That Damn Commissary Surcharge!

So before I share my little vent I must add the disclaimer for the folks who will read this and feel the need to tell me why we are charged a surcharge in the commissary and so on. I am also EXTREMELY greatful for the commissary and all the benefits it does provide and most of the time a proud patron and very well aware why they charge a surcharge.

If you aren’t aware why feel free to visit here and here to learn about it.

On to the vent:

I will be honest and say that for the longest time I never paid attention to that little surcharge at the bottom of my commissary receipt. I can probably attest that to the fact that when we need groceries we need groceries . I look at the prices of the stuff I am buying and keep it moving.

As of lately along with everyone else I have joined in on the coupon craze (not extreme though) and was super happy when I managed to get my $221 grocery bill down to $199.00 this past weekend. It’s not alot but hey that’s $21 to go in my gas tank. On this particular day hubby was with me and he was driving which gave me time to gloat over my savings .

As I was looking at the bill what did I notice but a $10.53 surcharge!!!!

Gasp!

 

Of course I was saying all kinds of %$%$#%^&! because the wannabe “extreme couponer” in me was bothered by the fact that my bill could have actually been in the $180’s had it not been for that surcharge. Now people believe me when I say I am as realistic as it gets and I do understand that the commissary does give really decent prices in comparison to grocery stores  offpost (I have my Food Lion receipts to prove it).

That being said it’s time say it: STOP SAYING THE COMMISSARY DOESN’T CHARGE TAX!

Now granted the surcharge isn’t a tax but it may as  well be , I mean geez ten extra bucks added to my bill and don’t forget the tip  for the baggers.

And before you say well bag your own stuff, that is kind of hard to do when before you can blink the baggers have 3 bags full of your groceries hanging on those perfect little bagger carts. I can’t fault them because they earn their wages off of tips.

Vent Over!

How do you feel about the commissary surcharge and do you feel it affects your savings?

Click here to see what other spouses are saying on this topic!

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17 comments

  1. StephanieB

    I guess, I would have to say it is still cheaper than the 8-9% tax I pay at civilian stores. So we can either gripe about it or be grateful we have the commissaries. The way the government wants to strip benefits from military families, I personally, don’t want to see this one disappear.

  2. Well here I never feel like the Commissary really saves me money. We live off post so when I go there it is usually because I am on post and have the time to do it. I do understand the surcharge but I think it really doesn’t seem to make the Commissary any cheaper.

  3. Felicia Bramwell

    I personally thing it is a scam. It is too much they take out for some “surcharge”! When we go in looking at prices and then get to the registar…. i am beyond pissed!!!! And in Germany they get you real good! Totally understand bough baggers they r the same way here.

  4. Brandy

    I HAD NO IDEA THERE WAS ONE!! AAAHHHH. I always just paid attention to the items I was buying and their prices and tried to keep my bill around $100. It irritates me a bit, but it’s still cheaper than the other grocery stores, but I already tip $3 each trip so there’s just extra money out of my pocket. blah.

  5. crystal sharp

    when going through the line where the baggers bag… i also say before the the cashier scans that i will bag my own.. and if they still bag it i dont tip. i usually go through the self check out..

  6. Lovell B

    I hate the surcharge but it is better then paying double taxes……But I would love the surcharge to leave FOREVER!!!!

  7. Tabatha

    Its cheaper then our 8.9% surcharge at a civilian store. My problem isn’t that it’s those dang volcher baggers. I would rather bag the groceries myself and carry them out bc I don’t carry cash. I always feel bad when I say I will be doing it and they go ahead and bag my groceries and I have nothing to tip them even though I’m carrying them out.

  8. alyssa

    I have never had a surcharge of 10 dollars. We have had 5 dollars which to me when Im buying 400 dollars of groceries that would cost me way more at walmart or any other off post store the 5 dollars always was worth it. We now live an hour from our commisary and I cant stand it. Meat alone is worth the hour trip to the comm. I also make it a point that if I dont have the money to tip that week to tell the bagger that I will bag my own before my food even gets scanned. As long as they dont bag anything they dont loose their turn in line so I dont feel bad about it. When we do use them they will get atleast 5 or so bucks depending on how many baggers are needed to take our food out lol since we buy a few weeks at a time

  9. I am too busy being jelouse that American military have things like Commisary! :) But that does just sound like a sneaky way ti charge tax that’s not called tax.

