Grocery shopping is a necessary activity to support daily life. It doesn’t mean it has to be boring. In fact, there are some gems at the Commissary on the post if you know where to look. Here are a few of my favorite things at the Military Commissary.
- Canned Coffees. It isn’t a surprise that caffeine is necessary for survival on some days. Deployments, work-ups, PCSing are times of high stress often coupled with less sleep, making caffeine essential. Canned coffees come in a variety of options. Check out the international aisle of Japanese coffees and even milk tea. Check out the dairy section for refrigerated canned coffees with oat milk, no milk, or milk in a variety of concentrations. If you can’t find what you are looking for, check the beverage stands by the cash registers.
- Pre-Cut Fruit and Veg. When we are heading to the beach, PCSing or just looking for a shortcut for the week, the pre-cut veg and fruit are a go-to. There are packs of veg cut for stir fry and fruit in all varieties. This saves on time during a busy week, and helps when PCSing and staying in hotels without kitchens or just grabbing a healthier option for lunch on the go. Check out the produce section or the fridge in the entryway.
- Platters. Another big shortcut for a busy week or when hosting a get-together is the deli platters. There are sandwich, vegetable, fruit, and meat and cheese platters of a variety of sizes at reasonable prices. Again, providing a shortcut at a reasonable price. When PCSing, the sandwich platters can feed movers and packers for a decent price, and even provide chow for the family for the day. The fruit and veg platters can be divvied up for meal planning for lunches, adding the valuable resource of time to the day.
- Frozen Meals. Whether PCSing or entering a busy season of life, let’s face it – sometimes frozen meals enter the weekly meal rotation. TV dinners in all varieties exist – but there are even some healthier options with vegan, low-salt in addition to cuisine varieties like Indian, Mexican, Asian flares. Check these out if you are in the temporary lodging facility, or even after a big grocery trip to lessen the stress for the evening meal.
- Frozen Meat. Have you ever seen the freezer by the meat section that is full of pork, chicken, veal, and beef? The combo freezer is for meat that has been frozen prior to their sell-by date and is discounted. This is a great way to grab meats that you would throw in the freezer for crockpot or instapot meals later anyway and at savings.
- Local Finds. Each commissary has different stock because they negotiate with local vendors for items. We have found pies and even seafood from local vendors at Commissaries across the United States. This is a great way to grab local finds, like Julian Pies from the Camp Pendleton commissary, without the hour drive to Julian. There has even been local honey found before – a great way to get a jump start on treating those local allergies (just remember that honey cannot be fed to children under 1 year).
What are your favorite things from the military commissary?