I experienced sticker shock in my hometown grocery store last week. Like many military families, I spent the holiday season with my parents in the Midwest. Now places like South Dakota and Nebraska tend to be known for low-cost living. But when my mom asked me to pick up a few essential items (milk, eggs, bread, sugar, graham crackers) on my way to her house, I was stunned by the prices.
My brain worked through a series of thoughts. First there was confusion. This price can’t be right, can it? It must be an error. Followed closely by flabbergasted. Is this some kind of holiday price increase? My mom said “Nope.” And finally I felt grateful. I found myself in the cracker aisle of a locally owned grocery store in my hometown thanking Uncle Sam for our military commissaries.
This month’s commissary specials offer a mix of party food for the big game along with pantry staples that fit with my New Year’s resolution to spend less and save more money in 2015.
Muir Glen organic fire roasted diced tomatoes, the main ingredient in my football playoff chili, are on sale this month. A 14.5-ounce can is only $1.00. One buck. That price made me do a double-take. That’s dirt cheap. That’s cheaper than if I grew my OWN organic tomatoes and canned them at the end of the season. You can guarantee I’ll be stocking up on the Muir Glen diced tomatoes. My family will be eating Spicy Cajun Gumbo on Mardi Gras and Tortilla Taco Meatball Soup for easy, breezy Sunday night dinners.
Winter is the best time of year for soup. Whether you like the Campbell’s Homestyle Healthy Soup (Italian-style wedding or chicken with whole grain pasta) or Campbell’s Chunky Soup (sausage gumbo is my favorite), you can have your pick. Both are on sale this month at the commissary. Serving soup for lunch or dinner is an affordable way to warm up during January.
What to know what other commissary specials made me do a double-take?
- Old El Paso refried beans, $.75. Save an additional $.30 with this coupon.
- Green Giant Nibblers 6 mini ears of corn on the cob, $1.50
- Totino Party Pepperoni Pizza, $.89
- Pace Chunky Salsa, 2 for $3
- V8 Vegetable Juice, Healthy Greens, $2.98 Pair that sale price with this $1.00 coupon and they are practically giving the V8 Carrot Mango to you.
In case you were wondering, Pace Chunky Salsa is another ingredient in my football chili.
Are you a fan of Frito-Lay chips? Lay’s Classic Potato Chips ($2.00), Ruffles, original or Cheddar and Sour Cream ($2.09) and Tostitos Scoops ($2.50) along with Doritos ($2.50) are all on sale this month. Don’t forget to stock up on chips for the big game. It’s the ultimatum game day snack. But please, don’t crunch during the commercials.
Pair it with Tostitos Queso Dip, on sale for $2.50, and you’ll be doing a happy dance when you walk out of the commissary. Save more, spend less and do more double-takes with this month’s sale specials at your military commissary.