If you are like me, the commissary proved to be intimidating on the first few trips and can be a very intimidating time for newbies. It wasn’t until after many trips that I became comfortable, which sounds funny, since the commissary is not too much different than the neighborhood grocery store.
The commissary has some great deals on many items, and with these tips, you can be a commissary pro in no time!
The Commissary is Always Cheaper…Isn’t it?
Many first-time commissary shoppers think everything at the commissary will be cheaper than what they can find at the local grocery store, due to the fact that under federal law, commissaries must sell their items for the same price they purchase them, plus a 5 percent surcharge for maintenance and construction.
However, even though commissaries may have a minimal upcharge, this doesn’t mean they are always the least expensive, which means this myth can hurt families who don’t make very much.
Unless you’re really lucky, in most commissaries across the nation, the fruit and meat selections aren’t the best and most local grocery stores offer similar, if not, cheaper prices than that of the commissary. While you may not find the best deals on meat and fruit, there are always big savings to be had on frozen foods and cereal.
A way to avoid any extra money being spent on groceries is to form a price list. This can be done by keeping receipts as well as writing down the price of items you normally buy and checking them with your local grocery store.
Don’t Forget Your Coupon Book!
Many commissaries provide military coupons on shelves throughout the store, but for even more savings, be sure to bring your own coupons. Many times the coupons provided in-store go fast and you can be left without any extra savings.
Commissaries rarely accept double coupons; however, manufacture’s coupons and store coupons are a big hit and most store coupons can be combined with a manufacturer’s coupon.
Remember that not every commissary item is cheaper than a local grocery store and it is best to do a price check to know which items are the best buys at each location. Don’t be intimidated the next time you go to the commissary and be sure you follow these tips to get the best deals.
Maya Szydlowski is a blogger associated with Veterans United Home Loans, the nation’s leading dedicated provider of VA home loans and military community resources.
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