I don’t have the time or energy for couponing. I am terrible at remembering to check sales. I always hesitate to seek out places that give military discounts, and sometimes I just assume they don’t. That is, until the day I purchased my computer. I would have saved over one hundred dollars that day, had I known.
A couple months after buying my iMac, I discovered that Best Buy has a 10% discount for military members. I would have walked away with a $1,000 computer for only $900 if I knew about that military discount.
I’m still paying it off.
I Needed a List of Places That Give Military Discounts.
Thats when I started researching businesses that offer military discounts. I found so many products and services that could benefit my family and also realized that a lot of places I visit on a regular basis have discounts that I’ve been missing out on.
Cars and Dealerships
I wouldn’t think to ask for a discount when buying a new car. Many car dealerships such as Audi, Chrysler, Ford, Infiniti, Harley-Davidson, and Nissan (just to name a few) offer discounts on the purchase or lease of eligible vehicles. Plus, you may be able to get a discount on your oil changes if you live near certain companies such as Pep Boys and Meineke.
Not only can you get discounts at dealerships and auto shops, but there are so many rental companies that offer discounts. When renting a car, it is easiest to go through USAA for discounts. Not only will you get a discount on the price, but USAA also waives certain fees such as the “underage” fee (being under age 25 just about doubles the price of the rental).
Clothing and Retail
Many people know about the discounts at popular stores like Old Navy, Aeropostale, and Kohl’s. However, some higher end stores such as New York & Company, Banana Republic, and Stride Rite offer military discounts as well.
Most retail stores offer 10-15% off. However, I found several stores that offer higher discounts. Lady Foot Locker, Claire’s, MAXX HD Sunglasses, and Foot Action offer 20%. IVAR offers 25%, AXO offers 30%, and GlassesUSA offers an incredible 60% off!
Education and Tutoring
Education was another surprising one. Many universities offer discounts to military members, spouses, and veterans. Some military members may wish to use their GI bill themselves, however some families may want to save that for their children. There are many reasons why a family may need to utilize tuition discounts, it’s good to know that they are available.
My husband is going back to school now to get his four year degree. He struggles with math, so I was excited to find out that Tutor.com offers free tutoring for Military members. Not only do they provide homework, essay writing, and SAT prep, but they offer also offer Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) tutoring for those wanting to take, or re-take it (it may be necessary for members to re-take the ASVAB if they wish to cross-train into a field they don’t qualify for).
Moving and Storage
Are you getting ready to PCS? There are so many moving and storage companies that can help with the price of moving. Penske Truck Rentals offer 20% off on relocation packages, and storage companies such as Cube Smart, Door to Door Storage, and PODS offer discounted rates as well.
Moving overseas? USPS offers free Mili-Kits and you can also save up to 50% when shipping your pets with American Airlines Cargo. PCSing is stressful enough, these discounts might relieve some of the pressure.
Some companies even offer free products for military families. BuildASign.com offers free, customizable banners for families celebrating the homecoming of a deployed loved one. Saveandinvest.org will grant military members free access to their credit scores when they sign up using a valid military email. Another company, Sweet Dream Picture Pillows, will send a free pillow to the child of a Military member who will be absent for at least three months.
Things to know
Military discounts are tricky. Most of the time if you live around a large base (like the San Antonio area) then you will find more businesses that offer discounts. Some companies offer discounts nationwide, and some only offer them at certain times of the year.
May is a popular month for military discounts because of Military Appreciation Month and Memorial Day. I have seen restaurants in my area, like Applebees, only offer military discounts during the month of May. I’ve also heard of amusements parks offering higher-than-normal discounts around military-related holidays.
Sometimes businesses will not allow you to combine the use of your discount with other coupons and sales, others will. I find that Joann’s Fabric & Crafts will allow me to use my discount on only regular priced items. However, Old Navy has let me use my discount on sale items. I’ve also noticed that sometimes outlet stores have different rules than mall stores. Old Navy outlet offers military discounts on Mondays only, while the store in our mall offers the discount every day of the week.
I have learned to always ask the store. Some may grant you a discount anyway, even if they don’t normally offer it. My son and I attend a sing and play class every week, and when I asked the owner about a military discount she offered me 15% off. She said there were military families that attended the class, but no one had ever asked about a discount before.
Another time, we were at Best Buy Mobile and I asked the salesperson, he said he didn’t know if they did a discount or not but gave us 20% off anyway. The worst they can say is no, and if you are buying a higher priced item, then there’s nothing to lose.
Often when I am in a location that I’m unfamiliar with, I will pull out my Ultimate Discount List to find different restaurants or places that offer military discounts. It takes out a lot of the guess work. If I can find a place that I know will have a discount, then I’m more likely to go there.
Both me and my husband essentially started our careers from scratch last year. He joined the military and I became a stay at home mom. Needless to say, we cut our annual income by more than half of what we were making before. Every penny counts. A lot of military families struggle to budget and live paycheck to paycheck. If there are ways to get what you need by saving money, then why wouldn’t you?
Grab your Ultimate Military Discount List
If you would like to have access to my Ultimate Military Discount List, you can do so by clicking here. It includes over 50 pages of military discounts and coupon codes and has an organized and clickable table of contents, making it an easy to use tool that could help you save thousands.
Kara is a 25-year-old Air Force Wife. She writes about what it’s like to be a new mom and military spouse. Her blog features products, resources, and information for military families. Find Kara on her blog, Pinterest,Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
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