  10. Tiffany

    I do not shop at the commissary because of the surcharge and the baggers there. To me the “surcharge” is just a tax with a diff name. I shop at Walmart with their price matching that they do & my stack of coupons and i save a lot of money. The baggers at the commissary always made me feel uncomfortable. I am able to bag and take my own groceries to my vehichle and i don’t need to pay somebody to do it for me. I always felt awkward when I did shop there and I’d tell them in the beginning I can bag my own groceries. They would still end up bagging them and give me dirty looks when I didnt tip(even though i told them upfront i can do it myself!) So yeah, Walmart is where I shop =)

  11. Jenn

    I wanted to add the food isn’t taxed at grocery stores, unless it’s pre-made food (like a sub) or something like those chickens you see sitting under the heat lamps.

  12. Kelly

    I know your article is old, but after 10 years of surcharge, I’ve just opened my eyes and become irritated by it. Like you, I started couponing. I would really look forward to going to the commissary and using my coupons, then wonder why my bill never went down as much as I thought it should have. I started looking at my receipt, and realized that the surcharge was eating up my savings! I went to the commissary website and read that they charge the surcharge on your pre coupon total, and it does not go down after they ring up your coupons! Don’t get me started on them not ringing up all of my coupons either! I’m at the point I feel like I have to take my calculator in the store, and automatically add .05% to every product I put in my cart! I’ve been shopping more at Walmart, and have not purchased meat at the commisary in years. I don’t buy dairy at the commissary either after Premade Nesquick from the milk section, taking a drink, and having curdled milk in my mouth, even though the expiration date was weeks away! A neighbor informed me that he has seen the dairy trucks at the commissary unload the merchandise into the parking lot, then take it all in the store, after it has sat in the heat outside! I’m on a new mission where I will only go through the self check out now at the Commissary, and if I have to make 2-3 trips in and out to my car, I will, to avoid the baggers, and try and save on the surcharge. I don’t care that they commissary doesn’t charge tax, because isn’t food non taxable to begin with? Yet the commissary charges .05% on every item, which to me equals out to tax! Oh, one more gripe, have you noticed that the expiration dates at the commisary are very close, if not already expired? I tried to buy Visine eye drops one day, and every one of them, which was over 20 were expired.Same thing happened with some frozen cookies. Each time I took all of them up to the register and told them they were expired. For years I had a friend that would make fun of all of my close to expiration date commissary food, and I honestly thought she was just jealous. A few weeks ago I purchased Sunny D at Walmart, and the expiration date is months away. I purchased some at the Commissary, it expired within 2 weeks! WTH is that all about? They claim everything is cheaper, yet they probably paid less than they are charging us, beause they got it for cheap, due to the short shelf life. I’d rather pay a little bit more at Walmart, and actually have time to eat my food, than to pay less at the commisary only to find out my food expired before I could eat it!
    Thanks for letting me vent!

  13. Ciera

    i used to shop at food lion but the one here is notorious for having expired food items on their shelves so thinking i couldn’t deal with the hassle anymore i thought that i would shop at the commissary for once (which is 30 minutes away) and when i looked at my receipt i saw that surcharge and i thought that’s there sneaky way of doing tax lol i googled commissary surcharge and your post popped up and i just have to tell you, you now have a regular reader…..i can’t lie shopping at walmart sounds way better and you don’t have to worry about tipping those baggers either

    • Army Wife 101
      Author

      Hi Ciera so glad that you stopped by and glad to have you here :D Yes that little charge is oh so sneaky. Food Lion is so expensive here so I only shop when I am really to lazy but they do have good sales but like you said Walmart sounds great lol!

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