As some of my readers know, I became a new mom recently and found how exactly how much my little money vacuum baby costs. While I was a pregnant military spouse, I researched for the best possible deals in order to offset costs.


There’s a lot for new military parents to learn (and buy!) when it comes to their new bundle of joy. Here are 7 Ways New Military Parents Can Save Money.

*Note: this list is updated as of Jan 2015
*2nd Note: always call the store beforehand to make sure a discount, if any is offered or has changed

1) Training

The family support directorate of your respective branch: MWR & ACS, Fleet & Family, MCCS, etc sometimes provide training or counseling to new and expectant parents. I remember a course called Baby Boot Camp for New Dads offered from ACS Hawaii. Some courses offered by a third party also gives free stuff. For example, where we were stationed, the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society gave us a free baby junior seabag filled with gender-neutral goodies after taking their course on baby budgeting. Contact your local installation for more info.

2) Clothes

  • The Exchange price matches competitors AND there’s no sales tax!
  • Old Navy has select locations that hosts Military Mondays. 10% off your entire purchase on Mondays!
  • Stride Rite has locations that offer 10% off your purchase once baby starts walking.
  • Browse your local Buy/Sale/Trade Facebook groups or second hand store for deals as well.

3) Gear

  • For lower ranks, see if there is a military donation closet that your family is eligible to pick up items from.
  • Pottery Barn Kids offers a 10% discount of regular and sale in-store items
  • Home Depot or Lowes both offer a 10% discount for safety gear like gates or locks
  • Browse your local Buy/Sale/Trade Facebook groups or second hand store for deals as well

4) Photography

  • Look into a local (perhaps military-affiliated) photographer for rates on maternity, birth sessions, and other photoshoots.
  • JCPenney Portrait Studio offers military families a free 8×10, waives sitting fees, and 50% off portrait purchase or $3.99 traditional portrait sheets plus 50% off portrait collections.
  • From time to time, online photo print shops (such as shutterfly) offer discounts on photo books and prints

5) Celebrations

  • Blue Star Museums members get free admission to museums during certain seasons
  • Military Banquet Facilities or housing offices usually offer a cheaper price for event rentals than civilian places to host a party, perfect for baby showers, parties, birthdays, etc.
  • Check your installation’s MWR programs for equipment rental such as bounce houses, tables, chairs, etc.
  • Party City offers a 10% discount for party items like decorations, utensils, balloons, etc.

6) Childcare

  • Look into NACCRRA and see if you are eligible to receive a subsidy on civilian child care costs (note: doesn’t apply if your child/children are going to a military child care provider) From personal experience, I would apply even if you *think* you make too much. You never know…
  • Sittercity offers free membership for military families

7) Takeout Food

No joke, new parents have very little time to cook meals. Throw in a military lifestyle, and it’s even more chaotic. Not saying take out food is always good for you but it’s nice to know you may be able to get it discounted. Some restaurants that offer discounts in select locations are:

*Note 3: Location vary, discount vary, policies vary, simply ask and have a valid military ID with you. List is derived from

  • Chick Fil-A
  • Carls Jr
  • Panda Express
  • Subway
  • Denny’s
  • IHOP
  • Sonic
  • Wendy’s
  • Taco Bell
  • Subway
  • Quizno’s
  • Long John Silver’s
  • Pizza Hut
  • Dunkin Donuts
  • Dairy Queen
  • Cici’s Pizza
  • Boston Market
  • Jack In The Box

7 Ways New Military Parents Can Save Money


photo credit: Official U.S. Navy Imagery via photopin cc altered by JD Collins