The question often comes up in military circles about how much you should tip your bagger. I remember when we moved to our first duty station in Germany, the standard seemed to be about $2 to $3, maybe a little more if it was raining or around Christmas.
If you are not familiar with the commissary, the baggers that pack up your groceries and take them to your car do not get an hourly wage. They make their money based on tips. It is expected that you tip your baggers because otherwise they will not be getting paid. Although you are not required to do this, most everyone who shops there does.
But back to the main question: What’s a fair tip for a commissary bagger?
I decided to ask a few military spouses how much they typically tip the baggers at their military commissary. A lot of them said they usually tip $5, maybe a little more or less depending on the size of their cart. A lot of them also said they tip $2 if the bagger only bags the groceries and does not take them out.
You might assume that the baggers are working for a very high hourly wage, and they probably are. $3 for 5 to 10 minutes of work is about $18+an hour. BUT, they also are probably not taking cart after cart out. A lot of times we see baggers waiting around until it is their turn to take out a cart. I think this means that overall they are not making all that much. It would depend on how many others are working and how busy it is at the commissary that day.
Also, most of the baggers are not there for 8 hours a day. Most of them only work a few hours at a time.
How much should you tip your bagger? What is the right amount?
I think it is safe to say that $3 is the average. If you are worried about it and tip $3, I think you should be fine.
That being said, I don’t think it would be wrong to tip a higher amount if you can afford to do so. You might just make a bagger’s day!
And if you don’t want to tip, head to the self check out line.