I seen these changes coming from a mile away.

Since the inception of the extreme couponing rage people all over including those who shop at the commissary have wanted to get in on saving some cash. That is to be expected in a rough economy, but with that comes those who over do it. As to be expected with overdoing it comes changes and so that’s exactly what has been done.

DECA aka “the commissary” has announced the following changes to assist in” preventing possible misuse of the commissary benefit – primarily using coupons to get large amounts of cash back,” said Joseph H. Jeu, DeCA director and CEO”.

The Changes In Their Words

  Key changes, which go into effect May 1, include:

·       Gift cards will be issued to a customer, in conjunction with cash, whenever a transaction total reflects $25 or more is owed to the customer due to coupon “overages” (when the face value of the coupon exceeds the selling price of the item purchased and the transaction results in a negative balance)

·       Gift cards will be issued to customers, in conjunction with cash, for refunds of $25 or more when a receipt is presented showing the merchandise was originally purchased with gift cards

·       Gift cards will be issued to customers, in conjunction with cash, for refunds of $25 or more when a receipt is not presented

·       Clarification for instances of suspected privilege abuse

·       Update to the coupon acceptance policy that clarifies dot-scan barcode requirements and pin requirements for unique numbering, that photocopies and counterfeit coupons are not accepted, and that coupons must be printed in English

As the commissary notes in the news release this is the best interest of everyone but let’s be honest do you really think the commissary wants to give you wads of cash back to people who choose to overdo the whole overage thing? As one reader pointed out this is a smart move in that giving you the overage back on gift cards means that you aren’t really getting cash back because the gift card can only be used in the commissary. Smart concept!

I mean don’t get me wrong I’m not an “overage hater” if I had the patience to figure it all out I would probably step over to the other side so maybe I am just alittle bitter that I can’t grasp or am to lazy to get 55 boxes of tampons that I will never use for free! By the way I’m joking so laugh :D

View Commissary Coupon Acceptance Policy

Do you think the changes are fair…I would love to hear from some of our coupon experts?



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31 Comments on I Knew This Was Coming…Commissary Announces Coupon Changes

  1. I consider myself a coupon expert at this point. LOL These changes revolve around the abuse of overage in the past. These changes I feel are fair, because as fun as couponing is, nobody should be cheating or over-using the system to the point where they get tons of cash back. The commissary should not be used to MAKE money, but to SAVE money. Getting your groceries for $0 is one thing, and if you coupon correctly it is completely fine, but having so much overage to the point where the store is giving you boat loads of cash back, I’m sorry but I dont feel that it is right. Getting a couple dollars back is one thing but getting $25+ back is just really overdoing it in my opinion. :)

  2. Being that I am an advanced coupon user and I could do what you see on TV, however I coupon within my means (budget) and stock up on items over a period of time. I for one do not have 100 bottles of ketchup or mustard in my pantry. For those who think the OVERDOING the coupon thing is a great thing is really hurting themselves as well as those who are looking to save money as well. If folks would just keep it realistic and follow the guidelines, then changes would not have to occur.

  3. I also dont believe in clearing shelves. I will NEVER get more than 4-6 of the same items. I see so many women in my area getting 40 of one item JUST BECAUSE they can. I think that is extreme and they are the reason that everything is becoming harder for couponers.

    • I don’t clear shelves either. If I have a reall good coupon, I will order the amount I need and that way it doesn’t take away from the stock they

  4. To be honest, yes I think it’s fair. Course it’s coming from a person that can’t get over 35 dollars of coupon savings. For the life of me. I don’t know how people do it. I’ve asked for help and even read into “HOW TO’s”, but still don’t get how to do it. But back to the gift card. Yes, the store has to make money somehow. Will I ever see one of those “GIFT CARDS”, HELL NO! Would I’d love to figure out how I could, HECK YEAH! I SUCK at couponing..lol any help in FORT CARSON area would be GREAT! :)

  5. As a person who just gotten into the couponing hobby, I also feel those who do abuse it need to be controlled. The comminsary is a privilege and the saving should be shared. I do not and will not use it as a money making opportunity. I am greatful to save with this new skill but, overdoing it so you end up with a large sum of money just means you either cleaned the shelf or u have taken a large amount of items others would needed. That is not fair to everyone else.

  6. I think this is a great idea. I am all for saving money (and I have) but it also makes me irate to go to the store and not be able to find something because someone bought ALL of it, or to walk by someone with a binder and they have 40 things of something in their cart and I can’t get what I need. I personally think commissairy should not allow overage period. Most prices are alot cheaper then other places, I am worried that all the fake coupons, and all of the over usage of coupons doesn’t drive the prices up.

