Inside: Military discounts available around Thanksgiving that can ease the financial stress of the holiday
Thanksgiving is my husband’s favorite holiday.
Mainly for two reasons; he doesn’t have to buy anyone presents, and he gets to eat a lot.
However, he’s not the one making the plans, buying the food, or doing any of the work. At least, not until we became parents. Now, we play the balancing act on holidays. We plan out the best ways for our son to see his family and how everyone can feel included. We rush around, bring food, and try to make great memories. Of course, we failed last year. My husband and I fought the whole time trying to make sure everything was perfect, and our families were happy.
We have a new strategy this year, and even though some kinks still need to be worked out, we are hoping it goes a little more smoothly. The first step to less holiday stress is to save money. One of the best ways for military families to save money is by using their discounts. This is a no brainer for Christmas and gift giving holidays, but many times it gets forgotten about at Thanksgiving. This article will focus on ways that you can save on food for Thanksgiving, and travel plans (if you are having to travel to visit family)
Saving on Food
- Sam’s Club and BJ’s– Thanksgiving generally requires a lot of food! Save money by purchasing larger quantities and make sure to use your coupons. These stores require a membership, but they also offer discounted rates for military.
- NEX (Navy Exchange)– NEX provides price matches, so if you find a better price somewhere else, they will match it. No, you don’t have to be navy to shop there.. you just need a Military ID! I love shopping at the NEX because of the killer sales on alcohol- who doesn’t need alcohol during the holidays anyway? Oh wait, I’m pregnant.
- Hickory Farms– Who doesn’t love Hickory farms? They provide free shipping to APO
- Cheryl’s Cookies– OK so your not a great baker, whatevs! Cheryl’s Cookies provides free shipping to military bases!
- Earth Fare– If you are located near an Earth Fare, they offer a 10% discount for military families. I shopped there when I lived in NC and the food is awesome. ID required.
- Farm Fresh Food & Pharmacy– Also provides a 10% discount for military families. ID required.
BONUS: If you don’t already have the rebate apps like Ibotta or Checkout 51, get them now!! You will be able to get a ton of money back on Thanksgiving foods! Related article: How Military Families Can Save On Groceries
Traveling to visit family? No worries, there’s discounts for you too. Always remember to shop around to get the best deals! Locations (and times of year) vary, so if the places listed below don’t have a military discount near you then make sure to ask about discounts for USAA members!
- Delta Airlines– You will need to call 800-221-1212 and ask about the available discounts for military personnel.
- Southwest Airlines– Call directly for military rates (do not book online) 1-800-I-FLY-SWA
- US Airways– Rates apply to military members and their dependents. Call 800-428-4322 for rates.
- Amtrak– 10% discount offered for military and you CAN book online, just select “military” for each passenger that qualifies (service members, spouses, and their dependents)
- Peter Pan Bus Lines– Offers 10% discount for military members and their families
- Greyhound Bus– Offers a 10% discount for military members and their families with a maximum round trip fare of $279. You must purchase tickets at the station OR you can purchase them online with a Veterans Advantage Card.
Remember that booking through USAA will often provide you with better rates and waived fees (such as the underage fee). Always compare before booking! Plus, you can easily book online (and no, you don’t have to bank through them to have an account)
- Alamo– use contract ID code GOVRNR for military rates
- Sixt– Offers 5% discounted rate
- Avis– Call 1-800-633-3469 for rates and extras (waived fees, free insurance on rentals, etc)
Remember to always compare local hotel rates with nearby military base hotels (such as the Air Force Inns), if there is one nearby, you may be able to get a better rate by staying on base. Again, also remember to ask about USAA discounts as well. The following hotels provide military discounts:
- Southhampton Inn
- Red Roof Inn
- Motel 6
- Best Western
- Hampton Inn
- Hawks Cay Resort
- La Quinta
- Lansdowne Resort
- Sleep Inn
- Embassy Suites
- Estancia La Jolla
- Red Lion Hotels
- Great Wolf Lodge
- Winter Park Resort
- Comfort Inn
Whether you are decorating for the holiday, or you are welcoming home your military guy coming home for leave, here are some ways to save!
- buildasign.com– free welcome home banners or discounts on other products
- Shindigz– 20% discounts on party supplies!
- Signs.com– Discounts on signs
- Fathead.com– Discounts on graphics
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