Have you looked into military discounts and freebies for deployment items? I love free and discounted things. As yet another deployment looms shortly ahead for my service member, I, at least, have some of these military discounts to look forward to.
Here is a list of 11 military discounts and freebies you should consider while your spouse is deployed.
Create a Free Welcome Home Sign with Build a Sign
Build a Sign offers the option of 1 free welcome home vinyl banner, jumbo card or yard sign to present to your loved one at the end of their deployment. You only have to pay for shipping.
They suggest ordering 8 weeks before you need it, but you can choose a quicker shipping option. Expedited shipping costs more.
Free Lawn Care and Snow Removal for Military Spouses
Project EverGreen offers free lawn and landscape services and snow and ice removal for military spouses while their service member is on deployment.
I signed up for this service when my husband deployed after moving to an area where it snows. Being from the South, I’ve never shoveled snow. I was relieved to find local people and lawn care companies registered with the EverGreen Project to help me while my service member was on deployment.
Smile for a Free Family Portrait with HeartsApart
HeartsApart.org brings photographers from around the country together to provide service members with photography sessions, free of charge, with their families prior to deployment. The service member receives a portrait that is printed on a waterproof bi-folded card that can fit in his or her uniform pocket. Their family receives a DVD with the photos from the entire session with reproduction rights.
The program has recently increased to provide photos of newborn babies that are born when their father is on deployment.
Operation Love Reunited Captures Your Homecoming Kiss
Operation Love Reunited offers free photo sessions for military families worldwide when the service member will be on deployment for 4 months or more. Options include pre-deployment and mid-deployment sessions, homecoming photos and fallen loved ones sessions.
Two photo sessions are allowed per deployment. Pre-deployment photo sessions require the service member to be photographed in uniform. Fifteen prints will be shipped directly overseas.
Homecoming photos are taken at the time the military spouse and service member are reunited to capture the raw emotion of being reunited. Fifteen photos will be provided digitally.
Daddy Dolls Offers Comfort to Military Children During Deployments
Daddy Dolls started as comfort pillows for children with fathers on deployment. The front of the pillow is a picture of the service member. What makes Daddy Dolls unique is that the pillow is shaped like a person and the photo is full size to the pillow.
Many of my friends had them for their children and recommended Daddy Dolls to me. I bought one for our son during the last deployment and he has carried it all over town with him.
While there isn’t a specific military discount for these now, you can find discount codes online. They have also expanded their product selection and now offer items with similar sentiment.
Record a Bedtime Story with A Story Before Bed
A Story Before Bed is a wonderful website that allows deployed, or soon to be deployed, service members record a children’s book online with audio and video for free. A wonderful element to this is children can listen to the recording repeatedly on iPad, iPhone, Mac or PC.
Our Military Kids Pays Activity Costs for National Guard Children
This is a nonprofit organization that helps children between kindergarten and 12th grade that have at least one parent in the National Guard and Reserves on deployment. They offer grants to cover the cost of activities that could help children facing stress while their parent is away. The grants cover the cost of athletic fees, fine arts and tutoring programs. It is not available to children of active-duty parents.
Ask for a Military Discount on Your Auto Insurance
Active-duty service members can receive military discounts on auto insurance during deployment. USAA offers up to 60 percent off auto insurance if you choose to store your vehicle during deployment.
GEICO offers up to 15 percent military discount. Check with your insurance carrier to see if it offers a military discount during your service member’s deployment.
Interest Rates May Be Lowered to 6 Percent
Under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, you can request all interest rates and fees that you have paid on credit cards, mortgages, student loans and other loans be lowered to 6 percent per year.
Freeze Your Service Member’s Cell Phone Account
Many cell phone companies will lover your bill or even freeze your account for the period that a service member is deployed and not using the phone. Under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, those with at least 90-day orders to an area that does not have cell phone service can cancel their contract without penalty.
Ask Your Bank to Waive Fees
Many banks will lower or even completely waive fees while on deployment. USAA does not charge fees on credit card balance transfers or on convenience checks. Check with your bank to see if they will lower the APR on transactions.