Shopping at the commissary is one of the many benefits of being part of a military family. Their prices are low, and in most cases, they have whatever food items you need. If they do not have what you are looking for in stock, you can speak with a commissary employee and request what you are looking for. The commissary has supported the military community for over a hundred years and happily continues to do so.
A Glimpse at History
Shopping at the commissary wasn’t always available to all service members. This benefit was originally reserved for officers only. This changed in 1867, when commissary benefits became a “modern benefit.” This meant men of all ranks were allowed to make purchases and supplement their needs at the commissary. The enlisted were more in need of this benefit because they received lower pay compared to their officers. As time passed, retirees, spouses and their families were also permitted to shop at the commissary.
As a daughter of a service member, and now a spouse, I was used to purchasing my groceries on base. I rarely went off post to shop and when I did, I immediately noticed the price difference between the commissary and the grocery stores off base. In many cases, the commissary’s prices were lower compared to grocery stores outside. One department where I noticed I was getting the most bang for my buck was when purchasing the meat/chicken. I have yet been to a grocery store that has a cheaper price tag on their meat compared to the commissary.
Commissary Rewards Card
DeCA (Defense Commissary Agency) has designed a rewards card/program that helps families with saving money. Manufacturers continue to show their support for the military community by providing coupons that help make the most of your commissary benefit. Listed are the steps on how receive your reward card:
- Visit your local commissary and pick up your rewards card.
- Register your card through the MyCommissary site.
- Log into your account periodically to load new coupons on your card.
- Scan the card at the register to apply the coupons to purchases.
Customers no longer need to worry about carrying paper coupons around. Digital coupons are paperless and work once they are loaded online onto to your rewards card. Once the coupons are loaded, you simply scan your card at checkout.
Keep in mind that the digital coupons also have expiration dates and terms/conditions set by the manufacturers. These conditions must be followed in order to redeem the offered coupons. Many of the manufacturers will only allow one coupon per customer. Once the coupon is clipped/loaded onto the card, it will remain on the card until it is redeemed or expires.
*Digital coupons are not valid for up to six months after expiration OCONUS (overseas base locations). Digital coupons are available to all customers worldwide instantly, so customers overseas will not need extra time to use and obtain these coupons. Please remember once a digital coupon expires, it will disappear from you account. This feature helps with not having to worry about using expired coupons while shopping.
Digital coupon rules are set by the manufacturers, not DeCA.
- Most digital coupons are single use coupons, which means they can only apply to one unit of that particular item you are purchasing.
- At no time will two or more coupons be allowed to be used on the purchase of one time.
- You cannot “stack” digital and paper coupons together. Both paper and digital coupons can be used in the same transaction, but not be used on the same item(s).
- Digital coupons will not be valid for more than the price of the item you are buying.
- If you are returning an item that was purchased with a digital coupon, the coupon can be reused and will no longer be available on your rewards card.
**If there are any technical difficulties or an event of a communication system failure (that prevents the use of the digital coupons), the digital coupons will not be applied on that transaction.
If you are looking to order something that is not carried by the commissary, or need a large amount of a particular item, you may fill out a special order form. A special order form is used by the installation organization and units to support the military community. This form may be used to order case quantities of items carried by your local commissary, and also case quantities that are not normally carried at your nearest commissary.
Disclaimer: Commissaries are no longer accepting special orders for unreasonable quantities or frequent special orders. Quantities that are considered unreasonable are requests that exceed three cases or 36 units. This includes frequent or several orders/transactions in attempt to stay below the the three cases or 36 units regulation. This does not apply to installation organizations and units.
For more information, or to download the special order form, please click here.
Commissaries unite by kicking off Sidewalk Sales worldwide. These special deals help you and your family save money with jaw dropping deals (These events are weather permitting). Click here to see when your local commissary will be holding their special Sidewalk Sale.
A new feature the commissaries are now offering is a program called CLICK2GO. Not only will you save money with shopping at your local commissary, now you will also save time.
CLICK2GO is an online shopping and curbside pickup service. You can even utilize your Rewards Card/regular coupons while using this commissary feature. You simply:
- Order online
- Choose your time
- Pick-up and pay
Click here for more details.
*Fort Lee, Offutt, and Travis no longer offer CLICK2GO.
More about the Defense Commissary Agency
DeCA is headquartered at Fort Lee, Virginia and operates a worldwide chain of commissaries. They support service members, their families and retirees. This organization is a core military family support element, and is a valued part of the military community. They take extreme pride in enhancing the quality of life for military families, and supporting the brightest men and women that serve our nation.