Today, as you drive around your local military base, give your base, post, air station, fort or camp a new look to discover lots of areas to save throughout the week.
Military Base Weekly Savings – The Commissary. The Commissary is a great place to look for savings on grocery items. To make a big impact quickly on groceries, find the 20 most expensive weekly items on your grocery list. Then, compare prices of those 20 most expensive items to similar items in the Commissary. If you found savings, great. Then look for the next 20 most expensive items on your list to compare to Commissary prices. If you find a price that is not less expensive in the Commissary, then ask the Commissary manager if they will match the price. Using a shopping list in the Commissary is essential so you stay on budget and don’t grab those impulse purchases (I skip the entire aisle with the German chocolate – my personal and everlasting weakness).
Military Base Weekly Savings – The Gym. Military base gyms are nothing short of awesome. Classes, lots of options for weights, and incredible options for cardio machines. One of the drawbacks for military gyms can be the crowds, especially around traditional physical fitness times in the morning. Instead, look for gyms in out of the way locations, on base gyms tend to be less crowded on weekend, classes in off hours, and on post races – these are all great ways to save. When off post gyms can cost upwards of $100/month, the on post gym is an incredible option to save.
Military Base Weekly Savings – The Library. For decades, the on base library has been my place to save. On base library hours have been reduced, but their book selections remain strong in the areas of business, history, children, and military history. On weekends, several bases offer story times for young children, and tutoring for older children can be available. Finally, almost all bases in the United States and overseas have access to audio books, videos, and eBooks.
Military Base Weekly Savings – Lending Closets and Discount Stores. Everyone knows about Goodwill, but most military bases have their own lending closets and discount stores (thrift shop). These are great places to go to for costumes, kid clothes, winter boots, or for jackets when you move to a base on a cold weather location. These locations may not have all the items that you need, but they probably have some of the items. Any savings are still big savings.
Military Base Weekly Savings – Your Neighbors. We all need help sometimes for jobs around the house. Sewing a costume, snow shoveling, babysitters, tutors for the kids, or mowing the lawn. Instead of looking up someone on the Internet, ask if a neighbor could help. Older children are a great source for babysitters and for basic lawn care. Sometimes, the best savings for jobs are literally right outside the door.
Military Base Weekly Savings – Outdoor Recreation. Children’s parties, vacations, and summer activities can put a big dent in a weekly budget. The base Outdoor Recreation office is a great first stop to checkout outdoor rentals, RV rentals, tickets, ski lift tickets, summer festival tickets, and other outdoor event savings.
Military bases are a great way to save on critical weekly expenses. The Commissary, the library, base gyms, and other activities are all incredible ways to save on a weekly basis. In addition to the on base savings, it minimizes gas expenses, saves time, and helps build a sense of community. Stay on base and save!
By Chad Storlie USAA