Pocketbooks and bank accounts world-wide have felt the increase in the cost of living. Groceries are not immune to this increase in cost. The DOD announced an initiative to support military families in many ways to aid in the financial impact of inflation. The Defense Commissary Agency, DeCA, has announced its plan to help lower grocery bills for military members shopping at the military commissary.
The goal of DeCA is to provide at least 25% in overall savings as compared to other grocery stores for those eligible to shop at the commissaries with the additional funding. “The department’s added investment in our budget allows us to reduce commissary prices at the register about 3-5% on most items — particularly on food staples that struggling military families need most such as bread, eggs, milk and more,” Bill Moore, director and CEO of the Defense Commissary Agency, said.
The price differences are expected to hit before the holidays. Per ABC7LA, the cost of Thanksgiving meal will increase significantly this year, so a plan for savings before the holidays will help keep the cost of this traditional meal down. Per ABC7LA, the cost of frozen turkeys is up 32% in 2022 as compared to 2021, and butter and eggs prices are up more than 30%, with potatoes, sugar, and bakery products up 15%-17%.
The commissary specifically highlights three areas to assist in their “We’re Stronger Together” program:
- Promotion sales with bi-weekly flyers
- Better prices on popular and core items
- Healthy options with dietitian-approved recipes, meal plans and economical meal options
In addition, the commissary is rolling out new initiatives to provide increased availability to its patrons:
- Expanded hours of operation. It is noted that 56 stores have converted from six-day operation to seven-day operation, and seven stores moved from a five-day operation schedule to six-day operation schedule. In addition, 43 stores adjusted their hours per the community preferences.
- Working with military installations to pilot a bulk delivery program to barracks
- Expand online and curbside pickup grocery options
- Expand the grocery delivery program from the piloted 8 locations to the DeCA-wide
Twenty-five percent isn’t anything to laugh at. With grocery bills averaging $200-$300 per trip, that’s $50 to $75 in savings. That’s about 5 military-style haircuts! Savings in one area of the budget is a savings overall.
Gary Haas says
One thing the Commissary needs to do is drop the surcharge on edibles to be competitive with grocery stores off base in San Antonio, Texas.
Thomas Charles White says
This is welcomed effort to benefit active military families, retired military families, disabled veterans and families. Thank you.
ROMEO ABIVA says
The surcharge in the commissary is one reason the prices are not really competitive in the outside market, especially if the veteran is miles away from the stores. We go to the commissary if we cannot find the items we want from outside stores.
Closes store we can go to is a small commissary in Camp Pendelton North Gate and that is 24 miles from my house.
Brigitte Elmore says
It’s all a nice idea to slash prices, but if the shelves are empty there is nothing to buy.
Sometimes you can’t the basic things.
Joseph Campo says
The Commissaries are the best benefit for Military families and personnel. The only criticism I would have is sometime stocks of outdated canned foods remain on shelves. I use the White Sands commissary which is relatively small but is well staffed with highly competent and friendly staff. They are proactive, constantly engage members and always go out of their way to help. They point out good deals and coupons that are available. They treat their customers very well. As a retiree I feel at home and still part of the team at MY commissary.
Brenda Smith says
I appreciate the opportunity to shop at the commissary but it is so frustrating when shelves are empty. The only fully stocked items appear to be meats, which accounts for the highest priced commodities that the average struggling family can barely afford. I would accept the shortages if, when I go to community grocery stores to get the items that are missing from the commissary, their shelves were scantly stocked also. They do not appear to have a problem procuring ordinary items like paper dinner plates, frozen veggies, etc. Community grocery store items are considerably higher but I end up having to pay the price for those essential items.
“MY” commissary is Barksdale AFB most of the time, unless I’m visiting kids and grands. There’s a very good selection of goods there as well as a top-notch meat market. The butchers are always very helpful and informative. My family really appreciate the effort to lower the food prices.
Catharine Bevona says
I go on Shopmyexchange.com and get paper goods and toiletries delivered to my home at a lower cost than at grocery stores. They also, sell gourmet food items on that site as well. Too bad DECA does not offer an online site like that.