Being part of the military community has many benefits and the commissary is one privilege everyone should take advantage of. Great savings are not the only reason to shop at the commissary either.
Here are 10 reasons to shop at your commissary.
1. Save Money
Yes, saving money is the No. 1 reason most people shop at the commissary. Consumers save 30% or more on average over commercial grocery stores. “Commissaries are required by law to sell items at prices set only high enough to recover item cost, with no profit or overhead factored into item price.”
Have you noticed all the orange “VALUE” tags lining the shelves? There are on average 300 products in more than 33 categories with this label. These truly are value items as the commissary has worked hard to identify “name brand products that provide consistent value, based on an average lower price than the equivalent store, private label item.”
2. Case Lot Sales
Another great way to save is buying in bulk. Commissaries have customer appreciation case lot sales twice a year stateside. “We choose the items from the list that we think will sell well at our stores,” said Mark Crump, the store manager at the Little Creek commissary. “These are not items that have been sitting in our warehouse.”
Products are marked down and you can still use coupons to further increase your savings.
3. Rewards Card
The commissary rewards card allows you to redeem coupons electronically and all commissaries worldwide accept the rewards card. You can pick one up at the checkout and register it at home or on your smartphone. From there you can browse coupons and add them to your card. New coupons are posted multiple times a week so check it before you head to the commissary. At the checkout simply hand your card to the cashier. With digital coupons you won’t have to worry about clipping coupons at home and having the frustration of leaving them in the car. The rewards card comes as a key chain tag as well, so as long as you have your keys you’ll have your coupons.
Click2Go is a new service currently being tested at only 3 commissaries: Fort Lee, VA, Offutt Air Force Base, NE and Travis Air Force Base, CA. Click2Go allows customers to order their groceries online and pick them up at the commissary curbside. If the program proves to be popular the service may be added to more locations.
5. Support Scholarships for Military Children
The Scholarship for Military Children Program provides college scholarships to military dependents. It was “created in recognition of the contributions of military families to the readiness of the fighting force and to celebrate the role of the commissary in the military family. It is the intent of the program that a scholarship funded through contributions be awarded annually for each commissary operated by the Defense Commissary Agency worldwide.” Every commissary awards at least one $2,000 scholarship and more may be possible based on funding and eligible applicants.
6. Pathways for Students and Recent Graduates
This is a federal driven program that includes an internship program for current students, a recent graduates program and the Presidential Management Fellows Program for people who earned an advanced degree within the proceeding 2 years. These programs promote employment opportunities for students and recent graduates in the federal workforce. The commissary supports these programs.
7. International Aisle
There are some wonderful products on the international aisle and you aren’t likely to find them at commercial grocery stores. If you have a sweet tooth or would just like to try a British chocolate bar, grab a Crunchie. It is a honeycomb toffee chocolate bar that will fix your sweet tooth for a few days. The international food aisle isn’t just for sweets; you’ll find a wide variety of products from many countries.
8. Meet Other Military Families
At times being part of the military life can be lonely. Shopping at the commissary gives you an opportunity to meet other families. Striking up a conversation over an item on sale or just how cute the little baby in the shopping cart is one easy way to feel a little more connected.
9. Consistency in Your Life
Moving can put you at odds but there is one thing that can be consistent in your life, the commissary. Looking for a new home, new schools, new stylist and new friends is a lot to worry about. Knowing the commissary is available is one less stress. You won’t have to look for a new grocery store.
10. Support Military Dependents
Many of those working at the commissary are military dependents. You will hear many different accents from spouses from all over the world and notice young baggers that are children of service members. There are also a few retired individuals that will be happy to share a story with you.