  7. I give couponing classes on realistic couponing. While I have somewhat of a disdain for shelf clearers, there is a way to go about htings without being asshole-ish about it. DECA released a while back that if indeed you are a shelf clearer that you can call the commissaries in advance and order as a bulk item. Will they do it, probably not. Also what people don’t realize that this is a psychological problem just as OCD and addictions are. The misuse of the commissary is ridiculous and its sad for those who just want to build a better budget for their families and can’t because Mrs. Smith across the street just bought all of the dishwashing liquid like it was doomsday. I still don’t understand how someone is so musty that they need 6,000 sticks of deodorant, if you do, that is a medical problem.
    All in all I think DECA is smart, if they have to give you a gift card for overages, its going to be a DECA giftcard, meaning, you really didnt get the money back, because its going to have to be spent in the commissary…lol. therefore they are getting some kind of return off of it I say business savvy.

  8. I feel there is no circumstance where a shopper should get cash back from coupons. Get the product for free or dirt cheap- but all you are doing is going to end up rasing prices for the rest of us. Maybe it’s because the only coupon I will ever use is one hanging from the shelf under a product on my shopping list… but I think it’s out of control and needs to be stopped. I think the changes are BEYOND fair. I understand saving money, but *making* money off coupons? Don’t be that person who is cheap to the ultimate nth!

    • YES! I’m glad for the changes, but think it should go further. I don’t think they should get cash OR giftcards. The coupons say no cash value right on them. The commissary is already excluded from making a profit, so getting money back is hurting everyone else who uses the commissary. Not to mention those of us overseas with limited stock already don’t need people being greedy and taking more than their share. Ugh, I find it annoying when people abuse the system.

      • The reason they give the gift cards and cash back is exactly that the store is NOT allowed to make a profit so if they kept the overage from a coupon they would be making a profit. It doesnt hurt anyone when they get a gift card to use there. It actually helps the store becausue they are now able to get the full price of the coupon back versus only what the cost of the product is. for example

        Shampoo is $1.25 and you have a $1.50 off coupon, if they do not give overage the store can only redeem it for $1.25, but with overage the store can submit it for redemption for its FULL face value of $1.50 meaning the store just got more money.

    • It doesn’t raise prices for the rest of us. The commissary sends the coupons to the manufacturer (who issued the coupon in the first place!), and the manufacturer reimburses the commissary for the amount of the coupon.

  9. @Elizabeth, I am an avid couponer and yes I buy things in bulk amounts (not shelf clearing if I need a lot then I pre order) but people using coupons does NOT raise the cost of the products for others. Companies use coupons as a way to advertise, and it is in their marketing budget so when something if free, cheap or even when a person is getting “paid” to buy it does not mean that you are going to be paying more because of it. The company knows what they are doing by putting coupons out and you can easily make money at ALL stores you just have to know how to shop that way and be using coupons correctly. Their goal as a company is to get the word about new products and to sell them and that is what happens when new products come out and lots of coupons are put out. the company knows what it is doing and if people are smart enough to shop that way they shouldnt be bashed for it.

  10. I think this is beyond fair. I do coupon, but overages at a place like the commissary shouldn’t allow overages at all. It would also be great if they would limit the amount of like coupons to 4-6 per shopping *trip*, not transaction.

  11. I consider myself blessed to get 25% to 50% off my grocery bill. That is what coupons are intended for so I think their new rules are fair. Commissary prices are already as low as they can be, and I know a number of us military spouses have shopped all over the country (and in some cases the world) who would agree that we are getting a deal already.

  12. As a couponer (binder in toe) I think this is a great & fair policy. I NEVER buy more than 4 of any item in one shopping trip,I do not buy in bulk, I do not preorder and I have never gotten more than $10 in overage, do I get some stuff for free by properly couponing YES AND I never leave the Commissary without spending less than $75 out of pocket, but I do save over %60 with my coupons at the Commissary. I DO NOT believe in shelf clearing, I believe, practice & teach responsible couponing. Im just happy knowing my family grocery budget went from $800 a month to now $300 a month. Its not all about free for me, even though free is great. Yes, you will see me in the Commissary or any market with my binder, I never leave home without it am I ashamed about saving my family $500 a month? Heck NO! Am I still supporting my Commissary and still paying out of pocket for groceries heck YEAH! Will I ever stop, NO!!! At the Commissary I shop at Im the coupon go to lady. Many of the wives there with their binders are their because I have taught them to coupon responsibly, do I scold anyone not using coupons properly YES (its one of my pet peeves). Overage is a great thing however not at the expense of my fellow Military families, I look at the last 8 juices on a shelf and I may have planned to buy 4, but since there are only 8 Ill get 2, You never know who’s coming to shop behind you. The change is a RESPONSIBLE change and its that simple! The Commissary encourages coupons just check out DECA’s facebook page for proof in that, but they need to protect themselves as well as their customers, US!!!! Or maybe people would be happy if cereal was almost $6 a box like in a national chain store? or have Commissaries shut down altogether? Use common sense when couponing and everyone wins.

  13. This seems completely reasonable to me. I am impressed by the extreme couponers out there (I have tried it myself but have never been very successful), but to get money back in a gift card is still awesome…that entire cart of groceries cost you no money!

