’t figure people out who complain about their expensive $400 a month plans. I wish ours was only $400 a month!

  4. lilafwife

    1/25/2011 at 9:25 pm

    Become a daycare provider especially if you have kids of your own. Its acouple hundred bucks upfront but I have heard that some towns and cities need providers so bad that the classes are free. With being a provider come tax time if you keep your receipts you get tax breaks on everything from toys, furniture and even your phone and cable. Its all about keeping records we bought almost everything in our house at thrift stores or was given to use but come tax season we where given money to use because we used it in the house. You even get money for food each month if your clients don’t get paid much and I know all my parents don’t. It can be a pain sometimes but I find it works for us.

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