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Great Ways for New Military Parents to Cut Costs

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Congratulations, you’re having a baby! What an exciting time for you and your spouse as you prepare to welcome your little bundle of joy into this world.

There’s so much for new parents to learn when there’s a baby on the way. And so much to buy! That’s why they need all the deals they can find. The following is a list of helpful deals for military families and their newest military brat:

Workshops

The Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society offers a free Budget for Baby workshop. At the workshop, you’ll learn what expenses to plan for, where to find the best prices on diapers and formula, and what baby furniture you’ll need. The best part? You’ll walk away with not only lots of money-saving tips, but also a Junior Sea Bag filled with items like crib sheets, onesies, and a handmade baby blanket. Click here to learn how to register for a class near you.

Clothes, gear, and furniture

Onesies. Diapers. Crib. Stroller. Car seat. Babies need a lot of stuff! 

The first place to shop should always be your military Exchange. Each service branch may call it a different name, but they all offer huge savings on a wide variety of items, including baby clothes, gear, and furniture. You pay no sales tax, and most exchanges offer a price matching policy. You can even shop online for savings.

No exchange nearby or they don’t have exactly what you’re looking for? Many other stores offer military discounts to help you out.

Stock up on diapers and other baby necessities while using military discounts at CVS.

Old Navy has super cute clothes for babies and kids of all ages. Select locations have Military Mondays, where you can get 10% off your total purchase every Monday. 

Pottery Barn Kids offers a 10% military discount that is available in-store only on regular-priced and sale items year round. They have furniture, bedding, toys, décor, diaper bags and lots more for baby.

Home Depot offers a 10% military discount every day, and they also carry baby essentials like car seats, baby gates, and child-proofing items. 

At secondhand stores like Once Upon a Child you can find gently used kids clothes, toys, furniture, and other equipment for savings of about 70% off retail. It’s a great way to sell your used kids’ stuff to make some money on those clothes your baby outgrew in a few weeks.

Consignment sales are fun and inexpensive ways to stock up on baby items. Look in your local newspaper and ask around at playgroups to find out when and where these huge saving events are happening in your area. For instance, Just Between Friends is a seasonal sales event where you can shop for children’s and maternity items at 50-90% savings. You can also sell your used items. Many consignment sales let military ID card holders in early to give you first dibs on the best goodies.

You can find treasures for babies at garage sales as well. Like consignment sales, you can find them advertised in your local newspaper or by word of mouth. You can also look on Bookoo to search for yard sales in your community. 

And as a general rule, always accept hand-me-downs from friends and family!

Photographs

Your baby will change in the blink of an eye. Baby portraits are a great way to capture those changes during those precious beginning days. 

JCPenney Portrait Studio gives military families a free 8x10, all free sitting fees, and 50% off portrait purchase or $3.99 traditional portrait sheets plus 50% off portrait collections.

Target’s Portrait Studio also offers a military discount to receive 50% off portrait collections, a free 8 x 10, and free sitting fees.

Prefer creative baby pictures outside a studio? Find a local photographer and ask whether they offer military discounts (or any discounts in general). Many photographers will take maternity photos, newborn photos, even birth photos in the hospital room.

Celebrations

Having a baby is an exciting time worthy of a celebration. Need some ideas?

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Baileys offer a Baby’s First Circus program. Newborns up to 12 months old can see their first circus for free. 

Want to fly to grandma’s house to introduce the newest member of your family? Remember that most airlines allow kids under age 2 to fly for free on your lap.

And whether you’re planning a baby shower or gearing up for a first birthday party, you’re going to need party supplies. Head to Party City and get a 10% military discount on everything from decorations to party favors.

Babysitters

Now that you're a parent, you'll need a babysitter at some point. Sittercity offers free memberships to military families. Sign up to find a great list of sitters in your area.

Looking for long-term help? Both Cultural Care Au Pair and EurAupair Intercultural Child Care Programs offer military discounts on in-home childcare by au pairs.

What kinds of deals have you found for new parents?

-- Heather Sweeney can be reached at Heather.Sweeney@monster.com.

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