  14. I am not writing a huge message just getting to the point I don’t see this helping at all I see this beneficial to us couponers because our Commissary doesn’t do cash back any way they applied the overages to our buggy so we just got more groceries..now they are going to loose more money by purchasing gift cards..I mean they didn’t make changes in how many products you could order or did I miss that..they just are saying they are giving you free money to use in their store that’s ok with me because its still free money..even though I have fell off couponing because here its going beyond crazy and I ain’t fighting no grown woman over a box of tampons..it ain’t that serious…

    • They didn’t make changes to how much you can order, but they did say that special ordering more than 3 cases or 36 of an item is ground for suspected abuse of Commissary privileges. How they plan to decide whether or not it truly is remains to be seen.

      Personally this won’t affect me much. I doubt that it will have the desired effect though. Those that currently take advantage of the system will continue to find ways to do so. I imagine there will be a lot of $25 Commissary Gift Cards up for sale on the local yard sale pages and craigslist.

  15. I do feel that they are fair because too many people abuse this privilege. When I first started couponing, I was taught that the coupon limit on the same item was 3 per transaction. You could use tons of coupons, but only 3 of an exact item. So, when things were free with a coupon, one person didn’t clear the shelves. I have seen too many stores be forced to change their policy because of abuse. I have also found that as I move around the country, how much you can save is drastically different. That is very frustrating! Extreme couponing is not possible in some areas. I was looking into going back to work when I started couponing and found that the amount I saved was equal to a part time income and I got to stay home with my babies. There is a huge value in couponing and I would hate to see the abuse take that opportunity away.

  16. I didn’t even know the commissary took printed coupons?!?!? When we where state side I usually didn’t even shop there because I would have had to go out of my way to drive there. I have never seen other people use printed coupons there so I never knew.

    • Adriana, you can check online: http://www.commissaries.com/documents/contact_deca/faqs/coupon_use.cfm (think this is the right link). This should answer a lot of your questions. For instance P&G doesn’t allow Internet coupons in the commissaries, but you CAN get the flyers at the front of the store. Overseas you can use coupons up to 6 months past expiration. And this is a point that I just recently explained to my SIL who is still in the States: you can use multiple coupons for one item if they are DIFFERENT coupons, i.e. different dollar amounts/combinations/etc. Not too long ago P&G had a $5 off coupon for Venus razor blades. I also had a bunch of $2 ones my mom had already sent me. So they went from $9.58 each to $2.58 each! I’m in no way a “couponer” in the professional sense, and I never come close to getting things for free/getting money back at the commissary (still a bit of a mystery to me how that happens, honestly), but if I can save $20-40 per trip, depending on purchases, then that’s still that much I’m saving!

  17. And I realized I never addressed the OP’s question. Yes, I do think the store policies are fair. I’m pretty sure that there are many other retail stores that issue store credit, wouldn’t returned goods v. money earned on coupons be the same sort of principle? Money the store would like to earn back? Can anyone help me here?

  18. I am a Couponer as well and I have read a lot of comments from people stating how horrible these changes are. I, personally, think they are quite reasonable. I have a stockpile and I have never cleared a shelf to get what I wanted. I have simply gone back at another time when the stock was replenished. By the way, my stockpile is modest.. I will say that there are 2 things that I generally have a lot of because my family uses them a lot… cereal and spices.. Other than that, it is modest. I think that the people that are so worked up over these changes are the reasons the changes were made. lol Happy Couponing to all!

  19. I am a cashier at the Commissary. I have only had to give money back a few times. What aggravates me is the person coming in buying 30 KY Jelly just because you have a coupon for $3 and it is only $2. Are they really going to use it, or just go home and throw it away because they earned $1 on it? I understand things that you use and stocking up, but it is not fair to those who need the item. I love seeing how much people save on coupons, but if they are getting 30 KY Jelly, I dont understand. From what I have seen on here, all of you use coupons the same way I do, to save a little bit of money on your grocery bill. Good for you. The most I have ever saved was $35. I was really excited and gave a little extra to my bagger. (I hope you all remember the bagger, they work on tips only.) I hope you all have a great day and enjoy saving some money.

  20. I think the changes are just fair and I don’t mind getting the overages from using coupons in the form of a GC which can be used ONLY at their stores. I know a lot of those who not just special order several boxes of items just to get the cash back AND then turn around to resell the items on ebay. They’ve been called out in coupon boards since that is not allowed per commissary policies but some people make the commissary their cash cow. I hope those are the ones who lose their privileges, if they haven’t lost it yet.

  21. AS i have been working with the Ft Polk Commissary the last few month and teaching couponing classes there on post, I can honestly say that this is very slack compared to the rumors that were coming from the office staff there. I too am not a shelf clearer and with 4 kids (3 girls) still have not found the urge to buy that many tampons at once either. I have friends that do and do it well, so they might be disappointed, but in the end we all have to remember that DECA is still a business and has to think about the bottom line and even though they get reimbursed (plus that .08c shipping fee) for the coupons used, if they are being “robbed” because of misuse, then I can’t blame them for trying to tighten their belts somewhere along the lines. In my mind – a gift card is fine. I will still shop there and if i get lucky enough to have that much overage, well, then, i just got myself a gift card to use on my next purchase – no different than RR’s if you ask me. :O) Happy couponing!!

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