It’s a common misconception that the commissary raises prices on payday. For those that shop at the commissary regularly and purchase specific items on a continuous basis, we’ve all come to know the item’s price. When the price jumps up one day, the rumors start among military spouses.
Did the commissary raise the price because it’s payday?
Let’s put that rumor to rest. No, they do not raise prices on payday.
The commissary changes its prices twice a month, which happens to fall on the 1st and 16th of each month. It doesn’t mean they raise their prices on those days. That’s the cycle of sales. Those price changes last for 30 to 45 days, so while it may appear that the price went up, it really could be that you have enjoyed the sale price all month and that sale has now come to an end.
Many grocery stores out in town change their prices weekly or more often. This 30- to 45-day window is simply a longer business model.
At the same time prices are going up, they are also going down; it is usually a 50/50 mix.
Don’t forget that DeCA is required by law to sell all items at cost plus surcharge. They do not make a profit.
The commissary truly can be “worth the drive” as they say. By selling products at cost DeCA is passing on a huge savings to military families. Shopping at the commissary regularly can save you 30% overall on your grocery bill. Some people question this savings saying that they can find a particular item for less at a civilian grocery store. There are many reasons for this.
Their store model is most likely different so their prices might change more often than the commissary. Commercial stores can also buy into deals that manufacturers offer them in order to pass that savings on to consumers. Those types of deals are not necessarily available to the commissary.
These stores may also offer items at a loss to entice patrons into their store in hopes that they will spend more on higher profit earning items. Since the commissary can only sell goods at cost and does not make a profit, they do not engage in this sort of marketing.
There are many wonderful reasons to shop at the commissary and saving money is at the top of the list for many people. DeCA knows this, and that’s why they work so hard to bring the products we all love to commissaries around the world. Now that you know they do not raise their process on payday, shop easy the next time you’re at the commissary knowing you’re getting great products at good prices.
If you want to save even more, pick up a commissary rewards card at the checkout next time you shop. You can also find out when sales start by signing up for the MilitaryShoppers newsletter and by visiting MilitaryShoppers anytime.
What questions do you have about shopping at the commissary? Share them with us in the comments section.