February 6, 2011

Married to the Military Monday-Deployment Savings

While brushing my teeth this morning, I started thinking about saving money. I usually save a lot of money during deployments, and I was thinking about the ways I accomplish this. (No, deployments aren't all bad.)

Some of the ways that I spend less money are obvious, and simple. For instance, less electricity and water are used when he is not home. When he is home I wash a ton of uniforms and a lot of other clothes. I don't have to have his uniforms clean over deployment, so I save money on electricity, and most of all...water. Another way I save on water is by showering alone. When he is home, we shower together nearly every night. I don't have to tell you that this results in much longer showers. We usually shower until the water starts to turn cold. When he is gone, I get in an out of the shower as quickly as possible. After all, it gets lonely in there when I'm by myself.

Another way I save on money is on the grocery bill. I am sure that I'm not the only military spouse who throws gourmet meals out of the menu plan when the man of the house is gone. Instead, I opt for more kid-friendly meals, and something that is a lot more simple. Sure, there are days when I just want something "good," but most days it's I want something quick. I will also cook something in the crock-pot, or slow cooker, and we will eat whatever it is for two or three days. Even when my Sailor is home, I use coupons. This is an obvious way to save money on the grocery bill. Some of you out there say you don't have time to clip coupons. If you are a military spouse, I think deployments would be a good time for you to use coupons. I got to thinking that when your spouse is home, you're probably spending your spare time with him. So, now...as boring as it sounds...you have some extra time to organize, and clip coupons. Isn't that great? Yeah, I think so too. ☺

My husband has a gym membership. The gym we go to has a military program. While he is gone, we pay a small amount to keep his membership active. This way, he doesn't have to pay a new registration fee when he returns. We just let them know when he gets home, and they start drafting the account for the full membership when he returns. If he is only going to be home for a few days, etc., we just keep the military membership active. Besides, he doesn't always feel like working out right away...so,we may wait to tell them for a little while. I would also advise you to check with your cell phone service provider. They have military programs too. I believe it is called a military suspension, and they will turn the phone off for the duration of his absence. If you don't have an international plan, or aren't going to be using the phone for a while, I advise this route.

Saving money can be as simple as spending less money. Just make sure you aren't frivolously spending extra, just because you have it. I know that deployments can be hard, and many of us tend to spend more to fill the void of a missing spouse. Just remember that there are other outlets, or ways to feel better about yourself.

Oh, one more thing...when you talk to the people at the gym, or cell phone provider, or anyone else about military discounts, keep this in mind: they may ask you when your spouse is returning, or how long to suspend the service,etc. Please, don't ever tell them exact dates. Just let them know that you are not at liberty to discuss that information with them. Simply tell them that you will get back to them to let them know when the military discount rates are no longer needed. Keep our spouses, and ourselves safe.

I hope you all have a wonderful week!

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