military spouse

What You Should Know When You Get to Your First Base

When Justin found out about our first duty station, I immediately went into research mode, gathering every bit of information I could get my hands on. I wanted to know what life on (and around) base was going to be like. So in the interest of spreading the love, I figured I would share a few random-ish tips that I learned after we arrived to our first duty station!

Random Things to know

  • Always bring cash to tip the baggers at the commissary. This is something I  forget to do sometimes! They baggers are usually teenagers, military spouses or retried military that will only get paid if you tip them! Make sure you stop by and get some cash before they help you load up your car.
  • Make large purchases at the BX, it is tax FREE! My husband and I purchases a few smaller furniture pieces, TV and a grill on base and saved a ton of money.
  • Join your bases’s spouse Facebook group. These groups are FULL of information. If there is an event happening on base or you need to know where something is- these women (and men) are your quickest response.
  • If you live close to base, do not join a gym. Go to the gym on base and save your money! From my understanding most base gyms are fully equipped and they are always completely FREE for you!
  • Explore, explore, EXPLORE! When Justin and I first arrived, we drove around base, with no real destination. It helped us see where everything was and get our bearings. And on the weekends we like to go to different places in the area and see what our new home has to offer! I think this is the best way to get acclimated to a new place!
  • Get involved! My husband’s squadron had a welcome event a few weeks ago and during the presentation, there was a section about the Key Spouses program. I immediately went home and emailed the Key Spouse and am hopefully going to join the program very soon!
  • And lastly, a tip that does not benefit at the moment (you know, because baby)- buy your alcohol on base. It is so much cheaper.  Plus if you live in Utah, it is the only way you’ll get a beer higher that 3.2%.

Hopefully some of these tips are helpful to my fellow military spouses out there who are preparing for your first move!

xoxo- Susan


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